All business owners dream of seeing their businesses grow and flourish. However, one often overlooked aspect of a growing business is commercial insurance. As your business expands, your commercial insurance policy needs to adapt and grow with it in order to protect all the work you’ve put into your business.
Changes in Your Business
Business growth is an expected and celebrated part of being an entrepreneur. Your business isn’t in the same place it was when you started, and that means you’ll need to make some other changes to keep up.
Your commercial insurance policy protects your business, but only as long as it’s updated properly. Chances are, the day-to-day work in your business today is much different than it was at the outset. Your insurance should reflect this; as long as your business is growing, your policy needs to grow, too.
Adapting Your Insurance Policy
So, you need to keep your commercial insurance policy up to date. But how do you know when to update your policy, and what do you need to add or change?
When Should You Update Your Insurance Policy?
Keeping your insurance policy up to date is critical to maintaining the wellbeing of your business. There are a few significant signs your commercial insurance policy needs to be updated:
Upgraded Office Space
Many entrepreneurs start their small business from home, but as your business grows, you may have the option to move into an office space. When you upgrade to an office space, you may need contents insurance for your belongings, stock, and equipment (if you rent the space), and/or commercial property insurance to protect the building itself and guard against potential liabilities if someone is injured (if you own the space).
As your business expands, you may need to hire additional employees. Whether you have a team or just one or two employees, the additional risk means you’ll need to update your insurance policy. Workers’ Compensation Insurance is required for most industries in Canada. To go a step further, you can also offer health insurance – this also gives employees extra incentive to work for you and keeps them happy and healthy. Finally, you may need to consider key person insurance, which protects you if someone who is vital to your business becomes sick or passes away.
New Products & Fuller Inventory
As more customers discover your business, you’ll need to increase your stock. Plus, you’ll probably be adding new products to your line. With a more extensive inventory, you’ll need to make sure your insurance will cover it in case of an incident. Otherwise, you risk significant losses if a natural disaster occurs or your building is compromised.
Whether your employees are driving to a job site, delivering products, or heading to the post office, everyone needs to be properly protected in case of an accident. Commercial vehicle insurance (also often known as “fleet” insurance) is critical once you begin purchasing and using company vehicles.
These days, it’s nearly impossible to run a business without using technology in some way. Whether you run an online section of your store, use the cloud to store information, or do accounting online, technology makes up a big part of your business. Unfortunately, technology isn’t always 100% secure, and your business may be exposed to cybercrime. If affected by cybercrime without the proper insurance, you could be held liable and the costs can build up quickly. Cyber insurance is a relatively new form of insurance that protects your business from technology-related issues, and it’s always a great add-on to any commercial policy.
New Contracts With Vendors & Clients
Getting new contracts with vendors or clients can be an exciting experience, but does your insurance cover it? Some contracts require specific types of insurance, such as general liability insurance, or require you to add someone to the policy. Keep that in mind as you move on to new and exciting opportunities.
Business Interruption Insurance
Business interruption insurance comes into play when your business isn’t able to collect its regular income for reasons such as late suppliers, natural disasters, or technological issues. These interruptions can be extremely costly for small businesses, and the results can be catastrophic. With business interruption insurance, you can retain your income even in the worst-case scenario.
You should familiarize yourself with the risks and exposures associated with your business and industry. Talk to your insurance broker for more information on which risks your business may be exposed to. Developing a risk management program will allow you to identify potential issues before they happen. You can analyze and evaluate risks, educate your employees on them, and have a plan in place in case they occur.
Steps to Updating Your Business Insurance
Customizing Your Coverage
One-size-fits-all isn’t always the best method. With such a wide range of coverage options available, you should be picking the options that work best for your business. Many commercial policies can be customized to include or exclude certain coverage options, so you’re not paying for anything you don’t need, or risking a gap in coverage. Discuss your policy with your broker in full to find out what methods would work best for your business.
How Often Should You Review Your Insurance Policy?
Aside from big business events like new employees or new office space, you should be reviewing your commercial insurance annually. Always make sure to meet up with your broker at least 60 days before expiry to discuss any changes to your business or your insurance options.
Do I Have Enough Coverage?
How do you know how much insurance coverage is necessary for your business? The best course of action is to talk to your insurance broker. Your broker will review your business and its risks to ensure everything is being properly covered. Don’t be afraid to play out different “what if” scenarios with your broker so you fully understand what to expect in the case of a specific event!
Get Cost-Effective Small Business Insurance
Finding the right insurance policy for your small business is essential for any entrepreneur. At Cornerstone Insurance Brokers, we understand the struggles of finding a great insurance broker. That’s why we’re here to help Alberta’s small businesses find the perfect insurance policy. Cornerstone offers a variety of policies for small businesses, whether you’re a restaurant, a retail business, or a contractor.
Have more questions? Want to find a great insurance broker? Get in touch with us to discuss your insurance options. Or, get a personalized commercial insurance quote from us today!