8 secrets to improving customer loyalty at your Atlanta business

Having a loyal customer base is important for any business.

Having a loyal customer base is important for any business.

As a business owner, your clients are what keep your doors open. You’re proud of your business and the services you provide. But the key to the success of any business, whether it’s a home-based business or a traditional workplace, is developing a strong base of loyal clients, people who will keep coming back and tell all their friends how awesome your business is. Loyal customers are vital because let’s face it – it costs less to keep people coming back than win over new folks. So, we’ve got some tips for keeping your loyal customers lined up at your doors.

1. Step up your customer service game.

Everyone wants to be treated right. It’s nice to feel like the person assisting you genuinely wants to help you and has an interest. Think about what you can do to improve the customer or client experience. Treat clients with respect and kindness, and make that the business standard. Make sure your employees are greeting and bidding farewell to your clients with a smile and warmth. Even the little things make a difference.

Customer service is a must because it can lead to referrals and recommendations, which are worth their weight in gold.

2. Be genuine.

It’s important that the atmosphere of your business is friendly and welcoming. People like likable people, so if your employees are a good mix of upbeat, friendly, and professional, they’ll win over some customers. Make sure that your loyal clientele gets the treatment and attention they deserve. Develop a relationship with your clients.

3. Do some research.

Take a visit to a competitor (or, if you’re an online or service-oriented business, cruise through some websites.) Find out what worked and what didn’t in your overall customer experience. What could have improved your experience? What would have won you over (or what did win you over, despite this business being your archenemy?)

It’s helpful to take a step back and approach customer loyalty from the perspective of a customer, then bring your observations back to your own company.

4. Amp up your employee morale.

Grouchiness is contagious. If your employees aren’t happy, your clients will pick up on it. Upbeat, smiling employees will make your customers happy, and happy people buy more stuff. So, think of what you can do to help your employees be excited to come to work. Another benefit of improving morale at the workplace is lowering the chance of employee theft at your business.

5. Know how to handle unhappiness.

Unfortunately, the world is not perfect. Mistakes happen. Circumstances conspire against you to create an unpleasant experience for a customer. If that happens, you need to be prepared to handle the complaint professionally, calmly, and promptly. Don’t argue. Apologize, validate the concern, and explain what steps you’re going to take to correct the problem.

Sometimes a customer will be so impressed by the way you handle an adverse situation that you can win them back. So, make sure your employees are prepared to handle various scenarios in which a customer gets testy about something (whether the reasons for their grumpiness are valid or not.) Unhappy customers might not be on your business disaster response plan, but everyone should know how to handle that kind of situation.

6. Think ahead.

Learn to anticipate what your customer or client will need so that you can present it with a flourish when they come to realize the need for themselves. Going the extra mile to take care of a customer will never go amiss.

7. Don’t forget your loyal customers when you’re chasing new business.

Yes, chasing after new customers and trying to win people over is tough work, but it’s important that you don’t get so caught up in doting on potential customers that you forget about the customers you already have., Make sure to nurture the relationships your business has with your current customers so that no one feels like chopped liver.

8. Ask how you can help.

Greet people politely and ask how you can help them. Then, make a genuine effort to do so. Take the time to ask how their day is going and have an honest conversation with them. This will help people feel like you see them as human beings and not just money.

Keeping your valued customers coming back can pump life into your business. Maintaining and building a strong base of loyal clients will ensure that you never lack for people visiting your business and enlisting your services. Throw yourself into customer service. Treat people like human beings. Show that you genuinely care and want to help. Take pride in what you do and blow your customers’ expectations out of the water.

Need some business insurance quotes? Atlanta Insurance can help! We can help you save money on your business insurance rates by shopping around for the best possible price for the coverage you need. All you have to do to get started with your business insurance quotes is fill out our online form or call us today.

Source:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/marccompeau/2011/10/03/nine-ways-to-build-customer-loyalty/#360ee874375c

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/284973

https://www.sba.gov/blogs/3-simple-ways-improve-customer-satisfaction-today

10 tips to protect your Atlanta business from employee theft

Employee theft is a major risk for businesses.

As an employer, you don’t want to think that your employees would ever steal from you or do anything that could hurt your business. Unfortunately, employee theft is far more prevalent than many business owners think. Small businesses are just as vulnerable to employee theft as large corporations. Your employees could steal merchandise, cash, or even the financial information of your customers. There are a number of reasons that employees might be tempted to put some money into their own pockets – financial stress or worry about job security can be motivators. We’ve got some tips to help you protect your business from employee theft.

