How to Use Site Inspections to Reduce Commercial Insurance Premiums

A site inspection keeps your business, employees and customers safe by identifying potential hazards and risks. Here are some tips on using site inspections to reduce commercial insurance premiums.

While an insurance company will often send an inspector to survey the site when you insure a new property and business, taking a preemptive approach can save much time and resources. Insurance companies do not like risks; if you show them you have mitigated risks preemptively, your premiums will likely go down. Reduced risks lead to reduced premiums.

What should you look for in a commercial inspection?

Let’s start with fire safety

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Did you have fire sprinkler equipment installed? Is there a commercial kitchen and fire-prone equipment such as a deep fryer? Every piece of equipment can be operated safely, the purpose of an inspection is to ensure and document that it is.

For more details on fire prevention, see our Health and safety checklist.

Fire safety inspections and audits

is the building in good condition?

A building that is in good repair is less likely to present a risk so the onus is on the operator to demonstrate that they have stayed on top of repairs.

Is the roof in good condition, when was it last inspected? What is the snow load? What are the states of the HVAC, electrical and plumbing systems? Have these systems been serviced (did you record the date of the last inspection)? Are gutters and downspouts free of obstruction so that water can flow freely?

Exterior of a store with parking lot

Are your customers at risk?

Whether you operate a restaurant, a hotel or a clinic, customers come to enjoy the service your offer. They don’t come to trip and fall. If they do, you may very well be found liable which increases your risk exposure.

Are there potholes in the parking lot which could cause customers to trip and fall? Are decks and handrails safe? Are sidewalks clear of debris, ice and snow?

For more details on mitigating risks, see our 9 Tips to Minimize Injuries and Liabilities.

Prevent losses due to theft

Preempting theft, both internal and external, is a big component of the risk profile of a commercial operation. You have to mitigate it.

Is the lighting adequate? Are doors and windows in good condition? Are cameras installed in key areas? Are cash-handling procedures documented and followed?

For more information, see our Comprehensive Guide to Loss prevention and Loss Prevention Checklist.

Loss prevention, theft prevention inspections and audits

Don’t just find issues, fix them

Finding issues won’t alone lower your risks, fixing them will. The action plan is an opportunity to apply corrective actions to problem areas. It designates an individual responsible for rectifying each issue found and a target date for resolution.  By doing this, the action plan fosters ownership and accountability. Don’t let problems linger. Show your insurance company you are on top of things. A culture of “getting it fixed” lowers your risks and may lower your insurance premiums.

Take (a lot of) photos!

Remember to take photos during the inspection. One picture is worth the proverbial 1,000 words and can provide photographic evidence that standards are met. Attach the pictures to the inspection as a permanent record. Pictures are quick and well aligned with the objective of demonstrating compliance with brand standards and insurance policy requirements.

District manager retail audit in a store with a tablet

inspections are key to reducing commercial insurance premiums

Preemptive inspections lower your risks to buildings, customers, and business continuity. For this reason, they also lower insurance premiums. Whether you want to reduce risks or reduce operating costs, preemptive inspections are a great idea that are quick to deploy and save more than they cost. 

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