As a business owner what type of business insurance policy do you need? Are your personal assets at risk? Are you following legal requirements? Feel confident about your business insurance coverage and know exactly what is covered and what your insurance needs are.

Your business needs a plan for when a setback occurs to guarantee your company’s continued success. Good business owners expect and prepare for unfortunate events with the right insurance coverage. Learn what business insurance coverage best fits your company’s needs.

Different Types Of Business Insurance Coverages

Knowing what is included in a business insurance policy can lead you to understand your need.

Business insurance can be divided up into four broad categories:

  1. Business Property Insurance – Often the first insurance coverage business owners think of needing as it provides coverage for the building and other properties that can often be lost, stolen or damaged. The split in the road decision you will need to make is actual cash value or replacement cost coverage for your property.
  2. Business Liability Insurance – Coverage to avoid out of pocket costs caused by a lawsuits and legal fees. Depending on your line of work your business may need consider professional liability coverage for protection from lawsuits specific to your industry.
  3. Business Auto Insurance – Covers your businesses vehicles. Even a minor accident can have a major effect on your ability to serve customers and maintain a high level of business operations.
  4. Business Umbrella Insurance – Umbrella Liability ensures you’ll have enough money to pay for an expensive law suit acting as a safety net as it extends your coverage limits. An umbrella policy takes over when limits have been met, to help you as a business owner prepare for any possible circumstance.

Depending on the size and type of your business other coverages may be recommend or even required by law. Your unique business insurance needs can be best addressed by talking with an insurance agent, and by bringing some knowledge of basic business insurance to the conversation you can confidently find the right policy for you.

Consider a B.O.P.

Bundle the insurance into a nice package and slap a bow on it!

A business owners policy (B.O.P.) combines the basic coverages for property and liability most small to medium sized businesses would need. This package comes at a cheaper price than each coverage alone and is commonly used for small businesses.

A B.O.P. typically includes the following coverages with the ability to add endorsements if additional protection is needed.

  • Property insurance
  • Business interruption insurance
  • Crime insurance
  • Vehicle coverage
  • Liabilty insurance
  • Flood insurance

Business owners find the B.O.P. to often be a less stressful solution to meeting their needs, but only is a viable solution for small and sometimes medium sized businesses. There are size requirements that have to be meet in order to be eligible for a business owners policy.

Insurance Agent Or Insurance Broker?

Now with a brief overview of business insurance coverage decide if your company would be best paired with an insurance agent or an insurance broker.

    Choosing an Insurance Agent

    An insurance agent can either be

    • Captive – meaning the individual is only able to sell insurance policies for one company, working as a representative.
    • Independent – meaning the agent is able to represent numerous insurance carriers and help clients compare insurance carriers policies with access to a wide range of markets.

    An agent is able to provide more personal service although this doesn’t always guarantee personal service which brings us to the risk of an agent. Agents are not required to examine a business and it’s operations to be sure coverage is correct. It is very important to be choosy when finding a good insurance agent and you should be cautious if the agent doesn’t seem to ask many questions about your business.

    Choosing an Insurance Broker

    An insurance broker similarly to an independent agent has access to a wide range of carriers. The difference is brokers charge higher premium costs along with administration fees because brokers are required to inspect and assess your business to examine for insurance needs.

    Brokers play a more active role in accessing risks and evaluating business coverage needs where an agent can have more of an administrative role for a business.

What best fits your business is a personal preference. If you are looking for an experienced insurance professional who is able to provide the best coverage offered through numerous carriers choose either an independent insurance agent or a broker.

When you find the right agent who is invested in your success you can avoid paying the greater expense of a broker and have more than adequate business coverage.

The Intangibles Offered By An Agency

Deciding on the right business insurance coverage is a more involved decision than simply choosing coverage and agent. You are looking for which company will work to help you succeed.

Their are questions you need to ask before buying business insurance to be sure you’ve made the right decision.

    – Ask about the agents accessibility and how you get in touch with them if you have a question.

    – Learn what the claims process would look like in the event of a loss.

    – See what resources are offered to help you minimize costs and risks.

    – Test their customer service ability and if it suits your needs.

You will need your insurance company in the worst of circumstances and want them to be available to help you get back on your feet quickly and easily. Learn about the company and see what each agency is passionate about and how they will be able to help your business succeed.