Starting a business requires covering a myriad of bases, including insuring the business.
Tom Bartholomy, business insurance specialist, and Jeff Novak, president, both at Advanced Insurance Designs, Inc. in Akron, spoke about the importance of insuring a business.
CJN: If someone opens a physical location for a business, what should they look into insurance-wise?
Novak: Businesses, if they’re providing any type of service or product, should have liability insurance. If you had a storefront, depending if you were to own that building or that property, you would want to have insurance on that property as well.
Bartholomy: If you opened a physical location, what you would probably be looking for, what you would get, is what they call a business owner policy. That includes general liability and property coverage. A business owner policy is very common for a small business. What that’s going to do is encompass a lot of different coverages in one easy package. So, that package is already put together. You don’t piece it together a la carte.
CJN: What are the key components of that package?
Bartholomy: The two main components are the general liability and the commercial property coverage. The general liability is usually written on an industry standard of $1 million for occurrence, $2 million for aggregate. A simple example for that would be someone visiting your store. If they trip and fall on something (or) any kind of injury to that extent, that’s where you want to have liability. If you don’t own the building, your landlord would most likely want you to carry liability and then name them additional insured for that reason, in case you get sued for somebody’s injury. The commercial property would cover all of your possessions, what they call business personal property, that you brought with you when you moved into the location. It would cover everything from forks, knives, spoons, dishes, tables, displays, your jewelry, whatever you brought in with you. You would have an amount that you would determine what would best cover for everything and that’s what you would be insured for.
CJN: What advice would you give a new business owner who is shopping around for insurance?
Novak: Talk with an independent insurance agency who represents multiple insurance companies and can look for options through multiple avenues.
Bartholomy: You’re not always looking for the cheapest thing. You want to make sure that you have appropriate coverage to cover your business because you can make it extremely inexpensive by cutting coverage and that’s not going to benefit a business owner.
CJN: What else do we need to know?
Bartholomy: I would say that it’s important to talk with a professional who can offer advice and guidance. It can get somewhat intricate, depending on someone’s situation so I think it’s important to have someone that you can count on and trust to talk through your particular situation with.
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.