Everything You Need To Know About Your Business Insurance Renewal

What Is A Business Insurance Renewal In Ontario? 

Business insurance, also known as commercial insurance, is designed to protect businesses and their owners from many of the dangers involved in entrepreneurship. Whether it saves a business from legal costs, repairing property damage due to unexpected disasters, or certain errors, a business insurance policy helps to thicken the razor-thin edge between a business's current state and dangerous territory. 

However, insurance is not a one-and-done deal. Business insurance does need to be renewed. While this might seem like a lot of work, it's also an opportunity to adjust your insurance policy and ensure you have a competitive price. You might be able to adjust your coverage to keep it relevant for any changes since your last renewal. This could include things like new products or services that could impact your liability insurance or a new location impacting your commercial property insurance. If you are happy with your current level of protection and want to save on your current plan, a renewal is the perfect time to review your coverage.  

Does Business Insurance Renew Automatically in Ontario? 

It depends. However, automatic policy renewals are a lot less common with business insurance. Although there are a few insurance companies that automatically do your business insurance renewal, most won't. In these cases, it is up to the business owner to be proactive during renewal time. 

The best time to review your business insurance policy is at renewal. It’s a chance to discuss new risks, services and operations with your insurance broker. Perhaps you have added a new product or location in the works. Regardless of the reason, renewal time is a perfect opportunity to discuss your business with your insurance broker. 

How Often Does Business Insurance Renew?  

While there is some variance in the time between business insurance renewals, the most common period is annually.  

How Do I Complete My Business Insurance Renewal? 

60 to 30 days before your policy is ready to be renewed, your insurance broker will contact you to obtain updated information about your business.  This is a window of opportunity when your broker can contact insurance companies and compare quotes to ensure you have the best insurance coverage at a competitive price. If you need help with the steps involved in your business insurance renewal, your Morison Insurance broker will be happy to assist you. 

Should I Tell My Broker About Changes Before My Business Insurance Renews?  

Yes. Any changes in your business could have an impact on your business insurance. Depending on the type of changes, the insurance company may increase or decrease coverage depending on the changes being made. Some changes that can impact the company's insurance rates include the following: 

  • If the number of employees has changed 
  • If the company has changed their products or services 
  • If the company has moved or has new locations 
  • If the company has expanded or renovated any area it operates out of 
  • If there has been a claim since last renewal 
  • If the company has made any major purchases that impact its operations, such as production equipment 

Please note that this is not a complete list of factors that could impact the price of your business insurance renewal. If you have any questions as to what other factors could impact your business insurance renewal, your Morison Insurance broker would be happy to clarify them for you. 

What Should I Consider Before My Business Insurance Renewal?  

  • Am I Providing New Services or Products? Different services and types of products can expose you to different liability risks, which may necessitate higher coverage limits or additional insurance coverage. 
  • Do I Have New Equipment or Tools? Many businesses, such as tradespeople, people in construction, landscapers, and more, require specialized tools and equipment to do their jobs. If your business does, you will want to consider covering them.  
  • Has My Business Changed Locations or Added a New Location? If you’ve changed locations, that will impact your insurance, and as a result, you must alert your insurance broker of this. 
  • Did I Renovate My Business? Much like home renovations, business remodels can increase the value of your commercial property and the cost of restoration. 
  • Have I Started Conducting Business Online? If you are retailing products, accepting payments, or storing and transmitting sensitive information online, it's in your best interests to talk to your insurance broker about a cyber liability insurance policy. 
  • Did I Add Commercial Vehicles to My Business Operation? Commercial vehicles, like all vehicles, are required by law to have insurance coverage. Commercial vehicle insurance is required in such a case. 
  • Has the Number of Employees Changed? A company's number of employees is one factor that determines its risk level.  
  • Am I Working With Potentially Hazardous or Toxic Substances? If you have begun working with materials or substances that have the potential to cause a polluting event, you should talk to your insurance broker about pollution liability coverage. 
  • Am I Serving or Providing Alcohol? If you are hosting events where alcohol is provided or sold, you need a specific coverage to address those risks, such as liquor liability or party alcohol liability insurance. 

How Long Does It Take to Renew Business Insurance? 

There is no set amount of time the business insurance renewal process takes. Your insurance broker will contact you about a month before your current policy expires, although this can change based on what type of business you own and how complex it is.  

Keep in mind, however, that you are also encouraged to be proactive. If you want to start the renewal process early to guarantee that you have sufficient time, this would be a good idea.

Why Do Premiums Change During Business Insurance Renewals? 

There are a variety of factors that can impact renewal premiums. Inflation being applied to property insurance to ensure your values are keeping up with the rate of inflation. Claims over the last term can effect your rates. Increased revenues can also impact your insurance premiums. 

For this reason, it is recommended that you work with your insurance broker to ensure you are getting the best coverage at a competitive price. Your insurance broker will negotiate with your current insurance company and also shop with other insurance companies to get a policy that's best suited to your needs.  

Can I Compare Premiums at My Business Insurance Renewal?  

Of course! Renewal time is the best time to obtain quotes and compare packages. Contact your insurance broker to look after this for you. 

How Can I Save Money on My Business Insurance Renewal? 

There are ways one can save on business insurance. Although switching from one insurance company to another can be a way to save money, depending on your situation, there are ways you can do it while staying with your current insurance company. These include: 

  • Increasing your deductible 
  • Avoiding making claims on small losses to keep your claims record clean 
  • Increase workplace safety to lower your risks  

Please note that these are not the only ways in which you can lower your business insurance when you renew it.

To learn more ways you can do so, or if you have any questions about your business insurance renewal that are not answered here, it's best that you speak with your Morison Insurance broker, and they will be happy to advise you on how to do so. 

This content is written by our Morison Insurance team. All information posted is merely for educational and informational purposes. It is not intended as a substitute for professional advice. Should you decide to act upon any information in this article, you do so at your own risk. While the information on this website has been verified to the best of our abilities, we cannot guarantee that there are no mistakes or errors.

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