I am a business owner with many coverage needs but on a budget. Is tehre a comprehensive policy available for businesses like mine?
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Asked March 10, 2014
For most business owners, a Business Owners Policy, or BOP, handles a majority of their insurance needs. Many insurance underwriters will customize a BOP to meet your specific needs by combining coverage's such as commercial auto insurance, Workers Compensation and General Liability. One item that some policies do not include is Business Interruption coverage, even though it is very important to the long term welfare of the company.
If you are going to tailor your own BOP, start with General Liability and Business Interruption insurance. General Liability is typically required for licensing in many types of business. The liability coverage includes protection against damages and injuries as well as legal and civil liabilities. Business Interruption coverage will pay the bills if your company is involuntarily unable to operate due to a covered event such as a major storm, fire, or burglary/vandalism.
If your company maintains an inventory, make sure that it is insured for loss and liability. If the inventory is spoiled or damaged, this coverage would pay claims against your company as well as replacing the lost inventory. You only need this coverage if you keep stock on hand, in most situations. The same rules apply to commercial auto coverage, where it is vital if you have company vehicles but useless if you do not.
Financial advisors suggest that you allocate between 20 and 30 percent of your estimated gross sales for your insurance budget, which also includes life and health coverage's, is you choose to have them. They caution, however, that this is a fluid amount and may vary widely. High risk businesses will need to allocate more for coverage, for instance, while low risk startups will only need a small amount of coverage. Where the budget is especially tight, concentrate on General Liability, Business interruption, and required employee coverage's, and then expand your coverage as the financial situation allows.
Answered March 10, 2014 by Anonymous