Business Insurance Center

Business Insurance Q & As

Question 18 of 61 in Basics
How is the cost of business insurance determined?

There are several factors that drive the cost of business insurance. In order to save on your business insurance cost, you need to know what these factors are and how they drive the calculation your premium rates.

How The Cost of Business Insurance is Determined

An insurance company hires actuaries to predict their costs of insuring a particular business based on the risks of loss that the organization is exposed to. When looking at how much risk a particular business presents, the insurance company will look at the likelihood of loss, and the potential cost of a claim. For example, a business with a high risk of fire with expensive inventory will cost more to insure. The more risky and costly the business is to insure, the higher the premiums will be. Business insurance cost is based on risk projections, which means you may be able to save money by reducing the chances your business suffers a loss.

What Factors Determine Your Business Insurance Cost

Some specific factors that can influence the cost of business insurance include:

  • Type of business- Of course, some business owner's policies (BOP) are underwritten by class of policies rather than as individual companies. If your business fits in a certain classification the whole group of businesses in that class is underwritten together so that rates are set for all of them rather than considering each individual company. This leads to more efficient underwriting and helps to keep the rates low if your business meets the requirements to be accepted in one of the classifications. It also means that such policies have less flexibility than you would have if you purchased individual policies for each type of coverage. Since BOPs are normally written for small to medium size businesses, this factor can help contain small business insurance cost.

How to Save Money on Business Insurance

Knowing how the cost of business insurance is determined may help you save money. There are a few things you can do to drive your premium rate down:

  • Move your business location- This is not so easy if you own a large brick and mortar building with huge inventory business. However, if you are just starting out and have a choice where to place your business, ask your agent for several quotes for several locations. You may find one is much more favorable than another.

  • Maintain a good loss ratio- Do not report claims that are small, rather self insure those that are under or close to your deductible. This will keep claims off of your record.

  • Have safety procedures in place- Ask the insurance company about any risk reduction measures that you can take to avoid the chance of expensive damage. Adding safety measures to your business will help you avoid damage, and may lower the cost of your policy.

  • Know how much you need- Assess the value of your business and the risks that you face before shopping, and only buy the amount of business insurance you need.

  • Get competitive quotes- As stated above, if you have a lot of insurance companies vying for you business, you are more likely to get a better price. Therefore check around!