1. Develop positive relationships with employees and create a positive workplace atmosphere.

The first tip is simple. It’s important that your employees feel appreciated and that they enjoy their jobs. If there’s a mutual respect between you, it will reduce the temptation to steal. It’s harder to steal from someone you care about than someone you don’t.

2. Make sure everyone knows what employee fraud is.

All of your employees should know what constitutes employee theft. It might not occur to them that certain things are considered fraud – for example, giving freebies or discounts to friends. You also need to emphasize that you won’t tolerate it.

3. Consider adding crime coverage to your BOP.

You can further protect your business by adding coverages to your business owner’s policy (BOP.) One coverage that can help you is crime coverage. This protects you against a variety of illegal acts, for example, computer fraud and employee theft. Normally you can add between $1,000 and $5,000 of coverage to your business owner’s policy.

4. Divide up the financial responsibilities.

Make sure that one employee isn’t handling all of the financial duties, such as balancing the books, making deposits, etc. It’s more difficult to get away with stealing when multiple people are watching over the financial details.

Also, make sure that your employees have appropriate oversight by management. Many thefts are of opportunity – the money is there and no one’s around to see an enterprising employee take it.

5. Keep an eye on your inventory.

You should do frequent inventories and internal audits for your business. If your employees know that you’re diligent about checking that everything is as it should be, they’ll be less inclined to try to get away with something. Plus, that’ll make it easier for you to catch any abnormalities, too.

6. Have a security or surveillance system.

A surveillance system or CCTV can help you keep an eye on your premises and dissuade theft of all kinds. This will also help you prevent a burglary at your business. Before you hire a company to outfit your business with cameras and monitoring, do some research about how to choose the right company to install your commercial security system.

7. Use clear trash bags.

It’s a bit gross, but sometimes employees will hide things in the trash and go to retrieve them later. To deter people from doing so, use clear trash bags for all trash cans.

8. Don’t keep lots of cash on-hand.

Deposit money to the bank frequently. If someone does steal cash, better $100 than $500. Do what you can to reduce the amount of cash that you have on-site or in your register.

9. Have a procedure for returns and voids.

Make sure that any returns and voids are properly handled – fraudulent returns are another method of stealing from an employer. They should be witnessed by a second employee to make sure that they’re legit. You can also have your point-of-sale system flag excessive returns and voids so that they’re immediately sent to management.

10. Have a way for employees to report suspicious behavior.

Not that you want to turn your employees into informants, but there should be a way for them to let you know about anything they’ve noticed. Preferably there would be an anonymous way for them to do so – that way they don’t have to worry about retaliation or being seen as a tattletale.

Your employees are a huge asset to your business. They’re what keeps the place going. You want to be able to trust your employees, but that doesn’t mean that you have to leave yourself wide open to the possibility of employee theft. You need to reduce the risk of employee theft and protect your business.

Are you looking for business insurance? We’d love to help you shop for your insurance so that you can get the best coverage for the best possible rate. We can get you free quotes for your Atlanta business insurance so that you can compare rates. All you have to do to get started with your quotes is fill out our online form or give us a call.

8 simple tips for how to buy the best Atlanta business insurance

We've got a few tips for buying business insurance.

We've got a few tips for buying business insurance.

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 lost wages if they get hurt on the job.
  • Professional liability: Protects you if negligence, error, or malpractice 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.

Get a business insurance quote.

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.

Sources: 

https://www.sba.gov/business-guide/launch/get-business-insurance-assets-liability

https://smallbiztrends.com/2016/01/expert-insurance-tips-starting-a-business.html

https://www.inc.com/magazine/20080901/how-to-buy-the-right-business-insurance.html

How to save money on your Atlanta business insurance premium

You can lower your business's insurance premium.

There are a few things you can do to lower your business insurance premium.

It’s no secret that business insurance can get pretty pricey. There are a lot of risks out there that need to be covered, and as a business owner, you might be anxious about the price tag of your insurance. While you know that you need to protect your business and you want to get some peace of mind, you might cringe at the thought of what it will cost – a normal reaction, by the way. However, there are a few things you can do to lower the seemingly astronomical cost of your insurance premium, and we’re prepared to share them.

1. Raise your deductible.

Your deductible is the amount you agree to pay before the insurance company will step in to cover the remaining amount on the bill if you have a claim. For example, if you have a $1000 deductible and a $5000 claim, you would pay $1000 before the insurance company would pay the remaining $4000. A higher deductible means that you have a lower premium and vice versa, so by raising your deductible, you can lower your rates.

