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office buildingNavigating the world of Chicago commercial insurance is a complex challenge; here's a quick overview of the basics to keep in mind as you begin this task:

Find insurers familiar with your industry

In order to find an insurance agent or broker who is familiar with the risks faced by your particular type of business, you need to do some research. Joining a professional association that represents your industry may be helpful, since these associations often maintain lists of insurance contacts with whom their members are familiar. You can also speak directly to other local business owners in your industry, and ask them for recommendations. If your business is unusual, you may be able to find the right agent or broker through an online search. Be cautious, however; once you've found someone, it's a good idea to set up an in-person meeting before proceeding further. The National Association of Independent Businesses is a wealth of information about business insurance, and provides specific information to members.

Establish a relationship with a licensed commercial insurance broker

A reputable broker is enormously helpful in reviewing risks and necessary coverage with business owners. Most states provide directories of licensed agents and brokers, and you can check this list before beginning to do business with a particular insurance professional. Brokers can put together a customized insurance package tailored to your particular needs, and will help you make certain that there are no legal requirements or liabilities that you have overlooked.

Evaluate your ideal deductible-premium relationship

Each insurance policy carries a premium, which is basically the annual amount you pay the insurer, and a deductible, or the amount you agree to pay on each claim. In general, if you feel that your risk level is relatively low, you should choose a policy with a higher deductible and thus realize annual savings on insurance premiums.  Additionally, if you decide to carry business interruption coverage, you should evaluate how many days of business stoppage you can personally cover before the insurance policy kicks in. An experienced insurance agent can walk you through these decisions.

Consider a Business Owners' Policy (BOP)

Businesses need a variety of different types of coverage, for example: vehicle insurance, general liability, fire or flood coverage, key person insurance, interruption of business, robbery and criminal damage. BOPs are economical packages which combine products to meet the standard insurance needs of businesses at lower cost than purchasing each individual component on its own. Some industries may have needs which are outside the typical package, so it's important to review any such package carefully before purchasing. Home-based business owners may not have considered the need for specific business insurance, but their homeowner's policy will not cover professional liability costs, so it's important to check on what coverage may be missing. Also, "e-insurance" may be an important component of your overall portfolio if your business operates online.

Reevaluate your coverage each year

As your business grows and changes, your insurance needs change as well. It's good business practice to schedule an annual reevaluation of the type and extent of your insurance coverage. If you have added any property or equipment during the year, this annual insurance check is also a good time to make sure that each item has been photographed and added to your official inventory. Remember to file receipts carefully so that value of insured items can be verified.

Call Prime Insurance Agency at 630-442-0282 to have a conversation about your business insurance needs.
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Trade Debtors Insurance said...
Awesome Post. Great source of information.Keep sharing.
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 30 2016 5:01 AM
Jocelyn McDonald said...
My sister wants to start her own business, and I suggested she get it insured as soon as she can. Your article had some great information regarding this, and I liked how you said to consider a BOP, as these economical packages combine products to meet the insurance needs at a lower cost. Thanks; Ill share this with my sister to help her insure her future business.

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