While buying insurance policies for your business, it is better to have sufficient knowledge about the cover you are availing and the insurer that you are about to choose. It is not enough to do your research online only. It is highly advisable to ask as many questions as possible to your advisor. With increased awareness, you will be able to make better choices. As a customer, you have the right to know the hidden points of the policy being offered, the credentials and experience of your advisor as well as the coverage capacity of the insurer being chosen. Your advisor will guide you through the claims process if both of you work on the same level of understanding.
Following are the primary questions that you cannot afford to miss asking your advisor while availing general insurance policies for your business:
1. Are you an insurance agent or an insurance broker?
While both the terms “agent” and “broker” might seem to have the same meaning, there is a huge distinction that you need to be aware of. An insurance agent typically deals with only one insurer and deals with simpler jobs including paperwork and processing the deal with the single insurer.
On the other hand, an insurance broker deals with many insurers and can bring you quotes from multiple companies. So, you can compare and choose the insurance policy of an agency that best suits your specific business requirements.
So, before going ahead with the talks with your advisor, be clear on what exactly is its scope of provisions!
2. How much does my policy cover and is it sufficient for my business?
You need to be assured that the sum assured that you have opted for the policy is enough whether you take it as the annual aggregate limit or the Occurrence limit of the policy.
Suppose you avail a Group Health Insurance policy of Rs. 10,00,000 without making sufficient research on the appropriate sum insured and at the end of the financial year, the total claims (Rs. 50,00,000) exceed the limit of sum assured, it can pose a problem for you. You would have to bear such huge expenses from your own pockets!
It is thus advisable to be sure about the limits of your policy and discuss the same with your advisor before you avail it. The advisor will enable you to decide appropriate limits of a policy based on the type and size of your business, its location, preferences of related parties, etc.
3. Can you personalise the policies?
You need to be assured that the policy being provided suit the specific requirements of your business. For example, a normal Fire Insurance Policy excludes the artworks, paintings, and special accessories like chandeliers, etc. Suppose you are a fashion designer owning a shop that requires all these things and you want them insured in a customized policy. Your commercial insurance advisor must be able to assure you of experience in giving options of such personalized policies from different insurers so that everything comes under your budget.
4. What are the exclusions of the policy?
Apart from the inclusions, you need to discuss the exclusions of the policy in detail with your advisor so that there is no problem at the time of making a claim. Besides exclusions, you might need multiple covers to protect something excluded in one policy.
For example, a fire insurance cover might not include the damage due to earthquake or floods which you might have to avail separately. So, ask your advisor of the covers that you might require to safeguard your business completely.
5. How will the Advisor Help in Claim Settlement?
Besides the credentials of the insurer and the terms and conditions of the policy, you need to know every detail of the claims settlement process so that you are not clueless at the said time. Ask your advisor whether you can get any client references to be further assured of availability in the time of need.
Discuss and understand the process of making a claim very carefully and never forget to immediately call the advisor if any situation arises where your business requires insurance cover.
A good advisor will welcome all the questions that you would wish to ask. This interaction with your advisor will improve transparency and enables you to be more confident in the policy you are investing in. The popularity of online insurance advisors like SecureNow, who offer a mix of traditional and modern online services, is increasing rapidly due to these qualities.
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