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Finding the Right Business Insurance in Omaha: A Guide for Business Owners

By Tyler Kirkegaard, Risk Advisor

As a business owner in Omaha, finding the right insurance coverage is essential for protecting your business and ensuring its long-term success. But with the myriad of options available, it can be overwhelming to navigate through the insurance landscape or understand which insurance agent or advisor to choose from. That's where this guide comes in.  

In this comprehensive article, we will walk you through the process of finding the right business insurance that suits your specific needs and budget. Whether you operate a construction company, manufacturing plant, distribution company, retail store, restaurant, or any other professional service, we've got you covered. Our team of risk advisors in Omaha have carefully curated this guide to provide you with valuable insights, tips, and resources to help you understand what to look for in an insurance provider.  

We'll explore different types of insurance providers, various coverage options, common risks faced by local businesses, and highlight key factors to consider when choosing your insurance policy.  

The importance of business insurance for local businesses in Omaha

Running a business comes with its fair share of risks. From property damage to legal liabilities, there are numerous unforeseen events that can disrupt your operations and put your financial stability at risk. That's where risk management comes in, and insurance as part of that overall risk management plan.  

Business owners tend to think of insurance as they would with their personal lines – you’ll obviously commercial property and commercial auto insurance to protect your physical possessions, you'll need some liability coverage in case you face legal damages from injuries or damages to third parties, and you’ll need what’s legally required like worker’s compensation. But once the insurance boxes are checked, businesses often stop and assume they are covered.  

Holistic risk management goes a step further. If you have worker’s compensation insurance, but you see accidents increasing and thus your rates increasing, you aren’t fixing the risk – only paying more and more to manage it. Instituting a safety program that reduces accidents alongside a robust insurance plan is a long-term strategy designed to save you money over time, including better working conditions for your employees and less time away from work.  

Finding the right partner for business insurance in Omaha not only protects your assets but also helps build trust and credibility with your customers and partners. It shows that you take your business seriously and are prepared for any unexpected events that may arise. In the highly competitive landscape, having comprehensive risk management strategies in place gives you a competitive edge and protects the legacy you’re building.  

Types of business insurance agents in Omaha

Before you begin looking at an insurance agent or risk advisor, it’s important to understand the differences between insurance agency models in Omaha. For example, some agents are independent and can sell policies from multiple carriers. Others are fixed with one carrier and can’t offer you products from outside of that carrier.  

Here are the three types of insurance agents you will find:

Independent risk advisors: A risk advisor, like Ellerbrock-Norris, will look at your business as a whole to determine the best way to manage various risks. Often insurance is an important tool in that plan, but other impact areas like safety, employee benefits, perpetuation planning and more combine into a robust plan that can offer long-term cost savings.

Independent insurance agents: Also known as insurance brokers, independent insurance agents have the ability to sell insurance policies from various carriers. They will work to determine which carrier best fits your situation and price point and assist you in any future claims.  

Captive insurance agents: Captive agents sell insurance through just one carrier and are often built to serve many clients at a low-service, low-cost model.  

Once you know the type of agent or advisor you want to work with, the next question you should ask is if they are locally owned or part of a national company. As consolidation has hit the insurance industry, many independent agencies have been acquired by larger national brands. It’s uncommon to find locally owned independent agencies who can offer robust risk management services, and Ellerbrock-Norris prides itself on being a local business dedicated to serving local businesses.

Types of business insurance coverage

When it comes to business insurance policies, there are dozens of coverage options to choose from. Finding the specific solution for your business depends on industry, number of employees, revenue, goals, location, accident history and more.  

Typically, if you are a well-established business, a baseline commercial insurance package should include property and auto insurance, liability insurance and possibly additional business interruption insurance.

From there, you want to start really diving into the unique factors at play in your business. Are you near a flood plain? Are you transporting or working with materials that may be hazardous to the environment? Would you be out of work without your building? Do you have training programs and safety programs in place? How much of your work is done with data on your computer system?  

