From the December 2005 issue of Entrepreneur

How long has it been since you reviewed your insurance coverage? If your business has changed-an increase or decrease in work force, sales volume, inventory, equipment or property, or a change in operations-it could affect your insurance needs or rates, says M. Beth Parquette, president of Parquette & Associates Inc., a commercial lines insurance agency in North Port, Florida. "Review your insurance every year to make sure every aspect of your business is covered in the proper way and [for] the proper amount," she says. Take a look at your general business coverage (property, liability, etc.), workers' compensation and coverage you offer as part of your benefits package.

For a smaller company with an agent, an insurance review can usually be done by telephone. Ideally, this should take place at least 60 days prior to the policy's renewal date to give the agent time to shop for quotes. This not only ensures you are properly covered, Parquette says, but also assures you the best possible rate with the most appropriate carrier.

If your insurance isn't up for renewal this month, Parquette says, "take notice of when your policy expires, and mark your calendar." And, she adds, if you make a significant change in your operations midterm, check with your agent at that time to see if your coverage needs to be adjusted.