If you’re thinking about starting a small business, then you need to make sure that your finances are covered. If there is even so much as a whisper that your business is not on the up-and-up, you risk losing everything, anything from a poor health inspection grade to an unsatisfied customer spreading their dissatisfaction by word of mouth. Remember, despite how hard you have worked to open up a successful business, some quick-scheming good-for-naught can take it all away.
Fortunately, there are ways to protect yourself. Here are five small business insurance policies that will keep your business ventures going strong should you come up against opposition.
General Liability Insurance
Whether your company is made up of five employees or 200, general liability insurance is a policy that every business owner should have. The standard business insurance policy, general liability insurance offers financial help if your business is sued for damages. If a client should be unhappy with a product they purchased or a service they received, general liability insurance will cover the property damage and bodily injury costs of said client.
Professional Liability Insurance
You can’t get general liability insurance without professional liability insurance. Why? You ask. Isn’t it the same thing? Nope. Insurance for small business owners is not a one-size-fits-all sort of thing. Different policies (much like the policies you have on your car and your house) offer very specific coverage. If you got in a car accident today, your homeowners insurance wouldn’t cover the cost. The same can be said of business insurance. Each policy is detailed to protect you in a particular instance. No, this does not make your coverage more expensive. Rather, you are given insurance discounts for having more than one policy.
Also known and errors and omissions insurance, professional liability insurance covers litigation and damages at times when your advice services have been deemed poor. If you own your own firm, you need to have a professional liability insurance policy.
If you own the storefront or structure your services and/or products are housed in, property insurance will cover the structural and equipment losses (this includes inventory) if it is lost, stolen or vandalized. Burglary, vandalism, fraud and employee theft costs businesses billions of dollars. If your place of business had to close its doors for a week or more for repairs, would your business have the funds to open up again later? Property damage insurance would finance the repairs and adjustments in a timely manner so that you can focus on your business.
The business owner’s policy is an insurance type that has a little bit of everything, including:
- Property insurance
- Liability insurance
- Crime insurance
- Fleet insurance
- Business interruption insurance
Created for the business owner who isn’t altogether sure which policy or policies they’ll need the most, a BOP insurance plan will cover all your bases until you have a better understanding of what it is your company needs.
If your business specializes in some type of delivery or shuttle service, you’re going to need an insurance policy that protects your vehicle fleet. If one of your drivers should be involved in an accident during working hours and providing a work-related service, neither their or your private car insurance will cover the damages. Fleet insurance (also known and commercial auto insurance) covers vans, SUVs, trucks and passenger vehicles used for your business and by your associates. If your employees drive their own vehicles as part of your business operations, Forbes Magazine suggests purchasing non-owned auto liability insurance to protect your employee and your business.
There are multiple business insurance policies out there, this is just a few. If you want to get your business off on the right foot, make sure you start with the policies listed above; they’ll protect you when you need it most.