Can one really save on commercial insurance? Is this for real?
Insurance savings are real and can be had, but like anything else worthwhile, require both time and effort. Larger companies devote departments full of risk managers to help lower their risks (and costs) of doing business.
But there are things smaller operations can do to lower their insurance premiums. These are neither extraordinary nor extraneous actions, but usually things you don’t know about, things no one has told you about, or things one learns after repeated batterings or sometimes failures.
These tips are from a series published on LinkedIn. Their purpose is to help save you money (if that’s your goal).
Please note: I am not an insurance agent. I do not sell insurance. This blog is for information purposes only. I am not an attorney. This blog is not legal advice. Please use your discretion in applying any information to your particular situation and circumstances. Results may vary.
Today’s Five Insurance Saving Tips
2021 Insurance Saving Tip #9
Have a safety “elevator speech” for your company or organization.
An elevator speech is a brief overview of what you or your organization are about, short enough to present during an elevator ride. It is a means to introduce yourself or organization to new career and/or business connections
A safety elevator speech is talking points about what you or your organization are currently doing in the area of safety. It could include activities in the last year, current initiatives, or those planned for the near future.
Many times company representatives or owners are:
—shy or hesitant when talking about their safety program(s)
—often forget to bring up key points they would like to present
Use your brief safety elevator speech with:
■ Insurance agents, brokers, loss control inspectors or risk management representatives, Underwriters
■ Your staff, safety personnel, company superiors, and others
Memorize your safety elevator speech. It can come in handy when you least expect it.
This next one is a new insurance tip for our digital age. Insurance companies are streamlining operations, dropping agents, or selling directly. As such, what is missing is the human touch. Beware! In this tip I cover a potential risk you need to be aware of in filling out online electronic forms.
2021 Insurance Saving Tip #10
Use Extreme Caution When Filling Out or Using Online Insurance Forms
There is a big push by insurance companies to automate and digitize their business processes. As there is less and less face contact, insurance companies are using a new suite of tools to determine, when filling out online forms, if their customers are lying or engaging in fraud.
It’s called behavioral signaling. It’s not only what you put down, but how you do it.
Do you hover over a question before answering it? Do you cut and paste information? Is information later changed or deleted?
When filling out e-forms I recommend to first read the form, gather the required information, then fill out the form as accurately (and quickly) as possible. Then proof read it, again, and make any necessary changes.
Anything else could result in potential additional scrutiny or even a possible decline in issuing a quote.
2021 Insurance Saving Tip #11
Investigate all accidents and incidents, no matter how small.
Accident/incident investigation can identify workplace hazards and help in creating corrective action plans to prevent future occurrences. In some jurisdictions, it’s the law.
In today’s safety environment, the terms accident and incident are used interchangeably, as it is felt most accidents are preventable.
We want to investigate the small stuff because: a.) it can be an indicator or predictor of future events, and, b.) staff needs to be made aware of the importance of workplace safety.
Be sure to follow a checklist. Your insurance agent may have an investigation checklist and/or other helpful forms. A generic checklist can be found in the link below.
If a safety event happens, don’t wait. Get as much information as soon as possible. Try to determine the root cause. Then follow up with any corrective action, if appropriate.
2021 Insurance Saving Tip #12
Make a good-faith effort to answer all of your insurance company’s questions and keep them informed of any changes.
Sometimes things change quickly. Assets are added or deleted. New drivers are hired. Losses occur. The list goes on.
A policyholder (insured) has a duty and obligation to disclose any information a reasonable person should have known would have been relevant to the decision of the the insurance company (insurer) whether to accept the risk.
For example, when filling out an application, if it is known that a company driver has lost their driving privileges, but the company doesn’t inform the insurance company (or continues keeps the the driver on the road), this could be considered a failure to make a reasonable disclosure.
For serious non-disclosures, insurance companies have a provision in their policy to add on additional premiums on past or future policy years, or even cancel the policy outright.
Always make a ‘reasonable disclosure’ when providing insurance information.
2021 Insurance Saving Tip #13
Have an organizational policy which encompasses safety events from start to end.
What’s in a good company “accident policy?”
■ Staff need to be trained what to do in the event of an accident.
■ There should be accident kits in all vehicles and updated first aid kits on site or on location.
■ Staff should know what to do or not do when taking photos.
■ Annual refresher training is a must.
■ Keep a list of regulatory contacts, if any government reports are later required.
■ Some companies immediately do a legal review with their counsel, if appropriate. From time to time this possibility should be reviewed with counsel, as well as your policy.
■ Accident policies should aim to preserve life, property, and evidence.
■ When others are at fault, know what your insurance company needs to pursue a possible subrogation claim, so your insurance does not go up.
2021 Insurance Saving Tip #14
Check with your agent if you can get a “shareholder discount” on your insurance for owning any stock in the insurance company or its subsidiaries.
It could be worth your time and effort to buy a share or two.
Bonus Tip 1: It’s always a good idea to check with your agent and broker for any and all available discounts. Sometimes, in the wacky world of insurance, doing little things like this can result in huge savings over time.
Bonus Tip 2: Sometimes you can get discounts for doing things that seem counterintuitive, like adding drivers to get into a different category. For example, a key driver has some points and you can’t fire him. Adding additional drivers to your driver pool with stellar driving records might actually lower your premiums.
Thank you for reading this. What ways have you found to save money on your insurance?