Now, you have to consider how much you’re actually able to comfortably pay in the event of a claim. You don’t want to raise it so high that it would be problematic to scrape together the money – you don’t want it to be a burden. So, you have to do a bit of a balancing act.

2. Consider getting a package policy to get a lower premium.

A package policy like a BOP (business owner’s policy) combines several coverages into a convenient bundle. Sometimes it’s less expensive to purchase insurance this way rather than as separate coverages, so you might want to find out what a BOP covers and see if your business qualifies for one.

If your business qualifies for a BOP, you need to ask yourself if the policy fits your business. Are there coverages included that you don’t actually need? Will you need to add any extra coverages that aren’t included in the BOP? These are both important things to consider. For reference, a BOP typically includes general liability, business interruption, and property insurance.

3. Go shopping.

Not like at the mall. We mean insurance shopping. If you’re making a big purchase, you compare prices and look at several stores to make sure you’re getting the best price, right? The same rule applies to business insurance. Comparing rates can help you be reassured that you’re getting the best price for your business insurance. You can go through a reputable, trustworthy broker to shop for insurance rates. Try to find an agent who’s familiar with your industry and the risks that you face. They’ll be better able to advise you about limits and coverages that you might need. That might include workers’ compensation insurance or employment practices liability insurance, but you may also need other coverages that are more specific to your industry.

4. Do an annual checkup on your insurance.

Your insurance needs may change from one year to the next. To make sure that your insurance coverages still fit your business, you’ll have to review your policies carefully. This is also a good opportunity to see if there are any coverages that overlap or that you don’t need anymore. While you should never sacrifice coverage for the sake of saving cost, it can’t hurt to review your risks and your insurance needs.

5. Lower your risk and get a lower premium.

By reducing risks, we mean doing a few things. You can take measures to increase security. Creating a business disaster plan is another way to reduce risks, as is improving safety – for clients and employees – at your workplace.

There are many advantages to undertaking a risk-reducing campaign.

First, lowering your risks can help you save because insurance companies quote based on the risks they see – the riskier your business, the higher your quote will be. By actively trying to reduce those risks, you could get a lower premium.

Second, lower risk means a lower chance of having a claim. Having claims makes your premium go up, so you can avoid that unpleasant occurrence by lowering your chances of having a claim in the first place.

Third, improving safety and reducing risks could qualify you for a discount on your insurance. It might seem expensive to install something like a security system, but with the insurance discount you now qualify for it could pay for itself very quickly. Be sure to ask your agent about steps you can take to lower your risk and qualify for discounts. Discounts shouldn’t be the only motivating factor though – remember what we said about lower claims meaning lower premiums? In the long run, improved safety and risk management pays off for everyone. Yes, insurance and risk management might seem expensive, but so are claims and lawsuits.

Business insurance is not cheap, but there are ways that your company can reduce your premium. You can raise your deductible, get a package policy, shop around, review your policies, and reduce risk by increasing safety. If you’re inclined to despair about your insurance rates, take a deep breath. Make a plan to implement some of the above strategies. You’ll feel better knowing that you’ve got the insurance situation under control.

Speaking of business insurance, do you want to implement Tip 3 and shop for your business insurance rates? We can help with that! Out agents would love to help you save money on your insurance. All you have to do to get in touch is fill out our business insurance quote form or give us a call today.

Sources:

https://www.business.com/articles/5-ways-to-lower-your-business-insurance-premiums/

https://quickbooks.intuit.com/r/compliance-licensing/5-ways-to-lower-your-business-insurance-expense/

How to prevent a devastating burglary and protect your Atlanta business

Burglary is devastating to businesses.

For many business owners, burglary is a very real fear. Maybe you’ve been the victim of a burglary in the past, or maybe you fear one happening in the future. At any rate, a burglary can be devastating to your business. Yes, your business insurance might help you, but the effects might not only be financial – a break-in robs you and your employees of your peace of mind. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to lower the chances of a burglary happening at your place of business.

1. Let there be light.

Having plenty of lighting outside your premises serves as a major deterrent for potential burglars, who prefer to skulk around in the dark. So shine some spotlight on your entryway, sidewalks, parking lot, and exterior of your building. The idea is to eliminate burglar-friendly shadows.

2. Bolster the locks.

All locks need to be functional and well-maintained, as do the doors. Might as well not make the burglar’s job any easier by having easy-to-break locks. Remember, the front doors of the building should always be locked during non-business hours, and any side or back doors should always be locked tight, even during business hours. Don’t forget to check those doors when you close for the night.

