So you started your own business. You’ve seen a hole in the market or came up with a brilliant new idea. You have things going and maybe you’ve even started making a little money. Well, before you go a step further, it’s time to think about insurance for your business. After all, you took a big risk when starting your own business, and that means you need to mitigate those risks to the best of your ability.
The hard line fact about coverage and business is that you need it. Everything you have for your business, from vehicles to basic liability, requires insurance. Without it, you could jeopardize everything you’ve built, expose yourself to crippling financial trouble, or even break the law. But don’t worry, here are some business coverage basics that can help you get the protection you need to be successful.
Types of commercial insurance
The first thing to understand about coverage and your business are the different types that exist. Depending on your business, you may need specific types of insurance. Generally, business coverage can be divided into three general categories: key owner / partner and employee insurance, business profit and property coverage, and liability insurance. Here’s a breakdown of each different type.
Insurance for key entrepreneurs, partners and employees
If you own a business, you need specific types of coverage depending on how your business is set up. These may include, but are not limited to:
• Life insurance: This coverage protects your family if something happens to you. If you are the sole owner of your business, this insurance is key because business owners are personally liable for all business debts.
• Disability insurance – In the event you are injured or ill, disability insurance will provide you with income for a specified period of time.
• Association insurance or purchase-sale coverage: If you have a partner in your business, this insurance will help you buy the shares of your partner and continue to manage the business in the event of his death.
• Critical Illness Insurance – If you become seriously ill, this coverage will give you a lump sum of money to help you get through the situation.
• Key Person Insurance: This coverage protects you in the event of death or loss of the most important employees for your business.
Business and equity gains insurance
In addition to coverage that protects individuals, your business may also require the following types of insurance to protect your assets and profits. Be aware that businesses that are homeless may require coverage beyond their home insurance. It is always a good idea to contact your coverage company to discuss running a business from home.
• Property insurance – This coverage covers any building or property owned by your business if it is damaged or destroyed by fire, earthquakes, avalanches, and other similar disasters.
• Contents insurance: If you have a property or building that stores things for your business, such as a warehouse or a storefront, this policy covers the loss of that content. Keep in mind that even if you are renting a space, you may still require content insurance, as your contract will likely hold you responsible for what you put inside the rented space. Home business owners should contact their insurance companies to discuss what should be included in their homeowners policy.
• Business Interruption Insurance – When a disaster strikes, this policy will cover you for as long as your business cannot function at adequate efficiency.
• Vehicle Insurance – If your business owns vehicles, it is legally required to have coverage. If you use your personal vehicle for your business, be sure to contact your insurance company.
Liability covers you in the event of an error or accident for which you may be responsible. There are three types to consider when owning a business: personal liability, product liability, and professional. These cover you from personal liability, something that goes wrong with your products, and from lawsuits brought by your customers, respectively.
Starting your own business is a big risk, but that doesn’t mean you need to take unnecessary risks. If you own a business, you need the right coverage. Be sure to shop around and find the right insurance package for your business. If you have any additional questions, we can help you understand your policies to make sure you have the right types of coverage from the right types of insurance companies.