You’ve got your convenience store open and raring to go. Everything is going great until a burglar decides to make off with a bunch of your stock. It’s going to take tons of money for you to recuperate from the loss.
You should have gotten a commercial insurance policy. Not all states require it, but it’s a good idea to get it anyway for situations such as this. The problem lays with finding the right policy for your company.
We might be able to help you out with that. Keep reading to find out how to get the right insurance to take care of your budding business.
1. Get the Right Agent
The first step in finding a good insurance policy is to hire the right agent. They’ll sit down with you and help you decide on coverage based on your needs. There are two different types of agents that you’ll run into.
A captive agent works for a specific company. When they pitch products and services to you, it’s that company’s products and services. There are some pros and cons to working with one of these agents.
The advantage is that they know the company like the back of their hand. They have all the inside info on special discounts and will be motivated to give you the best offer. The downside is that you’ll be limiting yourself to a single company.
If you want a little more flexibility, you should go with an independent agent. They don’t work for any company in particular. This will give you the freedom to shop around a little.
2. Find Out How Much Insurance Coverage You Need
Not every state requires a company to have insurance. We will tell you that most want you to have worker’s compensation, at least.
Your agent can help you figure out how much coverage you need. If you haven’t found an agent yet, this guide can help you out in the meantime.
3. Good Insurance Doesn’t Come Cheap
When you’re first starting, paying for insurance is painful. You barely have enough cash to get your company open, let alone get a policy for it. The last thing you want is to skimp on your coverage, though.
Let’s say that someone hacks your business. You lose tons of data in the breach and are never able to bounce back from it. Eventually, you’re forced to shut your doors.
This entire situation could have been avoided if you’d invested in enough insurance to cover your losses.
4. Read the Fine Print
When you’re handed the paperwork to sign, make sure you read it fully. You want to know what all your limitations, exclusions, and deductibles are upfront.
If there are any gaps in your coverage, it’s good to know about them before it’s too late.
5. Consider a BOP
When you’re looking for insurance, you can invest in several different policies, or you can go for a BOP. BOPs compile all your coverage into one package.
They’re a worthwhile investment for a few reasons. For one, you’ll have a little flexibility. Most companies will let you pick and choose what goes into your plan.
For two, it’s cheaper to pull all your policies together rather than pay for them separately. You’ll also only be dealing with one provider, which is less of a hassle when it comes time to file a claim.
6. Invest in the Future
When you first open your business, basic coverage will suit your needs fine. As you start to grow, however, this basic policy will be rendered obsolete.
When you open new locations and hire staff, you’ll have to have more insurance. You can wait until you need this coverage to invest in a new policy, or you can choose one that’s going to grow with your business in the first place. We recommend going with the latter.
7. Protect Your Staff Members
If your business has any employees at all, you need to make sure that they are covered. Again, most states require you to at least have worker’s compensation insurance. This has your back if one of your staff members is hurt on the job.
If you hire outside contractors, you’ll need a separate insurance policy for them. Let’s say that you have a contractor doing a little work in your building. Said contractor is injured on the job.
Without liability insurance in place, you’ll have to pay for all their medical bills out of your own pocket. They will also be able to sue you for damages.
8. Expect the Unexpected
So, someone or something has caused a fire to break out in your building. The firefighters make it there as fast as they can, but the building is toast. It’s a good thing that you have coverage!
Except you have to pay a $10,000 deductible before your insurance kicks in. You didn’t notice that when you were going over the fine print. Again, read everything and be prepared to handle unexpected costs.
Your insurance agent is handy in this regard. When you’re choosing a policy, they will go over the hidden costs with you right away. You’ll never get caught off guard.
9. Look for Industry-Specific Coverage
Getting a BOP is all well and good, but you should also look for policies that cover industry-specific problems. For example, if you run an online business, you’ll need to put most of your money in your cybersecurity plan because you’re more vulnerable to hackers than anything.
If you have a law firm and give a client bad advice, they may blame you for their lost case. Having the right insurance in place will prevent them from taking legal action.
Find the Best Commercial Insurance Policy for You
One of the most important aspects of running a business is investing in the right commercial insurance policy. If you neglect this crucial step, you could run into all sorts of financial and legal trouble. Some states won’t even let you operate unless you have a policy.
We hope that you’re able to use the tips provided to find the right policy to suit your needs. If you need more advice on insurance and keeping your business going, feel free to check out our blog.