Trying to choose the proper insurance and coverage amounts can be overwhelming. Let’s look at the typical business insurance needed by almost any business as well as some additional insight to other coverage available for store owners. Understanding the language in an insurance policy is important. Work with a licensed insurance professional along the way to help you understand the specifics of your policies.
Risk management is generally a department of a big company, but even in a small store, the business owner has to assume that role. Your licensed insurance professional becomes your number one resource in determining the risk you and your business have and help you determine the coverage necessary to reduce that risk. In addition, the state department of insurance and different retail associations can provide additional information key to your store.
Most stores will find three primary areas of risk which need to be addressed. The first is property insurance. Property insurance protects your business property and inventory against loss or damage by accident, theft, or another cause or by another party. Often, your property insurance may be purchased in conjunction with your liability coverage.
These combined policies are often sold as Business Owners Policies or B.O.P’s. The second is general liability insurance. Liability insurance protects the company against claims of injury either bodily or physically. This would protect you in the event of an accident at your business or in another location where you or your employees are conducting business.
As noted above, general liability protection is offered through a B.O.P. In some cases, a business may also need professional liability coverage. Discuss professional liability with your insurance professional. Medical Malpractice Insurance is an example of professional liability insurance.
Finally, if you have employees, workers compensation is required in most states. This insurance covers medical and loss wages to an employee injured conducting company business. It also protects the business from being sued by the employee.
In addition to the three primary insurance needs, there are specialized policies and coverage options. Plate glass and signage is one example. Loss of use and mechanical breakdown coverage are others. Crime insurance and having a commercial umbrella policy are other types.
Work with you licensed insurance professional to assess the risk and develop a comprehensive insurance package that fits your specific needs. Remember, your insurance agent and the companies represented are tremendous resources available for you.