Time to renew your commercial insurance? Start here.

15 February 2017

Having sufficient commercial property and liability coverage is a prerequisite for any organization providing community care services, but making insurance decisions can be overwhelming. What coverage do you need? Which one don’t you need? Who should be covered? How much can the organization afford?

JLT Canada, the OCSA’s preferred commercial insurance broker, is here to help you make these important decisions so you get the right insurance coverage at a price you can afford.

Step one: Insurance needs vary – take the time to assess yours.
Insurance needs are unique to each organization and can change over time. Staff turnover, new programs or location changes can introduce new risk and shift your organization’s insurance requirements. 

Keep in mind that not all types of organizations have the same needs. Not-for-profits, for instance, often have different exposures. For example, if your organization works with volunteers, you need to be sure that both the organization and the volunteers are protected under your insurance policy. Also ask yourself: What are the risks associated with staff and volunteers working with vulnerable populations? And: what sort of training do your employees or volunteers take before supporting your community? The answers to these questions may affect the type and amount of insurance you need. 

Be sure to periodically review your insurance needs. Renewing your policy is a great opportunity to diversify your coverage and ensure your policy adequately meets your needs. Don’t hesitate to get your insurance broker’s help and guidance. 

Step two: Protect your organization against losses.
Your insurance policy limits need to cover the value of all the items and property your organization owns in the event they are lost, stolen or damaged. This includes computers, smartphones, desks, chairs, office equipment and vehicles. 

Creating an itemized list of your organization’s assets and checking the market cost of all your equipment will give you a good idea of the amount of coverage you need. Not sure if all your office equipment should be insured? Ask yourself: in case of loss, would you be able to replace your computers or your photocopier? If the answer is no, then that equipment must be insured. You also need to protect the building your organization owns or rents. Some commercial insurance policies do not have coverage listed for leased property, so be sure to talk to your insurance broker to ensure the policy you have provides the necessary coverage. 

Step three: Protect your organization against lawsuits.
No organization is immune to liability claims, which can result from a number of scenarios such as a client tripping and falling on a wet floor while attending a program activity you organized or becoming ill from a food from your Meals on Wheels program. Either incident could result in a claim. Worse still, one of your employees could sue your organization for wrongful dismissal or discrimination. Or one of your volunteers is involved in a car accident during work hours, badly injuring a pedestrian. The list is endless. Talk to your insurance broker; they can explain the potential risks you are vulnerable to and help you get the right coverage. 

Step four: Ensure you get the right coverage for the right price.
Buying into a group insurance program, which involves amalgamating many operations with the same type of exposures, can be beneficial for many reasons. Group members can benefit from their combined buying power, resulting in significant savings and more favourable rates. Group program premiums also have greater stability because the losses of a few will not affect the program’s coverage or its pricing. JLT and Northbridge have worked closely with the OCSA to build a group insurance program that provides your organization with comprehensive coverage – at the right price. 

Step five: Customer service matters.
When it comes to choosing the right insurer, price is not the only element to consider. Although a lower price for equal coverage is desirable, the quality of customer service matters too. Before you decide to renew your current policy or choose another provider, make sure that you will be receiving the quality of customer service you deserve. 

Don’t forget! Renewing your current policy or securing a new policy on or before your expiration date is essential. If you don’t secure a new policy or renew by this date, you will experience a gap in coverage. This can be incredibly damaging, even if your coverage gap only lasts for a couple of days. 

Want to know more about insurance? Keep your eyes peeled for our next blog on Property and Liability!

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contact Suzanne Liberman
Managing Director - Healthcare