If you are a business owner, whether you drive for Uber and/or Lyft, own and operate a small restaurant or even build homes, you will need to make sure that you have an adequate amount of business insurance to protect both your personal and business interests. Often times, someone will start a business and unless it is a licensing requirement, they will tend to either purchase minimal insurance or try to go without. This is usually a mistake.
There are many types of business or commercial insurance to protect and/or limit your potential liability should something happen during the course of operating your business. The primary types are:
Commercial vehicle insurance – insurance on vehicles used for business purposes. Some examples might include a pizza delivery vehicle, tow truck or cement truck.
Commercial property insurance – insurance on the physical building you use to run your business. Some examples might include a warehouse, a restaurant or a retail store.
General liability insurance – insurance that will protect you if something happens in the course of operating your business. Two most common examples of circumstances where this type of insurance will be helpful include if someone get hurts while in your place of business or you damage something while performing a service for someone.
Workers compensation insurance – insurance that protects your employees while they are on the job. A business owner is not covered by this type of insurance.
Business owners property insurance – insurance on the equipment, inventory and supplies of a business. Some examples might include the pizza ovens at a restaurant, a plumbers tools and building supplies located in your warehouse.
As a new or long-time business owner, the following are 11 things that that you should consider when you are purchasing insurance for the first time or looking to take a fresh look at the level of business or commercial insurance you carry.
1. Are there any legal or licensing requirements that require a specific level of coverage and/or type of insurance for my business?
2. Does my lender, landlord or lessor require a certain level or type of business insurance coverage?
3. Does my personal insurance policy or coverage have limitations and/or restrictions about using my personal home or vehicle for commercial and/or business activities?
4. What are my personal and business risk exposure if one of my employees or contractors get hurt on the job while they are working for me?
5. Do my current or potential clients have insurance coverage requirements that must be met for me to do work for them?
6. What happens if my business is sued, who will cover my legal expenses and under what circumstances?
7. How do I cover my employees or contractors if they are working on-site at a client’s business or home location?
8. Do I need a specialist in commercial or business insurance or will my personal insurance agent be qualified to help me find the right insurance?
9. What happens if a client or customer gets hurt while at my place of business?
10. Is there a way to protect lost business income should something prevent me from operating my business?
11. Are there any circumstances or situations where my claim for benefits can be denied?