A new year is a great opportunity for business owners to re-evaluate goals and priorities. To get your business on the right track, our insurance experts answer common business-insurance conundrums, or commonly-asked questions
What type of business insurance do I need?
This is a common conundrum business owners face. Every business has unique needs and customized insurance is required. When considering your business-insurance needs, businesses just like yours require the following coverages:
- Business General Liability Insurance: This coverage protects against property damage, bodily injury or personal injury (such as reputational harm) as a result of business activities.
- Business Property Insurance: This insurance addresses the right coverage based on whether a business is being owned, rented or leased. Did you know if a business property is vacant for over 30 days, coverage for the owner will be impacted?
- Business Auto Insurance: If a business uses vehicles, Commercial Automobile Insurance is necessary. How the vehicle is used is an important factor in how an insurance company determines the premium.
Other coverages include Business Interruption Insurance, Crime Coverage, Umbrella Insurance and Co-Insurance. Still looking for more details? Read our Commercial Insurance 101 blog post to learn more.
How can I protect my business?
Business insurance protects business owners in the event of a loss or damage. However, what can businesses do to avoid losses in the in the first place? The answer is creating a loss-prevention plan. This plan includes steps (such as ensuring there are locks on windows to avoid theft) to help prevent losses where possible. While each business is unique, some common risks include fire, theft and health and safety (i.e. reducing the risk of employees being injured).
“At BrokerLink, we regularly work with experts in risk-management services,” explained Duncan Hecht, BrokerLink commercial insurance advisor. “They provide our customers with further information and strategies about loss-prevention plans.”
Test yourself on the current state of your loss-prevention plan with our business loss-prevention checklist.
Does my home insurance cover my home-based business?
There is often an assumption that home insurance will cover a home-based business; however, a business has different risks and requires separate coverage not included with home or tenant insurance. Without separate coverage for a home-based business, an owner could be held liable for any damages (i.e. fire/water) or injury caused as a result of their business.
Check out our home based business blog post for a run down of factors to consider for home-run businesses.
Do I need additional insurance when I hire a contract employee?
Businesses often hire contractors for short-term projects or cost-saving measures. If there is an incident, this conundrum often comes as an afterthought. Hiring a contractor without insurance puts business owners at risk, as they are held responsible for any injuries or damage caused by the contractor.
“Always ask a contractor for their certificate of insurance and confirm with their insurance provider if the policy is current,” said Tanya Burton, BrokerLink commercial insurance manager. “Also ask for a written proposal for the scope of work, references and license numbers [for trades].”
If you’re looking to hire a contractor, read our Hiring a Contractor blog post for an overview of questions to ask and further information.
The best cure for any insurance conundrum is contacting your BrokerLink broker. We’re here to help answer your questions and take out the worry so you can focus on running your business.