3. Maintain your trees and bushes.

Keeping the building and your premises well-manicured and cared for makes it apparent that the management of your business is attentive and present. Make sure to keep your trees and shrubs trimmed away from the windows so as to eliminate potential hiding spots. Or, choose to plant things that won’t grow very tall.

4. Consider security cameras.

Security cameras inside and outside the building are a major deterrent for burglars. Burglars prefer not to be caught in the spotlight. Plus, if you have camera footage you’ll be able to help the police if you do have a burglary.

5. Have an alarm system installed.

Do some research and consider having a commercial security system installed. Having a monitored alarm system will make burglars think twice before targeting your building. Your security system should be installed and monitored by a licensed security company. It should also be very loud and visible. Foil the burglar’s plans by showing that they won’t escape undetected.

6. Make sure your safes do their job.

Your employees should be in the habit of depositing cash into the safe frequently throughout the day. Ideally, the safe would be damage-resistant, bolted to the ground, and hidden. Only your upper-level employees should know where the safe is and where the keys and code are hidden.

It's important to protect your business from burglary.

7. Complicate smash and grab burglary.

Smash and grab burglaries, where someone breaks the glass of a window display, grabs what’s inside, and runs for it, will be a lot more difficult if the merchandise is moved away – out of reach and out of sight.

8. Have interior emergency lights at night.

Having a little bit of light in the building itself after close helps deter burglars – it makes it easier for passersby to see movement and increases the chances of the burglar being caught.

9. Protect the outside of the building.

To protect the perimeter of the business, you can consider installing a sturdy fence that people can see through. A solid fence blocks the view and could allow a burglar to reach your doorstep unseen.

Also, don’t leave things around the building that could be stacked to create a ladder. You don’t want to give someone an in that you never considered because it’s up high.

10. Keep track of who has keys.

When you issue keys to those who need them, make sure that they have “Do not duplicate” written on them. Have records of who has keys, and make sure to collect keys of employees who will no longer be with your business. You can even consider changing the locks every so often (maybe once a year).

11. Have a “more the merrier” philosophy for open and close.

Opening and closing are vulnerable times for business because not many people are out and about. Make sure that you have enough staff to mind the premises during these times – it will keep both your business and your employees safer. Also, make sure that the closing people do a sweep of the building so that no one hides inside after close.

12. Change up your banking routine.

Make sure that your money-related tasks and routines, like making bank deposits, have varied schedules. You don’t want to be predictable. Would-be burglars pay attention to these things.

Burglary is a very real threat for business owners. It’s important to keep your premises safe and sound and to tighten up your security, even if you feel like your business is in a safe place and that burglary would never happen to you. You can even consider including burglary when you do disaster planning for your business. Don’t invite the burglars to come in and help themselves to your merchandise and business equipment.

Are you looking for business insurance quotes? Great – we would love to help you out with that! We can help you identify the risks that your business faces, and from there we’ll work with you to create a customized insurance plan just for your business. All you have to do to get started with your free business insurance quotes is fill out our quote form or give us a call today.

Source:

https://www.portlandoregon.gov/oni/article/331474 

10 things you need to know about Atlanta business insurance

Did you know these ten facts about business insurance?

If you have a business, you know that you have quite a bit of risk. Maybe more than quite a bit. Yeah, probably more. Anyways, the problem with business insurance is that it can be hard to make heads or tails of it sometimes – it can be like a foreign language. To help you get more confident speaking “business insurance,” we have ten “phrases” that you should know. Okay, they’re more like facts, but we wanted to keep the analogy going.

1. A BOP is a convenient way to insure small businesses.

A BOP, or business owner’s policy, can help small business owners get the coverage they need. It basically smooshes general liability, property insurance, and business interruption insurance into a convenient, neatly-wrapped package. Different coverages can be added to a BOP to increase your business’s protection. However, there are a few qualifications your business has to meet before it’s BOP-worthy.

2. Your business might be required to have workers’ compensation.

Certain businesses are required by law to carry workers’ compensation insurance – in fact, most are. Workers’ comp protects your employees if they get hurt on the job. It provides for medical payments and even reimburses the employee for a portion of their lost wages if they’re unable to work. Make sure that you have the workers’ comp coverage you need to be compliant with your state’s laws – and keep in mind that each state has different workers’ comp requirements. Workers’ comp is really important because your employees aren’t covered under general liability.

3. Flooding is not covered.

Your business has to purchase flood insurance as a separate policy because flooding is not covered under property insurance. If you’re worried that your business could someday end up underwater, you’ll have to go through an agent to get commercial flood insurance from the National Flood Insurance Program, or NFIP.

