With so many people and companies located nearby, Needham, MA is a great place to start a business. Whether you’re contemplating a high-tech startup or offering a professional service, there are many opportunities for the entrepreneur. As rewarding as your own business can be, however, you must have insurance to protect the company you’ve built from unforeseen circumstances. How dynamic is business in Massachusetts? Consider these figures from recent years:
- There were 615,775 small businesses.
- They employed 1.4 million people.
- These businesses realized a total of $6.5 billion for insurance claims in recent years.
The dynamic and growing small-business climate is a great asset, but the right Needham commercial insurance is essential to managing the potential liabilities that come with it. While your business insurance needs are daunting and complex, your Independent Insurance Agent is there to help you understand them. Your agent will help you navigate your many options and find you multiple quotes from many different agencies so that your business has the right insurance for your operation at the lowest possible cost.
The portfolio that protects your business starts with general liability insurance. This coverage handles any damage on your property to customers, delivery personnel or visitors of any kind. Because the cost of an injury is essentially unlimited, your business needs to be protected. How expensive can an injury on your property be? A recent Travelers Business Risk survey found 60 percent of all businesses said medical cost inflation was the biggest concern and 30 percent said that they felt unprepared to handle this risk. This is one of the biggest risks that any business takes, and it comes the moment you first open the doors.
That is only the start of the liability coverage your Needham-based business needs, however. If you make any product or provide a service, you need product liability insurance for events that take place away from your premises. It has the same concerns. The Insurance Information Institute found recently that 71 percent of product liability awards, as well as 53 percent of medical malpractice awards, were for more than $1 million or higher.
Business Interruption Insurance for Needham Businesses
When something happens beyond your control, you may not be able to conduct normal business. These events can include the following:
- Water pipe breaks
- Extended power outages from a wicked "nor’easter"
- Anything else beyond your control that shuts you down
Whatever the reason, business interruption insurance fills the gaps until you can get back up and operating. It’s based on the revenue you took in before the event that puts you temporarily out of business. It pays out until you can resume normal operations again and makes sure that your continuing bills, such as rent and electricity, are covered. This insurance is often the difference between a business that can survive a serious event and not. Business interruption insurance is vital for covering unforeseen circumstances that can keep you closed for a long time.
Property Insurance for Needham Businesses
When there is a major event that keeps you from operating, the next thing to consider is putting everything back together and fixing the damage. That’s what property insurance is for. Whether you rent space or you own it yourself, property insurance is essential for fixing whatever went wrong and getting the doors open as soon as possible. The right Needham business insurance for you isn’t always the lowest cost for this reason. Far too many businesses try to cover their losses on their own, often with results as disastrous as a storm:
- There were 119 recent natural disasters in the U.S.
- Only 61% of the damage they caused was covered by insurance.
- Uninsured losses came to $9.7 billion, which businesses had to cover out of pocket to reopen.
There are many reasons your property might suffer damage. Fire and storms are the most common, but these unforeseen events are covered by the right insurance policy. Saving money may seem like a good idea in good times, but when disaster strikes, you want good coverage that gets your business’s doors open quickly.
Workers' Compensation for Needham Businesses
There is much more to finding the best business insurance than your business liability and property needs. You also have to take care of your workers, starting with workers' compensation as required by Massachusetts state law. Workman’s comp, as it is usually known, is insurance that pays out to your employees if they are injured on the job and unable to work. It doesn’t matter if the injury is from a single event or an event that took place over years of repetitive stress – if they can’t work for a period of time, they are covered.
The cost of the policy is based on either your history of employee claims or, in the case of a new business, the rates applied to similar businesses with similar tasks in the area. Nationally, this averaged out to $1.27 for each $100 in wages in recent years, which comes to $612 per employee. There are many things you can do to keep this cost low. Your Independent Agent can help you identify areas where equipment or procedures can be put into place to reduce the chance of injury and can help you to find a more affordable policy to cover the sometimes high cost of workman’s comp.
Employee Coverage for Needham Businesses
Employers spend more on health insurance than on any other business insurance category. A total of $1 billion was paid for employee health care coverage in Massachusetts in recent years. 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. These are the options:
- Health plan insurance: This is required by law for companies with 50 or more employees, but many smaller businesses opt to provide this coverage as a service for their loyal workers.
- Life insurance: In case something happens to your employee, you may want your business to cover the employee as well as protecting the family.
- Disability insurance: Similar to life insurance, this pays out when an employee cannot work anymore for any reason.
Many Needham businesses offer packages for their employees to keep the best ones and reward loyalty. You spend a little more on insurance but save on training while keeping service and quality high. It’s worth considering depending on your situation.
Cyber Crime Insurance for Needham Businesses
There is still more insurance that your business needs to have, some of it in areas you might never think of. For example, 5,116 identity thefts were reported recently in Massachusetts overall. 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.
This is one of the main reasons why a good relationship with your Needham-based Independent Agent is absolutely critical. Your agent can assess the needs of your business and explain to you how a wide variety of policies work for you. When you know you are covered for anything beyond your control, you can concentrate on what you do best – running your business for a brighter future.
Talk to your agent today.