The general liability class code assigned to your business can have a major impact on your insurance rates. Insurance companies assign you a code based on the type of business you run, with the assumption that certain types of businesses carry a greater risk of claims than others. If your general liability rates seem too high, or you recently changed the focus of your business, you may want to check to see if your insurance company has assigned you the correct class code.
Finding Your Code
If your insurance company has already assigned your business a class code, you should be able to find it on your general liability insurance policy. The code consists of five digits, and begins with either a 1, 4, 5, 6 or 9. Your insurance agent also should be able to provide you with your code. In some cases, your business may have more than one code. If you both manufacture and install a product, for example, you may have a separate code for each activity.
Lists of Codes
If you want to find the class code for a particular type of business, you can find a basic list of codes on several public websites such as the one maintained by the Florida Association of Insurance Agents. (See link in Resources.) However, this list only provides a general description of each business type, and may not be useful if your business doesn't fall into a traditional category. A more complete classification guide is available from Insurance Services Office, the independent ratings company that compiles and maintains the codes. This organization charges a fee for access to the full guidelines.
Alan Sembera began writing for local newspapers in Texas and Louisiana. His professional career includes stints as a computer tech, information editor and income tax preparer. Sembera now writes full time about business and technology. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Texas A&M University.