Tips On Small Business Insurance
Getting ready to launch your small business? Before you clink together the champagne flutes, you should be sure you’re covered by insurance.
The United States Small Business Administration [SBA] has ever-changing standards and requirements. Luckily, the Hartford Small Business Insurance Center keeps close track. It’s a great place to start, even if you don’t opt to sign up with them. Their site provides all the information and tools you need to protect your small business.
There’s an online “Insurance Jargon Translator,” and even an interactive, “Coverage Analyzer” quiz, where you punch in your particulars, and get a customized report summarizing insurance coverage options that may be best for you. They even offer free, online consultations with leading risk management professionals. You've invested too much time and money building your business to not learn how to protect your investment. Go on. In the litigious world we live in today, you can’t afford not to.
Top small-biz tips:
1. Errors & Omissions Insurance - Regardless of what kind of business you own, customers can claim that something you did on their behalf was done incorrectly, and that this error cost them money or caused them harm in some way. Formalizing a contract with your clients can help limit your liability, but the big expense in an E&O claim is the legal defense needed to prove innocence. E&O policies are designed to cover these defense costs.
2. “Hold Harmless” Agreements - Of course, there are some things you can't prevent, like storms, power failures, or accidents. But there are ways of minimizing either the likelihood something will occur, or the impact it will have on your business after it does. A “Hold Harmless” agreement is a risk management tool that shifts legal and financial risk from you to another party.
3. Specialized Commercial Insurance - Does your business face unique risks? For example, do you manufacture food products that may be vulnerable to contamination and product recall? Or do you often carry tools to your customer's work site, and need to make sure your property is protected off-site as well as on-site? Oftentimes specific coverage can go a lot further than a general, pre-packaged deal. Whatever your industry, chances are there is commercial insurance coverage tailored to your specific risk factors.