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Have you made your New Year’s resolutions yet? Did you include your business in those resolutions?
The start of a new year is the perfect time to review your small business insurance needs against your existing coverage to make sure your business is fully protected in the event of an emergency.
What if your office caught on fire tomorrow? What if an employee got hurt during work hours?
These types of catastrophes and accidents happen to small businesses every day, but unfortunately, the majority of small businesses are not properly insured and are putting their companies at risk.
With that in mind, here are five essential areas you should review at the start of the new year to ensure your business is well-protected:
1. Property and Inventory
Has your property improved or grown in the past year? Have you purchased or sold office equipment? Has your inventory increased or decreased?
Depending on your answers to these questions, you might need to increase or decrease your property insurance coverage.
Did your business grow so much last year that you had to hire your first employees? Did your existing staff increase or decrease?
If your company has full-time or part-time employees, then you need to have adequate worker’s compensation coverage. Even if you only have contractors, if they spend time on your business property, you could be held liable if they get injured while they’re working. Make sure your worker’s compensation and employer’s liability coverage is adequate.
Does your existing general liability insurance effectively cover you if someone claims they were injured or their property was injured because of your products?
If you sell physical goods, you need business liability insurance. We live in a sue-happy world, so you should always be prepared for the worst.
Do you sell services? Could you make a mistake or leave something out of the services you provide?
If you sell services, you need professional liability insurance, particularly coverage against claims that you made an error or omission which caused another party harm. For example, an accountant needs “errors and omissions” coverage in case she is accused of making an error on a tax return.
Keep in mind, professional liability claims can be much more expensive than general liability claims, so plan for the worst and get the coverage you need.
Does your company receive and store private information from customers that needs to be kept secure?
If you have digital or paper files that include personal information, your company is responsible for protecting that information from digital or non-digital breaches. For example, if you store credit card information on your computers or servers, you need to protect that information.
The reality is that data breaches occur every day, so you need data breach insurance to protect you against any related losses.
It’s easy to assume that nothing bad will happen to your business, but you can’t guarantee that it won’t. Rather than exposing your small business to a lot of unnecessary risk, protect it by making sure you have adequate insurance coverage while not overpaying for coverage you don’t need.