Independent agents provide answers for policy renewals, small business coverage

UPPER CUMBERLAND – From evaluating annual insurance policy renewals to considering exposure risks for even the smallest of businesses, independent insurance agents are your best resource for providing answers. After all, it’s better to make sure you’re properly covered than to find out after an issue arises.

Does your commercial policy need a renewal checkup?

Small business owners have a lot on their plate, so it’s easy to overlook important changes that may have occurred in your business and need to be accounted for on your insurance policy. The annual renewal process is a great time to consult with your independent insurance agent and make sure you are properly protected, as well as not paying for coverage you may no longer need. 

Here are some areas to consider 60 to 90 days in advance of your policy renewal:

  • Has the name of your business changed or are there any new Doing Business As (dba’s)?
  • Has the legal entity changed (for example, has the business incorporated or been formed into a LLC?)
  • Is the nature of the business basically the same? Are there operations or divisions that have been discontinued?
  • Is your building insured to value? This is very important if there is a coinsurance clause.
  • Has your personal property total increased or decreased in the last year?
  • Have you made improvements to your building such as a new roof or installation of a sprinkler system? These may qualify your property coverage for a credit.
  • Have your payrolls or sales changed since last year? General Liability is often rated on one or both of these exposures. Workers Compensation is rated on payroll.
  • Have you removed or added vehicles and not advised your agent? Have you hired new drivers?
  • How old are the vehicles in your fleet? If some of your vehicles are over 10 years old, you may want to consider dropping physical damage coverage on them.
  • Is your business eligible for a drug free workplace discount on your Workers Compensation policy? If so, submit the paperwork to your agent.
  • Finally, do you need additional coverages such as Employment Practices LiabilityCyber LiabilityEmployee Theft, or Professional Liability?

Your independent agent is there to assist you with making sure the renewal process goes smoothly and that you are protected appropriately for your custom needs.

Small Businesses Still Need Big Protection

Just because a business isn’t a traditional brick and mortar establishment doesn’t mean it can go without business insurance. Even a home-based business needs insurance. Many people assume they are already covered under their homeowner’s policy when they are working out of their home. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple as most homeowners policies contain a business exclusion in the standard policy provisions. Instead, they should consider the general liability and professional liability exposure the small business may have.

Every business is a little different – there isn’t a cookie cutter solution that fits every small business’ needs. If you, or someone you know, own a small business, it’s strongly recommended to make an appointment with an independent agent to discuss the business exposures and coverage needs. Here are just a few “what if” questions to consider that can help guide that discussion:

  • What if my tent or awning collapses on a customer?
  • What if my display blows over onto another vendor?
  • What if my product breaks a copyright law?
  • What if my product injures somebody?
  • What if someone trips or falls when they are picking up goods from my home?

Regardless of size or industry, all businesses face potential risk, and your independent agent can help you find the right coverage to fit your unique needs.

The coverages here are described in the most general terms and are subject to the actual policy conditions and exclusions. For actual coverage wording, conditions, and exclusions, refer to the policy or contact your independent agent.

For more information related to your commercial insurance package, contact or call (931) 526-4025. Swallows Insurance has offices in Cookeville, Livingston and Smithville.

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