Valley First

Getting the right business insurance

Most business owners want a simple answer: what kind of insurance do I need?

Unfortunately, business insurance (or commercial insurance) isn’t straightforward the way car, home or even health insurance might be. It’s not a simple drop-down menu where you choose your industry and out pops your insurance package.

Every business venture is unique. And so understanding business insurance is about seeing the complete picture and is much more similar to understanding an individual’s total insurance.

When you look at your own needs, there are some specific questions that you need to answer. These are questions like:

  • Do you drive? How long have you driven for? What’s your driving history?
  • What’s your medical history? What’s your parents’ medical history?
  • How old are you?
  • Do you rent your home or have a mortgage?
  • What’s the value of the stuff you have?
  • And many more…

The same is true when it comes to business insurance. But following are some guidelines that can help shape the questions you want to be asking.

Assessing your business risks

It’s important for you to understand the story of your unique business venture, to identify the gaps that put you at risk and to translate that story so you can adequately protect yourself. This is what our insurance agents do.

When you’re looking at risks, there are three main categories to consider.

1. Protect your business from the loss of critical personnel due to injury, illness and even death.

If your business depends on certain people to operate, you’ll want to make sure you’re covered in case something happens.

  • Health and disability
  • Workers’ Compensation
  • Key Person Insurance
  • Business interruption

2. Protect your business’s physical assets from theft, damage and destruction.

Your assets are a crucial part of your business. You want to make sure you protect them in the event of a disaster or emergency.

  • Commercial property insurance
  • Commercial auto insurance
  • Equipment breakdown
  • Shipping insurance
  • Cyber risk and data breach

3. Protect your business from lawsuits

Mistakes and accidents happen. It doesn’t take criminal actions or serious negligence on the part of a business to be dragged into a costly lawsuit. Liability insurance covers the costs of court as well as the outcomes (up to the policy’s limits), regardless of whether you were found liable or not.

  • Commercial general liability
  • Professional liability
  • Product liability
  • Directors and officers

Different services, different needs

It goes without saying that different businesses will need different insurance. Like we said above, it’s not as simple as saying, “Landscapers need insurance package A, web developers need package B and salespeople need package C.”

But here’s a quick glance that breaks down the kinds of insurance that could be included in your package, depending on the services you specialize in.

Selling goods

  • Commercial general liability
  • Property insurance
  • Employee protection
  • Shipping insurance
  • Business interruption
  • Cyber risk and data breach

Manufacturing, building, repairing

  • Commercial general liability
  • Product liability insurance
  • Property insurance
  • Equipment breakdown insurance
  • Commercial auto
  • Cyber risk and data breach

Offering services

  • Commercial general liability
  • Professional liability
  • Property insurance
  • Cyber risk and data breach

Remember: your business is unique and therefore so are your needs and the risks it will face. Our insurance agents can best help identify your assets and liabilities and find an insurance package tailored to your business venture.

Other business insurance considerations

There are a couple other questions that could affect the premium that you’ll end up paying for your insurance. Risk assessment is very mathematical, based on statistical data.

  • How big is your company? More employees generally means increased liability.
  • How successful is your company? The higher your gross annual revenue is, the more exposure your company has to a liability claim.
  • What’s the nature of your work? The risks a construction company faces are very different than those of a consultant.
  • What are your specific risks? If your services involve employees working from heights, in heat or wintery conditions or other higher risk conditions, your premiums will be affected.

    Pro tip: Don’t list a service on your website or Facebook page just to appeal to a larger audience. An insurance company might calculate a risk for a service you don’t actually provide. Regularly audit your company’s web presence to make sure the information is accurate.

  • How much experience do you have? The more experience you have, the less mistakes you are likely to make.

Getting commercial insurance is a critical part of any business venture. You want to be able to protect yourself from risk so you can focus on providing services.

Like with any kind of insurance, business insurance is about a simple risk/benefit analysis: what are you willing to risk and what’s the potential benefit?

In the end, if what can go wrong does go wrong, you should have the coverage necessary so that neither your business nor your personal livelihood are threatened.

Contact one of our business insurance experts and get the insurance you need today.

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Whether you’re looking for more information, or you’d like to let us know how we can serve you, you’ll find our contact information here.
We encourage you to visit an insurance expert at any of our locations for more information on how Valley First can make things simple!