The basics Business Insurance: What you need to know to manage your risk

managing riskAny new or existing business needs to factor the costs of business insurance into the planning process – it’s a vital mechanism for managing risks and planning for adversity. Some coverages are optional while others, like workers’ comp, are mandated by law.

There’s a great primer on business insurance that appeared in the Boston Globe this week, sponsored by Rockland Trust and written by Wayne Taylor: First rule of insurance: don’t run the risk of being unprotected. Taylor notes: “For a small or medium-sized business, not being protected for uncovered losses could mean the difference between survival and failure.”

The article offers a good overview of business insurance basics, as well as coverages that are unique to specific industries.

We’re delighted that the article includes commentary from one of our Renaissance Alliance members:

“Many small businesses have a unique set of risk exposures that larger businesses don’t always have,” said W. Jeffrey Helm, president and founder of Atlantic Advisors Insurance Agency, Inc., in Norwell. “Often the small business owner is the one who is emptying the waste baskets and booting up the computers in the morning, as well as making sales calls and strategic operating decisions.

“What happens if this key player gets injured or falls ill? The company may not yet have a lot of savings in the bank, nor access to a large line of credit. Having disability coverage, for example, or business overhead expense insurance can help provide a temporary income stream so that the business continues to operate and meet its financial obligations.”

The article suggest brushing up on “the language of insurance” and finding professional guidance. Here are two excellent resources learning more about insurance.

As for a business insurance advisor – if your business is in New England, you can’t do better than a Renaissance Alliance independent insurance agency member – fine one near you!

Thinking of starting a business? Here’s a Small Business Insurance Tool Kit

As you plan for a new business, are you confident that you know enough about your insurance needs? Test your business insurance IQ with a quiz prepared by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) to see how you fare.
If you’re currently in the planning stages for launching a new or home-based business, an important aspect of the business plan is factoring in insurance costs. An independent insurance agent should be part of your planning and advisory team. But meanwhile as you do your planning, there are a lot of good online resources where you can learn some of the business insurance basics.
NAIC offers Insure U for Small Business. The site is a great primer on business insurance, offering helpful information, tips and considerations about for owners of small companies and home-based businesses.
Here are links to the major groupings that the site covers.

The Insurance Information Institute is also an authoritative and non-biased source of information on general business insurance as well as a helpful glossary of insurance terms. Here are a few other essential tools they offer for a small business: