Many business owners are under the impression that insurance companies offer business insurance policies on a take it or leave it basis. However, many business insurance policies have a number of coverage gaps and exclusions that could leave you unprotected when you need to make a claim. As the customer, you are not powerless in the situation. You can negotiate your business insurance policy.
The key to getting the business insurance coverage you want is to know the ins and outs of your policy. Insurance companies can be crafty and use words and phrases that seem harmless but can later be interpreted to deny you coverage on a claim. While you would ordinarily think that insurance cuts your company’s risks, you never quite know until you make a claim what your insurance will cover. Fortunately, working with an attorney from the outset and negotiating for the coverage you want can ensure that you are protected if and when the time comes.
A Policy Review Could Show Areas Where You Can Negotiate
What you may not know is that you have the ability to avoid some of these coverage issues by engaging an attorney to review your insurance policy ahead of time and then negotiating with the insurance company. It is important to always keep in mind that insurance companies are looking to make a profit just like any other business. While they may not give you everything that you want in a negotiation, they may at least be willing to make some changes to win or keep your business.
Negotiating a business insurance policy is even more important today as risks to your business have multiplied. For example, it’s likely your business has a strong interest in pandemic coverage right now. However, pandemic-related losses may be excluded from your current coverage, and it’s highly likely that insurance companies will take steps to exclude pandemic-related losses from their standard contracts in the future.
While the insurance company may not simply agree to expand your coverage without anything in return, you can request certain additional areas of coverage. Some of these may cost you extra money, but you will know that you have the peace of mind that extensive coverage brings. It is better to at least have the negotiation upfront and get the coverage you need, even if it costs you some extra money, than to find out that you are not covered when you are making a claim.
You Can Always Ask for Changes to the Policy
There is nothing to stop you from having a conversation with the insurance company or broker about the scope of your policy. After all, you are the one paying money, which makes you the client. If you have concerns, raise them. The worst that the insurance company could say when you try to negotiate is “no.”
Regardless, insurance contracts are not always standardized to the point where it is written in stone. This is why there are insurance coverage attorneys to help their clients navigate the landscape and the myriad of policy options that are out there.
The time when you are considering a corporate insurance policy is actually the peak of your power as a customer. After you sign off on the contract, you can rest assured that the insurance company will construe every comma and word that they possibly can against extending coverage. Before then, the insurance company has a financial incentive to work with you. After that, you can expect that the insurer will have an attitude adjustment as they have no incentive to accommodate you.
You can use competition to your favor when trying to negotiate the policy. If the insurer that you are talking to will not make any changes to the contract, try to speak with another one that will. Your business gives you some leverage to make requests and expect some give from the insurer.
Consulting an insurance coverage attorney for a review before you sign the policy is one way to learn about what you can request and how you can negotiate. Your lawyer would tell you where insurance companies may be open to changes based on their own experience.
Call an Experienced Insurance Recovery Attorney
Contacting a lawyer before you take out a corporate insurance policy could either save you serious inconvenience in the future and could inform you of any possible gray areas of coverage. Call Michael J. Faul, Jr. of Herold Law today at (908) 647-1022 or contact him online. Michael is an experienced insurance coverage attorney who can review your policy and point out areas where you might be able to negotiate. He has litigated numerous insurance recovery cases and can advise clients of any ambiguity in the policy that could lead to gaps in coverage.