Insurable Business Risks
Businesses of all sizes are exposed to a variety of risks. The good news for you is that many risks are insurable. A good policy will balance the costs with the benefits.
Perhaps the most apparent risk is a liability. General liability insurance provides general protection for injury and damage. You need to factor in your employees, type of business, and location to find your best coverage.
Beyond general liability, consider the professional liability as well. These policies cover errors and omissions, copyright infringement, and slander. If your business offers a professional service, this insurance is indispensable.
While general liability insurance covers physical business risks, property insurance protects your physical property and belongings. Often property insurance is combined with casualty insurance, which protects against crimes and injuries on your property.
Don’t assume your homeowner’s policy will cover losses to business assets if you operate out of your home. Business equipment and documents are outside the realm of home insurance. For example, maybe you’ve splurged on quality product packaging. If you lose all that packaging in a house fire, your homeowner’s policy will not replace it.
If your business has a building or office space, make sure your business property is adequately insured. Highlight any major considerations in your policy to avoid ambiguity in the event of damage.
Most states require you to carry worker’s compensation insurance if you have employees. This is important not only because it covers medical expenses from job site injuries it also protects from injury lawsuits.
Not all worker’s comp policies are equal. Trusting the right provider is essential. The cost of monthly premiums can vary significantly from state to state and from business to business. Reading up on options online comes in handy.
Specialties are add-ons to your business insurance plan. For example, if you use a commercial vehicle, it needs special insurance. If you self-fund your health insurance plans, you might consider stop-loss insurance.
Whether for payroll or bookkeeping, you’re probably already using something web-based in your infrastructure. Cybercrimes, phishing, and ransomware have the potential to sink your business.
How to Find Business Insurance
Your specific business needs specific coverage (services vs. consulting vs. manufacturing). Figuring out what is a necessity and what’s “nice to have” is a decision only you can make. By reading online and speaking with agents, you can tailor it to your specific needs.
Researching online to find out what business insurance policies are available is a good starting point. It gives you a good feel for what’s available without subjecting you to sales pitches and guilt trips.
Reading articles that review insurance companies informs you about reputability and standard practices. It also might alert you to gaps in your current policy. Reviews will give you a picture of the companies to trust and red flags to watch for.
Check customer review forums for a birds-eye view of how insurance providers actually operate. All this prep work will help you ask the right questions when speaking to an agent.
Speak With an Insurance Agent
Once you know what you’re looking for, meet with a representative to get expert opinions. Their full-time job is to get clients the right coverage. An actual person will be able to tailor an insurance plan specific to your business.
An independent agent can provide unbiased information instead of just a sales pitch. However, using a provider representative has benefits too. Company agents know their policies inside and out and can work discounts that might not be listed online.
Compare Insurance Quotes
You’re in the driver’s seat. If you don’t know what’s available, you won’t be able to compare. All the legwork of reading and asking questions will be worth it when you sit down to explore options.
Putting in time and effort in the process will help you get coverage that you understand and will be able to use effectively when the need arises. Knowing what your policy covers will give you confidence in moving forward.
Understanding what is insurable and how to file a claim eases the stress of running your business. Of course, there will be monthly premiums to pay, but if you are confident in your coverage, the premiums won’t be a nuisance.