Wednesday, 25 June 2014
We've put together a selection of top tips below to make finding a business insurance policy that little bit easier.
Is your business adequately covered?
The most important factor when buying your business insurance is making sure you are adequately covered. The first thing you should do is check in detail that a policy and its conditions cover you for your needs.
Once you’ve made this assessment you should then only consider the price difference between the insurance companies that provide the correct level of cover.
How many business insurance quotes will I receive?
There are far fewer business insurance companies compared to the home and car insurance industry, so don’t be worried if you only receive a handful of quotes.
In addition, there are likely to be some brands that you haven’t heard of.
To provide confidence, read the details of the insurance policy wording, and look at the insurers that back each of the brands listed.
Reducing the risk of your business
Reducing your (and your property’s) risk, will help you reduce the premium. There are a number of factors that may contribute to cost. You will be asked about these during your application.
Examples of these are; the types of locks and alarms on your property, the location of your property and the type of work you do (e.g. height and heat can be considered high risk).
How long has your company been trading?
If you have been trading for longer and have subsequently demonstrated that you run a successful business, an insurer may offer you a small discount in recognition of this.
Equally, if your company is a recent start-up, you may find that your first year of cover is a little more expensive than average, but this should drop with each successive year of operation.
Cheapest cover isn't always best
Don’t try to get a cheaper price by reducing the levels of insurance on your property cover – if you underinsure it’s unlikely you will get the full payout when you make a claim.
With cover like public liability, the most obvious way to get a cheaper price is to change the amount of cover you buy – but remember this may be a false economy and you need to be sure you are buying enough cover to pay for possible claims.
Pay attention to the different levels of cover that each insurer provides, and relate this back to the price.
To find a great deal on your next business insurance policy, please click the "get quotes now" button above.
Tuesday, 24 June 2014
Save money and get the right insurance coverage for your business with these 14 tips.
- Premiums for fire, casualty and burglary insurance on business property are all deductible for tax purposes as trade or business expenses. If a business taxpayer has a self-insurance plan, however, all payments into the self-insurance reserve will not be tax-deductible for purposes; the actual losses incurred by the taxpayer would be the deductions.
- Premiums for life-insurance are tax-deductible. But premiums paid on a policy covering the life of an officer, employee or other key person are not deductible if the business is a direct or indirect beneficiary under the policy. Premiums paid on a life insurance policy of which the business is a beneficiary are not deductible, since life-insurance proceeds would not have to be included in taxable income when received by the company.
- Before speaking with an insurance representative, write down a clear statement of your expectations.
- Do not withhold any important information from your insurance representative about your business and its exposure to loss. Treat the individual as a professional helper.
- Get at least three competitive bids using brokers, direct agents and independent agents. Note the interest that the representative takes in loss prevention and suggestions for specialty coverage.
- Avoid duplication and overlap in policies; you will be paying for insurance you do not need.
- Ask your insurance firm if it's an "admitted insurance company." If so, it should have a solvency fund should a catastrophe put the insurance company in danger of going under. An unadmitted carrier has no such solvency fund.
- The small businessperson should not consider any form of self-insurance. The pool of funds necessary to safely insure losses is extraordinarily large.
- Get your insurance coverage reassessed on an annual basis. As your firm grows, so do your needs and potential liabilities. Underinsurance ranks as a major problem with expanding firms. Get an independent appraiser to value your property; if it has been more than five years since it was last appraised, chance are you're in for a surprise.
- Keep complete records of your insurance policies, premiums paid, itemized losses and loss recoveries. This information will help you get better coverage at lower costs in the future.
- Virtually all policies require notification of an accident within 24, 48 or 72 hours of the incident. The claim itself does not necessarily have to filed at this time. Failure to report the loss may nullify your right to recovery.
- There must be come proof of loss, though you will have a reasonable period to provide documentation if needed.
- The insurer usually has three options when it comes to fulfilling the terms of a replacement policy: paying cash, repairing the insured item, or replacing the insured item with one of similar quality. Don't hesitate to let the insurer know if you prefer one of these reimbursement methods.
