Specialty commercial businesses require a unique insurance fit, and it’s a Broker’s responsibility to guide their specialty customers in the right direction. Insurance is complex and can be overwhelming for business owners trying to understand their needs. Whether it’s hospitality, long-haul trucking, plastics manufacturing, or another complex business, there is a lot to consider when looking for the right coverage. From business property, to liability, to cyber – commercial business owners rely on the expertise of their Broker to ensure they have the insurance they need.
Below are some preliminary questions that every Broker should be asking when looking for coverage for a commercial specialty client.
- Have you previously had insurance coverage for this business?
This will depend on the age of the business.
- If yes, what worked and what didn’t with the previous policy?
- What are you looking for in your next provider?
- Tell me exactly what your business does?
The more detail, the better.
- Do you provide goods, services, or both?
- Has your business previously done anything additional?
- Do you have any plans to expand in the future?
- Do you operate in any other countries outside of Canada?
- Do you sub-contract out any aspect of your operations? How were the contractors selected? What sort of screening process and criteria (if any) do you use?
- What type of building does your business operate out of?
This will impact the liability risks the business faces and will vary considerably based on the type of business.
- Is there one specific site you work out of or multiple locations?
- This could be a residential site, a commercial site, or an industrial site. E.g., a warehouse, a hotel, a high-rise building, a storefront, or other commercial real estate property, etc.
- Where is the building(s) located?
- Is the location at high risk of severe weather events? What sort of weather does it experience year-round?
- Does your business experience any sort of foot traffic on a regular basis? E.g., customers, vendors, maintenance workers, etc.
- What is the estimated worth of your business contents?
- This would include all property, tools, machinery, supplies, products, etc.
- Where do you source any of your necessary materials from?
- This would include supplies, stock, tools, machinery, parts, etc.
- What is the estimated annual revenue for your business?
- Have you ever filed an insurance claim previously, and if so, what for?
- If applicable, has the issue that caused the loss has been addressed?
- What are some of the other risks you know your business will face on a regular basis?
- Has a loss control inspection been previously conducted on at your business?
If so, be sure that all previous engineering reports are provided. If applicable, your customer’s previous Broker should have any of this information. This should also include any recommendation reports provided by your customer’s previous insurer.