Driven by an entrepreneurial spirit, there are 33.2 million small businesses in the United States, which employ 46.4% of the private workforce, according to The Office of Advocacy, an independent office within the U.S. Small Business Administration.
To launch and keep a business thriving requires a good amount of passion, a strong business plan, usually a hefty financial investment and a few things most people don’t think about. Like insurance.
With so much at stake, insuring your investment, yourself, employees and property the right way is one of the most important decisions every owner must make. From commercial auto and property to workers’ comp, there are a lot of considerations. So, where do you start?
Know the rules
Check with your state’s Department of Insurance about which coverage is required. As the Small Business Administration points out, “Most states require businesses with employees to pay for workers’ compensation insurance, unemployment insurance, and state disability insurance.” You can find your state’s insurance division here.
Imagine the unimaginable
Before you can decide how to protect your business it’s important to understand the threats. With so many commercial insurance options first figure out your needs and your level of exposure. Fire, slip and falls, loss of income, defective products, injured employees or customers, equipment breakdowns. Don’t say, “That won’t happen to me.” Those are the famous last words of too many business owners. Look at each step of your business, imagine the worst and then protect against it.
Employment Practices Liability Insurance
Employee relations sometimes sour. Most business owners value and respect their employees, and often treat them like family. But disputes can happen and business owners should protect themselves if those disagreements escalate into litigation. Employment Practices Liability Insurance protects employers from wrongful acts that may arise out of their employment practices (such as race, age, sex discrimination, wrongful termination, failure to promote and retaliation). This coverage is quickly becoming a staple in today’s insurance market.
Find security in a digital world
Data compromises in 2022 were recorded as the second-highest in a single year and only 60 events short of the previous years, according to the Identity Theft Resource Center. The group’s 2022 Annual Data Breach Report cited the number of data compromises in 2022 was 1,802 but that the first half of the year saw fewer events due to “Russia-based cybercriminals distracted by the war in Ukraine and volatility in the cryptocurrency markets.”
Because customers may try to take action against you if their information is ever leaked or stolen by a hacker, it’s important to make sure you are insured against these types of threats that may enter your business online. If you have a Business Owners Policy (BOP) with MAPFRE, you can opt to include an endorsement providing cyber coverage.
MAPFRE’s Cyber Suite is a comprehensive cyber insurance solution designed to help businesses respond to a range of cyber incidents including threats of unauthorized intrusion into or interference with computer systems, damage to data and systems from a computer attack and cyber-related litigation.
Home is where the heart is
But if your home is also where the business is, you need additional coverage. Your homeowners’ policy does not protect your home-based business. Once you assess the risks to your business you will want to consider adding a rider to your homeowner’s policy to cover basic business risks. But that is only the start. Adding business insurance to protect your business is really the protection you and your business deserve.
Most importantly, be sure to consult with your independent agent to help you determine the coverage your business needs. You may know how to make a mouth-watering orange, cranberry scone or how to build a kitchen that belongs in Architectural Digest. But that doesn’t make you an expert in insurance. Talk with your independent insurance agent and have them provide a plan that will keep your business protected. And don’t forget to make sure you also have the right business insurance coverage by getting a fast, free quote today from MAPFRE!