4. Property insurance protects your premises and business essentials.

Property insurance protects your building and business necessities (inventory, machinery, computers, etc.) against common perils, like fire. It helps you rebuild and repair your premises so that you can get your business started up again. Keep in mind that there are certain coverages that you’ll have to add to your property insurance – a basic property insurance policy only covers fire and lightning. You’d have to purchase a more extensive policy to get coverage against other perils like windstorms, hail damage, and earthquakes.

5. Choosing a higher deductible can help you save on your business insurance premium.

Your deductible is the amount that you agree to pay before the insurance company steps in to start covering expenses from a loss. If you select a higher deductible, your premiums may go down. It’s a bit of a balancing act – you want to make sure that your deductible isn’t so high that it would be hard to pay, but high enough that your premiums go down.

6. Having claims can make your premiums go up.

If you have a claim, the insurance company might see you as more of a risk. And that’s not good because the more of a risk you are, the higher your premiums could be. That’s why it’s so important for your business to commit to quality, safety, security, and workplace policies.

7. General liability insurance is your “slip-and-fall” insurance.

General liability protects your business against claims (true or untrue) that it caused someone bodily harm, property damage, or advertising injury. Basically, that means any claims that you broke their stuff, you broke them, or you slandered them in some way. General liability is crucial because people are clumsy. Accidents happen. You don’t want anyone to hold it against you.

8. If you have a really big claim, umbrella insurance can save the day.

Umbrella insurance protects your business from the whopper claims. It’s basically extra liability insurance that kicks in when the limit on the other, underlying policy runs out. Okay, you may still be scratching your head, and that’s okay because we have an example.

Let’s create a business. We’re going to say that they have $1 million of general liability. Now, let’s give them $1 million of umbrella insurance. Okay, here’s the fun part – let’s give them a $1.8 million claim. The general liability would kick in first and cover its $1 million before tapping out. But…that leaves $800,000 for our hypothetical business to pay. But don’t worry – their hypothetical umbrella insurance would swoop in and take care of the remaining $800,000. The day is saved!

9. Every business is different and needs different coverages.

The types of business insurance and limits that you need depend on several different factors – for example, your business’s size, the type of work that you do, and the business’s location. When getting insurance, it’s important that you work with an agent that will help you identify your risks and build an insurance plan that’s tailored to your business. We can help you do that here at Atlanta Insurance.

10. Risk management can help you reduce your business’s chance of financial loss.

Risk management is basically the process of scrutinizing your business for risks and taking steps to, well, manage them. It means implementing strategies to reduce or eliminate risks before they have the opportunity to hurt you. Risk management considers the losses that you’re vulnerable to and the likelihood that those losses will occur. Strategies for risk management include increasing safety and buying insurance.

These ten facts are only the tip of the glacier when it comes to business insurance, but it’s not so scary, right? There’s a lot to learn about commercial insurance, and that’s why it’s important to find out new stuff. Knowledge is power – someone smart said that once. It’s also important to find an insurance partner that you can trust, and that’s where we come in. We would love the opportunity to earn your business and become that trusted advisor, and we’ll start by getting you free quotes on your business insurance. To get started with your quotes, all you have to do is fill out our online quote form or give us a call today.

What coverages do you have to add to a BOP to protect your Atlanta business?

There are some coverages that you'll need to purchase separately or add to your BOP.

We recently talked about the magic that is a business owner’s policy (aka BOP) and how they make insurance wonderfully convenient for businesses. But it’s important to note that there are some things that simply aren’t covered in a business owner’s policy. BOPs (catchy nickname, right?) cover general liability, commercial property, and business interruption insurance. However, the risks covered by the three types of insurance bundled into a BOP may not be enough to fully cover your business. There are lots of other disasters out there. To help you ensure that your business is fully insured, we’re going to go over some coverages and losses that aren’t bundled into a BOP.

Coverages that need to be purchased as separate policies:

There are some coverages that can’t just be tacked onto a BOP. They need to be purchased as separate policies for your business. Here are some coverages that you might want (or need) to get for your business.

Workers’ compensation:

Workers’ comp insurance is essential for businesses. It protects your employees if they get hurt or get sick because of their jobs. It will provide them with medical payments so that they can get back on their feet. It also reimburses them for a portion of the wages that they lost while they weren’t able to work if they’re medically approved to take time off. Depending on your business and state, you might be required to carry workers’ comp insurance.

Flood insurance:

Flooding is not covered by a business owner’s policy. If you want to get flood insurance for your business, you’ll have to purchase it separately from the National Flood Insurance Program through an agent. Flooding is one of those disasters that isn’t covered by most insurance policies, not even commercial property.

