It is a very straight-forward process today to compare commercial insurance quotes online for virtually every type of business and trade.
There are many very fast and efficient websites operated by insurance agents, brokers, companies and comparison sites that offer quote comparisons for both liability and property cover, However when buying commercial insurance for your business online there are many not so obvious considerations and often hidden costs, that you should be aware of before you purchase.
The major problem with all online quote comparisons is that products are differentiated by price, most often with the cheapest quotes displayed first. Inevitably this will mean that quality insurance products with more cover that maybe cost a little more, will often not make the top five results displayed.
Whether you are looking to purchase liability protection or commercial property insurance for your stock, buildings and contents the most important consideration when applying for quotes is to disclose all the material facts. Many policy contracts can later be deemed null and void because a business owner was not one hundred percent truthful when applying for quotes.
If you fail for example, to declare the full value of your buildings in an attempt to reduce the premium prices quoted, in the event of a claim for an insured loss, your settlement figure will be reduced by the insurer proportionally to the amount of under-insurance, invoking what is known as the average clause.
Another example is a failure to declare all your staff including part-time staff for liability cover purposes.
it is also equally important when comparing policies by price quoted, to compare the actual covers offered by these policies. Invariably there will be differences in the levels of indemnity for loss, sums insured and additional covers offered.
Likewise each commercial insurance company will also tend to have its own levels of voluntary and policy excess, set to attract or deter certain types of business.
Compare policy wordings and keyfacts documents so that you fully understand the levels of cover offered by each of the quotes, before you buy.
Avoid paying for additional covers that you do not need. For example, new businesses in their first year would not be able to claim on a business interruption section of a policy for loss of profits, as there is no trading history. Similarly businesses that do not give advice have no requirement for professional indemnity insurance which may be included in some all risks packaged polices.
Other hidden costs to be aware of, are companies offering monthly payments or credit facilities at high interest rates. Beware sites that do not display the monthly premium breakdown at quote stage for those wishing to pay by monthly debit.
Before purchasing or even obtaining quotes, you should check that the provider is regulated and authorised to conduct commercial insurance business.
For example in the UK the site should display an FSA registration number, which shows the site is covered by the Financial Services Authority compensation scheme, should things go wrong.