Wednesday, April 2, 2014
What type of insurance needs does your business have? Below you will find a brief explanation of different types of insurance protection for your business.
Asset Protection: Asset protection provides insurance coverage for the premise of your business, equipment, vehicles and contents as well as business equipment. As with all insurance policies there are different policies that are in effect for different assets. Your liability insurance might cover certain assets such as the premise and equipment used to do business but will need a separate asset policy plan to protect your vehicles and their contents from theft or accidents such as fire or flood.
Key Person Insurance: When it comes to small businesses most often the loss of one key staff member could be devastating to the overall business activity. In most cases this refers to the owner of the small business. If the business is wrapped around the owner’s skills and abilities without that key person the business will be drastically affected. The revenue will decrease and the value of the business most likely collapses as well. With insurance covering the businesses key person, partners and shareholders are covered from an overwhelming loss.
Product Liability: Product liability insurance is purchased to cover legal actions sought to collect from death, injury or damage that has been caused by the product that your business produces. A special add on policy to your product liability insurance is recall liability which covers losses that happen when a product is recalled.
Professional Indemnity: If you are in the business of offering professional advice, indemnity insurance can be purchased to provide personal protection against claims arising from your advice. Professional Indemnity is usually purchase by providers of medical and legal advice as well as financial institutions as well as contractors.
Public Liability: If you or one of your employees is liable for injury, death, damage or negligence to a third party on the premise of the business public liability insurance will cover you from financial claims to your business. If an employee causes an accident on site you will be covered from liability with this type of insurance. It is also important if someone is hurt on your premises, public liability insurance will help with legal fees as well as settlement costs.
Revenue Protection: Revenue protection covers your if there is a disruption in business leaving you unable to protected against loss of revenue in situations such as floods, fires, earthquakes and other natural disasters.
Workers’ Compensation: This is the coverage that will protect your employees as well as you from hardship financially if injured while working or a work related injury that has developed over time.
Risk Management: Insuring your business is one part of planning for the adventures that can help when you own your own business. The other part is preventing, managing and reducing the risks in your business.
- Asset Maintenance: Take care of your business assets, including machinery, vehicles and office equipment.
- Computer and Data Loss: This includes backing data up on a regular schedule, supplying surge protectors and preventing the installation of software or data until it is checked for viruses.
- Premise Maintenance: Regular inspections and maintenance of the building and areas throughout the building will create a safer environment. This includes the interior and exterior of the building.
- Security Risks: Adding an alarm system and entry access systems are a few ways to detour the wrong people from accessing your business.
- Theft and Fraud: Security cameras, regular inventory and a system of checks and balances with all finances will help prevent theft internally as well as from external sources.
There are so many benefits to owning your own business. On the other hand there are some major drawbacks as well. One major disadvantage to owning your own business, especially a small business is the risks involved. When it comes to the risks involved in owning your own business there are a few ways to deal with it. The first and worst method is to just accept all the risk and face the consequences when something happens. The second method is to approach risk and to eliminate and manage as much of it as you can. The third approach in handling the risk involved in business is to purchase an extensive and all encompassing insurance policy.
There are advantages and disadvantages with each approach. For instance in the first method where a business owner chooses to do nothing but accept all the risk and consequences involved the advantage is the initial savings in overhead spending. If you don’t do anything to manage or insure the risk it will cost you nothing, to begin with at least. The problem with this approach, especially in business is that you are risking your livelihood, the way you bring income in that supports the rest of the things in your life. Without the ability to make money you put yourself a t risk for bankruptcy and worse; a lifetime repaying a debt that could have been avoided.
The second method of dealing with the risks of owning your own business is with managing or eliminating the risks. This approach in handling business risk involved decreasing the risk associated with your business practices. Risk management in short involves a regular review of company procedures and making sure that policies are in place that reduce and eliminate the risk to your staff, customers and business in general. This could be something as simple as replacing the batteries in your fire detectors to something more complicated such as credit management and debt collection policies and procedures.
Handling risk in business with proper insurance coverage seems like a no brainer for some but others do not see the importance of paying extra premiums for special business policies. The fact is that most businesses operate with risk. Insuring your risk alleviates the burden of litigation and repayment from falling all on your shoulders. Insurance premiums for businesses vary from general liability to workers compensation to product liability. There are a wide range of insurance policies for businesses. Not every policy applies to every business and industry. It is important when seeking insurance coverage for your business to meet with an insurance company that provides comprehensive business insurance coverage for a variety of industries.
When it comes to approaching risk within business the best approach is most likely a combination of both risk management and insurance. When used in combination you can decrease the risks involved in your business and hopefully this will decrease the chances of needing expensive comprehensive insurance. A prime example of this in action is adding an alarm system to your business decreasing insurance premium costs while decreasing the chance of loss due to theft. Owning your own business is a balancing act and handling the risk involved in business is all about a well balanced approach of managing and insuring risk.
Is it important that small business owners have general liability insurance? Many smaller companies believe that they can operate without insurance. Small companies are always looking for ways to cut costs and decrease their operating budget but cutting insurance costs is not the best way to accomplish this. Business insurance protects small business owners from a variety of frivolous lawsuits that are brought against business owners on a daily basis.
When a lawsuit is brought against a small business owner defending the claim alone is often enough to leave a small company with a severe debt if not the need to file for bankruptcy protection. A great way to avoid this happening to you is to purchase liability insurance for your small business. The small amount of money that is put out to cover the costs of the insurance policy annually could save your business one day. The insurance premium that is charged will depend on the type of insurance and amount that is needed to properly insure your small business.
To find a great rate on small business insurance premiums you may need to shop around. Be careful when shopping different insurance companies because many times a significantly lower premium also comes with a considerably inferior policy. Not all insurance policies are created equal so be sure to know exactly what you are paying for and exactly what is covered.
The rate should not be drastically different from company to company for the exact same coverage. Do a side by side comparison of the policies you are considering and analyze the service provided by each company. Sometimes you will find the extra cost is worth the more personal attention you receive. This will be especially important if you are ever in need of using the policy.
Another consideration is instead of buying several different business insurance policies to cover the various needs you have with to insure consider a business owners policy. A BOP is a package of insurance policies related to your business industry. The one tip you will need when purchasing a BOP is to make sure that the coverage meets all of your business needs. If it does not cover an essential item need in your business coverage you will be better suited to look into individual policy coverage. Buying all of your business insurance policies from one insurance company often saves you a percentage of the premium as well; this is considered a multi policy discount.
Another tip that is important when choosing a company to handle your business insurance needs is industry settlements. Unfortunately there is a chance, a considerable chance that the insurance policy will be needed at some point during the process of operating your business. This will give you look at what your needs are when it comes to settlements and dollar amounts that have been awarded as well as the reasons for the lawsuit and settlement. Consider your business insurance doesn’t only cover you for costly litigation it also provides a solid foundation on which to build the success of your business.