As a business owner, your number one priority is making sure your business thrives. At BrokerLink, we love supporting small businesses and want to see them thrive too!
We help small businesses by sharing our insurance expertise and empowering business owners by providing the right information about the protection business insurance can offer. In this article, we’ll explain a little bit about business insurance and some of the different types of optional but important coverage available. We’ll also share some tips about finding the right insurance for your business. Keep reading to learn more about how you can protect your business.
What is business insurance?
Business insurance is coverage that provides certain protections for your business in the event of a claim. You face a variety of risks as a business owner. The right business insurance plan offers protection against those risks. Business insurance is completely separate from your personal insurance such as home or car insurance.
Types of business insurance
Just like there are many different types of businesses, there are many different types of business insurance. Every business owner will have a different insurance plan based on their needs. Below are a few of the most common types of business insurance:
Commercial general liability insurance
Commonly referred to as CGL, commercial general liability insurance is a basic insurance policy that protects business owners from typical risks when interacting with third parties. Examples include bodily injury or property damage. Here are a few real-world examples of when a CGL would apply:
- You dent a homeowner’s front door while moving equipment
- A customer slips and falls in your shop and sues you
Commercial property Insurance
Commercial property insurance provides coverage for loss or damage to the physical assets of your business, such as your property, stock, and equipment. If you run your business from home, it’s still important to purchase business insurance, as home insurance policies don’t cover business-related loss or damages.
Professional liability insurance
Professional liability insurance or Errors and Omissions insurance, is not automatically included in a general business insurance policy. That’s because not every business owner needs it. This type of policy is necessary for those who give advice or provide services as a part of their business. Professional liability insurance protects against claims alleging negligence or failure to deliver a service as advertised.
Here are a couple of real-world examples to illustrate when professional liability insurance is necessary:
- An accountant makes an honest error that costs his client thousands of dollars
- A customer is not satisfied with the services provided by a consultant and decides to sue
Business interruption insurance
You never know what life has in store. If you ever need to put your business operations on hold because of loss, damage or destruction to your premises – like in the case of a floor or fire, you’ll be relieved to have invested in business interruption insurance. Business interruption insurance is an optional add-on to your existing business property insurance policy that covers your earnings during the period of a shutdown. A business interruption policy can cover either named perils or all risk. A named perils policy covers losses caused by specific perils listed in your policy. An all-risk policy provides protection against loss caused by any risk that is not specifically excluded from your policy. There are other aspects to this coverage that can be tailored to your specific needs by an insurance broker.
Commercial vehicle insurance
Whether you use one or more cars, a van or a truck or two for your business, you should have commercial vehicle insurance with standard coverage including: third-party liability; direct compensation property damage and accident benefits. You may also add optional coverage for collision or upsets; comprehensive; all perils and specific perils. Your broker will be able to recommend specific coverage based on your vehicles.
Tips when picking business insurance
Finding the right insurance can be challenging. Here are a few tips to consider:
- Come prepared!: When you’re looking for insurance or meeting with an insurance broker, you’ll need information about your business handy, such as the size of your business; your revenue; details about the premises; the nature of your business, and how many employees you have.
- Do a bit of research: We’re not saying you should become an insurance expert, but take a bit of time to learn about with the types of business insurance. Jot down any questions you have so you can ask your broker.
- Consider deductibles and limits: Think about your budget and what you could afford in the event of a claim.
- Read your insurance policy thoroughly: If there’s anything that doesn’t make sense, talk to your broker! That’s what they’re here for.
The most important thing to know is you don’t have to do it alone! An insurance broker can help you find the right insurance at a price that’s fair. A broker can save you time and money so you can focus on what matters most – your business!
Contact BrokerLink for business insurance
Get in touch with us today to discuss finding the right insurance for your business. You can find all our commercial brokers here.
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Business insurance FAQs
I have a home-based business, do I still need to purchase business insurance?
Generally speaking, yes, you should have business insurance even if you work from home. Your home insurance will likely not cover you if a claim arises due to your business. For example, if you run a cookie business out of your home and someone gets sick from eating one of your cookies and decides to sue, your home insurance policy will not cover you. You will need business insurance to protect yourself.
What are some ways to keep insurance costs down?
You can keep insurance costs down by using an insurance broker. A broker is an insurance expert. They’ll get to know you and your business so they can offer you the exact coverage you need.
What should I do if the needs of my business change?
If your business needs change, simply let your broker know. They will adjust your policy as needed.
For more FAQs, visit the BrokerLink FAQs page.