Adding Coverage Through Riders or Stand-Alone Policies
There’s generally no one-size-fits-all approach to tailoring business insurance to a business and industry. Depending on the risk management demands of your business, you may be able to modify an existing BOP to fit your needs. Or, your business may require a more customized solution.
If your business’ operations are fairly typical for your industry and don’t present unusual or significant hazards, you may be able to simply adjust the deductibles on your BOP to fit your needs. But most standard policies don’t allow much leeway for customization beyond the size of deductibles and coverage amounts. If you need more customization, the simplest route would be to secure any needed best-fit coverages through a rider.
A rider is a provision that changes the terms and conditions of the policy in some way. Riders are also sometimes called endorsements. A rider can either expand or reduce any coverage provided by the policy. If you’re expanding certain coverages through a rider, you’ll pay an additional fee for this; if the rider serves to restrict benefits, you should be paying less.
Stand-alone policies take customization up a notch. This kind of policy is created to precisely address industry-specific risks. Many insurance companies that offer business insurance offer specialized packages for certain types of small businesses, as well as optional coverages for certain types of risks.
Finally, what’s called a manuscript policy is a completely custom-drafted stand-alone policy. This type of policy is rarely used. Two exceptions are the marine and media industries; for these industries, policies are often manuscripted, as each individual business’ potential risks tend to be highly specialized.