If you own a small business, you have a lot to worry about and take care of. There are a million details you have to keep track of. One issue that many business owners put off is the process of getting business liability insurance coverage. That can cause you huge problems in the future. Getting this kind of insurance is not like getting auto insurance, you do not need business insurance in all cases, to operate your company. You should have the right business liability insurance coverage. Here are some ways to get it:
- Get expert help. When you talk to insurance companies, having an expert broker by your side is one of the best things you can do. They can work with you to determine the needs you and your business have for business liability insurance coverage and will be able to find the policies that fit those needs. There are brokers working in specific industries and some who are more knowledgeable than others about the myriad of policies that are out there. You need a broker who has experience and a good understanding working in your industry. If one broker has a lot of experience getting farmers insurance quotes, they may not be able to help you with the insurance you need for your restaurant.
- Look at what your risks actually are. When you are making up your business plan for the next year, it may be a good time to conduct what is called a SWOT analysis of your company. This analysis acronym stands for “strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and risks.” Part of that, in the weaknesses and threats, you should look at the problems your business liability insurance coverage needs to address. This is another area where a good insurance company broker can make a difference.
- Make sure you get a policy you can afford. Every insurance policy, from health insurance plans to business liability insurance coverage plans, has a premium you have to pay every month, quarter, or year. The deductible is the amount you have to pay before your insurance policy kicks in. There are a number of variables that can impact both. Companies that offer this kind of insurance base how much they charge on a number of factors. They will look at where you are located, how good the fire department in the area is, what shape the building is in, and what kind of business you run. If you get a plan with a higher deductible, your premium will be lower but if something goes wrong, you will have to pay more out of pocket.
- Read the fine print. Like the agreement on services such as iTunes or for the App Store, most people do not take the time to read through an entire agreement such as the one that will come along with your business liability insurance coverage plan. You need to read the plan and you need to make sure your broker reads it. This may shock some people but not all insurance brokers actually read the entire plan. Go through the plan, find questions to ask, talk to your broker and make sure they have done the same.
- Ask about policies written for business owners. Many insurance companies sell insurance in two ways. You can get only certain kinds of coverage in the way you order certain items and not a meal on a menu. There are also business owners policies (BOP), which are a lot like the fixed price option on the menu. BOPs can end up costing you a lot less. A BOP can cover your general liability, the vehicles you use, your business property, any times your business has to close, and other problems that may come up. If your broker does not bring these policies up, you should ask about them.
Once you have the business liability insurance coverage that you need, can afford, and like, your work in this area is never finished. Insurance companies, regardless of the kinds of policies they offer, change things up all of the time. The business coverage plan you have may not be available to you next year. Check your policy every year.