Small business owners have plenty to worry about, and unfortunately, catastrophic events are one of those things.
That’s why all small businesses need insurance. Insurance feels like an unnecessary expense, but it can be the survival lifeline when things get bad. It helps business owners cover accidents at the workplace. It protects a business’ assets if it ever finds itself on the wrong side of a lawsuit and covers any risk associated with the business.
That monthly small fee could cover a significantly higher payout one day. If that day comes, a small business owner will be happy he or she had insurance.
Small Business Insurance: 5 Tips For Choosing The Best
Of course, picking out the best insurance is no easy task. With a myriad of choices and programs out there today, finding the perfect insurance can be like finding a needle in a haystack.
There are countless stories out there of businesses purchasing insurance they think covers them in all situations, then to find out that it doesn’t cover business-interruption, or some other kind of damage.
“Generally speaking, small business owners are not completely aware of the coverage they have or the coverage they need,” Steven Spiro, an independent insurance agent told the New York Times.
So, what needs to be known when purchasing business insurance? Here are two quick items:
- What are the legal requirements? Some states require a business carry insurance, just as drivers are required to have auto insurance. Check with a local Small Business Association to see what’s required in a specific state or county.
- What type of business do you run? The type of business that an owner runs can determine what type of insurance is required. Also answer how many employees you have and what type of work each of them does. It sounds specific, but knowing this information can help business owners determine which type of insurance is best for that business.
Of course, a main concern about small business insurance is the cost. What is a small business owner to do?
According to a Xero small business guide on business insurance, it pays to shop around.
“Talk to a few brokers to get a feel for the type of coverage available to you and how much it’s likely to cost. If you don’t know which brokers to choose, ask for recommendations from friends and business associates.”
To find good insurance, you’ll have to find a good insurance broker, or salesman.
Independent agents are a good place to start because they tend to work with several insurance companies. And because they are paid on a commission, they’re determined to earn a small business owners’ business. Of course, this can be a little dangerous, because some brokers might play favorites with certain carriers and push a business owner toward a higher priced insurance company.
Once this process wraps up, it’s time to determine the level of coverage and shop around. Here are some tips to remember during that buying process:
- Several carriers might offer packages and discounts when buying multiple forms of coverage. Be aware.
- Customer service is important. If a business owner ever has a claim, they’ll want to deal with positive customer service.
- What kind of reputation does the carrier have? Insurance companies can fold overnight, so go with a company that has a strong reputation.
Picking out insurance can be difficult and cumbersome, but that patience comes in handy in the long run. Doing the proper homework can be a huge benefit down the road.