By Traci Dooley
National agency sales director for Hortica®, a brand of the Sentry Insurance Group
Whether you manage a greenhouse, oversee garden center operations, or have other leadership responsibilities, you know your business faces new and existing risks every day.
As you identify and assess your workplace risks, you might consider buying different types of insurance coverages for each. Before long, you may find managing multiple insurance policies has become overwhelming if you rely on different insurers.
If you’ve felt this way, you’re not alone. This is why many businesses opt to bundle multiple coverages under a single policy and insurer.
But before you start adjusting your existing policies, let’s first take a closer look at what bundling means, and the benefits that come with it.
Bundling insurance simply means buying multiple lines of insurance coverage—such as liability, property, auto, and workers' compensation—through the same provider. Here’s a hypothetical example:
Your garden center is approaching its insurance renewal period and currently buys commercial auto coverage through Insurer A. However, your garden center also relies on a second source, Insurer B, for its general liability policy.
In the past year, your business added new vehicles and services, which influenced its risk and premiums.
You decide to bundle both coverages through Insurer A, due to the time-saving benefits you receive by managing your policy through one account. In discussions with your agent, you also discovered gaps in your commercial auto coverage, which the agent helped bridge through an umbrella liability policy.
In the example above, bundling insurance offered convenience and addressed coverage gaps that neither insurer—lacking insights due to their limited roles—had been able to help you identify.
Different factors may influence your horticulture business’s decision, however. Here are several reasons businesses like yours often choose bundled insurance:
Easier bookkeeping: The time, resources, and effort required to manage your insurance coverages can feel taxing. Instead of adding to the number of contacts and insurers you need to juggle, you may opt for bundled insurance. By working with one insurer, you can consolidate your billing information, policy limits, coverages, and renewal dates into one profile.
Convenient claims: No business likes to imagine facing multiple claims at once, but it’s an unfortunate reality. If it happens at your business, the ability to submit, manage, and view the progress of your claims together can provide peace of mind in stressful situations.
Specialized resources: As you evaluate insurers, you might find a provider who specializes in a specific industry like our team at Hortica. Choosing to bundle your coverages through a more specialized insurer may provide benefits such as tailored safety services and coverages intended for your unique risks.
Stronger relationships: By working with one provider, you may feel that your insurance representative gets to know your business’s risks, operations, and coverages better. Insurance requires collaboration and having a strong relationship with your insurer can help make sure you have the benefit of protection and support when you need it most.
Reduced coverage gaps: Individual policies from different insurers can lead to gaps in your coverages and limits. Bundling insurance with one provider means a representative can view each of your existing policies and coverages as you discuss your expectations, risk, and level of protection.
In fact, when you bundle your policy through one insurer, they may offer umbrella liability insurance, which provides extra limits to your existing liability coverages like commercial auto and general liability. For instance, if you face a claim that applies to multiple policies, one call to a single insurer can speed up the claim reporting process and ensure you’ve met the timely reporting requirement contained in most policies.
And if you choose to bundle, don’t forget to touch base with your insurer periodically. A common misperception is that bundled insurance might limit your ability to shop around or re-evaluate coverage options. It shouldn’t. Your business evolves, and so should its insurance. Re-assess your options often and talk with your insurer before renewal to discuss your pricing, coverages, and recent changes to your business.
The simple answer is it depends. Just like your customers might initially buy plants from a variety of growers, you might buy your insurance from different providers. However, those same customers might soon find that your business provides almost everything they need. It saves them time, it simplifies their experience, and it increases their confidence.
The same goes for insurance. Your decision to bundle will depend on your preferences, and many of the factors mentioned above. No matter which option you choose, your goal should be finding an insurance option that fits—and protects—your business. As always, if you have further questions about bundling your business insurance, contact us.
Your insurance renewal period is one of the best times to check whether bundling is right for your business.
Talk with your insurer to discuss the top risks you face, the number of claims your business manages, and your approach to safety.
A few conversations can help you identify and choose an insurer for your horticulture business.
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