Small Businesses have a lot of expenses. So many expenses, many small businesses have to make decisions about what is essential and what they can do without. Far too many small businesses decide to skimp by with less insurance than they actually need. For many small business owners, this is a fatal mistake when the business experiences an accident they were not prepared for. Purchasing the proper insurance is one area that businesses should not skimp on and here are three policies most entrepreneurs do not realize they need to secure.
General liability and workers’ compensation insurance are required by law in nearly every state, but they are just the bare minimum coverage any business should secure. Most businesses need several additional coverages to properly protect their entire investment. If you own the property you operate, you need commercial property coverage. If your employees operate vehicles as a part of daily operations, you need to secure business auto insurance. These are fairly obvious policies; most entrepreneurs can understand why they might need to cover their business. But what about protecting against a data breach or an employee suing you for harassment? When purchasing insurance for your business it is important to partner with an independent insurance agent with whom you trust to cover all the risks you may not predict. Here are three additional insurance policies all small business owners should consider the next time they are getting a small business workers compensation insurance quote.
Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI)
Every small business owner thinks they can trust their employees. They more than likely think their employees would never sue them or their business. Right? That may be the case, until someone does sue your business. According to Trusted Choice, an organization dedicated to highlight the strengths of independent insurance agents, employment lawsuits have risen 400 percent over the past 20 years. According to this same data, wrongful termination lawsuits have risen 260 percent during that same time span. This means your business is more likely to face an employment practices lawsuit than it is to experience a fire. Because of this elevated risk, it is important for all small business owners to discuss with their insurance agent whether they need an EPLI Policy.
Data Breaches are a normal part of our daily life. A new major data breach is announced on the news a couple of times a month. The most complete information on data breaches dates back to the year 2016. A recent joint study by the Identity Theft Resource Center and Cyber Scout reported the number of tracked data breaches in 2016 reached 1093, an all-time high for any year. Data on 2017 is not complete at this time, but early estimates are that 2017 will pass 2016 for the record year with the most data breaches in history. Because of the sheer volume of breaches and the amount of information lost, it is extremely important. Many big businesses are catching on to the fact that they need to protect their business from this threat and because of this many hackers are focusing on small businesses as a place vulnerable to attack. This elevates the need for small businesses to implement cyber security procedures and purchase adequate cyber insurance.
Inland Marine Insurance
Many small businesses own and operate specialized equipment that is unique to their business and the industry they operate in. An example of this specialized equipment may be a photographer with expensive accessories, a land surveyor with electronic optical instruments, or even an insurance adjustor who uses a drone to surveyor a disaster area. These pieces of equipment are not common and are typically not covered under a basic general liability policy. If you use some type of specialized equipment, it is important to mention this to your insurance agent. They can help you get it covered under an inland marine insurance policy. It is crucial to keep an accurate inventory of your equipment on file with your agent and carrier. It is also a good idea to keep photos of this equipment up to date.