Streetsmart insurance Blog
Sometimes, when you are shopping for homeowner’s insurance coverage, an insurer will ask to schedule an inspection of your home as a step to selling you coverage. The same could be true for your commercial properties. If you own and operate a business and are trying to get coverage for the building or property, then your prospective insurance company might ask to inspect the premises.
Alternatively, these inspections could occur somewhere near the start date of a new policy, or even on a seemingly random basis after you have held the coverage for a while. The timing of the inspection will usually depend on the insurance company in question.
What Business Insurance Inspectors Are Looking to Find
Regardless, of the timing of the business insurance inspection, what your insurers or prospective insurers are looking for is always the same: safety hazards. Hazards on your property add to the risk that the insurance company is taking on by covering your business. More risk means a higher likelihood of you, the client, making a claim on the policy. As such, safety hazards and the risks they create can lead to higher insurance premiums, or can even result in your insurance company dropping your business.
Some hazards in a business can heighten the risk for structure loss or damage. These same risks tend to be a threat to your company’s assets, including furniture, computers, expensive equipment, and other technologies. Other dangers, meanwhile, can increase the odds of an employee or customer getting hurt on the premises. These issues, in turn, increase your company’s liability risk.
All of these factors could feasibly push your insurance company over the edge, to the point where they are no longer willing to carry the risk of your policy. It is the job of the inspectors to find these hazards and report back to the insurance company.
Also, inspectors are entrusted with the task of making sure that the business property in question is adequately insured. Insurance policies are designed first and foremost based on how much money it would cost to rebuild the property in case of a complete loss. An on-site inspection is the best way for an insurance company to nail this information down in an accurate fashion. In other words, an inspection is in your best interests because it will help ensure that you aren’t over or under-insured.
How to Prepare for a Business Insurance Inspection
Rest assured that not all business insurance inspections result in the insurance company dropping the business from their coverage plan. Simply being asked by your insurer to schedule an inspection is not a damning occurrence. Even if your inspector finds numerous safety hazards on your business premises, you will usually be given a chance to rectify those issues. By making these fixes, you can protect your property and keep your insurance costs down.
You can also make repairs before a business inspection occurs—at least if you know what the insurance checklist is likely to contain. It’s not as easy to offer a straightforward checklist for business insurance inspections as for home insurance inspections. Homes have similar rooms, systems, and components, while business properties can vary a lot depending on the industry. However, here are a few items that your inspector will almost certainly check while visiting your premises:
Your inspector might also look at any special equipment your business uses on a regular basis. Depending on the industry and the equipment in question, different pieces of equipment can create fire hazards, explosion risks, air quality issues, and other safety hazards. These risks, as you might expect, will figure into your coverage premiums.