Commercial Insurance FAQs
Q: I need to file a claim! What do I do first?
A: The absolute top priority is to prevent any further damage or loss to people or property. If necessary, call 911 for life threatening emergencies! Record detailed notes and pictures of the incident site to include date, time, type of injury/damage, names, addresses, telephone numbers of involved persons (and their insurance policy info, if applicable), police reports, potential video camera locations, etc. A statement of loss will also be collected by a designated claims adjuster. I encourage my clients to call me direct with any claims concerns and am happy to assist with the filing of claims. (609)240-1767.
Q: Am I able to change carriers anytime I wish?
A: Yes, absolutely.
Q: When is the ideal time for me to begin switching policies over to you?
A: 90 days prior to your renewal term.
Q: Which carrier offers the best protection at the best cost for my business?
A: Working with a commercial insurance broker who represents multiple carriers and is local to your area is your best source of obtaining the best policy for your business's needs. Being familiar with your industry helps alot, too!
Q: How much general liability coverage should my company carry?
A: The industry standard is $1,000,000 per occurrence / $2,000,000 general aggregate.
Q: What if I need higher liability limits?
A: Commercial Umbrella/Excess Liability Limits can meet or exceed $10,000,000+
Q: How do I obtain a Certificate of Insurance ("COI" or "Cert") or Evidence of Property Insurance Certificate (EOPI)?
A: Contact Gabe or an agency representative at McPherson & Newland Insurance during regular business hours. 24 - 48 hours of lead time is customary for certificates to be prepared. Special contractual requirements from your certificate holder (the person or business requesting the certificate) can slow the process.
Q: What are my billing options?
A: Every carrier typically has its own billing procedures, but in general, a 20% minimum downpayment is required at policy inception with the balance of premium due either over 10 months, quarterly, semi-annually or payment in full. Credit and debit cards (Visa, MC & Discover) or checking/savings account information will be collected, with signed, authorized consent of the policyholder. Electronic Funds Transfer, when available, is the preferred method of payment.
Q: My friend operates a similar business and pays much more (or less) than I do. Why?
A: There are so many factors that affect the rate of a commercial insurance policy. Claims history, business location, inventory values, building condition, gross sales, payroll, and so forth.
Q: I just received an insurance audit form in the mail. Do I need to complete it?
A: Yes. It's important to keep accurate accounting records throughout the policy term. Not all policies are auditable, but most contractors, manufacturers, and businesses generating larger revenues are subject to audits. Common auditing information requested could be: changes in operations; employee payroll; gross annual sales; subcontractor costs; changes in inventory; copies of federal a/o state wage statements and company financials prepared by a CPA.
Q: What happens if I ignore the audit or provide incomplete or incorrect information?
A: The insurance company can use its discretion to cancel, or more likely, charge a maximum assumed rate.
Q: How do I lower my Workers Compensation premium?
A: There are several loss control strategies available to businesses, depending on the size and scope of operations. An experienced agent with a watchful eye can bring creative cost containment ideas to the table. However, it all begins with proper employee training and workplace safety. Safety is paramount!!!
Q: What are "loss runs" and why am I being asked for them?
A: Loss Runs list your business's claims history (even if there haven't been any claims) and generally need to be produced for the previous four (4) years of continuous coverage. If you've had coverage with different carriers through different agents, you'll need to ensure all requested periods are complete and continuous otherwise coverage gaps could prevent the best rate for your business.
Q: I have additional questions. Who can I contact?