Once you’ve reached the point where your business is operational, the real hard work starts. Although the preparation and planning are time consuming and emotionally draining, getting the business up and running is only a prelude to the stress of keeping it operating at peak efficiency. You won’t have time to worry about whether or not you have enough liability insurance, so you should take care of that detail beforehand. Following are a few tips on how to get business liability insurance.
What Is Business Liability Insurance?
Basically business liability insurance is protection against claims of damage to property or injury to a person that is the result of a product or service you provide. If you produce children’s toys and someone alleges their child was injured due to shoddy workmanship or some other unsafe practice, they would file a claim against your company. If during the course of settling the claim you are found to be negligent in the production or distribution of that product, you would be deemed liable and the claimant would be rewarded with a settlement, usually cash. Without the proper amount of business liability coverage, you may be hard pressed to keep your business afloat.
Seek Professional Advice
To financially protect yourself from liability claims, you need to get business liability insurance. The first step in the process is to determine how much insurance to carry. It would be a good idea to consult with an attorney and go over the possible problems with them. Choosing the right attorney is important. You want to work with someone who is familiar with the type of business you run, and who has a good reputation as legal counsel. Having an attorney on retainer could save a lot of time and trouble when and if you are ever sued. You may also want to check with your accountant to determine the type and extent of coverage you should take out. It’s an accountant’s job to run the numbers and make sure you carry the proper amount and type of coverage.
Find an Insurance Provider
Only after determining the amount and type of coverage you will need should you attempt to find an insurance provider. Although an insurance agent will be knowledgeable and helpful in getting you the right type of coverage, it would be in your best interest to have a working knowledge of your needs before approaching them. A good place to start looking for an insurance provider is to get some insurance quotes online. Insurance companies that offer policies online try and make it easy for their customers to get the coverage they need, and their online prices are usually reasonable. Before you actually make a commitment, it would be a good idea to seek out people who own a business similar to yours and find out which insurance carrier they use, and whether or not they’re satisfied with their coverage and service. No matter how reasonable an insurance company’s rates are, if they don’t provide good customer service you’d be better off going with a different company where the agent can be contacted quickly and will follow up within a reasonable time period. It won’t do your stress level any good to receive news that you’re being sued and then be unable to contact your insurance agent. An agency that provides good customer service is one you can trust and will more than likely want to stick with, especially if they do at reasonable rates.
Things to Consider
There are four basic types of business liability insurance. They are general liability, product liability, professional liability, and discrimination liability. The amount and type of liability insurance you will need depends on the type of business you have. You may also want to look into ways of keeping your personal assets separated from your personal assets, so if your company is determined to be liable a claimant won’t be able to attach your personal possessions. You can also get liability insurance that will protect you from the actions of a partner. Your insurance policy should also contain language that will include payment for legal services that pertain to a claim. The list of things to consider before taking out a business liability insurance policy is extensive, and that’s why you should determine your needs before approaching an insurance provider.