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Ups & Downs

Get your insurance rates on the same track as the economy.

By Jacquelyn Lynn

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

It's a double-whammy: As you struggle with the economicslowdown, insurance rates are climbing. "We predict commercialrates will go up between 10 and 30 percent [this year]," saysCarolyn Gorman, vice president of the Insurance InformationInstitute. Now's a good time to review your coverage and employstrategies to get the best rates. Gorman offers the followingtips:

  • If you own your building and have replacement cost coverage,consider changing to actual cash value. If the building isrelatively new, you could save on premiums without significantlyimpacting claim payout.
  • If you've reduced the inventory you carry, consideradjusting the limits on your property policy.
  • If you have a standard business owners' policy or a packagepolicy, review extras you may have bought years ago but no longerneed.
  • Business interruption policies are typically rated based onrevenues and expenses. If those figures have changed, you may beable to reduce your premiums.
  • Carefully consider all your specialty coverages. You may findthe benefit of increased cash flow outweighs certain risks duringtough times. Your survival is important to your insuranceagent.

Gorman recommends talking candidly with your agent to come upwith a plan you can afford and that will still protect youroperation.

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