Small businesses underpin the Canadian economy. Those at the helm of small organisations are often masters in the art of multi-tasking. They wear multiple hats when it comes to running their businesses – some of which will fit more snugly than others.
Business insurance is one of the many things small business owners have to organise and maintain. However, about 50% of small business owners choose not to buy insurance because of pricing issues and potential misunderstanding of alternative insurance coverages, according to Northbridge Insurance.
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“We’ve spent the last several years connecting with small business owners and found that many of them don’t bother with business insurance at all,” said Ilda Dinis, senior vice president, customer innovation & experience at Northbridge Insurance.
“According to a recent survey, about half don’t have insurance because they think it’s too expensive, or if they’re running a home-based business, they think they’re covered under their homeowner policies. There’s a huge opportunity for brokers to educate small business owners not only on the right coverages, but on the importance of having those coverages in the first place.”
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A major part of the broker value proposition to small business owners is the ability to provide options, according to Dinis. Don’t force a face-to-face meeting with a “Chief Everything Officer” who doesn’t have the time, she said.
Northbridge Insurance’s roots in commercial insurance go back more than 100 years in Canada. The company has dedicated small business teams across the country to help its broker partners best serve the market.
“It’s important that we help support our broker partners throughout their entire journey with their customers,” Dinis told Insurance Business. “Beyond the advice they can offer on coverage, we help our brokers connect their customers with loss prevention tools, and help keep them informed on industry and regulatory changes.
“A single claim could shut down a small business, so there’s an opportunity for brokers to point them to resources like Northbridge Insurance’s Risk Management Assist service to help guide their risk mitigation efforts, and prevent expensive claims before they happen.”
Value-added services, like Northbridge’s Risk Management Assist, are vitally important to small business customers, who are often juggling multiple roles within their companies. The insurer also offers Trauma Assist, which is a confidential 24-hour counseling service to help small business owners and employees cope with the emotional effects of a loss.
In addition, all of its small business policies include up to $50,000 of legal expense insurance coverage to help cover costs associated with a variety of issues small businesses could face, as well as access to its Legal Assist advisory service.
“These services are particularly important to small business customers because, as I mentioned, they often play multiple roles within their company. Some may not be familiar with the legal jargon they come across in a contract, while others may not know how to best prevent a fire or flood – and that’s where we come in,” added Dinis. “These added-value services let us support our small business customers in the areas they may need it most.”