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A Complete Guide To Finding The Best Small Business Insurance

Whether you are a lawyer, contractor or restaurant owner, you want to make sure you have the best small business insurance that covers you for all relevant risks.

Fortunately, there are many options available, so you can get a unique insurance solution that fits your individual business needs.

In this article, we’ll cover simple steps to follow to pin down what coverage you need. These tips will apply to anyone who already has commercial coverages in place, and those who are looking for better, more affordable, insurance.

From there, we’ll highlight some of the best small business insurance policies that will keep you, your staff and customers protected.

Knowing and Managing Your Risks

Identifying your risks is the first step you should take when purchasing any insurance policy. You need to know what your most likely exposures are, and the amount of money it would take to cover them.

Insurance underwriters will assess these same elements when writing your policy, looking at the risks involved with your particular business, your location and other factors.

Minimizing risk in your daily operations can help you save money on premium payments. Premium payments are what you pay your insurance provider based on the plan you’ve opted for.

A well-organized and realistic risk management system is an essential way to cut your overall cost for insurance. If an insurance provider sees your commitment to managing risk, they will be more likely to offer lower payments.

Evaluate Your Deductibles

While you’re taking time to analyze your risk and review your premium payments, also look at your deductibles. A deductible is an amount you pay out of pocket before your insurance policy will cover expenses.

It’s recommended you compare your deductibles against industry norms to ensure that you are not setting them too high. If your deductible is high, it won’t cover certain incidents and you might be stuck paying large sums out of pocket.

Review Your Coverage Options Annually

Businesses can change a lot over a year. As your operations change each year, whether by growing in terms of customers, employees, or new equipment, you’ll want to make sure you are fully covered against any potential new risks.

Review your coverage with your agent at least once a year, and more often if there are significant changes in your workflow. You don’t want to be underinsured for a claim, but you also want to make sure that the coverages you have apply to your current business environment.

Review Your Options and Choose a Policy Type

There are many types of insurance policies for small businesses, and after determining your risks, reviewing your premiums and deductibles and reviewing your current coverage, you’ll be in a good position to move forward.

There are coverages to protect against lost, damaged or stolen inventory and equipment, damages to your business location or to vehicles, or other items you may not even think of, such as employee fraud.

Every small business owner wants to protect themselves with basic liability insurance if they encounter a lawsuit, which can apply to a situation where there is a slip and fall in the workplace or accidental property damage caused by an employee.

Take some time to look through and understand the coverage options available to you. Add options that benefit your company and meet your needs. Make sure there are no gaps in your policies or exceptions that could lead to a claim being denied.

In the next part of this post, we’ll discuss some of the best small business insurance policies you need to know about.

Know Common Small Business Insurance Coverages

Business owners have a lot resting on their shoulders. You need to keep track of, and often do yourself, everything from accounting to marketing to client services. One commonly overlooked, but necessary consideration is insurance coverage for your business.

You want to do whatever it takes to make sure your business succeeds. While the process can feel tedious and difficult, having sufficient insurance coverage is important.

Appropriate coverage will depend on the nature and scale of your business. However, there are a few types of insurance coverage most small business owners should have.

Which insurance policies are important for your small business? Continue reading or watch our video to find out about the best small business insurance.

Business Owner’s Policy

A business owner’s policy, or BOP, is an affordable option for small business owners with low levels of risk. It combines several normal types of coverage into one. A business owner’s policy is designed to address various common property and liability exposures.

While a properly configured business owner’s policy is a key component of your company’s insurance protection, you might need additional specialty policies to address specific coverage needs.

Business owner’s insurance policies are affordable and customizable. They allow you to specifically cover what you need without paying for extraneous or unnecessary coverage and add-ons.

General Liability Insurance

All businesses should carry liability insurance, even those that are home-based or only offer online services, and regardless of the levels of contact you have with customers or clients.

General liability insurance covers you should your employees, products or services be accused of causing bodily injury or property damage.

Besides covering any settlements, it often covers the cost of hiring a lawyer and helps pay for medical expenses. In some cases, libel and slander are also covered.

Professional Liability Insurance

Professional liability insurance is designed to cover you should you be sued for improperly rendering your services.

Unlike general liability coverage, this goes beyond physical damage and can cover items including income loss to your clients or customers because of problems with your product or services.

This insurance policy protects you if your goods or services are faulty or are found to cause financial damage to another entity. Once again, it also covers both defense and settlement costs.

Property Insurance

Homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover property related to business use, even if you work from home.

Office equipment, computers, inventory and other items in your home that are specifically meant for business use will require a separate policy. In many cases, this is can be achieved as an add-on to your homeowner’s policy.

Any small business that has manufacturing equipment, multiple pieces of office equipment or owns the property where your business is housed, should have a property insurance policy.

Renter’s Insurance

If you are renting a space used for your business, you will want to have a renter’s insurance policy. This policy protects you against damage to the property, its contents and personal injury.

Property covered can range from office space, retail shops or factories. Similar to property insurance, some common natural disasters will be covered.

There are two common types of business renter’s insurance: replacement cost policies (RCV) and actual cash value (ACV). RCV will have a higher premium, but fully covers repairs and costs for replacement items. ACV only reimburses you for damages, minus the depreciation value.

Commercial Auto Insurance

Do you have company vehicles or use your own vehicle for business purposes? Be sure to purchase a commercial auto insurance policy.

This policy protects vehicles used to transport products, equipment and employees. Vehicle damage, driver injury, injury to someone else, and property damage can all be covered under a commercial auto policy.

Cars, vans, pickup truckers, tractor-trailers, food trucks, service vehicles and more would require auto coverage. For vehicles that are not company cars but are used for business, you can opt for non-owned auto liability instead.

Workers’ Compensation

In many states, businesses with employees require workers’ compensation coverage. Opting out of coverage puts you at significant financial risk.

This policy will provide lost wages and medical benefits to anyone injured or who becomes ill on the job. In exchange for workers’ comp, the employee renounces the right to sue you for the incident that led to their injury.

Certain types of employees might not be covered under a policy, for example seasonal workers or contractors. They might require additional coverages. Workers’ comp also doesn’t cover injuries while commuting to and from work, and also if the employee is under the influence on the job.

Cyber Liability Coverage

Cyber liability, or data breach insurance, protects you should sensitive information you store about employees, customers or clients be accessed by an unauthorized third party. This includes digital breaches as well as those of paper files.

There can be significant costs associated with data breaches or hacks, so this form of coverage can help lessen the financial burden. It’s also good to help regain your customers’ trust, and to compensate them for any damages they suffer.

You also might be sued by clients or customers for negligence, and if so a cyber liability policy will then take effect. There are first- and third-party coverages. First covers property and crime coverages along with notification costs, while third covers settlements and claims.

How to Get the Right Coverage

Business insurance is a necessary part of doing business. However, it need not be complicated.

At John B. Wright, we take the time to identify your specific needs based on a thorough risk analysis. We then shop the nation’s best carriers on your behalf, and our coverage recommendations are geared to your business and yours alone.

Should you require multiple policies, it may be more affordable to opt for a customized business owner’s policy. These are policies pulled together by an insurance provider that bundle the various policies you need.

Our insurance professionals will explain your coverage options in detail. It’s important you leave our office with peace of mind in knowing your business and personal assets are protected.

Work closely with a John B. Wright insurance broker to determine the ideal set of policies to ensure the protection of your small business. If you’d like to learn more about finding the best small business insurance customized to your company, contact us here.