We hear it all the time: “I’m just trying to insure my coffee shop (contracting, hair salon, Amazon, you-name-it business). Why are you asking me for SO MUCH INFORMATION?”
We get it. We really do. It’s a pain to gather all of the details.
But try to remember, Boardwalk is your insurance broker. That means we shop for the best policies for you from different insurers.
To get you the best policies, insurers ask us for information about you. A lot of information, actually. That helps us to:
- get you the fastest quotes
- get you the appropriate amount of coverage
- get you the best pricing
- perhaps most importantly, protect you if you ever need to make a claim (if your information is inaccurate, your insurer may reject a claim—and, at Boardwalk, it’s our job to make sure that never happens)
So, it makes sense to spend a little bit of time gathering the info you need to quickly get a policy that covers you better (and maybe even saves you a little money in the long run).
If you get all of the below together, our intuitive online form shouldn’t take you more than 8 minutes. If you get stuck, you can always use our online chat feature, call us at 416-477-9771 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org—we’re here to help!
Who are you?
At first, you’ll be asked to furnish basic details about your company.
- Name of business—This is also known as the “doing business as” name.
- Address—If your business is located in multiple offices, only provide the headquarters or main office location here; you can still buy insurance for multiple locations, but that option comes later.
- Number of years in business—You can round this down to the closest quarter.
- Number of employees
- Annual business revenues—Your liability insurance rate is applied to your revenue to determine the premium; we want to be as close as possible with this figure to avoid any questions in coverage. If you’re a new business, you can estimate this value, unless the form gives you the option to leave it blank (we will also ask what percentage of your revenue is from the United States).
- Desired policy start date—This date is when you’d want to begin coverage or your current policy renewal date.
- The nature of your business
- Business entity type—Choose from types such as incorporated, sole proprietor, partnership, co-operative, etc.
Besides these, you can be asked to provide additional details, such as payroll, percentage of work subcontracted to others, locations you sell to and inventory value. An estimate would do in most cases, but ensure that it’s as close as you can make it to the actual value.
If you have multiple operations—such as a grocery store that also runs a café—you’ll have to provide how much revenue you allocate to each line of business.
Are you currently insured?
If you’re switching insurance companies, the new insurer will need to know your current insurance information to provide an accurate quote. Plus, this is a good way to compare that you’re getting the coverage you need—and more—from the new insurer.
Make a list of the following:
- Current insurance company details, including the name and policy dates
- Liability limit
- Claims history
- Description of your operations
What insurance are you looking for?
Depending on the policies you’re shopping for, you’ll need to provide more specific information.
Commercial property insurance
If you have a physical business location, you might need to be protected from risks such as weather-related damage, customer injury lawsuits, theft, fires and other kinds of property damage. A commercial property insurance policy is a must-have.
You’ll be asked to provide a list of addresses of all the buildings or properties owned or leased by the business. This includes information such as (note that not all types of insurance will require all of the following information):
- the square foot area occupied by you
- the year each building was built
- how many and what type of other businesses are in the building
- type of wall construction
- whether there’s a basement
- whether the building has an alarm system (and what type)
- whether the building has sprinklers
- type of heating and date of any updates
- type of electrical panel and date of any updates
- type of plumbing and date of any updates
If you lease your space, your landlord should have all of this information on hand.
Along with this information, you’ll have to specify the value of the equipment or products and assets you have at each site. If you’ve recently renovated or you plan to renovate a space, you’ll also need to provide construction details.
You may also be asked for ownership documents and other information about your business premises.
E&O and general liability insurance
Professionals, contractors and businesses that provide services need insurance for errors and omissions (E&O), professional liability and general liability, as these protect against lawsuits related to the services provided.
In this section, you’ll specify the industry and the kinds of products or services you provide.
If you’re a contractor, for example, you may need to mention whether you work in commercial or residential spaces, what kind of tools or equipment you use, and whether you work in especially hazardous conditions.
Commercial auto insurance
If your business owns vehicles or you use your personal vehicle for business, commercial auto insurance is also a must-have. Your personal auto insurance may not cover risks that pertain to its use in the business.
Regardless of whether you own or lease vehicles, you’ll have to provide vehicle details.
- each vehicle’s VIN
- year, make and model (some of this will autocomplete based on the VIN)
- name of the registered owner
- number of kilometres driven each year
- each driver’s name and licence number
- vehicle’s RIN (if registered to a business)
- whether the vehicle is owned, leased or financed
If these are business-use vehicles, you’ll need to include:
- details about how the vehicles are being used
- a CVOR report and a letter of experience for any driver operating a commercial heavy vehicle (if the vehicles are over 4,500 kg)
Floater coverage (aka inland marine)
If your products or equipment leave your premises or are transported from one place to another, you’ll need to get this coverage. An insurer will need to know the value of these items; for any that are considered high-value equipment, you will need to provide a schedule of equipment (year, make, model, serial number and value) per item.
Who is Boardwalk Insurance?
We’re specialists in small-medium business insurance. We’ve built technology to provide a better way to get the financial security your business deserves—quickly and painlessly, on your schedule.
Boardwalk Insurance is a commercial insurance brokerage that simplifies the purchase experience for small to medium business insurance, by eliminating friction points and creating a seamless, transparent process from end to end. Boardwalk strives to enable our product experts to focus on your experience rather than on backend processes.
Find out more about how Boardwalk Insurance can help you get the right coverage at the most competitive price: visit myboardwalk.ca