Insure your startup’s success today.
Starting a business can feel like diving headfirst into the deep end of the pool. There’s a lot to take in, from generating revenue and finding customers to managing employees and navigating the legal landscape. With so much on your plate, it’s easy to overlook the importance of having the right insurance coverage to keep your startup afloat when curveballs come your way.
If you feel perplexed and overwhelmed about the types of insurance to snag in order to safeguard your business as it spreads its wings, make sure you read to the end of this article. We’ll be unpacking the ins and outs of how insurance can be the ace up your sleeve for your startup’s success, so you can make well-informed decisions and shield your fledging enterprise from potential pitfalls.
General liability insurance
As the saying goes, accidents happen. Whether it’s a customer slipping on a wet floor at your retail store or a client claiming that your product caused them harm, mishaps can strike when you least expect them. General liability insurance is your first line of defense, shielding your startup from financial ruin in the face of third-party claims related to property damage, bodily injury and personal or advertising injury (infringements on a person or business’s personal or intellectual rights, including libel, slander, copyright infringement, invasion of privacy, etc.).
While general liability insurance is hands down the bread and butter of your business insurance portfolio, don’t fall for the illusion that it’s the only one you need. This is because it’s merely a core coverage type and doesn’t cover everything. In other words, you may need to carry additional types of liability insurance to beef up and fill in any cracks in your startup’s coverage.
For example, commercial auto insurance covers accidental injuries and property damage caused to others when anyone in the company drives a work vehicle, while cyber liability insurance covers cyber breaches that involve sensitive information like customers’ credit card numbers and driver’s license numbers. By augmenting your coverage with these specialized policies, you can ensure comprehensive protection for your startup and address any gaps in your insurance strategy.
Professional indemnity insurance
In a world where one bad review can make or break a business, professional indemnity insurance is crucial. This coverage protects your startup from the financial consequences of claims of negligence, errors or omissions in your company’s services.
Whether it’s a customer alleging that your company’s work caused their sales to nosedive or a client blaming a consultant for dishing out half-baked guidance that left them flat broke, professional indemnity insurance provides peace of mind by covering the costs of defense, settlements and judgments.
Putting your money into professional indemnity insurance may allow you to keep your bank account in the black when troubles come knocking, but don’t bank on it to keep your startup’s name in the clear. After all, there’s no telling what’s coming to your business in the court of public opinion.
Workers’ compensation insurance
As a startup founder, the well-being of your employees should be top of mind. After all, they’re the ones who help you turn your vision into reality. Workers’ compensation insurance is a coverage that provides financial assistance to employees who suffer job-related injuries or illnesses. By covering medical expenses, lost wages and more, this coverage ensures that your team members receive the care and support they need to recover.
In most U.S. states, business owners are required to purchase workers’ compensation insurance once they have welcomed their first employee on board. If they skimp on this insurance in states like California, Illinois, New York and Pennsylvania, companies may find themselves in hot water, staring down the barrel of fines or jail time—or in the most dire of circumstances, a double whammy of both.
Even if workers’ compensation insurance isn’t a required item for businesses in your neck of the woods, it’s still a wise investment to make. It can serve as a safety net that shields your startup from a hefty price tag when legal battles come knocking while helping foster a sense of loyalty and trust within your team.
Commercial property insurance
From fires and floods to theft and vandalism, disasters can strike your startup at any moment. Commercial property insurance is designed to help your business bounce back, covering the costs of repairing or replacing your physical assets, such as your office space, furniture, inventory and equipment.
Commercial property insurance plans can vary considerably in terms of what they cover and to what extent. Some plans offer all-risk coverage, protecting companies from a wide range of perils, while others are more limited in scope. So, be sure to read the fine print and choose a plan that suits your startup’s unique needs and risks.
Business interruption insurance
When disaster strikes, it’s not just your physical assets that take a hit—your cash flow can suffer, too. Business interruption insurance (also known as business income insurance) provides a financial lifeline, compensating you for lost income and ongoing expenses during the time it takes to get your startup back up and running after a covered event.
Imagine that a fire breaks out in your office, forcing you to shut down operations for several weeks while repairs are made. During this time, your startup’s income stream comes to a halt, leaving you with ongoing expenses like rent and payroll. However, with business interruption insurance, you’ll have the funds you need to keep the lights on and weather the storm, ensuring that your startup doesn’t become another statistic in the annals of failed businesses.
Navigating the world of business insurance can feel like walking through a minefield, but it doesn’t have to be daunting. By exploring and familiarizing yourself with the types of insurance startups need, you can make informed decisions that protect your assets and your employees down the line.
Keep in mind, though, that insurance isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. Your startup’s specific needs and risks will call the shots on which insurance plans are the perfect fit for your business. When necessary, bring in a business insurance professional to tailor a coverage plan that keeps you in the driver’s seat, so you can focus on expanding your venture and turning your dreams into reality.
Header image courtesy of Freepik
Based in New York, Stephen Freeman is a Senior Editor at Trending Insurance News. Previously he has worked for Forbes and The Huffington Post. Steven is a graduate of Risk Management at the University of New York.