A Business Owner’s Policy is a tailored insurance package for businesses in a particular industry. The package can be adjusted to fit the needs of each individual business, but they come in common packages specific to each industry. Insurance companies have found certain coverage’s common to each industry and attempt to get business owner’s as fully covered as possible. Most include General Liability, Professional Liability and Business Property Insurance. With a business owner’s policy insurance companies can make sure there are no gaps in coverage and make sure the business is not carrying too much or unnecessary coverage. Carrying a BOP benefits a business owner in three main ways.
Pricing is the main benefit that first attracts business owner’s to carrying a Business Owner’s Policy. Insurance companies are more likely to give businesses a break on price if they are selling that business multiple policies. Business Owner’s may be able to call around and get a better price on each individual policy, but that is time spent not working. With the help of a good insurance agent a business owner can allow the agent to shop the policy around to many insurance carriers. This allows the agent to negotiate the best price and the most complete coverage. For this reason it is important to choose an insurance agent who has relationships with many insurance providers, not just a select few. Many agencies work exclusively with just a few carriers and this does not allow the agent to shop around your policy if you are in a tough classification code or have a negative claims history.
Ensuring there are No Gaps in Coverage is the next benefit of a BOP. Shopping around for each individual policy takes lots of valuable time for business owner’s. In most cases it does not save the business as much as getting a quantity discount by combining coverage’s. A more important benefit of a BOP is making certain there are no gap’s in coverage. When businesses shop their policies around a la carte it can cause there to be grey area’s between exclusion’s that are not covered. If all policies are bought from one carrier the insurance provider can guarantee you are fully insured.
For instance, businesses that get a general liability policy from one insurance carrier and a professional liability policy from another carrier may have an exclusion in both policies that make the occurrence not covered. This is where insurance has many grey areas. When an incident occurs the business will more than likely have to wait longer while the insurance companies determine who is liable for the incident or if anyone is liable for the occurrence at all. If you have a BOP with just one carrier typically there is General Liability, Professional Liability and an Umbrella Policy. In this case the insurance company just determines which policy is in effect and processes your claim.
Certificates are the final way businesses benefit from BOP’s. Certificates are needed when businesses are involved in projects they are contracted on. A certificate is legally required before work can start on that project. If you work on many projects with different general contractor’s than you will need this certificate for every general contractor you work with. If you have a BOP that is one phone call only. For example, many artisan contractors do work for several general contractors. Take an electrician as an example. For each general contractor an electrician does a project for they need a certificate proving insurance coverage. If each coverage is with a different carrier that is an additional call the electrician has to make. If that electrician has a BOP they call one agent and can get a certificate for all of their policies.
Again, these are three of the many benefits of having a Business Owner’s Policy. The next time your business is up for renewal it is probably best for you to bring up a BOP with your agent. Insurance carriers are typically more aggressive with discounts when they are getting more of your business.