4 Things You Should Know to Protect Your Small Business
Thursday, January 10, 2013
Posted by: TJ Green, Allstate Insurance
Whether you’re a small business owner working from home, in an office or on the road, it’s critical to protect your business from losses. Here are four business insurance basics you should know to help protect the small business you’ve worked so hard to build:
1. Assess Your Needs
The first step to determine what you need protected is to assess your business needs. What data, equipment, vehicles and properties do you have? If you’re working from home, you may have thousands of dollars worth of computer equipment and software with sensitive information. What would happen to your business if something happened to that?
The amount of money you make shouldn’t trigger your insurance needs. The amount of potential loss to your small business should. That’s when a local insurance agency can guide you through the best protection based on your unique business’s needs.
2. Get the Right Type of Business Insurance Policy
It’s important to consider what type of business insurance policy you need. If you rely on your vehicles, one minor accident can be a major setback. It’s important to cover your valuable equipment with a business-specific auto insurance policy, especially if you’re loading or unloading a vehicle or driving for daily business purposes.
The most inclusive business insurance package is the Business Owner Policy (BOP). Typically, BOP covers business property, general liability, equipment, computer data and loss of business income. BOP is important to small business owners because it covers additional liabilities in and out of your home and is flexible for a small business owner to add specific small business coverages. Be sure to consult with your insurance company about what’s right for you.
3. Know your policy’s limitations
Most small businesses, even if they’re home-based, are not covered under personal auto and homeowners policies. Imagine if you are delivering a fragile package and slip and injure yourself without business insurance. Your homeowner’s policy probably does not cover your injury or the cost of the package. Ask your business insurance company to provide you with a comprehensive review to ensure you’re prepared.
4. Build a relationship with your insurance agent
This is just the beginning. Buying insurance shouldn’t be like buying a song on iTunes – the sale isn’t over when you have it. There may be some websites that offer business insurance, but most local insurance agencies are small businesses like you. They know what it’s like to operate a business in the local market and what coverages would be best for you. Many insurance companies have online searches to find a local agent that can help you with business insurance. Making a phone call or paying them a visit could save you time, money and a headache when the unexpected occurs.