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Starting a business can be an exciting milestone. The opportunity to build a business of your own is something most people dream about. However, between startup and success there is a lot of hard work, long hours, and several important considerations to ensure that you get started on the right foot.
Regardless of the type of business you are starting, you will need to see to it that you are properly insured. Insurance for a small business protects both the individual and entity from liability exposure and from unforeseen adverse events.
Here are some of the important areas to talk with your agent about regarding small business insurance:
Business Property Insurance: Your business property and initial inventory (if you sell a tangible product) is a major investment. This includes items such as office furnishings, computer/copier/printer and other electronic equipment, building, signage, and much more. It is important to protect your property from damage and/or theft.
Business Liability Insurance: Liability is the potential exposure of your business assets to cause injury to others and/or damage to their property. This can occur if a customer is hurt on your premises or suffers loss because of your product or service. Business liability coverage should be a minimum of $100,000. Professionals such as accountants and real estate agents should also consider errors and omission (E&O) insurance.
Insurance for Commercial Vehicles: If your business has some vehicles that will be used regularly, you will need to take out a special auto insurance policy to cover them commercially. In many states, businesses such as taxi drivers or courier services are required to carry commercial insurance on their automobiles.
Workers Compensation Insurance for Employees: If you have employees, you will need to make sure they are covered for injuries sustained on the job. This type of coverage is particularly important in businesses that involve a high level of physical activity, such as construction or landscaping.
Identity Theft Insurance: In today’s electronic age, an increasing number of businesses are falling victim to identity theft. The most notable recent case was Target Stores having their systems hacked, exposing nearly 100 million customer credit card numbers to potential theft. Not only was this a major PR disaster, but also the impending lawsuits may eventually put the popular retail chain out of business.
Computer hackers are relentless in their efforts to break in to business websites (large and small) and steal customer information. As a small business owner, you should invest in strong security for your web properties and make sure you have adequate insurance coverage in the event that your customers’ data is compromised.
When you start a small business, you have a lot of insurance needs right out of the gate. Before you open your doors, it is best to talk with a commercial insurance agent about the coverage you will need. One last thing; when shopping for business insurance, you may not find the most comprehensive and affordable policies from one insurer. To save time having to shop around, contact an independent agent with access to rates and coverage from multiple carriers.
About The Author
Todd Balderson has been protecting families and businesses through insurance coverage since 1996. He is the founder of Balderson Insurance Agency and serves clients in Maryland, DC, and Virginia. Todd is known for reminding people about how “insurance is more crucial to building your wealth than investments because without insurance, it’s easy to lose your assets.” Learn more about Todd and the insurance protection he offers at http://www.BaldersonInsurance.com