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Business Improvements that Lower Insurance Premiums

New windows, safer floors and extra security can save you money with insurance

 

As a business owner, you undoubtedly place considerable pride in creating a safe and secure work environment for your employees, but there may also be financial incentives in making certain business improvements. Pulling the trigger on a major expenditure is never an easy choice, especially in these lean economic times, but aside from the benefits that can be derived from creating a more productive workplace, lower business insurance premiums can directly help your bottom line.
 
Loss-Control Services
Needless to say, you can't make business improvements that you believe will lower your insurance risk, and then contact your insurance provider about receiving a discount for the completed work. Instead, call your insurance provider first and ask about loss-control services. This program, which many insurers have, will send an experienced risk-assessment professional to your business to identify areas of potential improvement which will measurably lower your insurance risk and, thus, your premiums. Loss-control service is a great example of how the best insurance strategies involve collaboration between you and your insurance company.
 
Common Business Improvements to Lower Business Liability Insurance
About sixty percent of businesses will be sued by an employee at one point or another. Most of these suits involve employment practices, especially hiring, firing, and promotions, but because personal injury lawsuits carry with them the potential for huge financial judgments, worker's compensation and general liability insurance can also be costly to maintain. Here are some of the common business improvements that can help lower the cost of your business insurance.
 
  • Non-Slip Floors and Safe Foot Traffic: Whether it's old tiling, hardwood, or some other slippery floor, this insurance risk has become cliché if still problematic for businesses. Often, slippery floors are not about the flooring material but about poor finishing or sealant. The solution may be as simple as hiring a flooring contractor to re-apply a finishing product. It's also important to maintain easily navigated footpaths. An interior designer can help improve fire exit strategies and other interior design elements that create a safer, more productive work environment.
 
  • Sidewalks and Parking Lots: On a similar note, you need to monitor your business's sidewalks for bumps and cracks that create tripping hazards. Parking lots can be littered with potholes that threaten to damage customer's vehicles. A concrete contractor can offer nifty repair solutions or, in more severe cases, redo your sidewalks and parking lots. You'll also want to make sure clearly marked signs identify any hazards such as oncoming traffic, blind spots, and confusing intersections.
 
  • Indoor Air Quality: This category is wide-ranging but easily evaluated by a qualified HVAC contractor. Potential pollutants range from carpet allergens, Legionella bacteria in your air conditioning system, radon gas that enters the building through joints and plumbing lines, and dust and dozens of contaminants that can sit in your duct system.
 
Common Business Improvements to Lower Business Property Insurance
Unless you have an unusually valuable inventory, your property insurance probably isn't as expensive as your liability insurance. Nevertheless, business improvements are often more directly linked to lower property insurance risks, creating comparable incentives. Take a look at these areas to identify potential business improvements that will help lower your risk.
 
  • Extra Security: Not surprisingly, this is one of the most common improvements that can lead to lower business insurance. The potential for theft and vandalism is often high for businesses and, for property insurance specifically, one of the biggest sources of insurance claims. You may be able to contact a security company that will discuss potential discounts with your insurance company for you. It's also worth noting that better security at your place of business is one of the few improvements that may affect both your property and liability insurance risk.
 
  • Roofing and Gutters: Next to people, Mother Nature is probably your next biggest concern. Roofing and gutters protect the rest of your business property and inventory. Although roofing is expensive to repair or replace, the potential for total property loss is too great to ignore, and your insurance company probably realizes this better than you do. If it's been a while since you've had the roof looked at, get a contractor to come out and complete an inspection sooner rather than later.
 
  • Windows and Doors: Windows and doors represent two places that are susceptible to both vandalism and severe weather. Whether you need more secure hardware, better locks, shatterproof glass, superior storm doors, or some other window and door overhaul, take a look at these two areas even if you decide you don't need a high-tech security system.
 
Business Improvements and Extra Insurance Costs
Before you complete a business improvement of any kind, it's a good idea to check in with your insurance company. Some improvements are likely to cause your insurance premiums to go up. This unfortunate consequence usually has less to do with the risk of filing a claim but rather the potential cost of a claim. Improvements that add value to your business mean there's simply more stuff to insure. New computers, for example, are likely to cost more to insure because the resulting claims will be higher. Failure to disclose this type of purchase can result in a limitation of coverage.

 

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