Are You Prepared for the Unexpected?

September 16, 2019

Personal insurance isn’t likely to cover what you need as a business owner, and you don’t want to find that out the hard way. Proper insurance can help stave off bankruptcy from lawsuits and generally protect the longevity of your business. So how do you know if you need it? And, more important, how much you need?

To answer these questions, ask yourself two others:

  1. Does your business have inventory, computers or other equipment that you couldn’t afford to easily replace?If your only business equipment is a single laptop, you might not need to insure it. But if you have tens of thousands of dollars of inventory, it’s smart to protect it with the right type of insurance.
  2. Is there a reasonable chance your business could be sued for a substantial amount of money? Reasons people might sue include someone getting injured on your property, a data breach, or if an item you make or sell is defective and injures someone.

If you answered yes to either of these questions but still aren’t convinced, keep reading.

Did you know?

  • 82% of small business owners don’t feel like they’re at risk of a security breach, yet more than two-thirds of cyber attacks are aimed at small and mid-size businesses.
  • 60% of home-based businesses don’t have liability insurance – but homeowners insurance often doesn’t cover business-related assets and lawsuits.
  • 40% of businesses never reopen after a disaster.

Types of insurance

Before you shop around for a plan, it’s important to consider your specific needs.

  • Liability insurance covers obligations and legal defense for accidents, injuries and negligence.
  • Property insurance reimburses you if property is damaged or destroyed due to fire, storm or theft.
  • Vehicle insurance covers damage to – or caused by – business vehicles.
  • Professional liability insurance, also known as errors and omissions insurance, protects from liability for negligence or malpractice in performing professional duties.
  • Product liability insurance protects manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors and retailers.
  • Business interruption insurance can help cover the cost of relocating, paying employees and paying rent if you have to move or shut down because of a fire or other event.
  • Identity theft insurance provides liability coverage for a data breach. It also may cover the cost of notifying and providing services to victims of identity theft.

As an entrepreneur, you may be operating on a tight budget – but paying for one unexpected situation out of pocket could far outweigh the premiums you would pay for insurance and peace of mind.

Next steps

Get the protection you need:

  • Talk to your advisor and weigh the risks associated with your particular business
  • They’ll connect you with a reputable insurance agent to figure out what type of insurance you really need
  • If you need more than one policy, ask about bundling, which could save you money

Sources: Bethan Moorcraft, “Cyber security: Small businesses remain dangerously in the dark,” Insurance Business America, November 2017; Matthew Baker, “The five people who don’t know they need business insurance,” Entrepreneur, October 2018; “Using personal insurance to protect your business is like not having insurance at all,” Insureon blog, July 2015; Jane Haskins, “Business insurance: When you need it and when you don’t,” legalzoom, July 2016.

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