Small businesses should enjoy improved sales and profits in 2014|
and the best growth prospects since 2007, according to Kiplinger, a
Washington, D.C.-based publisher of business forecasts.
As your business grows, it’s important to make sure your insurance keeps pace with your current and future needs. Just as you plan other parts of your business, like finance and marketing, regularly review
your insurance needs with your agent, especially around the following topics:
Business owner’s policy (BOP) — A BOP is a broad-based policy covering a variety of potential losses, including property damage (building, equipment and inventory), income (due to a covered
loss) and liability (when your employees, products or services cause harm to other people or their property). As you add staff, space or equipment, you’ll want to be sure your BOP coverage stays current.
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Cyber liability — Although cyber attacks against large retailers get the headlines, small businesses are not immune. According to Symantec’s 2014 Threat Report, 30 percent of all cyber “phishing” attacks target companies with fewer than 250 employees.* All it takes is a single stolen laptop or computer virus to jeopardize your technology security and leave you vulnerable to claims. If your BOP doesn’t cover cyber attacks, consider adding it in.
Professional liability — You may think of liability coverage primarily as protection against accidents, injuries or claims of negligence, but if your business provides services, you are also at risk for claims based on service errors or negligence.
Employment practices liability — This coverage helps protect you against employment-related claims, such as if a disgruntled ex-employee or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) pursues your company for discrimination or harassment. Employment practice claims have increased dramatically. For instance, the EEOC collected a record $372.1 million in 2013 for victims of private sector workplace discrimination.**
Covered loss coverage — If your business experiences a loss, what is the extent of your insurance? Many small business owners do not know their coverage specifics — and may face an unpleasant surprise if they need to make a claim. For instance, what about coverage for pricey new equipment that gets damaged, or the cost of removing debris after a loss? Up to 25 percent of businesses that experience a disaster never open their doors again, according to the Insurance
Consult with your agent
A quality insurance carrier and agent will proactively help you determine your company’s risk management. It’s in your agent’s best interests to make sure your business succeeds, based on proper
* Source: Internet Security Threat Report, 2014, symantec.com.
** Source: Equal Employment Opportunity Commission pressrelease, Dec. 16, 2013.
*** Source: Insurance Information Institute press
release,Oct. 3, 2013