Trying to find the best business insurance and medical insurance for your small business can be a bit challenging. You must understand how most insurance companies view you. The term small business is vague at best.
To find health insurance at great rates simply enter your ZIP code into the FREE toolbox on this page right now!
In most cases, the number of employees determines your eligibility. You need to have a specific headcount. Some companies can range anywhere between two and 50 and qualify. Others may have 50 to 100. Other times, the money you generate indicates the size of the business. Your industry has a huge impact on the requirements.
Before you begin looking for business and medical coverage, you should first look at the industry standards. After you have a firm grasp on the situation, you can decide what works best for you and you.
A great place to begin any search for business insurance coverage is the Small Business Administration (SBA).
They have a tool you can use to make sure your organization fits into this category. They measure size standards by the number of employees or the annual dollar amount.
The Necessity of Business Insurance
The main necessity of business insurance is protection. As the owner, you need some type of security. It is the same reason people purchase auto insurance. Business insurance protects you from a number of unpleasant situations.
For example, if you are a dentist or doctor with your own practice, you need coverage. A patient may not like the way you performed a procedure and they may decide to take you to court.
Another scenario can involve a computer business owner. The office can suffer from a break-in that results in thousands of dollars in stolen equipment. You may own a restaurant and one of your customer burns their mouth on hot coffee or a meal. They can seek restitution for medical expenses.
Suppose you own a clothing warehouse and a flood ruins all of your garments. Your retailers and distributors will not pay and you need to receive restitution for this disaster.
Perhaps an employee lifts a heavy package. They may injure themselves while on the job. They will need to supplement their income until they get back to work.
These are just a few reasons why it is prudent for small businesses to have insurance coverage. Unforeseen costs can ruin a small company quickly. Regardless of your consistent level of professionalism, bad things can happen to anyone.
The Various Plans
According to Microsoft, there are several different plans you should consider. They vary according to your company and your needs.
You probably will not need them all, but most are required on some level. It is definitely worth researching. It is better to err on the side of caution. You can always drop a level or two if they seem unwarranted. It will be too late if you choose unwisely.
- Liability – This type of coverage is available in three separate components. You can choose general, product, and professional. General liability is very broad. It protects the owner from litigation. If your employees become injured or have an accident, they may choose to sue. A customer or patient has the same rights. They may trip or fall and seek legal counsel. The same is true for any negligent issues.
Purchasing general liability will cover you if you need to appear in court.
- General liability will pay for the attorney’s fees and any court costs. If you must make restitution, the payment to your employee comes from this level of protection.
- Product liability covers the products you manufacture. For example, if you make a beauty cream and it does harm to a customer. If you are a distributer or sell the product in your store, you also need this level of coverage. It guards you financially. If any product is defective and causes damage to a customer, you can rely on product liability insurance.
- Professional liability helps with people in the service industry. It protects you from mistakes and errors. It also covers negligence and malpractice. Most physicians in private practice utilize professional liability coverage. In many states, this is a requirement. If you own a small food service shop and someone becomes ill, this is where professional liability helps.
- Home Business Insurance – Many Americans have businesses based from their homes. They sometimes convert the den or basement into office space. Although you may have homeowner’s insurance, you may not have sufficient protection. This is why home business insurance exists.
- Commercial Property – If you rent, lease or own your office space you may need this type of coverage. This level of protection is for damage or loss of the property itself. If a flood, fire, or vandalism occurs, you receive compensation. Many small businesses in urban areas use this type of insurance. The contents inside are covered as well.
You should also inquire about worker’s compensation, disability, and unemployment insurance. These are all directly related to your employees. The Internal Revenue Service can provide you with the specifics. Even if you only have one employee, you may need this.
They can also help set up guidelines for your business to follow. This will ensure that you comply with all policies and procedures. The site is self-explanatory and has links for every state. You simply locate yours and click. From there, you can research the information in depth. They also have a toll-free number for additional inquiries.
Top Business Insurance Companies
Nationwide, Travelers and Liberty Mutual are currently the best options for smaller companies.
Nationwide Insurance Company is available to their customers on a 24-hour basis. Their claims service is superior to other insurance providers. They offer the ability to work with an independent agent. This is always a great move with small businesses. They also have a rate of A+ with A.M. Best. This means they are a strong and fulfill their financial obligations. You can trust Nationwide to serve you during your time of need.
Travelers Insurance Company has one of the most diverse portfolios available for small companies. They lead the industry in flexibility and stability. They offer exceptional customer service teams to handle claims. They are also experts in risk control.
Liberty Mutual Insurance Company has been doing business for almost 100 years. They have an astounding understanding of small companies and their challenges. They have an entire network that is global. Their agents are available all over the world. They provide free consultations and strategy sessions.
Reasons You Need Medical Insurance
Medical insurance is not a necessity for smaller businesses. You are well within your rights to deny health coverage. However, many feel a sense of ethics when it comes to protecting their employees. Luckily, there are a few companies that specialize in these types of plans.
As a small company, you can still qualify for group insurance.
This is similar to larger corporations. The coverage applies to individuals. They group each under one policy. This is generally under the owner’s name. Each person receives an insurance card or certificate. They present this document when they require medical assistance.
You and your employees need medical insurance because out-of-pocket expenses are extremely high. While not all medical insurance plans will cover all procedures, it is better than having no coverage at all. There are incentives for small companies to purchase medical insurance too. Depending on the size of your company, you may receive major discounts. This can include prescription programs as well.
To find the best medical insurance, start with the major companies, like Liberty Mutual, Aetna, and Blue Cross. They all have success with smaller businesses. They also have extensive benefits for companies with less than 100 employees.
You will need to decide if you want to use a network health plan or fee-for-service. They each have pros and cons. Most smaller companies choose the network health plans because they are easier to manage and they also cost less.
You and your employees have a choice from a select group of doctors. The doctors must participate in the plan. If you select an out-of-network physician or hospital, the costs are your responsibility.
The fee-for-service plans generally cost more. From an administrative point of view, they consume more time. There is more paperwork involved. On the positive side, the choices for healthcare providers are not limited as any doctor or hospital is available to use.
The Timeframe and Process
The experts recommend you purchase both medical and small business insurance from the same carrier. This can often result in discounts offered from bundling your policies and it my make easier to manage your plans with only one carrier. However, if this is not possible, obtain each coverage within a 30-day period of each other.
You should acquire insurance during the beginning of your company’s launch phase and be sure to include the costs in your budget. If you wait to purchase either, you are liable for any issues that arise. Most policies take affect quickly. This is why it is important for you to act sooner rather than later.
To ensure a smooth process, make sure you have all of your research completed. Have all of your company records, including the exact count of employees. You will need to present all of the documents to your agent to verify. If there are no discrepancies, you should receive your policy within seven days.
Maintaining Your Coverage
Maintaining your business and medical coverage is imperative. You must pay your premiums on time and adhere to the policies. This means you must remain vigilant with the status of your current employees and provide timely updates.
When you hire new employees you cannot let a lapse in time occur without incurring negative consequences.
Most insurance companies will allow 30 days for processing. The date of hire must correspond with their records. A breech in any of these details can constitute fraud and they have the option of terminating your contract.
Any worker’s compensation and unemployment information is subject to review at any time. Your records must be impeccable. The auditing process varies by state and you must obey the laws and release any documents they request.
As the owner of a small company, you may face many difficulties along the way. You need to stay on track. However, remember that you are not alone as there are countless resources to draw upon. Take the necessary steps to keep your business flourishing.
Finding the best insurance rates fast is easy when you click here to enter your ZIP code into the FREE tool right now!