Like many other sectors of the economy, insurance has not escaped the fashion for more or less obscure acronyms, which inevitably make those who master them look like experts on the subject.
However, understanding what the terms property and casualty insurance mean exactly is not so complicated. Quite simply because all French people, or at least their majority, have taken out such insurance. And when this term is used to designate an insurance contract for professionals, it is quite easy to make the connection. Individuals need to insure their property, businesses too. Only the goods differ, in type, in number, in values, but also about the risks which weigh on these goods.
What does the insurance cover (since it is not an insurance but a family of insurance) P&C for professionals? Which contracts meet this definition? How to choose the right property and casualty insurance, and at what price?
What is property and casualty insurance and who is it for?
Property and casualty insurance (Fire, Accidents, and Miscellaneous Risks) is a family of insurance policies whose common point is to cover the property of the insured or the company.
P&C insurance is intended to cover the risks to the property of the insured, which translates into a whole series of insurance contracts for professionals.
DEFINITION of P&C insurance and risks covered
In the world of insurance, the acronym P&C stands for “Fire, Accidents and Miscellaneous Risks”. It is therefore a family of insurance that is opposed to that of personal insurance or life insurance.
Indeed, property and casualty insurance covers damage and protection of property, as opposed to life insurance that protects people, which can be health, accident, death, or life insurance. In the context of professional insurance, the manager’s unemployment insurance can be attached to this category of LIFE insurance.
P&C contracts, therefore, provide coverage for property in the event of claims. They are therefore essential to protect premises, equipment, stocks, or vehicles against accidents or risks inherent in the activity.
These risks can therefore be risks of fire or accidents, but also risks of theft, flooding, deterioration following any unintentional cause, including linked to economic factors such as inflation.
Some insurers and brokers specialize in property and casualty contracts, others focus on personal insurance, and finally others, most of them, offer both offers intended to guarantee property and personal insurance.
When it comes to covering property, the creativity of insurers is matched only by the diversity of the needs of their policyholders. To list the equipment and goods that may merit insurance, you should start by listing the different professional activities.
Indeed, several insurers are betting on insuring as precisely as possible each type of valuable asset held by a business. This can be computer equipment, but also furniture for shops or types of machinery for industry.
Some of the most common contracts can nevertheless be highlighted:
– Auto insurance contract, sometimes as part of car fleet insurance for companies requiring a lot of vehicles;
– Contracts protect a company’s stocks, goods, equipment, and machinery. If it is possible to isolate each element with a specific insurance, the whole is generally covered by a single professional multi-risk insurance ;
– Home insurance or business premises insurance contracts, for example under rental liability for tenants, for any loss that may occur in the premises used by the company, whether offices, factories, or stores.
The professionals concerned
Reading this simple list makes it easy to understand that all professionals are, to varying degrees, concerned by insurance in the so-called P&C category. In many cases, insurance of this type is compulsory for professionals, through the prism of civil liability and damage that these goods may cause to third parties.
This is the case in particular for civil liability auto insurance with VTC drivers, insurance of foodstuffs at regulated temperatures with restaurants, and for all professionals receiving the public in stores, or welcoming employees, stocks, and equipment on their premises, about the insurance of the commercial premises. This is also the case for civil liability insurance for all so-called “regulated” professions and a few other specific cases.
These provisions are valid for all legal forms and professional regimes: SARL, SA, EURL, but also micro-enterprises and self-employed entrepreneurs.
How to take out property and casualty insurance at the best price?
Insurance of this type for professionals differs little from insurance for individuals of the same family, the same advice can be applied to select the best contract. On the other hand, the diversity of the activities and situations of companies make it more difficult to find prices for P&C insurance.
CHOOSING YOUR P&C insurance WELL
The advice that can be given for choosing the best insurance for a professional is the same as for an individual. However, assessments will be more complex. Upstream, the first piece of advice is to carefully study your needs.
For a company, this means:
– Correctly assessing its assets and their value, if necessary by an expert,
– Assessing the possible risks, which amounts to asking for each risk, what should be the amount of compensation necessary for resuming normal activity following a disaster.
Thereafter, it is advisable to study more particularly certain points of the contract:
– The replacement value is a key indicator: it specifies what value will be taken into account to replace property destroyed in circumstances provided for by the insurance. This value can be that of new (purchase value), that of new capped at a certain level, evolved (use or market value), or corresponds to its value in terms of production costs for inventories.
– The insurance premium index is also an important tool, which largely determines the price of insurance.
– As well as other classic points of insurance contracts such as limitations of guarantees in value or causes of loss, exclusions, etc.
– Finally, downstream of the negotiation, it is important to reassess the estimated values each year to be able to renegotiate the price of your insurance and to be covered for your real, updated needs.
The PRICES of P&C insurance
The cost of P&C insurance depends on a long series of factors, starting with knowing what type of insurance it is.
Then, the criteria specific to the company wishing to sign the contract in question are studied. The criteria most often required are:
– The size of the company,
– The age of the company,
– The activity of the company,
– The legal form of the company,
– The actual or forecast turnover.
Under these conditions, given the multiplicity of risks and contracts, it is impossible to determine an average price for this family of insurance. One more good reason to seek advice from your property and casualty insurance broker is to select the contract that best suits your needs, at the best price.