Your business may have many assets: vehicles, office space and equipment, inventory, an indispensable employee or partner and, most importantly, yourself. To protect these assets and to protect your business from potential risks, you should consider getting insurance.
All businesses take some risks, but taking too many risks or failing to protect yourself does not make good business sense. Could your business survive if one of the partners dies or becomes disabled? Would you have sufficient cash on hand to deal with any business emergency that could arise? In many cases, the answers to these and other questions about risk is “no”. All businesses take some risks, but taking too many risks or failing to protect yourself does not make good business sense. Could your business survive if one of the partners dies or becomes disabled?
Types of Insurance
Insurance needs vary, and it is best to get advice from an insurance broker or agent who is familiar with your specific type of business. Below are different types of insurance that may apply to your business.
Insurance for owners, partners and key employees.
The loss of a key person can devastate your business and your livelihood. These types of insurance can help protect your business and your family from potential risks:.
Life Insurance: Protects your family if something happens to you. Especially in the case of a sole proprietorship because the owner is personally liable for all the debts of the business.
Disability insurance: Will provide you with income for a specified period, if you are unable to work due to an injury or illness.
Partnership insurance or buy-sell insurance: If your business partner passes away, partnership insurance will allow you to purchase the shares and continue running the business.
Critical illness insurance: Provides you with a lump sum benefit, if you are diagnosed with a critical illness.
Key person insurance: If you rely on certain key people to help run your business, protect yourself against the loss of these key employees.
To find out which of these are deductible as business expenses and which ones you will need to pay for yourself as an individual, please contact an accountant.
Insurance For Business Property and Earnings
You need to protect your assets and earnings if a disaster or emergency destroys part or all of your business premises, and assets including:
Property Insurance: Property insurance will cover the property and buildings owned by your business in the event of destruction or damage due to things like fire and other perils.
Contents Insurance: This covers assets that you store at your business premises. If you are leasing space for your business, the owner of the property probably has property insurance, but you are likely responsible for your contents insurance. If you run your business out of your home, you will likely need separate contents insurance for your business assets. You will likely need separate contents insurance for your business assets if you run your business out of your home.
Business Interruption Insurance: If you need to shut down your business temporarily due to a fire or other peril, business interruption insurance will cover your loss of earnings until you are back in business.
Vehicle insurance: You will need to insure any vehicles that your business owns. If you use personal vehicles for business purposes, be sure to advise your insurance company. Be sure to advise your insurance company if you use personal vehicles for business purposes.
Mistakes happen. You, your employees, your equipment or your suppliers could be the cause of mistakes that ultimately end up hurting your customers, your employees or other people who are involved with your business. To protect your business from being sued, you should consider these types of insurance to limit your liability:.
General Liability: Covers injury to clients or employees on your premises.
Product Liability: Provides protection if your products are defective or cause serious harm to those using them.
Professional Liability Insurance: Provides protection if a client sues you for errors, omissions or negligence when performing professional services.
Accounts Receivable Insurance
Having a client that does not pay can leave you in a difficult situation. You have to pay your employees and suppliers and employees and are essentially stuck covering the costs of goods sold, without the corresponding revenue. Accounts receivable insurance, also known as credit insurance, can help protect you from this risk when a client goes bankrupt or refuses to pay.
The risks are often greater when dealing with export markets. When dealing with export markets, the risks are often greater. The government offers export insurance to cover a variety of risks including accounts receivable insurance.
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