As an IT professional, you know that business insurance is an essential safeguard for your company. But as you begin your search for the appropriate coverages for your computer, web, and IT services business, you'll quickly see just how many options you have. But the number of choices and the conflicting information can be overwhelming, especially if this is your first time purchasing insurance. What does an "A-rated" provider mean for your business? Is there a reason so many people work with insurance agents rather than buy insurance on their own? The list of questions just keeps building as your hunt continues.
You may wonder which coverages truly protect your business from your most common risks and which options are extras. You may be required by your contracts or state laws to carry certain types of insurance, too.
Of course, these questions and considerations are a good place to start when you're shopping around for adequate coverage. But before you sign a policy, take a minute to look over our answers to these common questions and tips for finding the policy that meets the specific needs of your IT firm.
Business Insurance Tips for IT Professionals
IT professionals who are looking for a comprehensive business protection plan know that experience, good business practices, and client contracts are not enough to keep your business running. Disasters, lawsuits, and mistakes in your work happen without warning. That's why business insurance is a necessary investment to protect your firm should a liability lawsuit arise or should you need to quickly replace damaged equipment in order to continue your work.
As you search for the appropriate insurance coverage for your web, computer, and IT service business or IT staffing firm, keep in mind these seven tips for finding a policy that meets your needs and minimizes your risk exposure:
1. Know your industry's risks.
Know your industry's risks.
Before you delve into your insurance search, it's important to take the time to reflect on the liability risks and property you want your policy to cover. If you're unsure about the kind of risks common to your industry, you may want to walk yourself through a normal workday. Consider the equipment you rely on for your business to operate. Think about the accidents or injuries your employees could potentially face, such as repetitive motion injuries. Even innocuous accidents can result in costly, drawn-out lawsuits. Though no one likes to dwell on worst-case scenarios, savvy business owners rely on this level of protection planning to fully safeguard their businesses to the best of their abilities. Once you have thoroughly examined possible avenues of risk, you're ready to find the coverages that will account for these vulnerabilities.
Your insurance provider will also conduct a risk assessment to determine how much risk they are willing to cover. This process is called "underwriting," and it will determine the extent of your coverage and the premium you will pay for the coverage. This is why it's so important to know and prioritize the protection you need. Additionally, as your business grows, you'll want to reassess your protection needs each year to ensure your business can continue to thrive.
2. Work with top-rated providers.
Work with top-rated insurance providers.
In your search, you may come across the concept of an "A" rating in reference to the insurance provider. In short, an A-rated carrier has a reputation of offering reliable coverage, quick payouts, and consistent terms. They are top-tier in the industry and have a reputation for the quality of their products. So when you're trying to sort out the difference between an exaggerated sales pitch and a legitimate offer, do a little digging into the carrier's background. If you're busy taking care of your clients and the million other things a small business owner has on his or her plate, you'll probably want to take the shortcut and simply work with an insurance agent who has already established relationships with trustworthy providers.
When you work with licensed insurance agents — such as the insurance experts at insureon — you save the stress and legwork needed to vet providers on your own. Because our agents maintain relationships with top carriers, you can receive multiple quotes from nationally respected providers for comparison. The licensed agents at insureon are happy to save you time by offering quotes from A-rated insurance carriers whose products match your IT business needs. If you're ready to secure a policy with minimal time away from work, talk to one of our licensed insurance agents today!
3. Prioritize coverage over cost.
Prioritize coverage over cost.
The cost of coverage is a justifiable concern for small-business owners. After all, when you're growing your IT business, every penny counts. However, it's important to realize that business insurance is a necessary safeguard so you can continue expanding your business. It only takes one lawsuit to potentially bankrupt your company and possibly jeopardize your personal assets, too.
You also want to keep in mind that cheaper policies may be priced as such because they offer limited coverage, the payouts are incredibly slow, or the provider may resort to sketchy practices, such as offering a low premium, only to hike the price later. That's why we advise business owners to prioritize the amount of coverage and the reputation of the provider over the price of the policy. When you need your insurance policy in a time of crisis, you will want every last ounce of coverage you can get.
If cost is a major concern for your IT business, another option is to look into purchasing a Business Owner's Policy (BOP). If your business is eligible, you can enjoy a broad range of coverage thanks to the General Liability Insurance and Property Insurance it offers in one policy — and usually at a lower premium. No matter what your coverage needs may be, know that when you work with insureon, we can create an insurance policy expressly for your business and the coverage you need — no more, no less. Talk to your insureon agent about your cost-saving options today.
4. Work with an agent who knows your industry.
Work with an insurance agent who knows your industry.
As an IT professional, you already know that a level of expertise can make all the difference in any given project, and the same holds true with insurance. When you work with someone who know the risks and needs of your IT business, you can rest assured that you will have the coverage you need in a time of upheaval. Industry experts can help you find appropriate, affordable coverage from top-rated carriers that offer products specifically for your line of work.
Typically, computer, web, and IT services businesses will want to carry the following types of insurance:
- General Liability Insurance.
- Property Insurance / Business Owner's Policy (BOP).
- Workers' Compensation Insurance.
- Errors & Omissions Insurance.
- Umbrella Liability / Excess Liability Insurance.
5. Read your policy thoroughly.
Read your business insurance policy thoroughly.
Policies vary widely from carrier to carrier, each with its own limits, premiums, deductible, and exclusions. And when you need to file a claim so your coverage kicks in, you don't want to find out that what you thought was covered actually isn't included in your policy. Understanding your policy means you can ensure there are no gaps in your coverage and no surprises down the road. If you have questions about what your policy does and doesn't cover, be sure to ask your insurance agent to explain the terms to you.
6. Consider the deductible.
Consider the deductible.
Most business insurance policies include a deductible, or the amount you are responsible for paying in the event of a covered claim. Your insurance policy will cover the rest of the claim amount up to the limits of your policy. It may be tempting to choose a higher deductible to get a lower premium, but in the event of a claim, a high deductible might overwhelm your IT business financially. Though policies with a lower deductible tend to have a higher premium, you will also be responsible for paying a smaller amount when you file a claim. The point to remember is to not agree to a deductible that could financially strap your business. Instead, opt for a deductible you could comfortably bear out of pocket.
7. Over-estimate your needs.
Over-estimate your insurance needs.
If your IT business is ever sued, the litigation process can be a financially devastating ordeal. That's why it's often a wise move to over-estimate your coverage needs — you never know when you are going to need that protection. In today's litigious environment, the courts are viewed as a place to resolve conflicts that could have been solved many other ways. So if an injury occurs on your business premises or if you are charged with professional negligence for a project you completed months ago, the expenses add up quickly. If a settlement is awarded, any amount past your policy limits will be your responsibility.
Insurance Policies Tailored for Your Computer, Web, and IT Services Business
Insurance Policies Tailored for Your Computer, Web, and IT Services Business
The IT Specialist agents at insureon are happy to help you find a business insurance plan that accounts for your business's unique risks, concerns, and coverage needs. If you're ready to secure reliable coverage quickly, complete our easy online application, and you can receive multiple quotes from our A-rated insurance providers in minutes!