Control the costs
Save money by monitoring your insurance costs on an ongoing basis
There's no getting away from it: insurance can be expensive. Having said that, there are very good arguments for having cover - and usually for having coverage in excess of what's legally required. With that in mind, there are ways to manage and control the costs, so you don't pay more than you need to.
Review the risks
Does your insurance policy include cover that your business doesn't need? For example, a software consultancy may not require goods in transit cover. You may be able to dispense with cover for risks that don't affect your business, thereby saving you money. Don't be tempted to cut the sum insured though, as this can lead to under-insurance and a shortfall should you need to claim.
Insurers often 'reward' companies which take more precautions (like installing approved burglar alarms) with lower premiums. It's worth thinking about seriously, because things like burglar alarms give sensible protection anyway.
�If you have made claims in the past then this may increase your premiums.�
Just like with car insurance, if you have made claims in the past then this may increase your premiums. Some insurers may even refuse cover based on your past record. Better news is that it works both ways: if you don't claim then you can usually qualify for a no-claims discount. Suddenly that burglar alarm looks even better value for money, doesn't it?
Most policies make you pay an amount towards each claim. This is called the excess. You can sometimes reduce your premium by opting for a larger excess.
Check out the best-value deals
Try going to an insurance supplier that specialises in your type and size of business or policy need, as they are more likely to offer competitive rates. It's worth talking to a few different brokers so that you get a good feel for how well they can help your specific business. Think about building a relationship with your insurance adviser, and always give them the chance to match (or better) any other quotes you receive. A few more minutes on the phone can make sure you are not sacrificing essential cover for a quick saving, and can translate to a lot more money saved in the long run.
Try different payment methods
Paying in a lump sum at the start of the year can be costly, or even unfeasible for some businesses. You can usually spread the costs by paying monthly, but always check the interest rate carefully; the benefits of paying monthly may be outweighed by the extra costs. You can also ask if you can make savings by buying longer-term cover beyond the standard 12 month period. But think carefully before committing to a deal like this - what happens if things change, and you end up tied into an unsuitable deal?
Consider a package
�This can be a convenient option as it can save you time and money.�
Insurance for small businesses is often sold in packages that combine the most common requirements, such as employers' liability, buildings and contents, money and business interruption. This can be a convenient option as it can save you time, and money, but make sure it covers everything you need, and if not add other covers as necessary.
Some packages are tailored to cover specialist sectors, such as retail, construction, or manufacturing, and you can often bolt on other type of cover as required. Other elements such as Motor insurance and Directors and Officers' cover should be bought separately.
Finding a broker
One way of buying insurance is to purchase through a broker. If you haven't already found a broker to help with your business requirements, you can find a general broker in your local telephone directory.
However, please feel free to call 0115 948 7019 to discuss your needs with The Business Risk Solutions division of Lockton Companies, a specialist small business insurance broker who can give relevant advice as well as providing you with the cover you need. You can also email your enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.