What is a B.O.P., is a question many small-business owners have every year when it comes time to renew their commercial insurance policy. Many businesses shop their policy around themselves to many different insurance companies. This can save them some money, but it does come at the expense of the business owner’s precious time. Most insurance companies attempt to remedy this problem by offering a Business Owner’s Policy (BOP).
A Business Owner’s Policy is a tailored insurance package for businesses in a particular industry. The package can be adjusted to fit the needs of each individual business, but they come in common packages specific to each industry. Insurance companies have found certain coverages common to each industry and attempt to get business owners as fully covered as possible. With a business owner’s policy, insurance companies can make sure there are no gaps in coverage and make sure the business is not carrying too much or unnecessary coverage. Carrying a BOP benefits a business owner in three main ways.
Business Owner’s benefit on pricing with a BOP
Pricing is the main benefit that first attracts business owner’s to carrying a Business Owner’s Policy. Insurance companies are more likely to give businesses a break on price if they are selling that business multiple policies. Business Owners may be able to call around and get a better price on each individual policy, but that is time spent not working. With the help of a good insurance agent a business owner can allow the agent to shop the policy around to many insurance carriers. This allows the agent to negotiate the best price and the most complete coverage. For this reason, it is important to choose an insurance agent who has relationships with many insurance providers, not just a select few. Many agencies work exclusively with just a few carriers and this does not allow the agent to shop around your policy if you are in a tough classification code or have a negative claims history.
A Business Owner’s Policy can fill in the gaps.
Another great reason for a business owner to consider a BOP is to ensure there are no missing gaps in coverage. Shopping a la carte for your policies individually might save a business a few bucks on the front end It can also cost a business extremely when a claim is made. This could be because the two policies do not over lap. This is what many in the industry refer as a gap in coverage. When every policy is carried with one insurance carrier, that carrier can ensure there are no gaps in your policy.
For instance, businesses that get a general liability insurance policy from one insurance carrier and a professional liability policy from another carrier may have an exclusion in both policies that make the occurrence not covered. This is where insurance has many grey areas. When an incident occurs the business will more than likely have to wait longer while the insurance companies determine who is liable for the incident or if anyone is liable for the occurrence. If you have a BOP with just one carrier typically there is General Liability, Professional Liability and an Umbrella policy. In this case the insurance company just determines which policy is in effect and processes your claim.
The final way businesses benefit from carrying a Business Owner’s Policy is when there is a need for a certificate. This occurs when businesses are involved in projects they are contracted on. Many artisan contractors do work for several general contractors. Take an electrician as an example. For each general contractor an electrician does a project for they need a certificate proving insurance coverage. If each coverage is with a different carrier that is an additional call the electrician has to make. If that electrician has a BOP they call one agent and can get a certificate for all of their policies.
These are three of the many benefits business owners get when they go with a Business Owner’s Policy. BOP’s are a win-win situation because the insurance company benefits from more business while the business owner benefits from having better service, more complete coverage and usually a better price. When in need of a business insurance quote it is also important to consult with an insurance agency who partners with many carriers. This will allow their agents to shop the policy to more carriers and ensure your business is getting the best coverage at the absolute lowest rates in the industry.
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