Agree or disagree, commercial insurance is all the same the only difference is the price? While you are thinking about the answer to that question let me share with you this story as an illustration:

When I moved into my first apartment (which was later condemned…..) I did not have any cooking utensils. Being hungry most of the time clearly this was something that had to be remedied so being on a tight budget, first stop, dollar store. For the cheap, cheap price of one dollar I bought a large spoon that I intended to stir my spaghetti with. Upon returning to my meager apartment, happy as could be about how much money I saved, my excitement was soon dashed when I discovered that my newly bought cheap spoon was only slightly more rigid than the spaghetti I was trying to stir and basically totally useless.

So what’s the lesson to be learned here and how does it apply to commercial insurance? To help shed more light on this important topic take these 5 things into consideration:

Consideration #1: Ask yourself what do you expect from commercial insurance policy?

When you buy a commercial insurance policy and have a claim do you expect for the claim to be paid if it’s covered? Do you expect for the insurance company to not try to find ways out of paying the claim but instead to try to find ways to help you? Further do you expect it to be a quick and easy process? Lastly do you expect your agent to be there side by side with you through the process if help is needed? If any or all of these are what you expect then cheap insurance is definitely not for you. Remember just like my story about the dollar store spoon, just because it was spoon did not mean it worked as I expected. Could it be that…

Consideration #2: Maybe what you are really looking for in a commercial insurance policy is the best value?

Instead of just looking for the cheapest spoon maybe if I had gone to a store that specializes in kitchen items I could have found what the right spoon was for me instead of wasting my dollar. I bet would have been easy too because when I got to the kitchen specialty store there would have likely been a sales professional there that would have helped me make that decision. I am not a chef so I don’t need the $10 spoon; for me the $5 spoon would work just fine. Turns out the $5 spoon would have been the best value for me. When shopping for commercial insurance you should do the same thing: find a commercial insurance specialist that can tailor an insurance program that will be the best value for your business.

Consideration #3: If you do purchase a cheap policy what kind of service do you expect to get from your agent?

If you decide to work with just any agent with the only reason being they had the lowest price you could get do you think the service will match the cost of the policy? Any agent that is willing to sell a cheap, sub-par policy is likely not a commercial insurance specialist and therefore will not likely give you very good service. If your business is the type that requires a lot of service like certificates of insurance, for example contractors or commercial trucking, this reality could cost you a lot of money when you can’t get paid because you can’t get a certificate completed by your low price agent.

Consideration #4: Could it be this is the reason some people have a negative opinion of commercial insurance?

What if I determined because my dollar store spoon was a piece of junk that the entire spoon manufacturing industry must be frauds who are trying to trick people into buying their defective products, would you consider that to a rational point of view? Even though most people, I hope, would say that is silly this is exactly the same attitude many take toward commercial insurance and for the same reason: They buy the cheapest commercial insurance policy they can get from whomever will sell it to them; they get horrible service, have a claim and then the cut-rate insurance company finds a way to deny their claim and their low price agent is nowhere to be found so they conclude all insurance must be a scheme. Looking at it this way can you see why those negative stereotypes of the commercial insurance industry are not valid?

Consideration #5: You may be thinking, “You know I really just do not care, I just need something that says I have insurance and I don’t believe you with any of this value stuff.”

If this is really how you feel I can’t change your mind. I would recommend calling different agents and telling them exactly that. If you can find one that will work with you congratulations, but don’t say I never warned you.

The bottom line:

Commercial insurance is no different than any other product in that you need to select the correct policy for you. Not all commercial insurance policies are the same and by extension not all commercial insurance agents are the same. Cheap is not always better, especially when it doesn’t work. To get the very best commercial insurance value for your business the first step is to find the right commercial insurance specialist to work with.