When Beginning a New Business, Consider These 25 Expert Insurance Tips
expert insurance tips
It is possible that the process of locating appropriate insurance choices for your new company may be lengthy and difficult. There are a lot of different factors to think about, ranging from professional liability to health coverage and even car coverage, in order to make sure that your company is completely protected in the event that anything unfortunate does place.
According to Hanley, purchasing a business owners policy may be an excellent first step in the process of acquiring coverage for your company. A business owner’s policy (BOP) is a type of insurance that should be offered by the vast majority of companies that sell business insurance. A BOP may include a variety of different coverages, such as liability, employees’ liability, vehicle coverage, and even more, all rolled into one convenient package. Small Business Insurance tips
Even home-based companies are required to get insurance.
It’s possible that some people who run businesses out of their homes don’t believe they need any kind of insurance at all. However, this is not the case at all.
During a phone discussion with Small Business Trends, Hanley provided the following explanation: “Let’s say you operate an Etsy business out of your garage and you keep all of your merchandise and supplies out there. In the event that your home is destroyed in a fire and you lose everything, the contents of your home will not be covered by your homeowner’s insurance.
Keep an eye on your policies as your business expands.
It’s possible that as your company expands, you’ll outgrow your basic BOP and need to start thinking about some additional possibilities. According to Hanley, it is usually time to look into some other options beyond just the BOP that you started out with when a business starts growing to multiple locations or producing a large volume of products. He said this happens because it is at this point that the business must make a decision regarding its future.
1 Consider the Dangers You Face.
You need to have a good understanding of the most significant dangers you face before you can choose the insurance protection that’s best for you, whether you’re simply looking at alternative BOP coverage or other policies entirely. If your company conducts the majority of its operations online, you will almost certainly want policies that cover events that take place online, such as cyberattacks. If, on the other hand, you deal in tangible goods, you should definitely give products liability more of your attention.
2 Ensure the Safety of Your Employees
If your company has any workers, then you absolutely need to provide health insurance for them. The laws governing workers’ compensation differ from state to state, however in certain states it is mandatory for employers to provide their employees with coverage of this kind. And even if it is not a legally mandated obligation, it may still be a good idea based on the tasks that have been delegated to the members of your team.
3 Don’t Overlook Freelancers
According to Hanley, one of the most prevalent mistakes that businesses make in regards to workers’ compensation insurance is that they do not provide coverage for independent contractors or freelancers.
According to Hanley, “Just because you give them a 1099 form at the end of the year does not indicate that they are not a legitimate employee.” [Citation needed] That is only relevant when discussing financial problems, such as taxes.
4 Learn the essential characteristics of an employee.
Because of this, it is essential that you be able to determine whether or not a certain individual is a contractor or a genuine employee. According to Hanley, even if the answer might change depending on the circumstances, a person is more likely to be considered a contractor as opposed to an employee if they do business under an official company name that is different from their own. For instance, if you employ an official computer business to service your technology on an as-needed basis, you most likely do not need to extend coverage to the individual in question. On the other hand, if you have a freelance IT worker on staff who is routinely paid by you and who works for you under their own name, it’s likely that person is regarded an employee by you.
5 Check Your State Requirements
In addition to this, you need to investigate the exact requirements that are mandated by your state, since the laws in each jurisdiction are different. An agent need to be able to provide assistance. However, you must ensure that you are in full compliance with all of the standards imposed by the law.
6 Think About Getting Coverage for Your Disability.
In addition to standard worker’s compensation, it could be useful for you to provide your team with disability coverage for either the short term or the long term. It’s possible that your state mandates that you do this.
7 Make certain that you have liability for benefits.
If you provide your workers with benefits such as health care, you should also give some thought to purchasing a liability insurance policy for those benefits. If you are only able to provide your employees with a health plan that has a high deductible and inadequate coverage, for example, an employee who is put in a difficult situation as a result of the lack of alternatives may consider taking legal action against you. Your protection under benefits responsibility is guaranteed in the event such circumstance arises.
8 Obtain Insurance Coverage for Your Group’s Liability.
You may also give some thought to expanding your coverage to include employment practices liability. This would encompass any incident of discrimination, wrongful termination, harassment in the workplace, or other problems of a similar kind.
