Small Business Insurance: What’s best for your business

Thinking of opening a small business?  Own a business and assessing your small business needs?  One of the top priorities to consider is insurance.  There are many types of insurance options out there.  Take time to learn what type is best for you and your business.

Assess risks

The first step when considering small business insurance is to understand what insurance is required by law and what insurance is needed beyond that to protect your assets.  Depending on the business industry, additional layers of coverage may be necessary so there is no interruption in operations. Then it’s time to assess your risks.  Think about the day to day operations, the type of products and inventory available, or services that are offered.  Consider the significant parts of your business that need protection.

The physical location of your business is a factor.  Is it located in a flood zone or an area prone to natural disasters?  Does it need additional security features?  Consider the equipment, technology, tools, supplies, and inventory enclosed in the premises.  Don’t forget about the need to also protect intellectual property. The people who keep the business running also need to be considered when it comes to insurance coverage.

Seek a professional

Next, find a reputable and licensed agent.  Find an agent who understands your small business and is able to find potential policies that match your business needs.  Be prepared with your assessment of what you want out of insurance coverage and have questions ready to discuss with the agent.  When looking for a reputable agent, consider speaking with others in the business community and reaching out to contacts within your networking organizations.  Compare rates, benefits, and terms with other agencies to narrow down your options.   Research agents and companies that specialize in working with small businesses that require insurance coverage.

Understand the different policies and what is covered

There are many types of insurance for a business owner to consider. After evaluating your business needs and purchasing the insurance required by law, next you’ll consider insuring against anything you would not be able to pay for on your own.  A Business Owner’s Policy (BOP) is a common policy for small business needs, especially home business.  This combines business property, liability, and income insurance into one policy and when sold in a bundle can save money.

Other types of insurance include general liability insurance.  If there is a financial loss due to property damage, injury, medical needs, and lawsuits, including libel and slander, then this coverage will protect your small business.  Depending on your small business another type to consider is product liability insurance to protect against financial loss due to an injury or harm caused by a defective product.  Professional liability insurance may be considered if your small business provides services to clients.  It will protect your business if there is a financial loss due to malpractice, errors, or negligence.  If your small business is a home business, there are also policies like home-based business insurance to consider.  Add this rider to your homeowner’s insurance to provide some liability coverage for third party injuries and protect a small amount of equipment.

Reassess each year

The goal of any business is to grow and become more profitable year after year.  As your business grows, your insurance coverage will need to be reassessed to match your needs.  Each year consider your insurance policies and the current state of your business to be sure you are covered.  Contact your agent to discuss the policies and any changes in your business, including expanded operations or new equipment purchases.

Keeping up with your insurance and meeting the needs of your growing business will protect you, your physical business, and your employees.