There is some business insurance you must have to do business. This includes workers’ compensation for any employees, professional liability if required for your profession, property and business interruption and commercial auto insurance if your business uses cars, vans or trucks. You can see what other similar businesses have with this guide.
The next insurance you should consider will be connected to your contracts. Your employees need to be bonded and insured, and if you take public contracts, there are many insurance requirements.
You should also consider providing health, life and disability insurance to your employees and yourself. This may not be mandatory in your state, but it will go a long way to creating happy employees and brand loyalty, which can only be good for business.
Liability insurance protects you if your customers are injured on your property. It will pay compensation, medical bills, settlements and court ordered payments for injuries. If you manufacture, distribute or sell a product, you need product liability insurance.
If your business relies on customer information such as credit card numbers and other personal data that is stored in a cloud or in your office machines, mobile phones or iPads, you will be safer if you have cyber liability insurance. Cybercrime is growing, and identities are being stolen. If you lose customer’s personal information or are hacked and the data is stolen, you will be liable. You will be responsible to follow breach notification laws and to cover expenses incurred because of lost or stolen personal data.
Even with excellent budgeting and learning about different coverage for your business, you may not be able to create a package that is right for you. An insurance agent can do this, but you need to find a good one. You can talk to friends and colleagues to find agents whom they prefer, but you should interview several before selecting one.
To begin, find a local professional organization, the Better Business Bureau, your local Chamber of Commerce or a major insurance company to get connected to an agent. Then, ask questions about the different types of coverage. Also, take note of the questions they ask you. This will give you an idea of how serious they are of making sure you and your business is protected. You can also ask about group rates and discount insurance options. Bring your business plan to the initial meeting. This will give you a head start and help you avoid insurance you don’t need.
There are other ways to save money on business insurance. As with other types of insurance, a higher deductible will reduce the monthly premium. Just make sure you have that amount always ready in case of an emergency. You can also ask your agent about ways the insurance company recommends to reduce risk. Reduced risk means lower monthly premiums. The simplest way to reduce risk is to have a written safety policy for your business. It will be even better if a third-party safety agency does this for you.
Before you find and talk to an agent, be prepared. This will give you your best chance for getting the right coverage at the right price. Once you have selected your business insurance package, make it a point to review it with your insurance professional annually. As your business grows and develops, your needs may change, and you may need less or more coverage, or coverage of a different kind.
Scott Crawford writes for Insureon.com, an insurance brokerage that helps businesses understand their insurancd needs.