If you've been dragging your feet on purchasing small business insurance, now may be the time to get moving. According to a report by Insurance Journal, the influx of competition in the commercial lines market means that the market is "softening." In other words, there are lots of people selling insurance right now, and they’re competing for buyers. Because of this, prices are dropping and are projected to stay down in 2015.
This trend isn't true for every type of commercial insurance policy. Cyber Liability Insurance, for example, is still pretty volatile because it's a relatively new product (more on that here: "Analysis Shows Less than 3% of Small Businesses Have Cyber Liability Insurance").
But if you're in the market for Property Insurance, General Liability Insurance, E&O Insurance,Workers' Compensation Insurance, or Commercial Auto Insurance (to name a few), you're in luck. You may qualify rates averaging 5 to 15 percent lower if…
- Your business has a clean claims history.
- Your business has a low risk profile.
And if you work in a high-risk industry (e.g., construction), you can also expect rates to be about 10 to 15 percent lower than they have been. For a much more in-depth analysis of recent costs, (and a better idea of what you can expect to pay) see our page, "How Much Does Small Business Insurance Cost?" Keep in mind that your business location and claims history still play a key role in determining your rates, though.
This is all well and good if you don't have commercial insurance yet, but what about the small-business owners who do? Are you missing out on the savings just because your type-A personality wouldn't allow you to delay getting coverage? Let's take a look.
One More Time, with Feeling: How to Get Better Rates on Your Insurance Policies
If you've had your small business insurance policies for a while, maybe it's not a bad idea to talk to your agent and see if you can get a better rate elsewhere. Your agent can send you small business insurance quotes so you can see if you might be able to save some money by switching policies.
Worth noting: you don't want to make a habit of constantly switching policies – it can be a red flag to insurers and increase your premiums down the road. (You can learn more about that in the post, "4 Things to Check before Canceling a Small Business Insurance Policy.") But if you've been hanging on to the same policies for a while, there's no harm in shopping around for a better deal.
Having said that, it may make sense to look for new coverage when…
- Your business experiences a significant change. For example, if you move your business to a new location, you'd need to update your Property Insurance policy anyway. Might as well see if you can get a better deal on your coverage while you're at it!
- It's time to renew your policy. Your agent should send you a renewal notice when your current policy is nearing its expiration date. You can use this document to compare coverages and rates from other carriers.
- You want to see what's out there. As we mentioned earlier, there's no harm in shopping around. Even if you don't decide to purchase a new policy, checking out the other fish in the sea may make you happier with your current plan.
To learn more, read, "When Is It Time for New Business Insurance Quotes?"