Monthly payments: a luxury or a must for small business insurance?
When we talk to business owners and ask about the issues the struggle with on a daily basis, one term comes up in almost every conversation: cash flow. A carpenter does not get paid until the work is done – yet has to fund the cost of materials out of pocket. A photographer has to invest in equipment (often renting additional required pieces for a large project) – and also will not get compensated until the shoot is done and the work product is delivered.
Our reason for existence is to lighten the burden of insurance for business owners – while still providing robust coverage, in a way that is affordable and convenient. Charging the entire annual premium (hundreds and often thousands of dollars) upfront did not feel consistent with that vision. Thus, from day 1, we’ve offered customers the option of monthly payments – and, as we expected, 90% of business owners who work with us choose this option. With this plan, they pay an equivalent of two months upfront and the rest of the premium is split into 10 equal monthly installments.
Why do we charge two months upfront? This is a question we get often – and it convinces us that having to pay 12 months upfront would be a serious burden for our customers. We charge two months upfront because regulations prohibit insurance companies from providing unpaid-for coverage. If a customer misses a payment at any point, they would not have any grace period if we didn’t not charge an extra month upfront – and we know life happens, payments are sometimes missed, and being able to make the payment a few days late and retain the coverage that enables you to run and grow your business is important.
Is this approach atypical in the industry? Yes. It is not typical to offer monthly payment options – particularly for the more affordable policies. Collecting payments every month is work – and few agencies/carriers have automated the process like we have. In cases where the monthly option exists, competitors will typically charge a convenience fee. This is not solely to enhance profits – they are offsetting a cost of capital and what amounts to higher payment processing expenses. However, we believe the ability to pay monthly is so fundamental for a business who is typically not awash in cash and is often fronting the cost of materials/supplies that charging extra fees is not something we even considered.
With us, customers never pay convenience fees – we don’t charge any fees on top of what our carrier partners charge for the policy. There are no purchase fees, cancellation fees, account maintenance, payment processing or service fees (no, we don’t charge for Proof of Insurance either!) – we believe that supporting our customers is part of our value proposition and the price of the service is included in the policy purchase. Do us the honor of trusting us to provide you with business protection – we will take care of the rest, so you can focus on growing your business.
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