So you’re shopping around for public liability insurance and you’ve obtained a few quotes. It’s a good start, but how do you compare those quotes?
There is more to it than just looking at the premiums, and if that’s all you’re looking at then you could end up with a nasty surprise when you need to make a claim.
In this guide we’ll run through some of the things you should be looking at when comparing public liability insurance quotes.
This is the first thing that most people will look at on their quotes, so this is where we’ll start.
Comparing the cost of the insurance is generally as simple as comparing one figure to another, but if you are planning on paying monthly you’ll need to get those figures as well.
Some insurers and brokers provide monthly payments at no extra cost, whilst others can charge up to 15% more to pay monthly. So just because one annual premium is cheaper than another doesn’t mean that the monthly payment will also be cheaper.
This one probably seems quite obvious, but it’s still worth checking.
Public liability is generally offered in amounts of $5, $10, $15 and $20 million. The cost of the insurance will increase with the higher sum insured, so you need to ensure you are comparing apples with apples.
Now we’re getting into the important stuff. It’s all good and well to take out the cheapest policy, but it will be no good if the cover turns out to be inadequate in the event of a claim.
You need to ensure that the policy is suitable for your needs and covers all of the business activities that your business undertakes.
Let’s take the example of a carpenter who undertakes some work on mine sites, and has decided to obtain some quotes on his insurance via the internet.
The first website he visited did not ask about mine work and simply provided a quote on basic carpentry. The second website did ask about mine work, and provided a quote accordingly.
The second quote is a lot higher, but if the carpenter takes out the first policy just because it was cheaper, he may get stung down the track if he tries to make a claim for work undertaken on a mine site.
It could be argued that it is the fault of the insurance broker or website for not asking about mine site work, but ultimately it is the carpenter’s responsibility to provide the insurer with all relevant information regardless of whether or not the information is specifically requested.
The point here is that it’s vitally important to ensure that any quote you are comparing will provide adequate coverage for your business activities.
It is also important to check for any exclusions which apply to the quotes, as different insurance companies have different activities that they will exclude.
Taking painters as an example, some insurers will cover spray painting, whilst others will specifically exclude it.
The quote from the insurer that excludes spray painting may be lower, but that will be no good for you if your business does undertake spraying.
There are many other exclusions which can apply to public liability insurance policies for various business types, so it is very important to check these when comparing quotes.
If you’re finding that comparing your quotes is getting a little complex, the best option could be to seek advice from a qualified insurance broker or adviser.
An insurance broker will be able to compare any quotes you have received, and will also be able to provide you with updated quotes that may be appropriate.
A broker will also be able to ask the right questions about your business and can ensure that any policy you take out will meet all of your needs and provide adequate cover.
It is completely possible for any business owner to compare covers themselves, but sometimes it is best to get an expert to help out.