Insurance Basics for starting a new business in Shawano County
If you have or are Planning on starting a new business in Shawano we would like to offer the following basics as a guide for you. Small businesses are the lifeblood of America and we are behind you 100%. Shawano businesses are among some of the most unique and vibrant I have seen throughout the state of Wisconsin. Below are some basic business insurance terms to get you through the planning process and well on your way to success.
Whether you are a business in a strip mall renting space or a home-based business you need liability insurance. Your home policy will specifically exclude these business risks as they are not designed to cover that. General Liability policies provide defense and damages that may arise if you, your employees or your product or services cause bodily injury or property damage to someone.
If you purchase a building for your business Property Insurance will cover that building. Property insurance will also cover you “Business Personal Property” inside the Building even if you rent the space. Business Personal Property would include office equipment like copiers and computers, tools you would use on and off premise (away from your building), inventory or stock and general items like coffee makers and Televisions. The Property Policy will protect you from fire, vandalism, theft, smoke damage etc…
Business Owner Policies and Package Policies
Business Owners Policies or “BOP” as they are more commonly known packages all required coverages in one policy. A BOP will often include “Business Interruption Coverage”, “Property Coverage”, “Vehicle Coverage”, Liability Insurance and Crime Coverage. A BOP can be Taylor fitted for your own unique business with coverages added or excluded per your discretion. These Businessowner policies may even be rated lower than a typical Package policy because they bundle services at a lower cost.
Commercial Auto Insurance
Commercial or Business Automobile policies protect your company’s vehicles. This includes vehicles that carry your employees, products or equipment. Many take out Commercial Auto policies for ride-sharing gigs through services such as Uber and Lyft. Commercial Auto policies cover risks that normal Personal Auto policies exclude. This will in many cases include ride sharing or driving while “on the clock” if you are in outside sales, food delivery or transport (livery). Some Businesses will require their employees to use their own vehicle for work. “Non-Owned Vehicle Coverage” can cover this and may even be added right to the BOP Policy.
Workers Compensation or “Work Comp” provide insurance to employees who are injured on the job. Work Comp replaces wages lost while recovering from an injury and medical bills incurred due to that injury. In exchange for these important benefits the employee relinquishes the right to sue their employer for this incident. This is an obvious benefit the the employer as well in order to maintain their business operations after an injury. State laws vary, but most require you to have Workers Compensation policies in place if you have W2 employees. Wisconsin’s Workers Compensation Guide will outline our state’s laws. If you have questions about your own business please give us a call or consult your legal counsel. Penalties for non-compliance are very stiff!
Professional Liability Insurance
Professional Liability Insurance or Errors and Omissions Insurance provide defense and damages for failure or improperly rendering professional services. Your general liability “GL” policy does not provide this protection. Professional Liability coverage is applicable for any professional firm including Consultants, Accountants, Lawyers, Notaries, Real Estate Agents, Insurance Agents or Technology providers to name a few..
Data Breach Coverage
If you are in the business of storing “private”, Sensitive or non-public data for your clients, customers or employees on your servers or on other office equipment you are responsible for protecting that data. If a breach occurs either electronically or in paper form a data breach policy will protect from that loss. It can offer defense for the incident and help your clients recover their Identities in some cases.
Most people don’t like to think about life insurance let alone purchase it. Most people understand the importance of a life insurance policy for their loved ones. Life insurance provides a financial benefit after you die. Let’s put that into the direct context of your business’s operations. If you unexpectedly die do you expect your business to continue to operate and your employees to continue to have a job? If you unexpectedly die how many people will it take to replace you in your daily job duties? Many small business owners wear many hats and hiring those services can be daunting after the initial shock wears off. Life insurance can be purchased by your company to at least fill the financial void your death would create. Life insurance can also be used to fund a buy-sell to pass on the ownership of your business in a non-disruptive manner.