What type of information should I have handy when applying for insurance?
The questions you’ll need to answer to get an insurance quote will vary based on the policy. If you have this information on hand before you apply, you can save time and avoid headaches.
What’s the basic information required for any insurance application?
Company name or "doing business as" name (DBA)
Years in operation
Nature of your business
Type of business entity (sole proprietor, LLC, etc.)
Whether your business is currently insured and your claims history
Beyond these basics, however, you’ll need to provide additional information based on the coverage you’re applying for.
What do you need for general liability insurance quotes?
Commercial general liability insurance is the most common business insurance policy. It’s often required by clients, lenders, and landlords. It covers third-party bodily injury or property damage as well as copyright infringement and defamation.
In addition to the basics about your business, you’ll need to answer questions about the types and level of risk your business will face. For instance, a computer repair company that has customers coming in and out of its store all day will probably need more liability coverage than a freelance web designer who works from home and only communicates with clients online.
Before you begin the application process, make sure you have the following information available:
The types of clients or industries you serve
The number of employees and/or contractors who work for you
If applicable, the percentage of your work performed by contractors
Approximate business revenue for the last three years
Projected revenue for the next year, and how much of it is expected to come from your largest customer
The specific services you provide (web hosting, SEO, web design and development, cybersecurity, etc.)
The percentage of revenue that comes from each service you provide
Whether your day-to-day work might cause bodily injury or property damage to a third party. For example, what’s the likelihood that your employee could damage equipment at a client location?
These details will allow insurance companies to properly assess your risk and determine your premium rates.
What do you need for workers’ compensation insurance quotes?
Tech may not seem like a dangerous line of work. But slip-and-fall accidents or repetitive stress injuries like carpal tunnel can sideline employees and leave your company liable for their medical expenses and lost income.
Since most states require workers' compensation insurance, you'll most likely need to apply for it as soon as you hire your first employee. Your application will ask for some basic information about your staff to determine your risks and rates. This information will include:
Descriptions of the type of work your employees or contractors perform
Payroll information for all employees
The state(s) where your employees work
As a tech business, the biggest factor affecting your premium will likely be the number of employees you have. Generally speaking, tech is a low-risk industry for workers’ compensation.
What do you need for cyber liability or technology errors and omission (tech E&O) insurance quotes?
Cyber liability insurance protects your business from costs related to a data breach or other cyber incident. You'll need this coverage if you either deal with data directly (data analysts, data scientists, etc.) or do work that could put your clients' data at risk (like recommending software).
Many tech businesses choose to purchase technology errors and omissions insurance. This policy includes cyber liability as well as errors and omissions insurance (also referred to as professional liability insurance). It protects your business from cyberattacks and accusations of professional negligence, mistakes, and oversights.
When applying for either a cyber liability or tech E&O policy, insurance companies will want to know what measures you're already taking to protect your clients' data. Be prepared with the following information:
The name and title of the person in charge of information privacy at your company (if anyone). This may be you, your chief information officer, or another person who oversees data security.
The types of personally identifiable information (PII) you handle (e.g., Social Security numbers, medical records, bank account or credit card numbers)
The type of encryption you use to either store or transmit data
The technologies you use to secure sensitive data, such as firewalls and data security software
Whether your error or oversight could cause a client financial harm. For example, developing faulty software that allows hackers to steal your client’s data.
Details of your standard client contracts
This information helps insurers prepare your insurance quote by demonstrating the risks you face, and any steps you’ve taken to lower those risks.
What do you need for commercial property insurance quotes?
Commercial property insurance protects your business, equipment, and inventory from theft or damage. Whether you own property, rent office space, or even work from home, you may want to consider this coverage.
The commercial property insurance application will ask a number of questions about your business’s physical assets and how they’re used. This information will help assess your risks and determine how much a policy should cost.
Gathering this may take some time, since your business probably has a long list of equipment and furnishings that would be covered under the policy. By having a list ready to go before you begin your application, you can save time.
When applying for commercial property insurance, you’ll need:
An itemized list of the business property you want to insure. This should include your office space, furniture, computers, product inventory and anything else you own.
Details about your office, including the physical address and whether it’s owned or leased
Building information, including its construction (brick, wood frame, etc.) and the year it was built
A list of any safety features of your property, including:
- Fire extinguishers
- Sprinkler systems
- Security systems
Any updates to building plumbing, heating, roofing, and wiring if the building was constructed before 1991, along with the year they were done
Applying for business insurance doesn't have to be something you dread. By using these checklists as a guide, the application process can be a snap. With just a little prep work, you can quickly get a quote and get your business the protection you need.