I was recently working with a theme restaurant in Chennai on their insurance. I got the contact of the owner of the restaurant from a contact of mine. The owner reluctantly agreed to work with me. He proudly told me that he has been having insurance ever since he started his restaurant. He further told me that he has been renewing the policy for the last 10 years even though he has not had a claim in this period.
He asked me “What do you do differently? Do you have an exclusive insurance policy that you provide?”. I told him that I dont have a new policy to provide but what SMBSure does is to identify the risks that your business is exposed to and we tailor your insurance needs. After the first conversations, we have had multiple conversations since. In each conversation the owner came to me with a lot of scenario based questions. I was able to answer most of it to his satisfaction. After the back-and-forth over a 3 week period he told me to help him with his insurance renewal. I was happy to help because this is the restaurant that I took my wife the week after we got engaged and this restaurant had a special place for me in that sense.
I asked him to share his current insurance policy with me so that I can look at what he has insured thus far and what has been premium that he has been paying. Upon a quick glance I found that this gentleman has just being carrying a piece of paper called an insurance policy which is no value to him. This policy contained a warranty called “Basement Warranty”. This warranty means that the owner of the business agrees that there are no insurable items kept in the basement of the building that his business operates from. From the insurance company’s perspective it basically means that they would not cover anything that is kept in the basement if the building had any. For the most part this warranty is OK as the business may not even have a basement.
This restaurant was different though. The entire restaurant operated from the basement barring a few waiting chair that they had in the ground floor. Essentially the entire investment that this owner had made was in the basement. He has been having an insurance policy for the last 10 years that has been carrying this warranty. This brings to light the quality of advice that this restaurant owner has been getting for the last 10 years. How can an insurance agent or a broker whomsoever gave him the insurance policy overlook this part? This owner has been extremely lucky as he has not had an loss event for which he had to go to insurance company. If he had gone to the insurance company he would have got nothing at all in return. This kind of bad advice is what makes people distrust insurance and insurance companies. This needs fixing. We are doing our part.
If you are a business owner, please be aware of the clauses and warranties that are included in the policy document. It would just take 10 mins to sit with your agent or broker to understand what these clauses mean. See if you are getting the right policy for the premium that you are paying. After all it is your business that you are protecting.