There are different ways to get insurance coverage for your small business. You could go direct to the insurer for a prepackaged policy – that may be the quickest solution – but that’s not always the ideal route. You might want to consider what a small business insurance broker can do for your business (hint: it’s more than you think).
Have you already struck up a relationship with an insurance broker? Keep in mind that what you say and do from the very start can affect what your business gets out of the deal. Remember also that your broker isn’t merely in charge of setting up your policy: they will devote time and attention to help you navigate challenges and reach your business goals.
Everything rests on communication
So, how can you ensure your small business insurance broker can act as your trusted adviser and provide the insurance guidance that will truly help your small business succeed? Speak openly, consciously, and frequently. Start with these five communicative approaches to craft a better broker relationship. They can help set the stage for a fruitful partnership now and in the years to come.
1. Discuss availability from the get-go.
You’re a small business owner, which means you wear many hats. Not only do you juggle a variety of daily tasks, but you have very little time to devote to new ones – which means you need to be clear and upfront at the start in order to make the most of your broker meetings.
Most insurance brokers are more than happy to meet you on your own time, so outline your schedule as soon as your first meeting. Your broker knows that your time is precious, but you’ll have to give them a chance to work around the obstacles in your day.
2. Offer up some background info.
You know how your business has grown and evolved from the very beginning, and how your motivations and expectations have framed your business decisions. Your broker doesn’t know these details – but they’d love to!
Remember that your broker isn’t merely in charge of setting up your policy: they will devote time and attention to help you navigate challenges and reach your business goals.
Not every small business owner dreams of growing their operation into a big business, while others have lofty ambitions (if not a road map to get there). Make sure your broker understands where you sit on that spectrum of business goals, but also where you’ve come from – how your journey has formed your operation. The less that’s left up to assumption, the better your chances of finding an insurance and risk management solution that makes good sense for you and your company.
3. Be professional.
Even if you’re on friendly terms with your broker, you’ll want to keep in mind that this is a business relationship – don’t let your congeniality get in the way of your business needs or intentions. Consider treating your broker meetings like another business meeting, arriving on time and preparing a clear agenda and objectives. After all, showing courtesy and respect is always a good idea in any relationship!
Make sure your broker understands where your business goals lie, but also where you’ve come from – how your journey has formed your operation.
4. Ask questions.
Are you confused, unclear, or concerned about something? Speak up! Now’s the time to ask your questions, and no question is too small. In fact, insurance brokers know more than policy terms and coverage limits: they’re experts in their fields and have a deep understanding of a number of industries, including business risk and risk mitigation best practices.
However, since many brokers often deal with larger companies, they may also throw around technical terms and use unfamiliar insurance jargon. Smiling and nodding through a confusing dialogue won’t get you anywhere; ask your broker to explain in plain language the different aspects of your insurance coverage so you can be confident in your coverage.
5. Go over the details – and revisit often!
When it comes to insurance, the little things matter. No two businesses are exactly alike, and it’s dangerous to accept a generic policy that may not speak to the risks and realities of your business. It would be frustrating to find out your business is over-insured for your particular operation; it could be disastrous to discover you’re under-insured if you experience a loss.
It’s your broker’s job to offer a solution that suits your business now, and as your work evolves, but not for a hypothetical future: you’ll need to work together to make sure that your business has what it needs right now. There’s plenty of opportunity to revisit your policy down the road if there are changes to your business.
Finding the right broker
Where exactly do you find a broker that’s suited to your business? The good news is that you’re not left to your own devices – connecting with a broker through Northbridge can save you a lot of research, legwork, and time (since you probably don’t have too much to spare).
Our network of thoroughly vetted, reputable brokers across the country is at your service, and on top of the needs and challenges that matter most to small business owners. Ready to meet a broker in your area?
Let’s get started