Most Common Variables Considered When Calculating Small Business Insurance Rates

By Adriana Noton

Small business use insurance in a variety of ways to protect itself from different types of loss. Whether it is loss of a key employee due to death or disability or loss of profits due to shoplifting, both of these occurrences are both measurable and insurable since they produce financial services.

The price or rating used in small business insurance is based on the type of coverage and the experience of the business. This is influenced by the risk assessment that the insurance company conducts in its underwriting process. The assessment involves a process of evaluating the type of business and the probability that loss will occur.

Insurance provides an indemnity, which is meant to restore the small business owner to their original value. Indemnity is an important concept because it means that the policy provides the small business with a way to be reimbursed or made whole relative to their loss. This is true whether talking about life or health insurance, employee benefits or for the benefit of the small business only.

Knowing the type of small business, where it is located, how profitable it is, how many employees work for the small business, are all important variables for the insurer when calculating the premium rate.

Insurance companies pool risks to determine the likelihood of a loss occurring that results in a reduction in value or risk. Risk pools or small businesses must consist of a homogenous group, such as all car dealers or all convenient storeowners. The risks associated with operating a small manufacturing firm differ from the risk to operate a small trucking company. The measurements or factors that go into rating risk take in to account the experience throughout the homogenous risk pool.

A small business owner may purchase an insurance policy indemnifying them against loss due to theft. Looking at the community experience for the risk pool associated with the small business owner, other factors come into play. A small business owner who operates a convenient store in a high crime area will pay a higher premium than a small business owner of a convenient store located in a suburban neighborhood with a lower crime rate. This rating disparity is acceptable and common among insurers if the same standard and rating is applied uniformly and does not target a specific type of business owner.

Small business insurance ratings vary based on the type of small business activity. It should be noted that to qualify for an insurance risk pool in order to purchase or transfer risk to the insurance company, the business must be engaged in a commercial activity and not be organized solely for the purpose of acquiring insurance.

Insurers are concerned about moral and physical hazards, which must be assessed relative to small businesses and small business insurance. Moral hazards are those things such as lying or filing a false report. Physical hazards can be the presence on unruly teens in the parking lot of a liquor store. Hazards in it of themselves do not cause risk but create a peril or an increase in the probability a risk occurs. A higher amount of hazards present translates into higher ratings for the small business. - 29952

About the Author:

Sign Up for our Free Newsletter

Enter email address here