The insurance industry has seen dramatic changes in the past few decades. Choosing insurance has become a complex task, especially when it comes to ever-evolving issues like employment law, cyber liability, and professional liability.

The right insurance advisor makes all the difference. An experienced advisor can explain complicated subjects and provide first-hand examples of situations they’ve seen. Instead of just shrugging your shoulders and taking a shot in the dark, you can pinpoint a perfect policy that fits your company’s needs.

SEE ALSO: 5 Questions to Ask Your Insurance Agent About Umbrella Coverage

Licensed and Educated

A good insurance advisor is fully licensed in their state and has an educational background in insurance. Reputable insurance companies check their employees’ credentials as part of the hiring process. If you’re concerned about an advisor’s qualifications, you can always search them at finra.org, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority that regulates advisors, brokers, and agents.

Stays on the Cutting Edge

Good advisors also stay up to date on the industry’s latest laws and trends. When health care regulations change, they know the latest information. When a major court case sets a new precedent in employment law, the advisor is on top of it. They should alert you to new issues that might affect your coverage selections.

Goes Beyond Cost

Any advisor can give you a menu of insurance costs. A great advisor goes beyond premiums alone, explaining the details of coverage. They make apples-to-apples comparisons, which is essential. They explain why the cheapest option isn’t the best option in most situations: it leaves you exposed to risk.

Your advisor is your risk manager. If they’re willing to let you be exposed to lots of risk for the sake of saving a little money, you have to wonder whether you can truly trust them.

Looks to the Long Term

If an advisor seems too pushy, as if they can’t wait to get your signature on the documents, they might not have your best interests at heart. A good advisor allows you to take time to review your options.

They also keep an eye on the long-term picture for your business. If you’re a new startup, they should be asking about your goals for the future. If you’re nearing retirement, they should know how your plans will impact your business. And the advisor should stay in contact with you, encouraging policy reviews along the way.

SEE ALSO: You’re An Expert In Your Business, You Need Experts For Your Professional Services…

Personality Fit

Your advisor should also be a good personality fit for you. If you don’t enjoy interacting with them, you might inadvertently neglect your insurance coverage just to avoid them. Finding the right advisor personality is a combination of individual tastes and finding the right kind of professional.

For example, if you are price-sensitive and want to see lots of choices, you might mesh well with an independent advisor. These agents aren’t tied down to a certain insurance provider and can offer plans from many different sources. They’re predisposed to gathering lots of competitive bids and giving you the power of choice.

If you’re ready to choose a new advisor, click here to get a free quote from Cherokee Insurance Center, LLC and an agent will reach out to you soon.

Reprinted with permission from Links Insurance.

1. You haven’t made it a priority as a small business

Small business owners sometimes figure they don’t need to carry much insurance because they don’t have a lot of assets. But someone who sues you doesn’t necessarily care how much money you have. They may, unfortunately, intend to destroy you financially. And the smaller a business is, the more likely it is that an owner or manager can be held personally liable. So in a way, small businesses are at a much higher risk than big enterprises, because one lawsuit can be devastating.

Never been sued? You’re lucky. The Small Business Administration estimates that 36 to 53 percent of all businesses will be involved in litigation in any given year. For many of those, a business insurance policy will cover the costs of settlements, judgments, and legal fees. Unfortunately, some companies will discover their coverage is lacking. Here are some indicators that your business may be underinsured..

2. You’re in the business of advice

Anyone who gives advice for a living is at risk of misunderstandings, client dissatisfaction, and simple human error. Advice-giving professions are not limited to fields like counseling and financial planning. Here’s just a short list of professions that also give advice: tax preparers, home inspectors, building contractors, wedding planners, professional organizers, life coaches, sales trainers, and motivational speakers.

3. You have employee turnover

Even your most trusted employee can make a mistake that costs your company thousands of dollars. So if you have high turnover, there’s even more exposure to risk. A government study of small business lawsuits found that after a suit, business owners primarily wished they had trusted their employees less, purchased insurance, and made sure every employee was bonded.

4. You only have one kind of insurance

There are many types of business insurance. General liability and business owner’s policies (BOPs) are some of the most basic, but if that’s all you have, it can be a sign that you are not fully insured. Review other types of insurance, like: property, commercial auto, worker’s compensation, errors and omissions (E&O), directors’ and officers’ (D&O), cyber liability, employment practices, business interruption, and umbrella policies which supplement existing policies against catastrophic loss.

5.  It’s a high-risk business

It might not feel like your business falls into the typical high-risk categories, like doctors, lawyers, online gambling, and adult-oriented services. But there are dozens of other fields that come with high risk. Software developers, for example, can accidentally cause millions of dollars in lost revenue due to glitches. Sometimes there is risk simply because the business deals with highly emotional situations, as funeral directors do. Your insurance company can do a risk assessment that clarifies your situation and highlights areas that might need coverage.

6. You haven’t reviewed your policy lately

If you’ve been renewing the same policy for years, and can’t recall exactly what it covers, it’s time to take a fresh look. Tech issues have created new risks. For example, if  your employees handle credit card information, or deal with a large amount of customer data, it might be time to look into cyber liability and data breach coverage.

7. You’ve never been sued or made a claim

Although it’s counterintuitive, if you’ve never been sued or made an insurance claim, it might be an indicator that you’re underinsured. Why? Because lawsuits and disasters force companies to review and update insurance policies. One study found that 94 percent of business owners assumed they were fully covered in the event of a disaster, but just 56 percent actually were.

SEE ALSO: Why Do I Need Errors and Omissions Insurance Coverage? 

Click here to get an insurance quote and ensure your business is fully covered.

Reprinted with permission from Links Insurance