Are you a senior living professional and do you ever feel like the insurance companies are taking advantage of you? You might have been in business for years and never had to file a claim. Yet, the rates continue to rise year after year. It doesn’t seem fair, it seems?
Senior care facilities often spend a lot on business insurance. Although skilled nursing facilities, assisted living, and personal homes are subjected to higher liability rates that most industries, there are still cost-effective options. These 5 easy, but often overlooked tips can dramatically lower your business’s insurance rates.
1) Consolidate all your coverage and purchase insurance as a “Package”.
We are often confronted with assisted living, skilled care facilities and personal care homes that do not purchase property and liability insurance. This could result in a huge increase in the premiums of policies, costing thousands of dollars. In that businesses offer price credits for packaging, business insurance is similar to personal home or auto insurance. The underwriter sees a larger account as more flexible in pricing. Therefore, make sure you have as many lines of coverage with one company as possible.
2) Choose an agency that specializes and has multiple markets.
Working with an agent who only writes through one company is one of the worst mistakes an assisted living or personal caregiver home owner can make. Some senior care insurance companies only write through one company’s risk retention group, or master policy. These policies combine hundreds to thousands of similar businesses into one policy. You are subject to the rates and claims experience for everyone in the pool.
Independent agencies have access to hundreds of companies that specialize on assisted living and personal caregivers. Best of all, your policy rating will be solely based upon your facility’s claims experience. A producer will do the rate comparison on your behalf when you work with an agent. The agent will shop all the companies to determine the best price, even if one company raises its rates. By choosing your agent carefully, you can save thousands of dollars and also save time and energy by having them complete the “shopping process” for you.
3) Find out what discounts are available for policy.
Many insurance companies offer discounts to association members. Underwriting experts find that association members are more involved in the industry and more up-to-date on regulations and take more continuing education classes than average owners. Association membership can result in lower insurance claims and a more affordable insurance rate for members.
Are you not an association member? You don’t have to be a member of the association to get discounts. Many companies offer discounts on central station alarms, fire sprinklers, drug screening and nursing assessments for residents.
4) Find out what coverages are available.
Many insurance companies offer optional coverages, but they do not mention that they can be removed to cut costs. These optional coverages can cost thousands of dollars and may not be used. Additional optional coverages may include Employee Benefits Liability and Physical/Sexual Abuse. You and your agent will determine the best coverage for your facility.
5) Keep your agent informed of any changes to your coverage by reviewing it regularly.
What have been the most significant changes in your business during the last year? How did you increase or decrease the number of licenses? Was your annual revenue stable or declining? Did your payroll cost increase or decrease? Did you add services or remove them? These are important questions that you should ask each year. They can significantly impact your workers compensation and liability exposure. These questions should be discussed with your agent each year when you renew to ensure that you have the right coverage and get the best pricing.
Insurance is not any different from any other service that your company uses. There almost always is a better rate. Over the last five years, the assisted living, skilled nursing, and personal care home insurance markets have changed dramatically. It is crucial to work with an agency who specializes in your field.