A Few Thoughts on Shopping for Commercial Insurance in Orange County
If you are like me, it seems like every other commercial on television or radio these days is one promising you a significant savings on your insurance, whether it be a certain percentage or hundreds of dollars simply by applying for coverage on their website. Now, to me, this seems rather useless because how many clients really understand what they are buying and if they are purchasing the correct and needed coverages. I assume the only true way one can know is when they need to file a claim, and they realize they threw away their hard-earned money when the claim is denied due to no coverage.
Let me give you an example:
Recently, I had calls from two clients, a roofing contractor and a counselor who works with kids and young adults. When presenting the Orange County commercial insurance quote for the roofing contractor, he informed me that he had obtained another quote, which he gave to me to compare side by side with the quote I had received. When looking at both quotes, I noticed the other quote had a substantially lower premium, and when I was trying to determine why, I saw what class code it was listed under. It was quoted under a general contractor’s code, and when I pointed this out to the contractor, his response was not to be believed. He decided to accept the lower quote even though it didn’t cover what he was doing, roofing, because he explained all he needed was to show a certificate for the job regardless of coverage since he was convinced he would never have to use his insurance. We all remember what happens when we say never, something happens.
Concerning the counselor, we were able to put together a very credible quote with an A rated carrier which included General Liability and OC Professional Liability with additional coverage for molestation. I realize that cost is important to our clients, and we always keep that in mind when working with our clients, but we also want to do everything we can to make sure our clients have the proper coverage. Unfortunately, this client wanted us to re-classify his business under a different code that would have made his policy much less in price and provide, virtually, no coverage for his type of business. Needless to say, we decided that we weren’t the agency for him. We believe in doing right by our clients. When you start the process of acquiring insurance, whether it is General Liability, Professional Liability, Equipment Coverage, Umbrella, E&O, D&O Liability Insurance, or one of the many insurance policies available these days, you need to tell the agent as much as possible about the ins and outs of your company, so by taking these steps, you will be able to find the right coverage and, hopefully, not have to find out that you are not covered for something when you need it the most. Also, in most situations it would be to your advantage to have a knowledgeable broker handling your account. Does the broker you are working with now ask a lot of questions about your business, periodically set up reviews to make sure the coverage is still the right fit for your business, or suggest coverages that could be beneficial to you and your company?
My suggestion is that you interview the broker just as you would a new hire; this way you can be sure that the person handling your insurance needs is the right one. The professionals at PJO Insurance Brokerage in California would welcome the opportunity to sit down with you and review your entire insurance program and put together a plan that will fit your needs.
Patrick O’Neill – Owner
107 Via Estrada, Unit A
Laguna Woods, California 92637
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