With all that the Greater Boston area has to offer, Newton, MA is a great place to start a new small business. Whether it’s a high-tech startup, a restaurant or a new store, there are many opportunities for entrepreneurs in the area. But beyond a great idea and the capital to get it started, every business large and small needs to have the right insurance.
Massachusetts is home to 615,775 small businesses that employ 1.4 million people. You won’t find a more dynamic state to open a business. Opening a small business is still a lot of work, however; and it takes the right insurance. The need for reliable insurance in Newton is shown by a total of $6.5 million paid out in recent years for business insurance claims.
The best place to start is to have a close relationship with your local Independent Insurance Agent. Your agent will get to know your business and help you to navigate the complex options to find the coverage that you need. By obtaining multiple quotes from many different agencies, you can compare the rates and pick the one that is most affordable for your business, too.
The first consideration for any business insurance is general liability. This covers you for any injury that takes place on your premises to customers, visitors or delivery personnel. The liability that you take on simply by opening your doors is nearly unlimited due to the potential cost of an injury, as medical bills keep rising. You never know just how expensive an injury might be. The Travelers Business Risk summary recently found the following:
- 60% of all business felt medical cost inflation was their biggest concern.
- 30% responded that they felt unprepared to handle this risk.
- General liability insurance has to cover you for all eventualities related to injuries.
Similarly, product liability coverage or professional liability covers you for any injuries that come from your products or services. The Insurance Information Institute found that 71 percent of product liability awards in recent years and 53 percent of medical malpractice awards were for more than $1 million. If you provide a product or service, you have to be protected from these claims.
Business Interruption Insurance for Newton Businesses
You never know when you might not be able to conduct business as usual. An extended power outage can keep you shut down for days, especially if it comes during a severe nor’easter. Fires and water pipe breaks are other unforeseen situations that might keep you from operating for an extended period until the damage is fixed.
While you are down, business interruption insurance pays you based on the revenue you would have brought in during that time. It’s calculated from your revenues while you were up and operating and usually covers all the costs that are ongoing even when you aren’t operating. This coverage is usually the difference between being able to survive a disaster and having to close your business, so it is a critical part of every Newton commercial insurance coverage.
Property Insurance for Newton Businesses
After covering the losses from being unable to operate, the next most important thing is to get your property fixed up so you can start up again. A good policy pays out without a lot of hassle after an event so that you can get back on your feet quickly. Storms are not common in Newton, but when they do strike, they can cause a lot of damage.
- There was a total of 119 recent natural disasters across the U.S.
- Of the damage that resulted, only 61% was covered by insurance.
- Property owners had to cover $9.7 billion in losses on their own as a result.
That’s why the cheapest insurance for your property isn’t always the best choice for you. You need to ask whether you can afford to take on risk by yourself before you take on a policy that does not cover your premises completely in the case of a disaster that shuts you down.
Workers' Compensation for Newton Businesses
Generally known as “workman’s comp,” workers' compensation insurance covers employees when they are injured on the job, whether from a single incident or from repetitive motion over a long time. It pays out for the period during which they cannot work. Massachusetts state law requires this for every employee.
- In recent years, workman’s comp costs were $1.27 for every $100 in wages.
- That’s an average of $612 per employee.
The cost of this insurance is based on the kind of employees you have, taken from tables developed from claims taken out by employees in similar businesses. When you have a new business, a rate is given to you that is not negotiable, but over time, your rate will change, based on the rate of claims by your employees. Depending on your insurance company, there are many things that you can do to keep your rate low, including having ergonomic equipment available and special employee training on how to avoid injury on the job.
Employee Coverage for Newton Businesses
The largest single insurance cost for most businesses is employee health insurance. A total of $1,061,981 was paid for employee health care coverage in Massachusetts in recent years. The average single person health plan cost employers $6,379, and a family policy typically cost $17,424. There are many kinds of insurance you may want to offer your employees, including 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: In case something happens to your employee, you may want your business to cover the employee as well as protecting the employee's family.
- Disability Insurance: Similar to life insurance, this pays out when an employee cannot work anymore for any reason.
Offering insurance plans to your employees may not cost you much but can improve employee morale and loyalty. Rates and benefits for employee plans vary widely from one provider to another, so it’s important to shop around for the coverage that meets both their needs and your business’s budget.
Cyber Crime Insurance for Newton Businesses
There were 5,116 reported identity thefts recently in Massachusetts. You may not think about coverage for eventualities like this, but if you aren’t covered, the effect can be devastating. The potential liability is limited only by your credit. This is just one example of the kinds of insurance you need to consider that you may not even think of on your own.
For all of your Newton business insurance needs, the most important thing you can do is to contact your Independent Insurance Agent. Once the agent gets to know the many needs of your business, the agent will be best suited to help you navigate the complex array of coverage you need to be protected and will be able to obtain multiple quotes to find the best price for you to compare your options.