Trouble has a habit of striking when you least expect it. And for your small business, you’re likely to encounter it as one form of a general liability claim or another.
Not too long ago, The Hartford, a prominent property and casualty insurance group, released a claims analysis which spanned five years’ worth of data from millions of small businesses. In it, they claimed that among the most expensive claims, general liability claims that involve lawsuits ranked first, costing companies an average of $75,000 per claim to settle.
That figure would not be so significant if it weren’t the case that at least 35% of all general liability claims tended to turn into a lawsuit, and that four out of 10 small businesses were likely to experience a general liability claim over the next ten years. That means you have a 40% chance of dealing with a lawsuit, especially if you haven’t been keeping a close eye on your risk exposures.
Do you have your bases covered? Do you consider your firm prepared in the unfortunate event of a general liability claim? If you’re not ready to spend less than a hundred grand to fix an otherwise avoidable mishap, you have to take a long, hard look at how you manage your certificates of insurance (COIs) and ask:
“Is My Business Risking It?”
Your COIs are proof-positive that your contractors or vendors are insured for a particular type of risk. A COI on your desk means that you don’t have to be the one to pay up in case of a slip-up on the part of your contractor or vendor. That being said, neglecting your COIs can have disastrous consequences for your bottom-line. Consider the following scenario:
You’re a hole-in-the-wall restaurant that has been gaining popularity recently. Orders keep coming in from everywhere, so you decided to outsource to a delivery service that just opened shop in your area. You found it suspicious that they still haven’t given you a COI after three months, but their rates were reasonably competitive, probably because they were new, and you didn’t want to ask too many questions.
But push came to shove one day when one of their delivery personnel accidentally ran over a child that suddenly bolted from the sidewalk during one of his deliveries. It was then that you discovered that they were uninsured, and what used to be bright prospects for your business are now clouded with a costly litigation process that you and your staff will have to deal with for the next few years.
Are you aware of your own processes for keeping track of your COIs? Is your business risking it? Do you even have enough data to answer that question?
Always Be Prepared for a General Liability Insurance
Risks can come from everywhere, but you don’t want to deal with a liability that you could avoid otherwise. If you haven’t been managing your COIs properly, it’s best not to wait for something to go wrong to start.
Fortunately, you don’t have to learn hard lessons the hard way. Certificate of insurance tracking software like COI Tracker can help you manage your COIs through automation, and free your hands to do more substantial work around your office.
Contact us today for a free trial, and protect your bottom-line from costly litigation.