When opening a small business it is important to assess what kind of risks your business may have. If you are a restaurant owner, then your risks may include things like a fire, cuts and burns to your employees and maybe even food poisoning issues with customers. If you are opening a travel agency, well then your risk may be less as your employees sit in desks all day and are not subjected to any major sort of injury. On the extreme end, if you are a construction contractor, you probably need as much coverage as you can for those employees who handle explosives or if you own an amusement park you need coverage for the people who will go on your roller coaster.
The most purchased type of insurance for small businesses to have is general liability insurance. Every small business should have at least this much coverage. Liability insurance provides defense and damages if you, your employees or your products or services cause or are alleged to have caused bodily injury or property damage to a third party.
If you own the building that your business runs in or have personal property including office equipment, computers, inventory or tools then you will need property insurance coverage. Property insurance will protect your business and equipment in the event of a fire, vandalism or theft. You may also add business interruption insurance, which will protect your earnings and cover employee pay if the business is unable to operate after a fire or other accident.
A business owner’s policy is also important. This policy will include business interruption insurance, property insurance, vehicle coverage, liability insurance and crime insurance. A business owner’s policy often saves business owner money by bundling services.
If your business requires vehicles and driving them, having commercial auto insurance may be needed. You can protect the vehicles that carry employees, products, and equipment. This coverage works like most private auto insurance, covering the vehicles and the employees when they are driving for work related reasons.
It can be very difficult to run your business efficiently and keep your employees happy. Worker’s compensation may also be necessary for small business owners who have employees that are at a high risk of injury on the job. This coverage will provide wage replacement and medical benefits to those who are injured while working. In exchange for these benefits, the employee gives up their right to sue the employer for the incident. This can be very important coverage for business owners to protect them from legal complication. Most states require you to have workers compensation if you have W2 employees.
Professional liability insurance provides defense and damages for failure to provide professional services. General liability does not protect you against this. Professional liability insurance is applicable for any professional firm including lawyers, accountants, consultants, notaries, real estate agents and insurance agents.
These are just an overview of some of the types of insurance that small business owners may benefit from. If you are a small business owner you may want to sit down with your local independent insurance agent to help asses the risks your business may face to see what kind of coverage you may benefit from.
Small Company and Small Business Insurance
Whether they run a car dealership, advertising firm, or convenience store, small business owners are hard workers who are trying to provide a service to their customers. They put time, money, and energy into their business every day, and they often employ a handful of equally hard-working employees. Along with the financial investment they make in their small business, these owners also gain an understanding of the risks associated with operating a small company. They know that a customer could get injured as a result of a slip and fall on the premises, that a fire could rage through their warehouse, or an especially harsh winter snowstorm could cause massive property damage to their building’s façade. This is why owners of small corporations should make sure they have adequate commercial insurance coverage in place to safeguard their company’s assets and business property, and ensure that their organization is shielded from potential legal or financial responsibility for damage or injury. A local independent insurance agent, knowledgeable about the concerns of small business owners when it comes to choosing the right policy, can serve as a valuable resource.
In the course of connecting with an experienced independent business insurance agent, owners of small companies should anticipate that the agent will probably request to meet with them and visit their facilities, whether an office building, plant, or storefront. A licensed independent agent will likely want to tour the premises to determine whether the property is listed on a historic registry or built of one-of-a-kind materials, or if it is located adjacent to any high risk exposures, like an abandoned building. She may also request to observe any equipment or machinery on site, and will want to determine what constitutes a fixture or improvement on the premises.
Also, an independent insurance agent might want to discuss the difference between building coverage, business personal property, and coverage for the personal property of others with a company owner. And, she may want to specially distinguish whether certain items at a business location are owned by an owner or employees as individuals . . . or are property of a small business itself.
Besides touring a business’s facilities, a seasoned commercial insurance agent may also want to know about a company’s bookkeeping practices, along with its business income figures, and whether an organization or any of its owners or managers has even be named as a defendant in a lawsuit related to the company’s goods or services. She may also inquire about the typical schedules worked by company employees, along with the training they receive, and she will want to know if an owner employs any workers on a part-time or contract basis. She may ask whether employees operate vehicles in the course of their work, which could necessitate auto insurance coverage, and she might inquire about a small business’s practices when it comes to backing-up and storing electronic data.
A local independent insurance agent who knows the important factors to consider in selecting small business insurance will probably discuss the kinds of coverage afforded under policies from a variety of different insurers, along with typical exclusions and limitations found in each. She may describe how things like retaining walls surrounding a business, animals not owned by an insured, crops stored outside of a building, or automobiles for sale, might not be covered under a policy, and she will answer small business owners’ questions about selecting sufficient coverage. With commercial insurance through a trusted independent insurance agent, owners of gas stations, pet shops, cafes, and other small businesses know that in case of a claim or loss, their business can remain secure.
While the majority of people want an agent involved in their purchase of insurance, many people want to see if they can save money by buying direct from the insurance company. Others want to try a direct quote to make sure the premium they’re now paying through their local agent is fair. If you want a quote for your coverage, click on the competitive quote button on the right side of this page.