There is no single plan for starting a small business. Some businesses require more hardware, others more inventor
y, still others a larger staff. One common need, however, is insurance. At its most basic, insurance is simply risk transference. The insured pays a premium to transfer the risk from themselves to the insurance company. And one of the most important types of insurance for small businesses is liability insurance. Much of the information offered about liability insurance comes directly from insurance providers, so it is important to do your own research to be sure that you have objective information. The EDC-VC offers information on liability insurance that can help small business owners make an informed decision. Here are a few points to consider as you work to acquire adequate protection for your business.
LIABILITY INSURANCE DEFINED
Liability insurance protects the insured from a variety of legal claims arising from incidents that can occur during day-to-day business operations. Those can include bodily and personal injury as well as property damage.
Businesses that do not have employees may not be required by law to have insurance, but it is still a good idea. A single incident can unravel all the hard work that went into building a small business.
There are different types of business liability insurance for virtually every risk that a business might encounter. They include:
- General liability insurance
- Product liability insurance
- Professional liability insurance
- Commercial property insurance
- Home-based business insurance
IDENTIFYING ADDITIONAL RISK
The type of business will factor into which type of, and how much, insurance will be needed. For example, a florist might not need as much coverage as a company that rents sports equipment such as jet skis or snowmobiles. The perceived risk for the florist is much lower, so they may not need as much coverage.
Other types of businesses may benefit from additional insurance to cover things like commercial vehicles, property and medical payments. Speak to an experienced, licensed insurance agent who specializes in business insurance to discuss how to meet your business insurance needs, and review those needs and your coverage each year.
Other types of insurance are required by law. The three key insurance requirements typically include:
- Workers’ Compensation Insurance
- Unemployment Insurance Tax
- Disability Insurance
Each state has its own specific requirements, so it is important to research the laws in the states where you operate.
Last, but not least, shop around. Your professional network may serve as a source of referrals of both licensed insurance agents and other small business owners who have similar needs and experiences.
In addition to the EDC-VC, InsureU for Small Business at http://www.insureuonline.org/smallbusiness/ can help business owners choose the appropriate insurance for their small business.
For more information on insuring your business, contact the Economic Development Collaborative-Ventura County. Conveniently located in Camarillo, California, we’re here to help.