As a business owner there are many things for you to think about on a daily basis, one of the most important is that you are properly insured in the event of an emergency. Being insured as a business owner covers a wide range of things from protecting the building, the employees, the clients, as well as the products themselves. We will explore the different ways that you are protected with a special emphasis on offices and home-based businesses.
Start with Commercial General Liability insurance (CGI).
This usually covers lawsuits and settlements, medical expenses and damages that you are legally responsible for, as well as professional liability. There are extras that you can add to the basics of most general liability policies to beef them up such as extensions for employees who use their own cars for work purpose. Your liability in an important aspect, and the starting point of every commercial insurance policy. If your negligence results in a law suit, you want to ensure your policy has liability protection and a sufficent limit.
Having the right property insurance for your business is key.
The basic policies will normally cover fire, wind, hail or acts of vandalism. It is important to make sure that the specifics of this section of your policy cover the big-ticket items that keep your business running on a daily basis, such as office equipment, inventory and signage. If your equipment includes cell phones and computers you should be giving serious consideration to Cyber Protection as well!
Loss of Income protection.
If you are forced to suspend your operations due to a physical loss or damage to a property that is insured and the reason for the loss is covered under your policy, your business loss of income insurance (or business interruption) is here to help. Loss of Income insurance is in place to help you replace lost income during the closure, pay for rebuild and renovation expenses, as well as any normal operating expenses that would be a struggle without an income.
Professional liability insurance, when needed.
Everyone makes mistakes and this is why it is important to make sure that you have professional liability insurance included under a policy. This clause makes sure that you are covered in the event that you have to go to court for an error that you made as well as most cases of business malpractice. This is not generally included under a basic commercial insurance policy, you may need to inquire for a separate coverage from a specialist insurer in your given field. Errors and Omissions (E & O) is another example of such protection that we ourselves use in the insurance business for a sales agent or anyone providing you with insurance advice.
Home-Based business insurance.
When it comes to running a business out of your home, you are opening yourself up to a lot more risk. This is where home-based business insurance comes into play. This type of insurance includes general liability if you have clients that come to your house for services, professional liability, or to purchase products. Your basic house insurance policy is not intended to cover risk or exposure for a business, make sure you inform your insurer of such ventures and remember full disclosure is the only way to ensure that you are properly and fully protected.
Home-based coverage, while including much of the same things as general commercial insurance, is more specific to businesses that are run out of a home, and can be tailored to your specific needs as a business. Keep in mind that assuming that your homeowner insurance covers you in case of an accident, is very dangerous. If equipment related to your business causes a fire, there is a chance that your home insurance policy does not cover the damage.
Making sure that you are well covered is one of the first and most important things a small business owner should do. Research what you and your business needs specifically so that when an emergency occurs, whether or not you are covered is not a question that you have to ask yourself at that time, because it will be too late. All you have to do is make the call to Erie Mutual Insurance and we handle the rest, it really is that easy!
Free Professional Insurance Advice
Stay updated on industry or company changes that may affect your insurance coverage or buying decisions.
As a mutual insurance provider of both farm and auto insurance (in addition to business and home), we often get questions related to farm vehicles including when and why to register a vehicle with a farm plate.
Individually we all have different questions as we begin to emerge from lockdown:
• How can I stay safe?
• Are my clothes still in style?
• How do I lose the pandemic 15?
• Will there be a second wave?
• What month is it?
• What is that glowing hot ball in the sky?
If 2020 has taught us anything so far, it is that most of us need to work on being better prepared in the event of a supply chain disruption. Power and communication are certainly high up there in terms of priorities but there is nothing more important for our survival than reliable food supply.