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 a portion of their 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

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 can basically smoosh 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 you need to be mindful of the perils covered by your property policy.

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?) typically 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 can be purchased as separate policies:

There are some coverages that you would purchase 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.

Group health insurance and disability insurance:

These coverages can be procured separately if you want your employees to be able to get health insurance through their jobs.

Professional liability:

Professional liability can help you if you’re in a business where you offer advice and then politely ask for money. If a customer accuses you of negligence, giving bad advice, or not acting in good faith, they might sue you, professional liability insurance can help you cover the costs of the lawsuit.

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.)

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 can bundle 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 can 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. It can also help in the event of a property damage claim.

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 may need to meet before being stamped for BOP approval.

  • 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!