Small business insurance is a must-have, even for the smallest of companies. Without it, you could end up losing everything. The big challenge is to find the right insurance for your business, something that can be difficult unless you know what to look for.
Not having insurance for your business can be devastating if anything should happen to it. As a small business, it only takes a tiny thing, like a robbery or fire, to cause very serious problems. Since smaller companies are usually working on very small budgets, it can be virtually impossible to recover from disaster. That’s why it’s important, not only to have small business insurance, but to also choose the right one.
You need an insurance company that will work quickly to help you recover and get back on your feet, no matter what the issue. If you know what to look for, it doesn’t have to be very difficult to find the right insurance company.
Types of Insurance to Consider
Before you start looking at pricing or details, you need to know what type of insurance you want. Here is a brief overview of the most important types.
- General liability. This insurance helps you in the case of a lawsuit against your business for anything from slander to accidents.
- Product liability. This protects you from any problems that may arise due to the use of products that you sell.
- Professional liability. If you don’t sell products, but focus on services, this insurance protects you against malpractice suits and the like. It may be required if you are a medical practitioner.
- Property insurance. This covers everything from destruction of the building to loss of actual equipment. You can choose an all-inclusive policy or focus on specific ones, such as fire or flood insurance.
- Home business insurance. Working out of your home? Then you need to look into specific insurance for your home business, as a home owner's policy will not cover the business.
You’ll find that most insurance companies offer packages for small businesses that include property and liability coverage, but you may want to tailor it a bit more than that. Just how much coverage you can get will depend on the agency you select.
Finding an Insurance Company
There are plenty of insurance agencies out there, so actually finding one is as simple as doing a Google search for insurance companies in your area. However, this won’t tell you whether or not they are the right ones for your small business. To decide which one is best, you’ll need to dig a little deeper.
First, check out companies that offer small business insurance. This is very useful in narrowing down the possibilities, since not all companies will provide the same insurance options. You will find that many don’t fit your needs, so make a list of which companies have just what you need. Then you can begin to research them.
Next, make sure you check with your state’s insurance department. It will be able to let you know if the company is legit or not and whether the company is licensed to sell small business insurance. You can learn a lot this way and eliminate any scams, so it’s worth the time it takes to do a quick background check. It’s possible to do this by phone, so it’s even faster.
Check the ratings of any companies you are thinking about using. There are several options for this, including A.M. Best Company, Standard & Poors and TheStreet.com. All of these let you check the ratings for any insurance company that is registered. If a company is too new, you probably won’t find anything on them, but you probably won’t want to use new, unproven companies anyway, since they have no track record.
Once you are happy with the selection of insurance companies that you’ve chosen, it’s time to start asking for quotes. Most companies offer easy-to-use online quote forms, which makes life much simpler.
What to Look for
In order to choose the best small business insurance, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind.
- Pricing. Cheaper isn’t always better, but affordability is important
- Reviews. Find out how long other people have waited for their claims to be processed.
- Experience. How long has the company been around? More experience means better stability.
- Friendliness. Make sure this is a company that you can work with long term.
Basically, you want a good, stable company that is easy to work with. If its customer service is terrible when you’re looking for quotes, you can imagine what the company will be like when you need to place a claim. Look for a friendly service that offers the type of insurance that you want.
There is no one company that will work for every company. That being said, you can certainly see what other people think about a certain company and get recommendations. Just make certain that you check everything out for yourself, as well. There’s nothing worse than being stuck with an insurance company that makes it difficult to get your claim processed.