Group health insurance and disability insurance:

These coverages must be procured separately if you want your employees to be able to get health insurance through their jobs. They cannot be tacked onto a BOP.

Coverages that you can add to your BOP:

BOPs can bundle more than general liability, property, and business interruption insurance. There are other types of insurance that can be added to a BOP policy if you so choose. Some of those coverages are…

Crime coverage:

Crime coverage includes protection for a variety of theft that your business could face, including employee theft and commercial burglaries. Usually, you can add between $1,000 and $5,000 of coverage to your policy.

Data breach coverage:

With how dependent businesses are on technology and computers, data breaches are a very real risk. That’s why it’s important to protect your business from cyber risks. Adding data breach coverage to your BOP will help your business with the costs of…

  • Telling people who have had their information stolen from your company that their information has been stolen from your company.
  • Hiring consultants who can help you sort out the ensuing chaos.
  • Defense and settlement costs from potential lawsuits.
  • Replacing income that you lost due to the breach.
  • Extortion/ransom (Believe it or not, holding computer files or systems hostage and demanding money for their release has become a favorite of hackers, as far-fetched as it may seem. It’s a real thing.)

Errors and omissions coverage:

Any business that provides services for a fee is susceptible to being sued. Customers who believe that they were harmed by the business’s advice or services could bring a suit against the business for nor doing its job properly. E&O insurance will pay the costs that the insured business is legally obligated to give to the injured party, up to the policy’s limit. It will also cover defense costs.

It’s important to make sure that you understand exactly what your BOP will and won’t cover. If there are any areas of risk that are not included in your BOP, you need to fill your coverage gaps. Disasters have a nasty habit of striking those areas that aren’t protected by insurance. Don’t underestimate the power of Murphy’s Law – whatever can go wrong, will go wrong. You don’t want to fall prey to a loss that isn’t covered, so review your insurance carefully and bolster any areas that are missing coverage.

Do you need to get some business insurance? We’d love to help you out with that! We can help you identify the risks that your business faces and build an insurance plan to protect you from them. We can get you some business insurance quotes for free. All you have to do to get started on your quotes is fill out our online quote form or give us a call today.

What’s a business owner’s policy and can I get one for my Atlanta business?

A business owner's policy, or BOP, combines three different types of business insurance.

A business owner's policy, or BOP, combines three different types of insurance.

Have you ever seen one of those commercials for a hair care product that claims it’s shampoo and conditioner, all in one? Believe it or not, there’s an almost-equivalent for small-to-medium sized businesses when it comes to business insurance. It’s called a business owner’s policy, but since no cool coverage is complete without a nickname or acronym, it’s called a BOP. Basically, a BOP is handy to have because it combines several coverages into one convenient policy. You can get the coverage you need for your business in a simple, neat package – and it’s way better than 2-in-1 shampoo/conditioner.

Let’s dig deeper into this insurance mystery.

What does a business owner’s policy include?

There are three main coverages that a BOP bundles together for your insurance convenience. Those coverages are…

1. Commercial property insurance.

What it does: Commercial property covers losses that happen because of common perils, like fire. It will cover you for your office equipment, furniture, inventory, machinery, raw materials, computers and other such essential business items. Plus, you know, the building itself.

2. General liability.

What it does: General liability is your “slip-and-fall” insurance. It covers your legal responsibility if your business causes harm to someone else, up to your policy’s limit. It will usually cover attorney fees for defending your business in court and the medical fees of anyone to whom your business caused bodily harm or property damage.

3. Business interruption insurance.

What it does: Business interruption puts lost income back in your business’s pocket if you get hurt by a covered disaster that causes you to close temporarily. While property insurance helps you rebuild your business, BII helps you make sure that there’s still money in the bank when you have your grand reopening. It reimburses you for lost income.

Together, these coverages form the foundation of a small business insurance plan. Of course, they don’t cover every disaster or loss that could befall your business, so you may have to consider getting additional coverages if necessary.

Is my business eligible for a business owner’s policy?

Now, not every business is a candidate for a BOP. As we said before, BOPs are most appropriate for small to mid-sized businesses. Apart from that, there are a few checkmarks your business needs to earn before being stamped for BOP approval.

Your business must have…

  • A physical location (whether it’s your home or premises – you may be able to insure a home-based business with a BOP)
  • Property that can be swiped (think product, cash, furniture, digital property, etc.)
  • Risk of lawsuits
  • Fewer than 100 minions employees
  • Fewer than $5 million in sales annually

Aside from these basic qualifications, there are a few other things that a carrier will consider before declaring you BOP-worthy. You may or may not be BOP-able depending on your type of business, the size of your main location, your revenue, and the class of business you are. It might seem like a lot of hoops to jump through, but it’s all in the interest of making that your business has the coverage you need.

