Do you have business insurance? Even if you just have a side hustle, you should make sure your business, no matter how big or small, is protected.
You Didn’t Know You Needed Business Insurance? Me Neither
If this is the first time you’ve ever thought about getting business insurance, you’re not alone. I’m almost embarrassed to admit it, but it was only a year ago that I got business insurance for myself. That effectively means that I was running my business full-time for almost a full year without any type of business insurance.
Why did I wait so long? Because I didn’t know I needed it! Last year, I predominantly made my income from my blog, podcast, public speaking and freelance writing. In other words, I worked alone from my home using just my laptop and some recording equipment. I didn’t run some brick-and-mortar store or have employees to manage. What would I need business insurance for?
Well, once I decided I was going to offer one-on-one financial counselling to clients, I started doing research on how to protect myself properly. The last thing I wanted was to get my first client, then have to file for bankruptcy because they decided to sue me later. I want to help people, but not at the risk of my business and livelihood!
So, I contacted an insurance agent to learn about my options. I told them about my unique situation as an online business owner and financial counsellor, and they offered some suggestions on how to protect myself. Eventually, I landed on taking out a Professional Liability Insurance policy. Not only do I now feel much more prepared in my business, I was also surprised to learn how inexpensive insurance can be.
Types of Business Insurance You May Need
(The following content was first published on Medium with permission from State Farm Canada – Jessica).
Business Property Insurance
Business Property Insurance, protects your assets; buildings, equipment, stock, contents, from all risks of direct physical loss or damage, such as fire, theft and vandalism. A good policy will also cover you for those things you didn’t know about, like building by-laws impacting the cost of construction or repair of damaged buildings.
Your Business Property Insurance will also provide several Business Interruption options that covers the loss of business income and rental income that occurs as a result of direct physical loss or damage to your property.
Business Liability Insurance
Stuff happens. No matter how tight a ship you run. Random events are bound to occur.
Injuries can occur both inside and outside your business. What’s more, customer and visitor injuries on your property may result in lawsuits. Slips and falls are the most common hazard, resulting from inadequate lighting, missing handrails, uneven surfaces or debris on surfaces.
Liability Insurance protects your business in the event of a claim or action from a third party who has sustained bodily injury, property damage or personal or advertising injury as a result of your negligence from your premises, operations, or products and operations.
Business Auto Insurance
Many folks who use their own vehicles in their line of work, whether for deliveries, transporting gear, or sales calls, assume their personal policies will cover them. Unfortunately, this leaves them vulnerable to risks that could seriously impact their future financial wellbeing. When talking to your agent about your coverage, ensure you disclose that your vehicle is being used for business purposes. This will ensure that you have the coverage you need to get the job done.
Business Life and Continuation Insurance
As business owner you owe it to your business partners and family to ensure that you have considered a business continuity plan, so your business will continue without any undue burden.
It is important to consider the impact a fatality (whether yours or a business partner’s) will have on your business. What happens to your business afterward? Will your family be on the hook for taxes? Capital gains? Probate fees and a bunch of other miscellanea? As a business owner, you may be able to use life insurance to help with an orderly and economical transition. This is one type of insurance many business owners often put off thinking about until later.
A surety bond is kind of like a money-back-guarantee for your customers. It’s a guarantee that your company, or you as an individual will deliver on a specific obligation. It gives your customers peace of mind that you will deliver on your commitments. In some cases, it may even be compulsory when working with certain levels of government or private companies.
There are other types of business insurance, some specific to your business. You should consider ensuring your business has the right and adequate coverage. A reputable, and established agent can customize a policy to properly suit your individual needs.
Your State Farm agent will help you find the right coverage for your business. No obligation. Visit the State Farm Canada website to find yours.
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