With high premiums and deductibles, many people are left to wonder: Is business theft insurance worth the cost? You take the proper precautions to screen your employees, making sure they all have clean records and are honest. If you own a retail shop, you’ve probably invested in security cameras that keep an eye on customers.
But did you know that over half a million people each year are apprehended for shoplifting in the United States? This accounts for over $116 million in lost sales, and that is just for the shoplifters who are actually caught and arrested. Even more sobering is the reality that many forms of business theft occur in businesses beyond retail, and more often than not, occur internally through employee theft.
Over 10% of businesses who shuttered their doors last year listed business theft as the driving factor behind their business’ demise. Business theft insurance is often not covered as part of typical business insurance, but can be a life saver in the event of a major theft.
Shopping around for the best insurance to fit your needs can ensure that you are effectively investing in your business’ future and making sure that future exists. Use our comparison tool to find the best business theft insurance for your needs.
What are the Types of Business Theft?
When you think about business theft, your mind probably immediately conjures images of armed robberies of banks and convenience stores. But the most common forms of theft are internal. A study in 2008 found that over two-thirds of business thefts are committed by employees. The definition of business theft is broad and includes many areas, including the following:
- Retail theft, such as shoplifting
- Employee and customer theft through undercharging for merchandise
- Theft of Intellectual Property
- Employee theft of merchandise, money or supplies
- Delivery trucks mysteriously losing inventory
- Identity Theft
Even if you do not have a store front business with open areas of security concerns, you are still at risk of a calamitous business theft event. Consider all areas in which your goods or services may be at risk. Are you a web or graphic designer who shares your work through secure servers with your clients?
If a security breach could allow a competitor to steal this work, how much money would you lose in terms of time and the trust of your clients? Follow these tips to reduce the risk of internal theft from your business.
What are the Costs Associated with Business Theft?
The US Department of Commerce estimates that employee theft alone costs American businesses over $50 million per year. Other costs associated with employee theft include lower company morale, the rehiring and retraining of employees, and lessened job satisfaction as trust erodes within a company.
Identity theft adds an additional $15.6 billion in added business costs each year, and is a phenomenon that continues to grow as a form of major crime in the United States.
Identity theft in businesses can take the form of outsiders gaining credit card information of your customers, but can also take the form of your employees stealing this information as well.
Additional costs of identity theft include tighter requirements by the government for security software in your processing software and equipment and tougher laws that put the burden of prevention on businesses. These costs show how easily one security breach can take a small business under in the blink of an eye.
How Can You Lessen the Risk of Business Theft?
There are several steps you can take to mitigate the risks associated with business theft. The following are some of the easiest and most crucial steps to take:
- Hire a security firm to thoroughly vet potential employees
- Make identity theft prevention an active goal for your employees that is spelled out in your handbooks and train each member of your staff on proper security measures while handling sensitive information
- If you cater to online commerce, make sure all servers are properly secured with most recent firewall and hacker prevention software
- If you own a retail shop, make theft harder by keeping your store clean, properly stocked, and well staffed during busy times
- Keep good accounting records so that any theft becomes apparent early
- Handle any breach of security swiftly and with authority
Perhaps the best advice for lowering your risk of business theft is to stay actively involved in the daily operations of your business, even as it grows. Do not allow any employee to have sole control of a monetary operation within the company that you have not at least checked over.
This is not advice to micromanage your employees, but rather to be aware of any weak security areas within the business and have a cadence for safeguards. Above all else, trust your instincts. If something doesn’t feel right, then investigate your feeling until you find the source. Keeping expensive equipment and cash locked up is not a sign of paranoia, but rather a sign of prudent business management.
Finding the Right Business Theft Insurance for Your Needs
Take the next steps toward protecting your business today. Review your business insurance and discover areas of business crime that are not covered by traditional policies. Comparison shop to find the business theft insurance that is best for your type of business and specific needs.
In an age where business theft exists externally, internally, inside the walls of your business and online, one can no longer ask if business theft insurance is worth the cost. The true question is, how safe is your business in the event of a catastrophic business crime, such as property or identity theft?
Begin today by comparing the prices and services offered by our partner insurers, and make sure your business has a long life ahead of it. Enter your ZIP code in our comparison tool and compare theft insurance prices for FREE!