When you start a business, you’re probably very excited about it. Maybe you’ve had this idea for years, and you’re only now beginning to get it off the ground. Your family is behind you, encouraging you.
You’ll need to do things like secure a bank or credit union loan, or find investors. You’ll need to hire employees and set up your supply chain. You may need to hire social media managers, marketing managers, etc.
You’re hoping the business succeeds, but there’s one area you should never neglect as you’re getting ready for the big opening. That’s getting the appropriate insurance. If there’s an accident or mishap, it’s the right insurance that protects you against things like personal injury lawsuits.
In this article, we’ll discuss how a business’s insurance covers these cases.
What Insurance Does Your Business Need?
Before we talk about personal injury claims, we’ll first go over the basic insurance types your business needs. At a minimum, you will probably need:
- Worker’s compensation coverage
- Commercial auto coverage
- General liability coverage
You need worker’s comp to cover your employees if one of them falls, cuts themselves, etc. If they need to miss some time, this insurance can help with their rent, food bills, medical bills, and so forth.
You will need commercial auto coverage if you have vehicles transporting your raw materials or finished products between locations. If one of your vehicles collides with another or hits a pedestrian, you’ll want that insurance in place. You also want this insurance type if you have employees that drive their own vehicles for work purposes.
As for general liability coverage, you need that for things like property damage or bodily injury lawsuits. You might also need it for slander or libel claims.
It is general liability coverage that helps if a customer falls in your store. This happens fairly frequently, so you must have this policy in place before you ever open your doors.
Some businesses also need things like data breach insurance, professional liability insurance, and others. It all depends on what exactly your company does and your potential legal vulnerabilities.
How Does General Liability Coverage Work?
Since we’re talking about personal injury claims, we’ll focus on general liability insurance. Generally, you’ll need to get minimum coverage according to state laws. Each state has different minimum coverage amounts if you’re going to sell goods or services.
As a business owner, you:
- Purchase the policy
- Contact your provider immediately if someone ever hurts themselves on your property or brings a claim against you
You need to tell your employees that if an incident ever takes place at one of your stores when you’re not around, they need to tell you about it without delay. You need to sort out what happened, and it’s up to you to contact your insurance provider. They need to know there might be a lawsuit on the horizon.
You need to have minimum coverage, but just because a state demands that you have a certain amount, that does not mean you shouldn’t have more. You’ll need to do some research.
Look into how likely it is that someone could hurt themselves on your property. Look at statistics. How often does it happen?
If you own a business with more frequent injuries, you will probably want more than the minimum coverage amount. If you feel like a winning lawsuit claim against your company might take the whole amount, and then some, get a more expensive policy.
The cost might be onerous, but you’ll be glad it’s there if a disaster happens. It’s the same as driving around with minimum auto insurance coverage. If there’s an accident, you hope the policy covers all the damage, but you must make up the difference if it doesn’t, and you caused what happened.
Talk to an Insurance Broker
This might all sound pretty bleak, but these are typical business concerns. If you’re not sure how to proceed, talk to a business insurance broker. There are brokers who are business specialists, just as there are home insurance specialists.
The broker can show you some different policies, and they can probably tell you how much you’ll need. Once you’ve got the right policies in place, you can open confidently. You won’t need to worry about accidents all the time.
Getting the right insurance is part of a business’s success formula. Maybe there will never be an accident or injury, but you’ll be ready if it ever happens.