How much will a BOP cost?

The premiums for BOPs depend, of course, on a few things. Your business’s eligibility factors play a part in your insurance rates. The financial stability of your business does, too. The building itself also gets considered, as do security features and fire hazards. The general rule of thumb for insurance is the more risk you have, the higher your rates. Insurance companies are highly allergic to risk, remember.

Pro tip: You might qualify for a discount if you have a security system. However, there are a few things you should know before hiring a company to install a commercial security system.

While insurance rates vary from business to business, the bottom line is that it’s important to make sure that you have enough coverage for your business and that there are no gaps in your insurance. That might mean adding some extra coverage to a business owner’s policy or forgoing a BOP entirely in favor of getting bigger policies.

BOPs are great when it comes to protecting small businesses. If you’re BOP-able, you get to enjoy commercial property, general liability, and business interruption insurance all bundled into one convenient policy. It is, however, important to consider that you may need to add coverages to your business owner’s policy. If you think your business might be a candidate for a BOP, congratulations! Insurance just got a whole lot easier.

Want to get a free quote on your business insurance? BOP or no BOP, we’d love to help you find the insurance your business needs to protect it from the risks you face every day. We’d love to help you save on said insurance, too. To reach one of our friendly agent-folk, all you have to do is fill out our online quote form or give us a call today. Then we can help you get started with getting your insurance!

How to create a disaster response plan for your Atlanta business

It's important to have a disaster plan for your business.

Many businesses faced with disasters never open again. There are many types of disasters, from big (think hurricanes) to small (minor fire or flood.) But even the less severe disasters come with a deluge of difficulties and problems for a business owner, even if they do have business insurance. It’s important to make sure that you have a plan to cope with a disaster so that your business can survive. Preparation is essential. To help you get ready for a disaster, we’ve got a few tips for planning.

1. Figure out what your risks are.

You can’t plan for something if you don’t know what it is. You need to think of what scenarios are likely to happen to your business, but don’t forget to plan for things that maybe aren’t super likely but are still possible. For example, what would you do if your business was faced with a fire? A severe storm? Flooding? Do you know how to lower your cyber risks? There are a lot of things that need to be planned for because it’s hard to know the odds of a particular disaster hitting your business.

2. Think about how your business would be affected.

What would happen if one of these disasters hit your business? What would you need to do to compensate and adjust? How would you cope with the losses? Would you have to relocate? How would you keep your business going while your facility is out of order?

3. Get some safeguards and procedures in place to lower your risks.

You’ll need to enlist the help of some of your employees and make them the disaster planning team. Their job will be to brainstorm some procedures to help you keep going in the face of a fire or flood. You should come up with some plans and backup plans for how you deal with the disaster situation. That might include figuring out a location that you can work out of while you can’t be in your building and knowing who to call to repair the damage. You should also know how you’re going to notify employees and customers about the situation, and make sure they know how you’ll be in touch.

Your goals should be to protect your customers and employees from risk and maintain customer service by reducing disruption as much as possible. Your procedures should also include steps to protect your facilities and assets – for instance, taking steps to prevent a burglary at your business. It’s also important to lower environmental contamination risks and protect your organization’s brand and reputation.

Be prepared for a number of disasters that could befall your business.

4. Test your disaster procedures.

It’s not just enough to talk the talk. Everyone has to be able to walk the disaster plan. You need to have an idea of how your procedures will unfold in practice. That might mean training your employees about the procedures and making some calls to find out about the feasibility of your plans. You need to make sure that your plan will actually work when it’s time for you to use it.

5. Keep the disaster plan up to date.

You also need to make sure to revise the plan as you need to. Things change. You need to take into account anything that could cause a need for adjustment or change in the disaster plan.

6. Know how to handle an evacuation.

Apart from planning on how to keep your business going when there’s a disaster, you need to know how to get everyone out of your building safely if there’s something like a fire. To do that, you need to…

  • Know when an evacuation is needed.
  • Have a chain of command.
  • Know who’s going to set the evacuation in motion.
  • Post evacuation routes and plans with multiple ways out of the building.
  • Have a place for people to gather so you can take a headcount.
  • Get a list of names and pinpoint the last known location of missing people.
  • Have practices and training.

