Information You Need to Prepare Before Buying Business Insurance
Dan Levenson December 24, 2015
You may wonder what you need to know and what information to prepare before buying business insurance. Preparing for this important decision is easy, if you take simple steps, like assessing the risks you face for your particular business, working with a reputable agent who knows your industry, and making sure you get enough coverage.
Your need affordable insurance that covers risks your business can’t afford. One comparison would be a homeowner buying coverage to protect his home from fire.
If you are just starting a business, you will need a reputable insurance agent, a quality accountant, and a good attorney. It often is beneficial to have one insurance agent who can handle all of your needs. Insurance policies are available to cover small businesses in one package that meets most needs.
Here is some of the information needed before buying coverage:
Determine what type of insurance you need.
Certain businesses need specialized coverage that others do not. As one example, IT professionals often need professional liability coverage or errors and omissions coverage to protect if advice given hurts a client, or if all a client’s information were lost because of a faulty backup.
Types of coverage that all businesses need might include:
- Property insurance to protect the property or building of a business in case of damage as well as equipment;
- Liability insurance to protect a company in case of a claim a service or equipment caused harm to a client;
- Commercial auto insurance to protect vehicles owned by a business; and
- Workers compensation insurance to pay for medical care or lost wages for an employee injured at work.
Assess your risks.
Your agent will determine how much risk his or her company will accept when you buy your policies. He or she will review your application and determine whether the company will provide all or a portion of the coverage you request.
Your policy will have a premium and a deductible. The premium is what you pay for coverage; this can vary because of location, local fire protection services, building type, and the kind of coverage. A deductible is the share you pay when making a claim. Higher deductibles mean lower premiums, but a greater out-of-pocket expense. It pays to know your risks before shopping.
A business owners’ policy (BOP) might save you money. Different types of coverage are purchased separately, or as part of a business owners’ policy. This can combine various types of coverage, such as covering general liability, vehicles, property, and business interruption, into one policy and lower your premiums. A BOP does not include all kinds of insurance, and if your business has special risks, it pays to ask a reputable agent his or her opinion.
Assess your risks annually, because your liabilities can grow as your business grows. It would not be good to not have enough coverage in case of disaster. Be prepared to contact your broker if you replace equipment or expand operations.
Consider whether you might need umbrella coverage.
Such insurance will protect your company above your other liability coverage. This often covers companies in case of expensive claims that are more than their auto or liability coverage protects against. There are also umbrella coverages that protect above the covered limits for Employment Practices Liability Insurance and Directors and Officers Liability.
- Find a reputable, licensed broker. If you find an agent you can trust, he or she can help you make wise decisions.
- Is the risk to your business such that you might need terrorism insurance? Companies used to cover this free of charge along with other coverage purchased, before September 11, 2001.
- Consider whether you might need Employment Practices Liability Insurance, which protects companies against claims of violating the civil or other legal rights of others.
- Consider Directors and Officers Liability Insurance, which will protect officers and directors of not-for-profit organizations and corporations, in case there is a claim they ignored the rights of others in their management.
- Business Identity Insurance will protect your company if a client is the victim of data theft.
If you’re unsure about the aforementioned points and considerations, don’t hesitate to reach out and schedule a free insurance assessment with one of our insurance experts. During a 30-minute call, we can help you determine your needs, risks, and the best custom business insurance policy for your company!