As a real estate or title business owner, you know there are potential risks and liabilities everywhere you look. When you put your business under the microscope, you may be tempted to purchase every business insurance policy you can afford! But for a small-business owner, the cost of business insurance can quickly add up, which is why your best course of action is to choose the policies that protect you from serious financial setbacks.
To help you find business insurance for your real estate business, here's a quick guide that will help you ascertain which policies work for you and which ones you can do without. Keep reading to learn more!
Business Insurance Tips for Real Estate and Title Companies
As you build your risk management plan and search for business insurance policies for your real estate business, consider these eight tips to help you find the appropriate coverage.
#1: Risk Exposure
Evaluate your risk exposure.
For every possible risk or pitfall your business may endure, there is an insurance policy at the ready. But how can you decide which policies you truly want as part of your risk management plan and which ones are simply extras? The key is to assess your risks and discern which of these potential liabilities or unforeseen costs can threaten the survival of your real estate business. So to keep yourself from making purchases driven by fear or worry, investigate the perils your company is most likely to face. You'll want to avoid policies that simply protect you from run-of-the-mill losses. It's the serious financial catastrophes that you truly want your policies to shield you from, such as liability lawsuits or sizable property damage. As your business grows, be sure to reassess your plan yearly, as your risk exposures and coverage needs may expand along with your company.
#2: Top-rated Carriers
Choose a top-rated insurance carrier.
An "A-rating" for insurance providers is the highest rating in the industry. High-rated carriers are nationally reputed for their reliable coverage, quick payouts, and competitive quotes. Also, these quality providers typically carry products tailored for the needs of your industry. To determine whether an offer you encounter is legitimate, you can usually trust that if it's from a top-tier carrier, you can take it at its word. Because you are a small real estate business owner, however, you may not have the requisite time to search for offers from multiple carriers. In that case, working with a licensed insurance agent (e.g. the business insurance experts at insureon ) can save time and, in most cases, money. We already have relationships with the top insurance providers in the country, and we can deliver quotes for you to compare.
Know that the cheapest policy is not always the best option.
Real estate businesses are affected regularly by the health of the market, which means money can be especially tight at times. But when you base your search solely on the cost of business insurance policies, you may be limiting yourself to subpar coverage. Inexpensive policies may cost less because they offer limited coverage or the provider has a reputation of slow payouts. The moral of the story is to prioritize the amount of coverage your policy offers and the reputation of the provider above the cost of the coverage. That way, when you need to file a claim, you won't be disheartened to find that your policy can't cover the full amount of the incident. And when you're waiting on compensation to come through, every day you wait for property replacement funds takes time away from growing your business.
Work with a specialist insurance agent.
Specialist insurance agents know the risks real estate business owners face and can help you find tailored and lower-cost products to address those vulnerabilities. Typically, our agents recommend that real estate businesses carry the following types of insurance:
Check your eligibility for a Business Owner's Policy.
Business Owner's Policies (BOPs) save you money by combining Property and General Liability coverage in one convenient plan. And because real estate businesses are typically considered to be lower-risk, your company may qualify for this bargain policy. This policy is also designed with a small business in mind, and is usually only available to companies with up to $3 million in revenue. It's less expensive than buying each of the offered policies separately, and insurers can typically add other coverages, such as business interruption, for a nominal cost.
#6: Fine Print
Know your policy's fine print.
If you've read one business insurance policy, rest assured you have not read them all. Policies can change drastically from carrier to carrier, even for the same type of coverage. It's always in your best interest to thoroughly read over your contract and understand your policy's exclusions, its deductible (the amount you'll be responsible for paying in a covered claim), and its limits. That way, you won't be caught off-guard when you need to file a claim. If you have questions, be sure to ask your insurance agent before you sign.
Consider the deductible.
Nearly every policy has a deductible, which is the amount you pay before your provider covers the rest of the cost, up to the limits of your policy. Though higher deductibles are often attached to lower premiums, be warned that such a policy could financially constrain your business when you need to file a claim. As a general rule, only accept a deductible that your real estate or title business could comfortably spare.
Carefully consider your limits.
The litigation process can be a financially devastating ordeal for any company, but especially so for small businesses. When choosing your policies, be sure that your limits reflect the financial strength you'll need in a catastrophic event. For example, if a tornado levels your real estate office, imagine how much it would cost to repair your entire office space and replace all your equipment, all the furniture, and so on. You'll want your policy to give you considerable breathing room for when the worst-case scenarios occur.
Insurance Policies Custom-Fit for Real Estate and Title Business
At insureon, our specialist agents act as matchmakers, finding the appropriate insurer for you based on your unique business insurance needs. If you're ready to find reliable coverage for less, get a quote from insureon today!