Wednesday, December 14, 2011

What is commercial combined insurance?

When looking for a business insurance quote, depending on what you actually do, you will be offered a few different options. In the UK, the commercial insurers tend to have four basic types of policy.

Firstly there is the basic package policy. These are designed for pubs, shops, hotels, restaurants, hairdressers etc. They contain all of the usual types of cover these particular trades require. Secondly, you have commercial property owners insurance policies. Many businesses own land or a portfolio of property and this is how the income is earned and there are particular polices for these risks. Thirdly, you have liability insurance policies for trades such as builders, carpenters, IT consultants etc. These will include employers and public liability and for the construction trades, you can include contract works, plant and tools.

For most other businesses, you will have a policy called a commercial combined insurance. But what exactly is this? Commercial combined is designed for every type of business that either falls out with the package categories or is likely to need to build up their own, bespoke, range of covers.

For example, a wholesaler may require cover for it's stock, liabilities and goods whilst in transit. They may not have much in the way of business contents, it is just a warehouse full of stock so they will only tend to buy the cover they actually need.

Package policies include legal expenses, money, personal accident, frozen food and other covers automatically. Removing them from the cover does nothing to alter the premium, but there is of course a cost element somewhere in the price to pay for these. So, by taking out a commercial combined policy, you are only getting the cover you actually require.

Most of the commercial insurance companies offer these policies and they have to have two types of cover, at the very minimum. These are public liability and some form of damage to property, either stock or contents.

Once we have got these two basic covers in place, there are around ten extra covers. These can be the other liabilities, products and employers, commercial legal expenses, business buildings, money, stock in transit, frozen or refrigerated food, glass, professional indemnity and cover for business contents (such as laptops and smart phones) whilst taken away from the business address.

All of these additional covers cost money, in the form of premium. Where costs are tight there is not point in paying an extra charge for cover that you really are never going to need or ever use. Many insurers charge a minimum amount per section, around �75 per annum. So taking the extra ten sections can add around �750 per annum to your premium that you really do not need.

There is always a but though. In this case it is quite a large one. If you have gone to the trouble of getting yourself a quote or even taking out a policy, then you really do need to make sure that you are getting the right cover and not cutting corners un-necessarily. It may seem easy to say you don't want section d or section f, but if you have a claim six months later for cover provided under these sections, you will rue the day you didn't choose this option.

The only way to make sure that you really do have the best cover for your business is to get advice. The good news is, that you can get this advice within minutes and it is free. Speak to a business insurance broker and ask them for two things, firstly advice about the cover you need and secondly a quote based on their assessment of your cover requirements. Do not try and do this task yourself by using an internet based auto quote system. You do not get any real time advice from these sites and when you are talking about annual premiums between �750 and �1,000 as a minimum, you need to make sure you are getting decent, quality advice. This will prevent you buying the wrong policy because you have no come back if the policy you bought, without advice, via the net, was wrong.

By: Jack Brown
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