Posted February 5th, 2013
Whether they run a car dealership, advertising firm, or convenience store, small business owners are hard workers. They put time, money, and energy into their business every day, and they often employ a handful of equally hard-working employees. Along with the financial investment they make in their small business, these owners also gain an understanding of the risks associated with operating a small company. They know that a customer could get injured as a result of a slip and fall on the premises, that a fire could rage through their warehouse, or an especially harsh winter snowstorm could cause massive property damage to their building’s façade. This is why owners of small corporations should make sure they have adequate commercial insurance coverage in place to safeguard their company’s assets and business property, and ensure that their organization is shielded from potential legal or financial responsibility for damage or injury. A local independent insurance agent, knowledgeable about the concerns of small business owners when it comes to choosing the right policy, can serve as a valuable resource.
In the course of connecting with an experienced independent business insurance agent, owners of small companies should anticipate that the agent will probably request to meet with them and visit their facilities, whether an office building, plant, or storefront. A licensed independent agent will likely want to tour the premises to determine whether the property is listed on a historic registry or built of one-of-a-kind materials, or if it is located adjacent to any high risk exposures, like an abandoned building. She may also request to observe any equipment or machinery on site, and will want to determine what constitutes a fixture or improvement on the premises.
Also, an independent insurance might want to discuss the difference between building coverage, business personal property, and coverage for the personal property of others with a company owner. And, she may want to specially distinguish whether certain items at a business location are owned by an owner or employees as individuals . . . or are property of a small business itself.
Besides touring a business’s facilities, a seasoned commercial insurance agent may also want to know about a company’s bookkeeping practices, along with its business income figures, and whether an organization or any of its owners or managers has even be named as a defendant in a lawsuit related to the company’s goods or services. She may also inquire about the typical schedules worked by company employees, along with the training they receive, and she will want to know if an owner employs any workers on a part-time or contract basis. She may ask whether employees operate vehicles in the course of their work, which could necessitate auto insurance coverage, and she might inquire about a small business’s practices when it comes to backing-up and storing electronic data.
A local independent insurance agent who knows the important factors to consider in selecting small business insurance will probably discuss the kinds of coverage afforded under policies from a variety of different insurers, along with typical exclusions and limitations found in each. She may describe how things like retaining walls surrounding a business, animals not owned by an insured, crops stored outside of a building, or automobiles for sale, might not be covered under a policy, and she will answer small business owners’ questions about selecting sufficient coverage. With commercial insurance through a trusted independent insurance agent, owners of gas stations, pet shops, cafes, and other small businesses know that in case of a claim or loss, their business can remain secure.