Business insurance can be intimidating. It can be hard to know where to start with the process of protecting your business, and since the stakes are high it’s important to make sure that you get the insurance you need. If you’re feeling a bit lost and overwhelmed about how to start your quest to insure your business, fear not, valiant business owner – we have some tips that are going to help you as you venture forth on your mission.
1. Figure out the risks your business faces.
Each business is different, which means that each business has unique risks that need to be covered. You need to consider what risks your business faces every day – and keep in mind that these could be disaster-related risks, such as storms, and liability risks (basically risks relating to your legal responsibility if something goes wrong.) Consider how you can lower these risks and figure out how to disaster plan for your business.
2. Do some research on what coverages might be right for you.
Of course, you’re going to want to enlist some professional help when it comes to covering your business’s risks and getting insurance, but it’s still helpful to know some of the lingo before you move forward. Different coverages cover different risks, and some of them are more industry-specific than others.
Some common coverages are…
- General liability: Protects your business if someone claims that you caused them bodily harm or damaged their property.
- Commercial property: Protects your premises from disasters like fire and lightning strikes.
- Business interruption: Reimburses you for lost income if your business has to close temporarily due to a covered loss.
- Workers’ compensation: Protects your employees by covering medical expenses and a portion of their lost wages if they get hurt on the job.
- Professional liability: Protects you if negligence or error causes a customer to have a financial loss.
- Product liability: Protects your business from claims that one of your products caused someone physical harm.
- Home-based business coverage: This is one way that you can insure a home-based business. It’s basically an extension of your homeowners insurance policy.
3. Find a trustworthy broker who’s familiar with your industry.
When you’re on a mission to get business insurance, it helps to find an agent who understands your line of work and the risks you face. They need to be knowledgeable about your type of work so they can best advise you on your insurance needs and help you get the best rate for the coverage you need.
You also want to find someone that you can trust, someone who’s not going to put their own interests first. One way to find an agent or broker is to ask your friends and connections within your industry if they have any recommendations for you.
4. Don’t forget about BOPs.
BOPs, or business owner’s policies, are a common package policy for small business owners. A package policy is one that bundles different coverages into one policy. In the case of a BOP, it includes general liability, business interruption, and property insurance.
BOPs are helpful because they’re convenient and could help you save money, so you may want to find out if a BOP is right for you. However, you need to look closely at your risks to see if you need to add coverages to a BOP to make sure you’re fully protected.
5. Consider what deductible and limits of coverage are right for you.
Insurance policies will come with deductibles, which is the amount of money you have to pay before the insurance company will pay the rest of a claim. When choosing a deductible, you need to consider how much money your business can comfortably afford if you face a claim. Choosing a higher deductible can help you save money on your business insurance premium, but you don’t want that deductible to be unrealistic or destructive to your business.
As far as limits are concerned, you need to make sure the limits of coverage on your policies – the maximum amount the insurance company will pay out on a claim – are high enough to protect your business. You don’t want to end up finding out the hard way that your business is underinsured.
6. Go insurance shopping.
It’s important to compare rates from several different companies when you’re shopping for insurance. You’ll want to compare coverages and prices to ensure that you’re getting the best insurance plan for your business for the best price. Companies assess risks differently, meaning that you might find a lower rate by checking around with several different carriers. Keep in mind, though, that you should never sacrifice coverage to save a bit of money.
7. Know what insurance you’re required by law to have.
When you’re on your insurance quest, make sure you look into any insurance requirements that you might need to fulfill. You might be required by state or federal law to carry certain coverages at certain limits. Double check to make sure you’re staying compliant with those laws.
8. Check your business insurance needs every year.
It’s important to reconsider your business’s insurance needs annually because things may have changed. Your business may have grown, meaning you might need to raise your limits of coverage. Maybe there are new risks that you need to cover. Whatever the case may be, it’s advisable to take a good hard look at your business insurance once a year to scout for any changes that might mean you need to adjust your coverage.
Getting business insurance may seem like a daunting prospect, and hopefully the above tips are helpful to you as you undertake your quest. If you have any questions at all about your insurance, please feel free to reach out to us. If you want to do some shopping to see if you can save on your rates, we can help with that, too. All you have to do to get started on some business insurance quotes is fill out our quote form or give us a call today. Our team of agents is ready to help you.