Close to Boston but just over the Charles River, Medford, MA is a good place to open a business of any kind. Whether you’re thinking about a restaurant or a high-tech start-up, there are a lot of opportunities. But with those opportunities come risks, and it’s critical that you are protected against unforeseen events. The state of Massachusetts boasts 615,775 small businesses, employing 1.4 million people. The small business climate is strong and growing. But with these businesses came total insurance claims of $6.5 million paid out in recent years. Starting a business is difficult for many reasons, and one of them is understanding the insurance requirements.
Not only is vital to be protected from unforeseen circumstances of any kind, but there are also a lot of state laws and other requirements that go along with the quality workforce you can expect from Medford. The best way to take care of this is to form a good relationship with your Independent Insurance Agent. Your agent will get to know your business and find the best Medford commercial insurance that fits your needs and your budget.
General Liability for Medford Businesses
Business insurance starts with general liability insurance. This covers injuries to other people and third-party property damage to individuals such as customers or delivery persons. It also covers the necessary legal defense if your business is sued over a covered incident. The cost of incidents, no matter how small, is nearly unlimited because of potential medical costs. The Travelers Business Risk Summary found recently that 60 percent of small-business owners ranked medical cost inflation as their highest concern. Over 30 percent said they felt the least prepared to handle this concern. General liability insurance protects you against this concern.
Businesses that provide professional services or manufacture something also need professional or product liability insurance. This works in much the same way as general liability, but it is for incidents other than those on your premises. According to a national study by the Insurance Information Institute, 71 percent of product liability awards and 53 percent of medical malpractice awards amounted to $1 million or more. You have to be protected against these liabilities even before you open your doors for the first time.
Business Interruption Insurance for Medford Businesses
Many things might prevent your business from opening up on a given day. Power interruptions because of a nasty winter storm can last for days. If you have a fire or a water main break, you won’t be able to be back in business until the mess is cleaned up. This is why you need to have business interruption insurance. This coverage pays based on the revenue that you weren’t able to collect when closed, gleaned from the receipts from when you were open. It covers the ongoing costs as well, such as power and employee benefits, until you are back up and operating again. Business interruption insurance is vital for covering any unforeseen circumstances that may affect you for days on end.
Property Insurance for Medford Businesses
Once you have coverage that makes up the difference for when you are closed, you need to have insurance that covers the cost of putting everything back together. That is what property insurance is all about. It covers the cost of the physical space and equipment that you need to operate. There are many reasons your property might suffer damage. Fire and storms are the most common, but there are many unforeseen circumstances beyond your control that might keep you from operating.
- Recently, there were 119 recognized natural disasters in the United States.
- Insurance covered only 61% of these losses.
- That left $9.7 billion in damage that businesses had to fund out of pocket.
While incidents related to property damage are somewhat easy to recover from, the cost to repair them is not unlimited as the cost of a liability claim against you, so good property insurance is vital.
Workers' Compensation for Medford Businesses
Massachusetts law requires every business with employees to carry workers' compensation coverage, typically known as “workman’s comp.” This insurance pays out to an employee when the employee is injured on the job and cannot work for some time whether the injury is from a one-time event or from repetitive stress.
- In recent years, workman’s comp paid out $1.27 for every $100 in wages.
- That comes to an average of $612 per employee.
Your assessment for workman’s comp is based on the employees you have and the type of work they do. If you have a long record of your employees making claims, the cost is based on your own history. New businesses are charged based on schedules that have come from similar businesses in and around Medford. There is a lot you can do to keep your workman’s comp costs down. Some carriers give you credit for ergonomic equipment and employee training that reduce injuries on the job. This is one area where an Independent Agent can help you quite a lot, beyond just finding you the right policy.
Employee Coverage for Medford Businesses
Health insurance is certainly expensive. Recently, $1 billion was paid for employee health care coverage in Massachusetts. An average single person health plan cost employers $6,379, while a family policy ran $17,424. But it is only one of the kinds of coverage you may want to offer to your employees. Options include the following:
- Health plan insurance: This is required by law for companies with 50 or more employees, but many smaller businesses are opting to provide this coverage as a service for their loyal workers.
- Life insurance: You may want your business to cover your employee as well as the family in case something does happen to the employee.
- Disability insurance: Similar to life insurance, this pays out when an employee cannot work anymore for any reason.
Employee coverage is often a great way to reduce turnover among employees. Many Medford businesses offer packages for their employees to keep the best ones and reward their loyal service. This cuts down on training costs and improves service.
Cyber Crime Insurance for Medford Businesses
With all the kinds of insurance that your business needs, there are always a few liabilities that you may not even think of. One example is identity theft and cyber crime, which has almost unlimited liability – limited only by your credit. It’s a serious and growing problem everywhere. There were 10,338 reported identity thefts recently in Massachusetts. Policies are available to protect your business at affordable rates, assuming you take a few precautions of your own and work with your insurance carrier.
Business insurance that protects your growing Medford company from all the liabilities and meets all the regulations is complicated. You need expert help to navigate it. Your Independent Agent can help you find the coverage you need to protect the business you work so hard to build at prices you can afford.
Talk to an agent today to develop a relationship that will protect you at the price you need for many years to come.