Before you start comparing business insurance policies, you need to have a comprehensive understanding of the different elements that go into making effective business coverage.
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Business insurance helps to protect you and your business from financial issues, property damage and loss of revenue. When you understand the different ways that business insurance protects your company, it is easier to have a productive conversation with an insurance sales representative.
Running your business from home allows you the advantage of saving money on office space rental and utilities charges. But running a business from home can also complicate your business insurance requirements.
Prior to talking to any insurance agent about business insurance, you need to find out if your current homeowners policy offers any kind of business coverage. For example, the liability portion of your homeowners policy may cover your home office equipment. Have a comprehensive discussion with your homeowners insurance agent about the coverage your existing policy offers you before spending money on more insurance.
Business Liability Insurance
Business liability insurance is important to your company for many different reasons. If you plan on leasing or renting office space, then your landlord may require you to have business liability insurance that names the landlord as an additional insured.
In general, liability insurance is designed to cover property damage or losses associated with lawsuits. Business liability insurance can be formulated specifically for your business to help pay for damages or losses associated with your business operations.
For example, if you are in the business of distributing information, then you can get liability insurance to pay in case of a slander lawsuit. A company that has job sites near residential areas will need liability insurance to protect from damage caused to homes while your company is on the job.
Some of the areas that business liability insurance covers include damage to office equipment, equipment damaged while being shipped to your office or satellite locations, damage to the office facilities such as broken windows or doors damaged during a break in, protection from data theft due to Internet hackers and inventory protection.
Loss of Income
The loss of income coverage for a Business Owner’s Policy, or BOP, varies from company to company. This is the area that you will need to know what you are looking for and find the company that offers the protection and services you need.
A common loss of income policy term is the replacement of revenue lost due to a natural disaster or an extended loss of utilities. If the power goes out in your office building for a few days, then your loss of income clause will help you make up for revenue lost during that period.
Loss of income is an area where you can find insurance companies that go separate themselves from others. For example, some insurance companies offer loss of income coverage that includes a service to help re-build lost or destroyed accounts payable records and help you invoice customers even when your office is down or the records are lost.
When you own vehicles that you use in conducting business, then you have a fleet. The insurance needs of a commercial fleet are significantly different than those of a personal vehicle. Some of the coverage options for fleet insurance include liability to cover damages caused by an employee driving one of your vehicles and bodily injury and property damage coverage for vehicles your company borrows or rents.
The insurance company you want to do business with is the one that offers fleet insurance services fashioned to your particular needs. For example, if you have a environmentally conscious organization that prefers to replace totaled vehicles with hybrids, then you need an insurance company that will compensate you for the purchase of hybrid vehicles. It is all part of a comprehensive fleet insurance company.
What Company to Talk To?
Once you understand the basic elements that you can compare in a business insurance policy, the next step is determining what kind of company you should be talking to. When you consider insurance companies for your business, you want convenience as much as you want service. That is why you need to find a company that is structured in much the same way as your organization.
If you are local or regional company, then your options for insurance companies are a little broader. You can talk to the insurance companies with a national presence to help take advantage of lower pricing, but the quality of the local service may not be the same as a smaller insurance company may offer.
One of the best ways to find a good business insurance company is online. When you compare online, you can see the offerings of several insurance companies simultaneously and be able to put features side by side to see which company best suits your needs. You can also take your time reading over the details of the coverage each company is offering when you compare online. It is a convenient and comprehensive way to shop for business insurance.
Your insurance needs are based on where your company is located. If you are a trucking company with a central hub, then you want to find a business insurance organization that can offer the best service for your hub location. But if you have several hubs located all over the country, then you will want a company with a national network of locations that can take care of each of your satellite locations.
In business, the quality of the insurance service you get is as important as the price you pay. If you experience a property loss at a satellite office, then you need an insurance adjuster there as quickly as possible to assess the damage and compensate you for the loss.
When you find an insurance company that can attend to all of your business locations and offers you the kind of coverage you need in a business insurance policy, then you have found the company for your business. Remember that a business insurance policy is an important part of protecting your business. Spend time talking to several potential candidates before deciding on which company you will go with.