Whether you’re starting a business or running an existing one, it’s vital to have the appropriate insurance coverage. But this decision is often complicated because there are many factors that you need to consider when selecting the right business insurance. To ensure you’re getting the best coverage possible, you’ll need to have all your bases covered first.
However, shopping around for the ideal business insurance is often a challenge because most startup owners are unfamiliar with what they need to know. After all, insurance needs differ, depending on the industry and business requirements. If you’re in search of one, here’s a guide that can help you get started.
What’s Business Insurance?
Business insurance refers to broad insurance policy options designed to safeguard your company from financial loss and protect it from certain risks, such as workers’ compensation, fire, legal costs, business disruption, and property damage to a third party.
There are various factors you should consider when looking for the ideal business insurance:
- Your company’s size
- The nature of services provided or products manufactured
- The kind of cars used
- The number of employees hired
Before you go ahead and choose a type of business insurance, consider these things to make an informed choice:
1. Learn About Different Business Insurance Policies
Business insurance isn’t one-size-fits-all, and many providers offer different types of coverage. Since your business insurance needs vary, depending on several factors, such as your business assets, specialty, and industry, understanding your insurance policy is crucial.
Here are the most common business insurance policies:
- General liability insurance: This insurance protects your business from any claims against your company. These claims may involve property damage, medical expenses, or bodily injury that arise due to your general business operations, products, or services.
- Professional liability insurance: It’s also referred to as errors and omissions insurance and is meant for companies that provide professional services. It covers negligence, oversights, malpractice, and mistakes associated with services provided to a client. It’s popular among physicians, accountants, and attorneys too.
- Commercial property insurance: This coverage compensates you for lost or damaged commercial property caused by vandalism, accidents, fire, natural disaster, or storms. It even covers other valuables inside, such as equipment and furniture on your property.
- Loss of income insurance: This type covers your business should an emergency arise, which results in the loss of revenue for your company. If this happens, you’ll be compensated for your loss. Additionally, the insurance typically covers expenses, such as business taxes, payroll, and mortgage payments.
- Commercial vehicle insurance: It covers all damage caused by the company-owned cars while undertaking business duties.
While these are the most common policies, there are numerous other options. They include business owner’s policy, worker’s compensation insurance, cyber liability insurance, as well as hired and non-owned auto insurance.
2. Find An Accessible Insurance Provider
The accessibility of the insurance provider is another factor that you should consider when picking business insurance. This is why you must always ask about the accessibility of the insurance provider, the hours they operate, and the duration it takes to get through to someone if you need to make a change or file a claim. You should also find out whether there’s a way that you can reach them in case of an emergency to protect your small business. This should either be through email, phone, or in person.
Easy accessibility of the insurance provider is critical because it’ll prevent you from dealing with significant business losses. Therefore, you must go for an insurance provider that offers you a fast response and a convenient way to reach them and make complaints should you need their services.
3. Compare Rates Offered By Different Providers
As you search for business insurance, make sure to compare similar policies from each provider before making a final decision. Doing this is advisable, as different providers often define their policies differently. It’s important to match the features and limitations of each quote. Besides, insurance rates vary from one provider to another. It’s wise to speak with multiple insurance providers too so that you can get an idea of what kind of coverage is available in your area and at what price point this coverage becomes available.
While you want the best business insurance, the cost of the policy is still something you must take into consideration because it won’t do you any good if you can’t afford to pay for it. Therefore, you must first ask yourself how much money you want to spend on business insurance.
Apart from setting a budget, you should ask about discounts. Most insurance providers actually offer discounts for various things, such as having multiple policies with one company or paying your premium annually instead of monthly. If you own a small business and have a home office, you may want to qualify for a discount on your homeowner’s insurance.
4. Determine How Much Coverage You Need
The next thing to consider is what type of business insurance coverage you need. The ideal coverage differs from one company to another because businesses have different needs. So, knowing what’s covered and what isn’t covered is just as important. Some policies don’t cover certain types of losses, such as flood loss or earthquake loss. This is why you must make inquiries to figure out what kind of losses are covered under the plan.
Aside from knowing what type of coverage you need, you need to assess how much coverage is required. Of course, the more coverage you choose, the more expensive your policy will be. It’s best to resist the temptation to save money on your insurance premiums by getting cheaper coverage. If you skimp on insurance, your business may be susceptible to common risks, such as vandalism, theft, and car accidents. In the event that your business faces a problem, you won’t be able to receive any compensation, which will affect operations.
Deciding on the right business insurance coverage is an essential step you must take as a business owner. Keep these factors in mind to ensure that you’ll pick the right insurance for your company.