Having a business isn’t all about the excitement of launching a new product or meeting your fiscal goals. There are actually a lot of tedious aspects to being a small business owner, not the least of which is dealing with insurance.
Let’s face it, we all need it but no one really likes insurance. The policies are confusing, it costs a lot of money, and you’re never exactly sure if you’re as covered as much as you should be. But the alternative is far worse because not having insurance places everything you’ve worked so hard for at risk. So, in the interest of keeping ourselves out of harm’s way I thought I might review the basic insurance offered to all businesses.
Keep in mind that each company’s situation is unique. You should work with a reliable, trustworthy insurance agent to design a policy that will suit your specific needs. Additionally, it is advisable to shop around and compare quotes from at least three companies before you sign up. Not all insurance companies offer the same coverage at the same prices, and you can save hundreds—even thousands of dollars every year by taking the time to compare before you commit.
1. Property/Liability Insurance
This is the most basic type of insurance and it will cover all your physical assets if something unforeseen happens. Natural disasters, theft, and accidents that occur on your company’s premises are covered with this type of insurance. You need to make sure you have plenty of this type of coverage, particularly if you have employees because if they are injured you’ll have to cover their medical expenses.
2. Vehicle Insurance
If you company operates any motor vehicle for delivery, sales, technical assistance, or repairs you must have full insurance to protect you if other parties are injured by a vehicle in possession of your company. Even if your drivers have their own insurance, you are still required to insure you own vehicles.
3. Website Insurance
This insurance protects you from suits brought against your company because of your website. These can include intellectual property disputes, accusations of libel, or any other issues that might arise when doing business on the World Wide Web. You may also get coverage to protect you if your site is hacked and you incur losses from your site being down for an extended period of time.
4. Employee Liability Coverage
Policies which cover key employees and executives can help your company stay afloat if things happen (accidental or intentional) during the course of their employment.
5. Health Insurance
Individuals without health insurance in the U.S. are sitting on a time bomb. That is why the majority of companies that wish to stay competitive offer health insurance as part of their benefits package. If you want to attract talented people, you’ll need to seriously consider providing health insurance to your employees. Many employees will make a decision about where they want to work based as much on the insurance the companies offer as the salaries.
Remember, business insurance is not only beneficial—many times it is required by law. Don’t put yourself, your employees and your dreams at risk. Take the time to find out what insurance you need and shop around for quotes. You may be surprised at how much peace of mind you have once your policy is in place.