Despite popular perception, an impressive amount of business growth has taken place in the U.S. during the COVID-19 pandemic, found the Wall Street Journal (2022). Nonetheless, the ongoing uncertainty has caused many businesses to neglect processes and procedures that are critical in times of growth. Among them are annual insurance reviews, development of forward-thinking risk management strategies, and, when warranted, upgrades to insurance coverage. The first quarter of the year is a perfect time to renew these initiatives.
What Types of Business Growth Warrant Annual Insurance Reviews and Insurance Upgrades?
When many people think of business growth, they automatically assume it means that a company has increased revenue or profits. While those are certainly good signs of growth, they aren’t the only triggers that justify an annual insurance review and/or an upgrade to existing policies. Consider the following growth indicators:
- Increased business valuation: As the value of your business grows, several of your insurance policies may need to be upgraded. Business interruption, contingency, business income, and casualty policies should all be reviewed to make sure coverages match your increased potential for loss. Moreover, business owner policies may need to be added or upgraded, so be sure to include those in your annual risk management.
- Increased real estate footprint: Did your company move to a larger or more expensive building since you last purchased your business insurance policies? If so, it’s essential to review commercial property insurance, commercial umbrella insurance, and contingency policies. Again, the goal is to confirm that your business protection matches your business growth.
- Expanded product line: One of the best business growth strategies during the pandemic has been diversification. Companies that made soap, for instance, shifted to making hand sanitizer. Clothing retailers added masks to their product selection. The examples are endless. But when you expand your product line, you should also make sure you’re protecting your new assets with policies such as product liability insurance, cargo insurance, equipment breakdown insurance, and supply chain risk insurance — all of which may be impacted by your new or expanded product line.
- Increased/changing workforce: We’ve all heard of the “Great Resignation,” which refers to high levels of employees leaving their current positions due to increased dissatisfaction with the pre-pandemic status quo in the workplace. Whether your business is rehiring workers or increasing its overall workforce, one thing is clear: today’s employers need to offer a comprehensive benefits package to hire and retain quality workers. This will require a review of all employee benefits, including health insurance, supplemental insurance, workers’ compensation insurance, and employee assistance programs. If, like many businesses were forced to do during the pandemic, your company has expanded its remote-work program, your annual insurance review must include an analysis of cybersecurity insurance. Finally, don’t forget that if your business growth plan calls for adding new executives, your company may require a review of key-person insurance or executive benefits.
- Added assets: Growing companies often need to purchase additional equipment, machinery, and vehicles. If your company has added to its infrastructure or physical assets, your risk management strategy must account for additional commercial auto, liability, and transportation insurance policies.
- New contracts: Gaining new clients and vendors is a well-recognized sign of business growth. Don’t forget, however, that new contracts often require new types of policies or new levels of insurance, including professional liability insurance. Consequently, a full contract analysis is another essential part of your annual insurance review.
If your business is growing in any of these ways, congratulations! It’s an accomplishment to have weathered these last few rocky years. Nonetheless, significant growth comes with additional responsibilities, including your commitment to properly protecting your workers, assets, properties, and income streams.
The beginning of the year is an ideal time to develop new risk management strategies and upgrade insurance as needed. We’re happy to assist you in this process. Contact Roger to begin your policy review today.