- Disputes regarding the amount of the settlement are put to arbitration. Thus an independent appraiser acts as judge in the conflict Don't hesitate to use this system of resolving differences. If a compromise cannot be found, a lawsuit can be initiated.
Friday, 6 June 2014
More than £1.3bn of bogus insurance claims were detected in 2013 according to figures published today by the Association of British Insurers, with claims car insurance making up a majority of this amount.
Fraud detected across the industry is now at the highest level ever following the 18% rise compared to the previous year, the trade body said.
Insurers detected a total of 118,500 fake or exaggerated insurance claims, equivalent to 2,279 a week across the year. The average fraud detected across all types of insurance products was £10,813.
Fraudulent motor insurance claims were the most expensive and common, with the number of dishonest claims at 59,900 claims up 34% on 2012 and their value up 32% to £811m.
So-called ‘cash for crash’ schemes, where fraudsters stage car smashes on unsuspecting motorists and claim for the damage and injuries, represent approximately £120m of financial exposure to insurers, the report concluded.
However, the number and value of property insurance frauds fell, down 38% by £137m on 2012.
Aidan Kerr, head of fraud at the ABI, said: ‘Insurance fraud is not a victimless crime, which is why the industry invests £200m a year in fraud detection, including funding the Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department, and developing the Insurance Fraud Register, a central database of known insurance cheats.
‘The more that is done to crackdown on the dishonest, the quicker and more effectively insurers can deal with the claims from the honest majority.’
The Insurance Fraud Bureau, which was created in 2006 to tackle these organised scams, is currently supporting police forces and insurers investigate 110 of these crimes, throughout the UK.
In one case, 60 people were convicted of a ‘crash for cash’ stage accident which involved more than £514,000 being claimed from 25 vehicle crashes alone.
Last week a bus company was forced to scrap a bus route after it was targeted by ‘cash for crash’ fraudsters 15 times in two years.
The ABI added that since 2007 the value of dishonest general insurance claims detected has more than doubled, with the number detected rising by 30% over the same period.
Thursday, 5 June 2014
Dyman Associates Insurance Group of Companies - READER'S VIEWS: Enabling or blocking health insurance fraud
When the subject of health insurance is discussed someone raises the argument that because Medicare or Medicaid is government programs, they are subject to fraud. This is usually an objection from politicians who support Free Enterprise and fear Big Government.
Let’s be honest with ourselves, any human event that involves something of value attracts fraudsters. A bank robber, a hacker, a big company submitting false claims; all fall into the category of fraud. Any googling of Medicare fraud brings up some infuriating examples. For example, health care industry giant HCA (which the New York Times notes was bought by Bain Capital in 2006) eventually settled a Medicare fraud scandal (overcharging) for more than $1.7 billion. Or, last May the feds arrested 107 health care providers, including doctors and nurses, in several cities and charged them with cheating Medicare out of $452 million. In 2010, 94 people were charged with submitting $251 million in phony claims. Fraud isn’t the product of scheming low-income beneficiaries – Mitt Romney’s 47 percent – it is most often committed by big companies and rich doctors, not a patient seeking a second colonoscopy.
We should admit that fraud is endemic to the insurance business, whether public or private. The Coalition Against Insurance Fraud estimates that in 2006 a total of about $80 billion was lost in the United States due to insurance fraud. According to estimates by the Insurance Information Institute, insurance fraud accounts for about 10 percent of the property/casualty insurance industry’s incurred losses and loss adjustment expenses.
So, how to tackle any fraud. Putting more police on the streets is an acceptable way of reducing crime. Private industry is free to hire as many investigators and accountants as it takes to catch fraudsters.
While research has shown that the typical anti-Medicaid-fraud worker recovers, on average, $200,000 per year, it is unpopular in some quarters to admit that hiring more government workers saves taxpayers money. But unlike private industry, the government is not free to hire the staff and solve problems. A major block in Congress argues that each and every new accountant is Big Government.
