Monday, February 25, 2013

Insurance tips: "My insurer wants more money due to an 'audit.' What's that?"

Q: I paid my business policy premium, and now, after the policy period is over, the insurer wants more premium because of an "audit." What's going on?

This is a common question.

This issue deals with the audit provision found in the typical commercial policy. Because businesses may experience both decreases or increases due to business cycles, estimated premiums are commonly used in commercial policies when they are first issued, with an annual audit option to identify any premium that needs to be added or subtracted due to the business cycle. Insurers may or may not decide to exercise their right to audit.

The good news is that the audit, while it may increase your premium for the prior business period, could also decrease it.