Small business insurance protects you and your company when the unexpected happens.
While many worry about issues such as break-ins, these are some of the least-costly issues a business may face, whereas issues like being sued for things like reputational harm, having a motor vehicle accident, or having a product liability claim rank among the costliest, causing unprotected business owners to dish out tens of thousands of dollars each.
It’s issues such as these which can easily cause a growing company to fold, but it doesn’t have to be that way. When you have the right small business insurance for your needs, issues like this can be no more than a blip in your radar.
Work with a Small Business Insurance Specialist
If you haven’t purchased small business insurance before, you may initially feel more comfortable approaching the agent who handles your personal home or auto insurance.
This isn’t always the best choice because there are marked differences between the types of claims individuals deal with and what companies deal with. Agents and brokers who don’t routinely handle commercial issues may load you down with coverage you don’t need or unintentionally leave you vulnerable, so make sure you’re working with someone who has experience in commercial coverage for small businesses.
Check Reputation Before Starting
You don’t want to wait to find out that an insurance carrier has a history of not paying out or has a lengthy claims process when you’re already facing an issue. Once you’ve found a company that seems like a good fit, check with the Better Business Bureau to verify they have a history of taking good care of the people they serve. Another great resource to check is A.M. Best as they provide an overview of a carrier's financial strength and credit-worthiness which is an indicator of their ability to pay claims even in catastrophic circumstances. Also make sure to ask your agent for feedback on the carrier’s claims process to gain some inside knowledge from the professionals that work with the carriers on a daily basis.
Select the Right Policies for Your Needs
There are various types of small business insurance. Depending on your industry and how your business operates, you may need some or all of them to be fully protected. It’s also worth noting that possessing certain policies is often mandated by law, so compliance will ensure you can stay open for business and don’t wind up with fines.
Business Owners Policy: Also known as a BOP, This policy that will bundle a few types of coverages, such as general liability, property, and business personal property, in order to fill those holes in your coverage. This is the go-to coverage for small businesses to make sure that a claim won’t force you to close your doors. Depending on your industry, a BOP might not be available, so packaging coverage through a few different carriers will be your way to go.
General Liability: If your company is sued over property damage or some form of bodily injury, it’s your general liability coverage that will usually step in and protect you, your business, and your employees. For example, if someone burns themselves while drinking coffee purchased from your restaurant, or ink cartridges you sell malfunction and break costly equipment, general liability will foot the bill. However, each policy is different, and you’ll have to choose the degree of protection best suited for your exposure.
Professional Liability: Also known as errors and omissions Insurance, this coverage provides professional service companies against claims arising from mistakes (errors) and negligence (omissions). Mistakes and unexpected delays happen, and these can sometimes cost your customers time and money. For example, if you unintentionally give a client bad advice or you can’t fulfill an order, professional liability will cover legal expenses. Further Reading.
Workers’ Comp: Most states require companies to have workers compensation insurance. This policy ensures your employees have their medical needs seen to if they’re injured on the job or become ill as a result of their work.
Commercial Auto: If you have a company vehicle or fleet, picking up commercial auto coverage is an essential. This covers medical bills if people are injured in an accident, damage to vehicles, and property damage caused by your vehicles. However, many small business owners, and even their employees, use personal vehicles for work, not realizing that their personal policy may not provide coverage for work-related accidents. Be sure to check into your personal policy if you’ve been relying on it for protection.
Get a Small Business Insurance Quote
No matter which types of small business insurance you’re looking for, Citizens General is here to help. We focus solely on helping growing companies and understand the importance of finding the right level of protection at the right price. To get more information about which policies may be right for you and obtain a free quote, simply provide us with a few details about your company and we’ll be in touch as soon as possible.