Insurance Considerations for New Business Owners
Entrepreneurs who are starting a new business have all kinds of things to worry about. While you may not think you face a lot of immediate risks to your business, chances are you need some form of insurance, and your needs for business insurance will likely change as your business grows.
You might need a few simple policies to start, or you could need a full portfolio of business insurance policies to protect your life’s work from internal and external threats.
The first thing you should do is sit down with your insurance agent to discuss your business and the risks you might face. We can help you evaluate your risks and find the policies that fit your needs.
We will take a look at all of the business insurance options available to you and determine which ones you need, and which ones you don’t. We will also help you identify additional coverage that you might need down the road.
There are several basic types of business insurance policies that every business owner, no matter how new or how small, should look into.
- A business owners policy, or BOP, is the ultimate small business insurance policy. It bundles together several types of basic protection, including business liability, business property and business interruption coverage. It allows business owners to purchase broad coverage at a lower price than if you would buy each type of policy individually. These policies can be customized to some degree, but take note that BOPs exclude coverage for professional liability, commercial vehicles and workers’ compensation.
- Commercial general liability policies provide coverage if you, your products, services or employees are found to have caused an injury or property damage to someone else. General liability insurance covers costs associated with your legal defense and judgments rendered against your business.
- Commercial property insurance protects your business assets in the event that you experience a loss of your business property due to a covered peril such as smoke, fire, wind, hailstorm, vandalism and other “named perils” that will be outlined in the policy. These policies can also provide business interruption coverage, which protects your earnings if you cannot operate for a period of time because of a covered loss.
- Commercial vehicle insurance is the equivalent of your personal auto insurance policy, but it protects vehicles and drivers associated with your business. It insures your business for the costs associated with collisions or other vehicle damage, and it also provides liability protection for your business if one of your business autos is at fault for an accident. You must also consider non-owned auto liability coverage if you or your employees drive personal vehicles for business use.
- Workers’ compensation insurance is recommended for businesses that have employees. It covers medical costs and lost income for employees injured on the job and protects you from the potential for lawsuits related to workplace injuries. We can help you determine whether or not you need workers’ compensation for yourself or your employees, if you have any.
Other types of business insurance, such as product liability insurance or professional liability insurance might be necessary for your new business. In addition, you may need to consider group health insurance and other employee benefit plans if you have employees. Your need for these is determined by the type of business you are starting and the products and services you provide.
Are you starting a new business? Need some direction on what kind of insurance you should have?
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