600 North Broadway,
Starting a small business is often a labor of love, with many business owners operating on a shoestring budget. When you're balancing the demands of a small business start-up or expansion, it can be easy to think, "I don't need small business insurance as much as I need X, Y, or Z."
While you may not need insurance for small businesses right this second, every minute you delay purchasing your small business insurance is a minute longer than you're vulnerable to losing your business assets and even being personally liable if something unfortunate happens.
Insurance protects your business and your assets in case you're sued. Plus, it's the law. Companies over a certain size must carry worker's compensation insurance, unemployment insurance, and disability insurance.
Suppose there's an accident or incident at your business. You are liable for any damages, such as medical bills or property loss. In addition, if your product ends up causing someone harm, you could be financially liable for that, too. If you have small business owner insurance, then the policy will cover the damages. If you don't, then you'll have to pay for it out of pocket.
Many small business owners have gone under because they didn't have the right insurance or were under covered.
Small business insurance, also referred to as commercial insurance, protects the business's assets, any profit, and future income. It's a comprehensive policy that includes general liability coverage, coverage for business property, and business interruption coverage, which protects the business in case of a disaster or other type of occurrence that disrupts the flow and operation of the company.
Small business owner policies are also known as Business Owners Policies (BOP) and cover the basics.
These are the three main types of small business insurance. You may need a specialty policy, too, depending on your business model.
This policy protects the building and its contents, including stock, equipment, and supplies, against "covered perils." A covered peril can include fire, flood, a tree falling on the building, or a similar disaster. The insurance can cover building repairs if you own the building and repair or replace your equipment and property inside the building.
Most policies have a deductible, which you'll pay yourself, as well as certain limits. As your business grows, you may wish to increase your policy so that everything remains covered. Your policy will pay for repairs and rebuilding, but only up to the limit; after that, you'll pay out of pocket.
An insurance professional experienced with small business needs can help you assess the value of your business property, then find a policy that completely covers yours.
This is also known as Commercial General Liability (CGL) and covers you in case a visitor or customer is injured at your business. For example, if someone slips on the floor and falls, or a shelf falls on them, the policy will cover the person's medical bills and perhaps time lost from work. The policy also covers your legal expenses if the case goes to court.
This policy has a limit, too, and if the damage award is higher than your policy limit, you'll have to cover the rest personally.
Business income coverage protects your income stream if your business is affected by a covered peril. While the property coverage policy will help you rebuild after a natural disaster, the income coverage helps replace lost income due to interrupted business.
These policies can help pay for a rented office or retail space while your business is being rebuilt or may replace lost business from the peril. There are, of course, coverage limits for these policies, including a time limit, which determines how your business can receive benefits.
The insurance needs of a small business are much different from that of a larger business. In addition, the damages or business interruptions that larger businesses may simply be able to absorb can often be devastating for small businesses. Therefore, your insurance company must have a lot of experience working with small businesses.
Like Thiess Agency, a great small business insurance agency has a lot of experience helping small businesses like yours select the right kinds of insurance coverage. Call today for a personalized consultation!