9 And Protect Independent Professionals
When shopping around for liability insurance, it is in your best interest to make sure that the policy you choose includes protection for self-employed workers. Hanley claims that if you employ someone to do work at your place, you might be held responsible for their activities regardless of who they are. Since of this, if you hire a plumber and that plumber then sexually harasses one of your workers, that employee has the right to sue you because you were the one who hired the plumber.
10 Online Businesses, Get Cyber Liability
If you run an online company in which customers make payments or provide personal information, you may also be required to have liability insurance. Customers may be able to take legal action against you if their personal information is compromised in the event that your website is hacked or if it is leaked to the public.
11 Protect Your Recommendations From Experts
In addition, if you are a consultant or give individuals any kind of advise, you may require a separate liability coverage that will take care of you in the event that someone has difficulties as a result of your advice. This kind of coverage is sometimes referred to as “Errors and Omissions” coverage.
12 Obtain Protection against Attacks That Deny You Service.
You may also want to check if your cyber liability insurance or another policy of a similar kind provides coverage in the event that your website is subjected to a denial of service attack. This may be of particular importance for your company if it provides any form of online services or classes to its customers. You could want coverage for such situations in the event that there is ever a lengthy period of time during which customers or clients are unable to access what they have paid for as a result of such assaults.
12 Take Care to Protect Your Products
You also have the option of purchasing products liability coverage for your more tangible items. This protects you in the event that one of your items causes a customer to get unwell or injured. If you offer food goods, toys, or anything else that customers may find dangerous in any way, this may be a very helpful tool for your business.
See also: Five Helpful Hints for Constructing an Excellent Website for Your Company.
13 Obtain Commercial Insurance for Your Company’s Vehicles.
In addition to this, you need to ensure that any cars that are used for business purposes have the appropriate commercial insurance coverage. If you are planning to use a car in a professional capacity, you need to make sure that it is insured under a policy that applies to your company, even if you personally own the vehicle.
Even Uber Drivers May Require Commercial Insurance Protection
For instance, Hanley claims that there has been considerable uncertainty in recent years, in particular among those who are drivers for firms like Uber and Lyft and others like them. Even if you use your own car and just drive for those businesses on sometimes, your personal auto insurance policy will not cover any accidents that occur while you are working for Uber. This is the case even if you use your own car and only drive for those companies on occasion. Therefore, you may need a second insurance in order to guarantee that you are protected in the aforementioned scenarios.
14 Investigate the Specific Industry Coverage Available
According to Hanley, the many kinds of insurance that have already been covered in this article are truly only the top of the iceberg. Depending on the sector in which your company operates, there are a variety of specialized insurance policies that might be beneficial to your company. Therefore, it is important that you investigate the many forms of coverage that can be best appropriate for your company and the kind of job that you do.
15 Carry Out Your Own Investigations
Hanley advises company owners to do their own study before consulting a professional for assistance with making choices about their insurance coverage, even if doing so may be beneficial. You will have a far better chance of finding the best bargain and an agent or firm that you can trust if you have at least a fundamental understanding of the many forms of coverage that you could want in the future.
16 Have a Look Around
You also shouldn’t just go with the first firm or agent that you find; you should do some research beforehand. Do some comparison shopping to select an insurance agent and coverage that are the most suitable for your needs.
17 Find an Independent Agent
Hanley adds that getting in touch with an independent agent who can help guide you through the process is something that can be of great assistance. Quotes and information on a variety of policies, gleaned from a wide range of different providers, are at your disposal when you work with an independent agent. As a result, the likelihood of finding the best deals is very high.
18 Follow Someone You Have Faith In.
On the other hand, it is not always sufficient to simply find any agent. Hanley believes it to be of the utmost significance for you to identify a person in whom you can place your confidence. This way, you can rest assured that you are receiving the best coverage possible that is tailored specifically to your company.
19 Check to See If They Have a Good Name
If you want to be confident that the real estate agent you choose is trustworthy and not simply someone who gives a nice initial impression, it might be helpful to inquire about or acquire some references from other people. In addition to this, check to see if they possess all of the licenses and certifications that are required.
20 Regularly examine and assess your requirements.
The procedure isn’t over until you are completely satisfied with the coverage you have. As your company expands, you and your insurance agent should do coverage reviews at regular intervals. It’s possible that the sorts of coverage you require may change as a result of new workers, locations, or even state restrictions. Therefore, it is important to remain on top of it and recognize that maintaining the insurance coverage for your company is a process that will never be completed.
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