Business insurance protects you from the unexpected costs of running a business. Accidents, natural disasters, and lawsuits could run you out of business if you’re not protected with the right insurance.
Pick the type of business insurance you need
The protections you get from choosing a business structure like an LLC or a corporation typically only protect your personal property from lawsuits, and even that protection is limited.
Business insurance can fill in the gaps to make sure both your personal assets and your business assets are fully protected from unexpected catastrophes. In some instances, you might be legally required to purchase certain types of business insurance. The federal government requires every business with employees to have workers’ compensation, unemployment, and disability insurance. Some states also require additional insurance. Laws requiring insurance vary by state, so visit your state’s website to find out the requirements for your business.
Four steps to buy business insurance:
- Assess your risks. Think about what kind of accidents, natural disasters, or lawsuits could damage your business. If you need help, the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) provides information for choosing insurance to help you assess your risks and to make sure you’ve insured every aspect of your business.
- Find a reputable licensed agent. Commercial insurance agents can help you find policies that match your business needs. They receive commissions from insurance companies when they sell policies, so it’s important to find a licensed agent that’s interested in your needs as much as his/her own.
- Shop around. Prices and benefits can vary significantly. You should compare rates, terms, and benefits for insurance offers from several different agents.
- Re-assess every year. As your business grows, so do your liabilities. If you have purchased or replaced equipment or expanded operations, you should contact your insurance agent to discuss changes in your business and how they affect your coverage.