Shopping for commercial automotive insurance can be a daunting and sometimes confusing task if your dealership is new and this is the first time considering this coverage. It’s important to understand all the nuances of choosing the right insurance provider and to weigh your choice carefully. With so many insurance options on the market, you can easily make the wrong choice and not realize it until your first claims. By then it’s too late.
Here are 8 factors to consider when choosing a commercial insurance company:
- Fully Understand Your Insurance Needs - Each dealership has unique dimensions of their business that need to be protected. Understanding those needs is the first step to finding the right insurer. Assess risks such as potential liabilities for accidents on the property, the type of inventory you keep, and the geographic location where your lot is located (are you in a flood or wildfire zone?). Consider the various types of insurance coverage you need like general liability, property insurance, garage keepers’, workers compensation, and more. Knowing exactly what you need makes finding the right insurer much easier. You don’t want to waste time talking with a provider that may not offer the policy protections you need.
- Check Reviews and Ask for Referrals - We all rely on social proof for most goods and services and commercial insurance should be no exception. This research can be a critical step to finding the right insurer for your needs. Look at testimonials and any reviews you can find to shed light on their reputation and level of customer satisfaction. Additionally, don’t hesitate so simply ask other dealers in your market about the insurers they use and why they chose them. Your peers should have no problem letting you know who helps to protect them.
- Specialization Matters - It’s important to find a commercial insurance provider that actually specializes in providing policies for auto dealerships. Not every company offers that and just as we look for specialists for doctors, lawyers, etc. it’s just as important to find an insurer that has a unique understanding of what dealers need to be fully protected from a range of potential financial risks.
- Verify Financial Strength - The last thing any dealer wants is to have their commercial insurer go bankrupt or suffer from some other financial instability. You need the peace of mind to know that your claims will be covered and paid as fast as possible to make sure your business is made whole quickly. If there are issues with the liquidity of the insurer, your liquidity will be affected and in the worst possible way.
- Analyze Policy Options - With each dealership being unique, your insurance needs are, too. When shopping for a commercial insurer, review their policy options and flexibility with multiple coverages. An exceptional insurer should be able to offer you customizable policies that can be tailored to your specific requirements. For example, you may need a combination of policies like property insurance to protect your inventory and separate liability coverage for customer accidents that can occur when taking test drives.
- Shop Quotes - No different than your personal auto insurance, it’s important to request quotes from multiple insurance companies to compare rate and coverage options. Be careful though…policies that seem too good to be true usually are. Watch for hidden fees or critical exclusions to coverage. Be sure to take the time to check terms and conditions of each policy so your business is not left exposed in case of a claim.
- Compare Deductibles - Deductibles play a significant role in your overall cost and it must be factored into your budget for coverage. While higher deductibles can lower your premiums, they also mean you’ll pay more out of pocket when filing a claim. Carefully look at your budget and your risk tolerance regarding what you can pay upfront in case of a claim. If you know you’ll have the cash in hand to pay for a higher deductible, it may make sense in the long term.
- Verify Claims Handling Reputation - The claims handling experience is often a solid barometer as to how your relationship with that insurer will be when you rely on them to help you recover financially. Independently investigate the insurer’s reputation for claims handling and customer service.
If they have a reputation for efficient and expedient claims resolution with few complaints, chances are they will be easy to work with. Don’t forget to check the Better Business Bureau and even the Department of Insurance (DOI) in your state to see if there is a pattern of complaints.
Choosing the best dealership commercial insurance company involves careful and thorough consideration for your business’ unique needs. The factors listed here represent an important checklist of factors to consider and to research when trying to find your best option.
Don’t rush the process either. Take the time to get the answers needed to make the most informed and financially beneficial decision you can for the strength of your dealership and the protection of your bottom line. Choose wisely.
DealerSure is here as a specialized insurance provider who can handle the unique coverage needs of automotive dealerships with an exemplary claims experience and affordable premiums that make it the easiest choice to protect your business. Reach out to us here and let us create a custom quote or a comparison to commercial insurance you already have.