This is a question that crosses the mind of just about every business owner at some point in time. Ideally, it’s something you take into consideration at the start of your business, not after an unfortunate incident has already taken place.
There is no definite, one-size-fits-all solution. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. There are several types of business insurance to choose from and depending on the nature of your product or service, you may need one or all of them to make sure you’re appropriately protected throughout your day-to-day operations.
There are two types of liability insurance: general liability insurance and professional liability insurance.
General liability insurance provides protection in the event that you, your employees or your products cause (or are alleged to have caused) some form of injury or damage to a third party.Professional liability insurance is designed for professionals who provide a service to their clients such as doctors, lawyers, realtors or consultants. Types of professional liability insurance vary, and depending on your specific needs, can address issues such as malpractice or errors and omissions.
Do you own the building where your business operates? Do you have personal property associated with your business such as computers, office supplies and equipment, or inventory? This is what property insurance is for. If there is a fire in your place of business, an act of vandalism or a robbery, you know you’re protected.
Commercial Auto Insurance
If you have company vehicles on the road, you need to make sure that those vehicles carrying employees, products and equipment are protected at all times from both damage and collisions. In cases where employees drive their own personal vehicles for business purposes, commercial auto insurance has different options to fit your needs.
Worker’s compensation provides wage replacements and medical benefits to employees injured on the job. In exchange, these employees cannot sue your organization for the incident that caused their injury. Depending on your business, industry and location, in some cases, Worker’s compensation is not a choice but a legal requirement.
Directors and Officers Insurance
At some point in time, a director or officer of your company may find him or herself in a legal situation as a direct result of their actions on the job. Directors and officers insurance protects your organization from lawsuit costs and damages, which may in turn, have a negative effect on your profitability and daily operations.
Does your company store sensitive or non-public information about employees or clients on computers and other devices? If so, you have a responsibility to protect that confidential information. If you’re without a data breach insurance policy and information is leaked, you’ll be left to handle the costs and losses on your own.
Business life insurance provides protection to your business partner(s) and your family in the event of your death. It gives everyone peace of mind to know that proper compensation will be received promptly in order to help your company deal with business proceedings and your family to deal with personal proceedings.
To learn more about business life insurance, read our previous article life disability business insurance.
Business Interruption Insurance
Is there a possibility for disaster in your industry or geographic location? Consider business interruption insurance. This not only covers the physical damage to your business in the event of a disaster (which is also what property insurance does), but also the profits that would have been earned during the time that your facility is either closed or undergoing reconstruction.
Personal Umbrella Insurance
In addition to the current insurance policies you have in place, do you think you want supplemental coverage? Personal umbrella insurance acts as an extension to existing policies. Sometimes it can include different types of claims such as homeowner or auto insurance, and can only be used once your liability on other policies is exhausted.
Business insurance forces you to think about your company, products, services, employees, partners, and board of directors. Even more so, you need to think about all of the unlikely but possible situations that can occur. Although it may be uncomfortable to consider such events, it’s important that you are protected. A corporate legal advisor can help you navigate through the options available and ultimately recommend which forms of insurance are necessary in your particular business situation.