by Michelle Ferris on Jul 19, 2016
The type and level of business insurance you choose for your business will depend on a number of different factors, ranging from the size of your business to industry specifics. As a business owner, the decision ultimately rests with you. The trick with business insurance is finding the balance between getting the business insurance coverage you need and not paying for business insurance coverages that don't apply to your business.
Take these into consideration when getting a business insurance quote:
Size of Your Business
Most businesses start out small. Many entrepreneurs assume that their business assets will be covered under their home insurance. This is not usually the case. Business assets are not covered in home insurance policies. You may want to consider looking into a "work from home" insurance policy. They are tailored for small start-up businesses, have the basic levels of asset and liability insurance, and are relatively inexpensive.
As your business grows, you will want to review your insurance to make sure you have adequate coverage. The minute you employ people to work for you, the level of liability on your company increases—not only from an employee point of view but also from a customer's perspective. When other people are involved in the work process, there is always the risk of human error. Your new employees may not be as committed to quality and you may find that you have product or service issues. In this instance, product liability insurance becomes very important. In addition, there is the added risk of injury to employees in the workplace, regardless of the industry you operate in. Workers' Compensation is legislated in most states for full-time employees.
Type of Business and Industry
Businesses in different industries will be exposed to varying levels and types of risk, so it's natural the business insurance quotes will be tailored accordingly. If you operate in a consumer market, it's likely you'll need a higher level and different type of liability insurance than if you are in a corporate environment.
For example, restaurants and bars that have a high volume of people through their doors would require insurance that covers equipment, food spoilage, customer or product liability, workers' compensation, and property insurance as a minimum. In addition to this, there are some insurance policies that are customized specifically for the hospitality industry.
Manufacturing businesses will have greater risks in terms of property, equipment and product liability.
Service-oriented businesses are likely to need less general insurance for property and equipment and will most likely have higher liability insurance, with a specification for errors or omissions. In some professions, liability insurance is legislated such as malpractice insurance for medical professionals. Look at the characteristics of your business and that should give you an indication of possible risks.
Evaluate Your Business Assets and Perceived Risks
The level of business insurance coverage will depend largely on these two factors. You will want to ensure that whatever business assets you have are protected so that you can consistently generate an income.
An aspect of insurance that is sometimes overlooked is the cost of a business interruption. If, for example, an important piece of machinery breaks down, what will be the cost to your business now that you can't produce products while it is being repaired? The cost of not producing can cripple a business. It's important to be aware of such risks. Getting business interruption insurance coverage can be a very wise move.
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