How Business Insurance Covers Your Risks
Business insurance can be complex, and it takes an experienced insurance agent to help you get the right commercial coverage for your enterprise. You need an agent who can service not just one portion of your business insurance needs, but all of your commercial coverage, from commercial vehicle insurance to professional liability coverage to workers' comp.
A Trusted Choice® independent agent who specializes in business insurance can do just that. Unlike captive agents who provide specific coverage from one insurance company, Trusted Choice agents work with many carriers. These agents can meet all of your commercial insurance needs, even when you need specialty coverage, or several different policies from different carriers.
Independent agents handle over 50 percent of commercial insurance policies in existence today, and are located in over 27,000 offices nationwide. Call a local agent in your area today to get help with your entire business insurance portfolio.
Top Risks Businesses Face
- Property damage from fire, storms and accidents
- Liability in many forms, including product liability, accident/injury liability, libel, malpractice and professional liability or “errors and omissions” risks
- Fraud, embezzlement, extortion
- Cyber-crime and data loss
Every company, large and small, has unique risks. Some have workers who operate heavy machinery or drive vehicles while on the job, while others serve food and alcohol or handle toxic substances. Doctors and hospital staff handle patients, body fluids, sharp needles and equipment. Some employees handle sensitive documents, data, or money, potentially opening the door to business fraud. For this reason, every company needs commercial insurance coverage specifically matched to the risks of the enterprise.
Determining your risks and making sure you have the right commercial insurance in place requires an evaluation of a wide range of factors, including:
- Your business needs
- How you serve your customers
- How many employees you have on staff
- The materials or substances those employees handle
- Whether your employees drive in the course of their work
- The safety of your building, equipment, and processes
- The security of your data and intellectual property
- Risks facing your corporate officers
To assess your business insurance needs, start by contacting an online Trusted Choice independent agent who specializes in commercial insurance. These agents can fully address every aspect of your business coverage and help to ensure that you do not have gaps that could leave your business exposed to financial risk.
Types of Commercial Insurance Policies
Every commercial operation needs business insurance. The specific blend of coverage types you need for your business depends on many factors, such as whether your employees handle money, dangerous substances, sensitive data or expensive merchandise.
Your agent will be able to recommend a package combining the coverage types you need, tailored to your risk management concerns.
For example, you may need some combination of the following types of commercial coverage:
- General liability, contractor’s liability, or professional liability (errors and omissions)
- Directors’ and officers’ liability
- Malpractice insurance
- Commercial property insurance
- Commercial vehicle or commercial truck insurance
- Contractors and builder’s risk coverage
- Inland marine coverage
- Business interruption insurance
- Landlord insurance
- Commercial tenants insurance
- Crime coverage or fidelity insurance
- Cyber-crime insurance
- Workers compensation
- Construction bonds
While you certainly do not need all of these coverage types to safely run your business, it’s nice to know that you have a variety of ways to manage the specific risks your company faces.
You may also want to offer or provide certain types of coverage to your employees, such as:
The coverage you choose for your business and employees should be designed to provide full protection for your company’s assets. A quality benefits package will show that you are an excellent employer to work for, and may even help you to attract the best talent.
Business Fraud Stats from the NFIB and the FBI
- In 2011 the FBI secured $2.4 billion in restitution for corporate fraud
- The same year, the FBI ordered $16.1 million in fines from corporate criminals
- The median loss in a fraudulent scheme for businesses of 100 employees or less is $190,000
Corporate fraud, or “white collar crime,” is one type of business risk that nearly every commercial enterprise can encounter, whether it is a large corporation, a farm, a school, a restaurant, a non-profit charity, a medical practice or a machine shop. This is because any business operation, large or small, involves the exchange of money for goods and services.
According to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE), small business owners tend to believe their company is not prone to business fraud. However, in a study the ACFE found that small businesses are actually at a greater risk of employee embezzlement simply because they have a higher level of trust in their staff. The result of that trust can unfortunately result in more opportunity and more temptation for those who have access to the financials.
There are a few key lessons we can learn from the ACFE business fraud study:
- The first step in mitigating risk is to gain a full understanding of what can happen in the course of doing business.
- The worst time to find out that you need coverage for a problem is after the incident has occurred.
A qualified commercial insurance agent can work with you to help you evaluate your business risks and reduce your exposure.
Managing Risk in Every Aspect of Your Operations
One of the biggest challenges of risk management is simply assessing the potential problems your business may face so you can take the appropriate measures to reduce or eliminate those risks. If you run a commercial operation, there are several vital risk management strategies you can use to protect your business:
- Spend some time identifying your company's specific risks, from customer relations challenges to employee safety concerns, property risks, business interruption and corporate fidelity.
- Identify the specific proactive methodology you want to implement to mitigate each risk. This step will help you to develop a multi-pronged approach to reducing risk that includes everything from workplace safety measures to security systems, employee education and commercial insurance.
- Work with a knowledgeable commercial insurance agent to choose the specific business coverage you need to reduce the financial impact on your enterprise in the event of accidents, injuries, property damage, fraud and the other risks you have identified.
By assessing your business risks from multiple angles with a qualified commercial insurance agent, you can more adequately protect your company from the challenges that can undermine your company's financial health.
Comparing Commercial Insurance Quotes
A member agent in the Trusted Choice network can review your business needs and help you evaluate the commercial coverage options that make the most sense for your organization. Your agent will also compare policies and quotes from multiple business insurance companies to make sure you have the right protection in place.
These independent agents are devoted to helping you get just the right insurance for your business. Because of their many insurance company partnerships, Trusted Choice independent agents can handle all of your business insurance needs with friendly and convenient service in one office, simplifying your business policies, and even finding you discounts. Find a local independent agent online to get personal assistance today.
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