Business partners discussing insurance looking at documents

Three tips to keep your business insurance effective

Three tips to keep your business insurance effective

Synopsis
4 Minute Read

Avoid the pitfalls of inadequate business insurance with these three essential tips.

Partner, National Leader - Insurance Advisory
Senior Manager, Forensics

When’s the worst time to review your insurance policy? When you need it the most.

But for many businesses, that’s the reality. It’s only once they have to make a claim that they review their existing policy or carefully read the fine print.

Here’s the good news: your business doesn’t have to get caught unaware. In recognition of National Insurance Awareness Day, here are three tips to make sure your coverage — and your premiums — are working for you now, during, and after an incident.

Tip #1: Review your existing insurance policy

To swiftly bounce back after a disruption, make sure your policy is up to date. Before an incident occurs, it’s essential to review your coverage for specific loss situations, understand your limits and co-insurance amounts, and be clear on the terms and timelines.

Different insurers can use different wording in their policies, but business interruption coverage usually covers short-term financial losses (about 12 months) from events that stop your operations. This can include issues like not being able to access your premises, or problems with the supply of goods or services — problems that many businesses face during unexpected disruptions.

However, like all insurance, business interruption policies have exclusions — like losses from strikes, lease breaks, or contract penalties. Knowing exactly what your policy covers is key to planning an effective loss strategy and analysis.

For natural disasters, your business might need different types of policies. For instance, the growing number of wildfires in Canada has led to evacuation orders, restricted access to premises, and power outages that stall operations. In these cases, coverages like civil authority interruption, ingress/egress, and services interruption can protect your business from significant losses.

And, while you’re reviewing your policy, check if it covers professional fees for preparing claims.

Tip #2: Make sure your insurance values are relevant

People often think natural disasters, like wildfires or floods, will raise insurance premiums. And depending on your business, they might.

But if you’ve had closures, drops in sales, and dwindling profits, your insurance values might be lower, which could actually decrease your premiums. Additionally, in today’s tough insurance market, your insurer might not offer the same level of coverage your business needs.

Accurately filling out your business interruption worksheet helps ensure a fair claim outcome. It’s important to think about how you can reduce the loss because this isn’t included in the worksheet.

Insurance premiums are based on your business interruption insurance values. If your revenue has dropped or you no longer have a particular revenue stream, you might be paying for coverage you no longer need. And lower insurance values mean lower policy premiums.

You can confirm your insurance values by engaging a claims professional and conducting a maximum probable loss study. Make sure to consider factors like industry trends, consumer demands, pricing, and potential supply chain issues.

The best time to review your insurance values and see how they impact your employees, customers, and business outlook is now — before you need to submit a claim.

Tip #3: Protect against cyber threats

Cyber attacks on businesses and individuals are increasing in number and sophistication every day. However, many business owners don’t realize they can invest in a cyber insurance policy.

As these threats become more frequent and more impactful, it’s important to consider coverage to protect against data breaches and cyber attacks.

A cyber security advisor can help you evaluate your risks and find ways to mitigate them. It’s no longer a question of if, but when your business will be targeted by cyber criminals.

Already have a cyber policy? Consider investing in an independent cyber review to assess and understand what your coverage includes and excludes.

Be prepared, not sorry

Understanding what’s included and excluded in your insurance coverage, along with regular reviews, can help prevent legal claims and quickly get your business back on track after a disruption.

Having a team that understands your business and your coverage can make for a smooth recovery. Make sure you identify these team members before loss occurs and establish open communication practices. Then watch your business effectively mitigate and recover from risks.

Get expert guidance today

Our advisors are here to help you navigate the complex ins and outs of insurance coverage. Reach out to ensure you’re fully prepared and protected, and get personalized guidance that suits the needs of your business.

To learn more, contact our advisors today.

Craig Burkart CPA, CA, IFA, CFF, CIP

Partner, National Leader - Insurance Advisory

403-536-5533

1-877-500-0792

[email protected]

Sheetal Esmail CPA, CA

Senior Manager, Forensics

587-441-6044

1-877-500-0792

[email protected]

Insights

  • Progress

    July 12, 2024

    How using SMARTPro can help enhance the value of your practice

    Are you considering selling your practice? Three medium-term strategies can help improve efficiency and enhance the value of your practice.

  • Confidence

    July 10, 2024

    Cheers! Three beverage trends your business can capitalize on

    There’s a buzz in the Canadian beverage industry and it involves three key trends: sober curiosity, functional ingredients, and local products.

  • Confidence

    July 09, 2024

    Transform your dental practice with key performance indicators

    Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are essential metrics that provide insights into the overall health and performance of your dental practice.