Currently, major government departments are even without an Inspector General to head waste, fraud and abuse programs. The Department of the Interior has been without an IG for over 1,800 days; AID, no IG for over 900 days.
So, Congress provides neither anti-fraud heads nor anti-fraud bodies. The knee-jerk response of “no money” and “no appointees” rather than being a deterrent, empowers fraudsters.
Tuesday, 3 June 2014
Dyman Associates Insurance Group of Companies: Insurance fraud worth £3.5m uncovered every day, figures show
Insurers have exposed a record £1.3bn worth of fraudulent claims last year as the industry stepped up its war on cheats.
The amount, released by the Association of British Insurers (ABI), marks an 18% rise in value on 2012 and equates to £3.5m worth of insurance frauds being uncovered every day.
The ABI said there had also been a "significant" increase in people phoning up to report suspected fraudsters, indicating a growing acknowledgement that this was not a "victimless" crime.
In 2013, 118,500 bogus or exaggerated insurance claims were detected – more than 2,000 a week.
Fraudulent motor insurance claims were the most expensive and common to be exposed, with 59,900 dishonest claims worth £811m detected last year.
While there was a small fall in the number of detected frauds, their value had increased. The average fraud detected across all types of insurance products was worth £10,813.
The ABI said various industry initiatives were helping to "turn the screw on cheats". The Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB) was created in 2006 by the industry to tackle organised cross-industry insurance scams.
The IFB is supporting police forces and insurers across the UK to investigate 110 "crash for cash" scams where motor accidents were deliberately staged, which on their own represent approximately £120m of financial exposure to insurers.
Investigations by the Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department, an ABI-funded dedicated specialist unit of the City of London police, have so far led to 470 arrests and 85 prosecutions since it was set up in 2011.
The ABI also said calls from members of the public reporting suspected insurance frauds into the IFB's "cheatline" rose by 32% to 6,060 in 2013 compared with the previous year.
A spokesman for the ABI said there appeared to be a "growing acknowledgement that (insurance fraud) is not a victimless crime, it's affecting people in their pocket".
He also pointed out that staged car accidents carried a safety risk to innocent members of the public. Sometimes, fraudsters would deliberately slam their brakes on so that an innocent motorist would hit them from behind, or they would flash their headlights to pretend that they were going to let a driver out of a junction and then deliberately hit them.
The rise in the average value of insurance scams could be seen as a reflection of the high-end nature of frauds by organised gangs that were increasingly being uncovered, the ABI said.
Since 2007 the value of dishonest general insurance claims being uncovered has more than doubled, with the number detected increasing by 30% during the same period.
Fraud is estimated to add up to £90 to the cost of everyone's general insurance policies.
Aidan Kerr, the ABI's assistant director, head of fraud, said: "The message is clear: never has it been harder to get away with committing insurance fraud; never have the penalties – ranging from a custodial sentence and a criminal record to difficulties in obtaining financial products in the future – been so severe."
The ABI said some recent examples of cheats being exposed included:
• Sixty people, including seven members of the same family, being convicted of a crash-for-cash staged accident fraud which involved more than £514,000 being claimed from 25 vehicle crashes alone
• A professional golfer who claimed £8,000 on his income protection policy for a knee injury that he said left him unable to work, but was caught on camera giving golf lessons. He was ordered to do 140 hours unpaid community work
• A woman was jailed for 22 months following a series of invented street robberies for items including laptops and designer clothes
• A vet was jailed for two years for inventing veterinary claims totalling nearly £200,000 for treating non-existent pets.
One insurer, AA Insurance, said that it identifies more than 100 attempts at fraud every week.
Simon Douglas, director of AA Insurance said: "These figures are encouraging because they reflect the growing success of the insurance industry in the war against fraud, rather than more fraud taking place."
He said: "This should send a strong signal to anyone thinking of trying it on.
"While you might not end up in prison, if an insurer finds that you have attempted to falsify a claim you'll find it difficult to obtain insurance cover in the future. Insurers don't like dishonest customers."