If you own a business of any size, business insurance can help you protect the assets in that business. After making an investment of time, money, and energy to open a business, it is important to purchase insurance to protect that investment. Many liability possibilities lie in wait it seems, until the business is most vulnerable before something happens.
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Insurance is even more important if the owner has employees working for them, or if vehicles are used. Most people feel like insurance is a waste of monthly income until they experience the need to file a claim.
The cost of business insurance is usually worth the investment. A business needs several types of coverage depending on the products or services it offers. Workman’s compensation is necessary in the event of an accident sustained by an employee. Commercial auto insurance is necessary if vehicles are used to conduct services, or deliver products.
If the owner actually owns the building, it has to be insured as commercial property. If not, at least the contents such as machines or equipment should be covered by renters insurance. Fire protection is also necessary for the property owner as well. Directors and officers of non-profit organizations are required to carry D & O insurance, as it is commonly called.
Does homeowner’s insurance cover a home based business?
The answer is…not every aspect of it. Equipment such as:
- Specialty machines
…are not covered on most homeowners policies. Nor do they cover personal liability in the cases where clients are serviced at the home. All home-based businesses require liability coverage for the types of services rendered from the property.
Some of the different types of liability protection include:
- Errors and Omissions – Professional Services
- Malpractice – Treatment
- Product Liability – Product Damage and Injury
- Completed Operations – Off Site Damage or Injury
- Commercial Liability – Auto Accident Coverage
Some doctors, attorneys, or real estate agents practice from a home office because of its feasibility. Doctors may use the home as base while they perform house calls for instance. A web designer or publisher may conduct their whole operation from home.
Who is subject to liability?
Many business owners believe that they have to be in a commercial environment to be subject to business law suits. Some also believe that their personal possessions are not subject to seizure as established in the corporation agreement. Others still believe that because they have no assets or profits they are not subject to judgments or garnishments.
For these mythical reasons far too many business owners avoid purchasing business insurance. It turns out small businesses and those that seem to have the least to lose, lose the most without proper protection. Judgments may require that the business owner relinquish their home and car. Bank accounts may be frozen for the benefit of the paying a judgment.
How does a business determine insurance needs?
Determining the needs of a business is not easy. Commercial properties are required to carry a minimum amount of liability depending on the type of business.
- Workman’s compensation is mandatory if employees are involved.
- Health Insurance-Although health insurance for employees is optional, it is an attractive tool for qualified help. Many employers are struggling with this option with healthcare reform.
- Disability insurance is also necessary for the owner and employees.
Retirement is another consideration. Many companies have bundled policies designed to save the business owner money. These packages take into consideration the needs of most operations and offer different packages based on the most common needs. Those with home based needs can even inquire about blanket protection for the home and business.
How can a company or owner save money on business insurance?
There are ways to save money on commercial policies.
- Bundling – Bundling is one way, in addition to minimizing the percentage of healthcare contribution to employees.
- Security- Another way is to purchase an adequate security system to lower the risk of loss.
- Customization- Customizing the policy will avoid including unnecessary policy riders and standard provisions.
What is the best way to find business insurance?
Online assistance is available for those who want to further educate themselves as well as do a comparison search to determine what types of policies are available. Minimum requirements are also online. Online advice is offered to those who want to learn the basics for choosing the best policies for them.
Individual websites are also online for those who want to do research on the prospective insurance companies they plan to do business with. Insurance rate quotes may be obtained by supplying just a little information such as the zip code of the business location. Other questions will include the type of business and number of employees. By clicking on the reference tool you will be directed to a good starting point.
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