This article was updated on September 18, 2018.
Every business has inherent risks. Protecting your investments with insurance should be a top priority for every small business owner. New types of insurance are regularly emerging to address potentially sensitive areas, such as data risk and wireless transactions, and it's easy to get bogged down with options as the market becomes increasingly complex. Here's a quick rundown of the essential small business insurance types.
If your company owns the workspace, property insurance will typically cover the costs of damages to the building caused by fire, theft or storms. If you rent, renters' insurance will protect your assets within your office's walls. An additional property policy can also protect office equipment, computers, inventory and tools.
Unless you're a sole proprietor with no employees, workers' compensation is an essential small business insurance policy, according to Entrepreneur. Why? Because even if workers are performing relatively low-risk tasks, it's possible for slip-and-fall injuries or existing medical conditions to turn small incidents into big claims. If you don't have workers' compensation in place, you're on the hook to pay out-of-pocket.
Do you use a vehicle for work? Do any of your employees use their own cars to conduct the tasks required for their job? Do you have any delivery vehicles? A solid vehicle insurance policy is increasingly necessary, particularly as the number of remote workers increase. Most personal auto insurance policies exclude coverage if the vehicle is used primarily for business purposes. A business vehicle insurance policy covers all vehicles owned by your company or operated for business purposes.
Errors and Omissions
Everyone makes mistakes, but when it comes to your small business, mistakes can be costly. To protect your interests and your assets it's essential to purchase personal liability insurance, also known as errors and omissions insurance. As noted by the Insurance Information Institute, this type of policy covers damages caused by product or service delivery failures, attorney fees and other legal expenses. While the goal of any small business is to deliver an ideal consumer experience it's impossible to avoid the occasional error; make sure you have the right coverage.
If you store any information about clients or customers, you're required to provide adequate protection, regardless of whether the information is stored on desktop computers, off-site servers or paper filing systems. In addition to developing a solid data-handling procedure, a data breach policy can cover you against any losses if physical documents are damaged or hackers breach your network.
Small and midsized business owners deal with risk every day. Give yourself room to breathe and make sure you're covered by essential small business insurance.
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