Smart business owners have business insurance, no matter how big or small their company is. But do you have all the coverage you need? Here are five places where business owners often find themselves lacking in insurance coverage.
You may have property insurance for a business structure you own, but it may not have the coverage required by the uptick in extreme weather incidents recently. Flooding is one type of disaster that is typically not covered by traditional property insurance. You must purchase separate flood insurance to protect your business premises.
More and more places are subject to flooding lately due to increased rainfall, crumbling infrastructure, rising sea levels, and storm surges. You can purchase government-sponsored flood insurance if you live in a flood zone that participates in flood mitigation measures. Or you may buy a private flood insurance policy, which often has the added bonus of higher limits.
While not a weather incident per se, earthquakes are also a concern in many parts of the nation, not just the west coast. And they could become weather-related, as drought and other aspects of climate change stress fault lines. Earthquake insurance is also usually not standard with property insurance, but it can be quickly added as an endorsement to an existing commercial property insurance policy.
Cyber and Technology Protection
Most enterprises today conduct most, if not all, of their business online. But this leaves you vulnerable in multiple ways. Special insurance for cyber crime and technology protection can cover things like:
- Employee or customer identity theft
- Theft of financial data
- Violations of privacy policies
- Online errors and omissions
- Cyber extortion (blackmail)
- Funds transfer fraud
- Data restoration
- Business interruption
Virtually every business can use coverage for one aspect or another of their operation, even solopreneurs and startups.
Usually, the interior of your business premises is covered with property insurance. However, if you have expensive equipment, you'll want to make sure it has the coverage it needs. Think of it like adding protection to your homeowner policy for valuables like jewelry or fine art.
Many businesses also forget to update their coverage limits when they add new equipment to their office, manufacturing facility, or retail outlet. Always confer with your insurance agent when you add value to your business with new capital purchases.
Additionally, if you transport valuable equipment for someone else, you may need inland marine insurance coverage. For instance, if you make scientific instrumentation for laboratory clients, you'll want to be certain those instruments are protected with insurance from the time they leave your facility until the time they’re installed in the client’s building.
Remote work is a business model that is here to stay for the future. Protect yourself and your employees with insurance for remote workers, such as:
- Business-owned office equipment
- General liability
- Specific liability (such as errors and omissions)
- Cyber and technology coverage
- Commercial auto
- Property insurance
- Workers compensation
Personal Vehicles for Business Use
Did you know that if you or an employee uses a personal vehicle for business, an accident will likely not be covered by a personal auto policy? You don’t want to pay liability damages or repairs out of your own pocket when special insurance exists for this purpose. As well as insuring company vehicles, certain types of commercial auto insurance policies can cover the use of a personal vehicle for work, such as delivery of pizza or flowers. These policies can also cover you and your employees when you travel out of town and rent a vehicle for business use. Be sure to consult with an agent about your specific needs to be sure you're properly covered.
Are you worried after reading this that you have gaps in your business insurance coverage? Call Hartley Insurance, Inc. at 503-873-6355 or send us a message online for a personalized consultation with advice about how to shore up your protection.