As a small business insurance agent or broker, you know that organization is critical for small and new businesses. It’s easy to prioritize things that seem critical in the moment and deprioritize others that are essential. A business inventory list might not seem important at the very beginning, especially for small and micro-operations. You may have clients who own small businesses, such as a boutique fashion store, a candle shop, or a specialty food store, and they may not realize that having the building they own adequately covered by insurance is not enough. They may have invested considerable amounts of money in business personal property as well, and it’s essential to insure it.
What is business personal property?
For insurance purposes, “business personal property” refers to personal property owned by a business, including not only items that the business owns and sells to others (i.e., inventory) but everything from pens and pencils to computers and printers, to desks and chairs and more. Your clients may have made improvements to the building they rent or leased, things that serve their business purposes, but which have become part of the building now, so they can’t take them with them when they leave. If the worst happens, could they afford to replace all of that quickly and efficiently and keep their business afloat?
Why should your clients inventory business personal property?
As an insurance agent or broker, you can help your clients understand the three general types of business personal property: inventory, equipment, and business contents. Your clients may think they remember everything, but it’s easy to forget the small things that add up in the day-to-day operation of a business. That’s why creating an inventory checklist is a smart play.
Check out this inventory checklist template to use for your business personal property.
Filing an insurance claim for damage to a building is a relatively straightforward process, but losses to business property are more labor-intensive for all parties involved. Your clients’ policies will generally contain a single limit for all their business property, so the insurance carrier only knows that limit. If the worst happened, and all your clients’ business property was destroyed, they’d have to provide proof of their contents and ownership. At a time where they’re experiencing great upheaval, they really don’t need the added stress of trying to produce an inventory from memory.
To help expedite insurance claims on their business property, encourage your clients to update their contents inventory regularly, take photos or videos of their property, record serial numbers, and keep proofs of purchase to justify values. They should store all inventory lists and supporting documentation outside of their business location.
In conclusion, your small business clients may not realize the importance of insuring their business personal property, including inventory, equipment, and business contents. As their insurance agent or broker, you can educate them about the importance of creating an inventory checklist and the steps they can take to expedite insurance claims on their business property. Learn more about how Coterie is here to support you and your small business clients in the event of a claim!