Buying commercial insurance online
By Leana Schwartz, Independent Commercial Insurance Agent
Online shopping has taken the world by storm. While shopping online from the convenience of the home or office can save buyers considerable time and money on almost anything they need, there are still some products and services which shouldn’t be purchased online. Case in point: commercial insurance.
Given a detailed application process, the understanding of commercial insurance terminology required, and online shoppers’ preference for quickly comparison shopping multiple providers, it is often not possible for an insurance carrier to get sufficient information from a potential client online, resulting in higher quoted premiums than would be the case if the client worked with an agent instead.
Here are four fundamental reasons why purchasing insurance online is probably not in your company’s best interests.
1. Commercial insurance is highly customized
If you are a seasoned businessperson with an in-depth knowledge of commercial insurance who knows exactly what you need, then you might find success buying insurance online. However, most business owners prefer personalized service from knowledgeable and experienced commercial insurance agents who can custom tailor the best fitting coverage, deductibles, rates and other considerations for their clients.
Most commercial insurance carriers do not provide direct access to rates online
Unlike online automobile insurance carriers which are more than happy asking you a few questions and then providing you with several quotes from different insurance companies, many forms of commercial insurance — due to an elevated level of complexity and myriad types of coverage — do not translate well to the online shopping experience.
While rates for simpler policies like general liability or commercial auto insurance may be available online, more specialized coverage like errors and omissions, builder’s risk insurance, business interruption insurance, and worker’s compensation insurance generally require the assistance of an insurance professional in order to obtain the right coverage for the right price.
2. You might end up purchasing insurance you don’t need or, even worse, not get the insurance you actually need for your business
Do you know whether you need director’s and officer’s liability insurance or ordinance and law insurance? Or how much boiler and machinery insurance you should carry? Or whether or not you would benefit from data breach insurance? With the numerous types of commercial insurance available, consulting with an agent will ensure you get exactly the coverage, limits, exclusions, and deductibles which are perfect for your company and avoid spending money on something you don’t need.
3. Developing a relationship with a commercial insurance professional adds an expert advisor to your team and makes your business smarter
Cultivating a relationship with a knowledgeable local independent insurance agent puts an expert on your side: one who knows the intricacies of commercial insurance and wants to protect your business. Your agent will continue to look out for your interests in the years to come, adjusting coverage as needed as your business grows and changes.