Touted as one of the best small business insurance companies by its users, Hiscox has grown to become a recognized insurer handling reinsurance, property, specialty, local errors and commissions, and business insurance. The company was named as the Best Small Business Insurer during the Start Your Business Awards, 2014.
What’s Hiscox’s Background?
Hiscox Insurance has offered specialist insurance cover for a long time, garnering over 100 years’ experience. It is popular for providing home insurance with high net worth. It covers more than sixty thousand homes in the UK and more than 150 small business enterprises, consultants and professionals.
Their mode of operation distinguishes them from other businesses; the business handles customer service and claims based on fairness and situations. Hiscox identifies with wide range of small business insurance products including employer’s liability, online security protection, and professional indemnity.
The company, which is headquartered in Bermuda, has been in operation since 1901 selling insurance to small businesses. It operates in 11 different countries including the UK and the US. It is an underwriter of Llyod’s of London and sells insurance products through them in the US.
Hiscox started selling insurance to technology, consulting and marketing business, categories it still concentrates on to date, but has since spread to cover a wide range of businesses. Insurance is sold through independent agents, but in some cases, Hiscox sells directly to businesses with 10 or fewer employees.
Which Covers Does Hiscox Offer?
Hiscox offers insurance based on the needs of a business. However, there are benefits that customers of different products will enjoy in common. For instance, the business offers zero percent interest on direct monthly debits, documentation and immediate coverage, and also the liability for customers to change their policies.
Businesses covered fall into different categories including architects and engineers, bookkeepers, cleaning services, insurance agents, IT, janitors, landscapers, marketing and PR, photographers, retail, web and graphic designers, property managers, real estate agents, health and beauty and business consultants among others.
The insurance company writes General Liability policies to many companies; this is the type of insurance that covers businesses in the event of occurrence of any risks associated with running a business. The liability covers businesses and professionals for:
- Bodily harm resulting from injuries in the business premises or while doing business
- Data loss resulting from a fault in the business data storage systems or from an error from your employees and client’s property damage, resulting from an error from one of your employees
- Personal injury including slander, and libel among other forms of injury that soils your reputation or that of your business as a result of your activities or those of your employees
Professional liability insurance is designed specially to cover professionals in different fields from any risks that come with offering professional advice, providing services, writing contracts and against any errors and omissions that may damage their clients financially or otherwise. This is also referred to as errors and omissions insurance, and it is offered based on the needs of a business. It is mostly taken by real estate agents, bookkeepers, insurance agents, and consultants among others.
Besides professional and general liability, the insurance company offers combination policies where customers are offered general liability and business property coverage as one package. The policies offered to business owners do not include errors and omissions coverage and professional liability; the business owners have to buy the packages separately.
The business owner’s policy covers structure damage, equipment breakdown, protection for libel and slander, rented vehicle coverage and general liability claims. Business owners are given the privilege of choosing among these policies to create a policy that will suit their needs.
What’s the Cost of Business Insurance at Hiscox?
Hiscox does not offer a standard price for the various products they offer. The price of products will be determined by the number and types of products that a business chooses and the level of cover chosen in each of these products. For instance, the value of equipment in an office, the security measures the business has taken, and the location of the business premises will highly impact the price of the premium insurance price.
Hiscox is not known to offer cheap insurance, but this has not been viewed as a bad thing, seeing that the business is always having a high number of customers. Due to the comprehensive cover that the business insurance company offers and their track record of paying claims, the price of their products has not mattered much with the customers.
Quotes are offered through the agents who sell insurance products. Online quotes are not accurate as they are only example premiums; the business will require more details to give accurate rates. The business offers quotes through phone during business hours. Rates for the same product can vary greatly between different business establishments.
Based on the information provided on the business’ website, professional liability coverage is offered for as low as $22.50 per month while general liability insurance premiums are offered for as low as $19.17 per month. Business owner policies are offered for as low as $41.67; this is the combined package coverage. There is a high number of discounts offered by Hiscox including multi-policy discounts and low rates for businesses that show risk management practices.
Placing of Claims with Hiscox Small Business Insurance
Claims can be placed anytime one the company’s website. However, the company offers specific timelines for claim processing. The company usually processes claims within a day and responds with an email and claim number and contact information that can be used in the event of emergencies. Within 48 hours, a claims representative will be sent to oversee the loss in your business and go over all the details to ensure that everything is captured.
The claims representative will work for between 5 and 10 days to collect as much details as needed for the claim. During this period, the claims representative stays in touch with the insured for verification of details, and coverage validation will be communicated within 20 days and sometimes in as less as 10 days depending on the availability of information on the loss.
Given the variety of claims placed, the duration between loss occurrence and payment of claims varies greatly; the insured can work with the insurance company for a few days and sometimes this spill to weeks. This is especially true when the nature of the loss or damage is not clear and information is not readily available.
Within five days of confirming the business’ loss value, Hiscox will pay out insurance claims. Liability claims will differ in length given that there may be court proceedings. As seen on the company’s website, transparency in the claims process will be observed. If a customer does not like how claims were handled, they can appeal through the appeal department by simply sending an email.
What Do Consumer Reports Say about Hiscox?
Hiscox has appealed to many of its consumers with their products. There are a high number reviews online, most of which are positive, claiming that the business offers fast services, there products are offered at competitive prices and their claims payment record is clean. These positive reviews have worked to increase the number of customers seeking insurance with Hiscox.
Hiscox is BBB accredited. However, the business has only recently been rated by the Better Business Bureau; with a record going only from 2012 despite the business having been in operation from 1901. The company is rated A+ based on BBB’s multi-factor rating system. According to BBB, the company has only had four complaints in the last six years and only a single complaint in the past one year. Complaints are directed to the New York office and as such, there may be other complaints directed to other offices either in UK or in other countries.
What are the Strengths of Hiscox?
Hiscox is financially strong. The business is rated ‘A’ by A.M Best, a credit ratings company whose ratings focus on insurance companies.
The plans offered by Hiscox are tailored to meet the needs of consumers; there is no single plan that can fit all customers, and business owners have to choose only what they need enhancing comprehensiveness.
Direct buy: Businesses can buy insurance directly as well as from licenses advisers and agents, which makes the process of buying and even placing claims easy.
The company does not run local offices and as such, they have ensured that their website is always active, and the insured can get help either through email or phone. Emails are responded to within a day and calls are answered outright.
The insurance policies are created for businesses with less than 10 employees. These businesses being the majority, the insurance company has pretty much covered a large part of the business arena.
Hiscox is best for startups and small businesses, for employers whose budget is low and for those running online and home based businesses.
The strong history of Hiscox coupled with its financial background and its claims payment track record give it an edge over other small business insurance companies. Its affiliation with Lloyd’s of London gives it international recognition furthering its reputation and upping the number of customers. For small businesses seeking focused insurance, Hiscox is a good choice.
The insurer offers a wide range of products and covers a many businesses in different fields including manufacturing, marketing, service and many more covering small and medium sized business. The business may not offer street cheap premiums, but they offer consistency, transparency and efficiency. This has been backed up by a high number of consumers who have reviewed the business online.