Having a clear evacuation plan can help you limit injuries and organize the chaos of an emergency. If everyone knows what to do and how to proceed, they’ll be much calmer and safer in the event that they need to clear out of the building.

Make sure to have an evacuation route for your building in case of disaster.

If you have a small business, you need to know how you’re going to cope with a disaster situation. Take some time to think about how you’re going to keep the ship afloat and how you’re going to make everything as smooth as possible. Having a plan and knowing what to do will spare you from a lot of uncertainty when it comes to handling a disaster, and it’ll help your employees and customers feel much less stressed and frustrated with the situation. Being prepared never hurt anyone.

If you need insurance for your business, we would love to help you out with that! We can get you free quotes for your business insurance, including property, general liability, and workers’ comp. All you have to do to get started with getting your insurance is fill out our quote form or give us a call today.

What does Atlanta general liability insurance for my business cover?

General liability will protect your business from claims of bodily harm or personal injury.

General liability will protect your business from claims of bodily harm or personal injury.

If you’re a business owner, general liability insurance is one of the most important ways to protect your business. It’s kind of the bread and butter of your business insurance plan. General liability is a lifeline if you ever face a liability-related claim, meaning that someone is bringing charges against your business because they think you caused them physical harm or property damage.

But what exactly will general liability protect your business from? And how much of it do you need? Those are the million-dollar questions, so let’s dig into what general liability does.

What does general liability protect my business from?

To put it in handy-dandy bullet points, general liability insurance will protect your business from claims of…

  • Bodily injury or another physical injury.
  • Personal injury (libel or slander).
  • Advertising injury.
  • Property damage.

That’s putting it in broad terms. GL covers the expenses of legally defending and settling claims of liability. Basically, if someone says that your business caused them harm in some way, it’ll be your liability insurance taking care of the claim by covering the costs of any damages you’re legally obligated to pay.

What does GL cover?

Every insurance policy is different, so it’s important to make sure that you know exactly what is and is not covered. The following situations may be covered by your general liability insurance (depending on your policy):

  • Automatic additional insured: This protects you from liability resulting from written contracts/agreements.
  • Personal and advertising injury: If you or your staff makes a comment that makes somebody super angry, this will protect you from the lawsuit that could result. This will protect you from allegations of libel, slander, disparagement, or copyright infringement.
  • Defense costs: This will cover the legal expenses if someone brings a liability claim against you, no matter if you actually did what they said you did or not.
  • Medical expenses: If someone is hurt on your property, like they tripped over a rogue chair, this will cover their medical expenses. Likewise if they’re injured by one of your products.
  • Premises and operations: This means that GL covers you if someone is injured on your premises or due to your business’s operations.
  • Products liability: This provides coverage for bodily injury or property damage that happens to someone due to your products.

Your business could be found liable if someone gets hurt on your premises, which is why general liability insurance is so important.

Pro tip: General liability is included in a business owner’s policy, or BOP, along with business interruption insurance and property insurance. You might want to find out if a BOP is right for your business.

How much GL coverage does your business need?

Well, that depends on your business itself. No two businesses are the same, but there are a few things that will determine how much coverage your business needs to make sure that it’s protected from any of the liabilities that could come its way.

1. Perceived risk: How much risk or danger is associated with your business operations and functions? As you can imagine, a factory might have more risk than, say, an office building.

2. Where your business is located: Is your state known to award the injured party in liability lawsuits high damages? If they do, you might want to make sure that you have a robust general liability policy.

3. Type of product manufactured: Do you supply or create a product that’s dangerous? Your risk is going to be higher, which means that you need more insurance coverage.

Ways to bolster the power of your general liability:

There are some situations that general liability won’t cover. To make sure that your business is protected, you’ll need to add any necessary extra coverages, such as property insurance, crime insurance (which will help you protect your business from threats like burglary), or commercial auto. You can also add umbrella coverage, which will cover additional costs if your policy’s limits are exhausted. Umbrella is pretty much an “in case of emergency” coverage.

Lawsuits can get costly very quickly.

General liability is essential when it comes to protecting your business. You don’t know what’s going to happen next week, tomorrow, or even in five minutes. You never know when an accident might happen or a lawsuit might get served. To avoid being caught facing the costs of legally defending your company, not to mention paying out the money that you’re legally required to pay to the injured party, make sure that you’ve got enough general liability to truly protect your business from anything that could come your way.

If you’d like to get a free quote on your commercial general liability insurance, we’d be glad to help you out with that. We’ll take the time to get to know your business and understand your specific risks, and we can help you find the best possible rate on your insurance. All you have to do to get started with your quotes is fill out our online quote form or give us a call today.