Must-Have Insurance

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Image: Fotolia

As your business grows, so does your need for insurance.



Image: Fotolia



When it comes to investing in your small business, few things are more important than securing adequate insurance coverage. The right policy will protect your assets and give you peace of mind.

However, the policy you bought when you were starting out may not be sufficient for your current needs. Review your insurance coverage periodically to ensure that you’re getting the most for your money, and that you’re prepared for all valid risks.

Start with a full assessment of your company’s insurance needs. Business insurance safeguards your property against the consequences of fire, theft, liability, and other common risks. As companies grow, however, they often add services and specialized equipment that require policy endorsements or modifications.

Disaster and business interruption coverage is becoming a must for business owners concerned about damage or a prolonged shutdown resulting from natural disasters, incidents such as toxic spills or transportation disruptions, or acts of terrorism. Though such events are rare, even relatively minor incidents can disrupt your operations and the surrounding economy for weeks.

Before purchasing a policy or increasing your coverage, consider all the possible ways of holding down costs. Cover the most obvious perils first, then work down your list of priorities.

Don’t purchase coverage you don’t need, but don’t overlook seemingly minor risks simply for the sake of saving money. If the probability is small, the premium will be too. Use a deductible as high as you feel your cash flow and savings will allow.

Making wise insurance decisions is easier when you work with a reputable and qualified broker agent or consultant. Conducting research on your own is helpful, but a qualified professional can make an informed evaluation of your small-business insurance needs and match them with available coverage options.

A search feature at www.iiaa.org, the site of the Independent Insurance Agents of America, will help you find qualified professionals in your community with small-business expertise.

Many small-business policies offer the option of adding riders as opposed to buying separate policies. That’s one reason why purchasing coverage from a single agency or broker is usually more cost-effective.

If multiple policies are necessary, make sure they cover separate risks. Otherwise, you’ll be making unnecessary payments for what is essentially the same coverage.

For additional guidance on business insurance matters, contact SCORE at 1-800-634-0245 or www.score.org.

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