The Commercial Quote Process
There is a lot more involved in obtaining a commercial quote than one might think! We have recently shared some information on different commercial insurance products, so we thought it would be helpful to also share how the commercial quoting process works.
Commercial insurance quotes generally take quite a bit more time than a personal lines insurance quote (such as an auto or home quote), so it is important to allow yourself and your broker enough time!
The best time to shop your policy (if you have an existing commercial policy in place) is 30 to 90 days prior to your renewal. If your renewal has recently passed, we recommend waiting until the following renewal to re-market, as short-rate cancellations will apply if you cancel your policy mid-term.
When starting the commercial quote process, your insurance broker will ask you a list of questions in order to get a better idea of your business operations and to determine what type of coverage is needed. In addition, there may be an application and/or questionnaire that they will have you fill out.
Once all of the necessary information is gathered, your insurance broker will approach different insurance companies and markets to obtain a quote. An experienced commercial broker will have knowledge of which insurance companies or MGA’s write what type of business, so they will be able to approach those markets that are most likely to respond quickly and competitively.
It is important to note that when a market has been approached by a broker to quote a risk, they are effectively blocking the market. This means that another broker who approaches the same insurance for a quote on the same risk will be turned away and will not be able to receive a quote. Because of this, it is important to find a commercial insurance broker who you are comfortable and confident in working with, and to not have several brokers working on quotes for you at the same time.
Depending on the type of commercial risk, quotes can be done as quick as the same-day (ie. with small commercial packages), or they may take a week or more to obtain a quote. For those risks that need to be referred to an underwriter, the underwriter may request that your insurance broker obtain additional information, pictures, etc.
Once a quote has been obtained, the process to bind coverage is usually pretty quick as long as there are not too many requirements subject to binding coverage. Your insurance broker may require your signature on several documents, and will arrange payment terms with you. Once this is done, everything is sent back to the insurance company to bind and issue the policy. Depending on the type of business and insurance policy and limits of coverage purchased, the insurance company may also arrange for an inspection of your business operations and premises.
With commercial insurance, it is important that you review your policy with your broker on an annual basis to review coverage and limits. It is also extremely important to notify them of any change in your operations, equipment, or limits if they occur during the year.
For more information on the commercial insurance quoting process ,or to obtain a commercial insurance quote, please do not hesitate to contact our Office to speak with one of our knowledgeable commercial insurance brokers today!
The Costen Insurance Team