Insurance 101 for the Small Business Owner
It often feels like the work of a small business owner is never done. From paying bills to creating schedules and maintaining great customer service there is lots to be done. Only adding to the headache and growing list of responsibilities is the issue of business insurance.
With so many different policies and options available, this can be an overwhelming subject for many to approach, as the information can be complex and even a bit confusing for those unfamiliar with it. However as daunting as it may be, it’s a part of life, and while it’s not required for you to have any sort of insurance at all, that’s not necessarily the smartest choice for your business.
So, to help you better understand this all-too-often misunderstood topic, I’ve outline some common types of business insurance below.
Commercial Property Insurance
Although this is an important policy for anyone with an office set up to consider, Commercial Property Insurance is not exclusively for office space or furniture. It also covers computers, lost time and income, as well as vital company documents.
Coming in two different forms—all-risk and peril-specific—it’s important to consider many things before purchasing a commercial property policy. All-risk forms cover a wide-range of catastrophes and threats such as hail storms, fire and more, whereas peril-specific only apply toward certain events and calamities that are expressly listed in the policy itself. So, as you make your decision, first assess any recurring threats your company faces to determine your specific insurance needs.
Product Liability Insurance
For companies that have anything to do with the creation, selling, packaging or more of a specific product should consider investing in this form of insurance. It protects the entity from suffering significant financial loss should someone get injured because of the product in question. Obviously pretty much unnecessary for service-based companies, even certain manufacturers might think twice before they purchase any coverage. If their product in question poses little to no risk, it might be best to go without versus spending thousands of dollars to ward off something that has very little chance of occurring.
General Liability Insurance
Covering law issues and expenses relating to everything from negligence to property damage and medical expenses, these policies are just what their title suggests—general. If covered, appeal and lawyer costs are taken care of, along with any settlement fees or surprises. Since one can never be quite sure what might happen, it’s a wise investment for most companies.
Generally, a good rule of thumb to consider in the world of insurance is that if it poses a risk or possible loss, it might be worth covering under a policy. Just as the old saying goes: “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” and as cliché as that may sound it’s true. Your business is an extension of you and represents a large investment, so shouldn’t you do all you can to protect it?
Carol Wilson has spent a good majority of her life working for insurance agencies and calculating business insurance quotes—so if anyone knows a thing or two about insurance it’s Carol. But aside from sharing her knowledge to readers, she also enjoys sharing her thoughts and opinions on other business-related topics such as marketing techniques. She welcomes your comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.