Your risk management plan should be unique to your business. As you answer those questions with a qualified risk advisor, you’ll see how insurance plays into the larger picture of risk management and allows you to develop a strategy right for you.  

Types of Commercial Insurance Policies

  • Business Interruption  
  • Business Owners Policy  
  • Captive Insurance Programs
  • Commercial Auto
  • Commercial Property  
  • Commercial Umbrella
  • Crime  
  • Cyber  
  • Directors & Officers  
  • Environmental  
  • Employment Practices Liability
  • Errors & Omissions  
  • Fiduciary Liability
  • General Liability  
  • Medical Malpractice  
  • Professional Liability  
  • Surety Bonds
  • Workers' Compensation

Factors to consider when choosing business insurance in Omaha

There are unique laws in Nebraska that local insurance and risk advisors understand.  

Take the construction industry, for example. In Nebraska, you are on the hook for anything you build or install before the customer pays. Let's say you fully install a new deck for a client and are awaiting payment. That night, a huge storm rolls through and knocks a tree branch onto that deck, causing major damage. You are on the hook for that insurance claim, not your client, because ownership hasn't technically transferred to them until that payment.

So, what are some risk management techniques? First, that is why collecting deposits up front is so important. Secondly, you still want coverage until ownership is transferred. There is liability coverage on that deck in case the homeowner is hurt prior to taking full ownership. You may want an inland marine policy if you are shipping those materials into Omaha so you’re not liable for damages during transit. You may also want an installation floater on your inland marine policy that protects you against damage to those materials once they are out of your facility and on the job site.

Another reason to use a local advisor is the understanding of the unique weather, flood conditions and potential hazards that exist in Omaha. Hailstorms, snowstorms, tornadoes and flood plains all happen in Omaha. We can tell you what to watch out for in the policy language to make sure you’re adequately covered.

Working with a local risk advisor will help you determine the unique risks you face in Omaha that some national chains wouldn’t know to look for.  

Tips for getting the best rates on business insurance in Omaha

There are steps that Omaha businesses can take to get lower prices on insurance policies. We often talk about “top-of-stack submissions” internally in the industry. The term references how likely a carrier is to quickly review and approve insurance policies for the business we are submitting on behalf of.  

Because we are holistic risk advisors, carriers know we are going above and beyond to help our clients avoid risks from every angle as opposed to just quoting policies and hoping they ignore potential major risks.  

Here are a few examples:

  1. Security. We will analyze all the security measures you have in place to deter potential theft. Locks on doors, security systems, locked gates, equipment locks and more are all noted in our submissions to help show the carrier that you're not at major risk. Being in Omaha, which has a fairly low crime rate compared to cities its size, helps in those submissions.  
  1. Safety. We will note what you’re doing from a safety standpoint with the carrier. The point is to not only show your historical incident history, but to show you are committed to a safety culture. We also offer a safety network that puts you in a program to help become a top-of-stack submission.
  1. Maintenace. We will discuss all the building or property improvements you make year-over-year to ensure the insurance carrier knows you’re committed to keeping claims down. We’ll also note things like fire suppression, sprinkler systems, covered parking and more to give them a clear picture of your risk.  

Understanding your business is our priority in creating top-of-stack submissions that can help you lower prices and think long-term about your risk management strategy.  

Keeping your business insurance in Omaha

Serving local businesses is a passion for us. We want to keep local businesses in business while helping you protect your purpose – the business and the people in it, your life outside of the business, and your future aspirations.  

Choosing the right business insurance provider in Omaha comes down to what is most important to you, while avoiding common mistakes and thinking about the long-term cost benefits.

Remember to carefully assess your business risks, review your policy regularly, and strike a balance between affordability and adequate coverage. We are here to provide expertise, save time, and gain access to multiple insurance companies and risk management strategies.

Connect with us today for your free risk evaluation and to start on your risk management plan today.

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