(By: Brittany Brooks)
Business insurance inventory can be thought of in two ways:
- a list of physical assets in your company and
- an inventory of your business insurance policies.
It can be confusing when you’re searching the internet and trying to break down precisely what your business insurance inventory should consist of. Here is a compiled list of everything you need to know from both perspectives, and you’ll learn the importance of conducting an insurance inventory.
What Is Business Insurance Inventory?
A List Of Your Physical Assets
Create a record of the physical items – think: machinery – your business owns and depends on for everyday operation. The items can be, but aren’t limited to:
- Your building or warehouse
- Office equipment: computers, phone systems, furniture, printers
- Surveillance equipment
- Business records: files, documents, licenses, certificates
- Company vehicles
Why It’s Important
Commercial property insurance will cover these items, but you have to provide a list of the things that were damaged, stolen, or vandalized. What if your entire building goes up in smoke, and you never created a list of your physical assets to prove what was there?
Having a list prepared and ready to go will give you the proof you need and possibly make the claim process move along with a little less friction. Even if the items are rented or leased, include them on the list anyway.
Check your business insurance policy to see if leased equipment is covered, most do, but it’s good to double-check. Commercial property insurance won’t cover your business documents, but valuable papers insurance will. You’ll still need an inventory list to file a claim, so don’t forget to have it officially drawn up and updated.
Inventory Of Business Insurance Policies
A business insurance inventory may also be a list of your business insurance policies.
It’s one of the best ways to review all of your policies in one place and get an idea of the coverage you have. You may have multiple insurance plans, such as:
There are many different business insurances, so you may have something different. Whichever one it is, add it onto the insurance inventory list.
Why It’s Important
Record keeping is crucial! In the process of diligent record-keeping, you will also be reviewing what you pay for, by default. If you see something you don’t understand or didn’t notice when you signed up, that would be your opportunity to speak with your insurance broker for clarification.
Ideally, you want to conduct an insurance inventory after creating a list of your physical assets. Decide how often you want to do both inventories and set reminders so your business never falls behind. We suggest quarterly or semi-annually updating those lists. Be cautious of letting too much time pass by between inventories. It’s essential to do an insurance inventory of your policies to catch this problem before an incident occurs.
How To Do Your Business Insurance Inventory
Start with your physical asset inventory. It’s as simple as conducting a walk-through from room to room and structuring your list as you go.
- Office A, Office B, etc.
- Storage room
- Filing room
Categorize your assets according to wherever you keep supplies and equipment. You can do your inventory manually or digitally. Electronic records can simplify the process and there’s typically the added bonus of storing files on a cloud server for easy access.
For digital files, you can create a spreadsheet or use digital notes. For each item, collect the following:
- Purchase date
- Item description
- Serial number
- Receipt or estimated value
Tips to Remember About Inventory Lists
- Always do more than one walk-through to ensure you didn’t miss anything.
- If you’re making a physical record of your inventory, make multiple copies, and at least one digital version.
- Back up digital copies on a hard drive or thumb drive and store it in a different location away from the building. This way it’s not involved in the same incident as the other equipment.
Once you’ve completed your physical asset inventory, you can create a list of your business insurance policies. Look for:
- Coverage amounts
- Renewal dates
- What they don’t cover
- Premium costs
- Deductibles (if applicable)
With your physical inventory list in hand, you can determine if you have enough coverage for your company’s assets. You can contact your insurance broker to adjust your coverage accordingly, but that’s not all.
You’ll also have the opportunity to check with your broker for better premium rates and save some money, but it all starts with doing your inventory.
Keeping up with what your company owns and what your insurance covers is essential. Taking the time to check your business insurance inventory is well worth it. If you need any professional advice on how to take your first steps, reach out to one of the representatives at Zupnick & Associates.