You Need To Know About Business Insurance
In recent years, a number of Canadians are opting out of the corporate lifestyle and are starting their own home business. According to recent studies, over 2.5 million Canadians made this choice in 2011 alone.
There are a number of distinct advantages to working at home. In most cases, your schedule is flexible and you can work your job around your family commitments. However, problems can arise which can seriously affect your ability to conduct business.
This is why the Insurance Bureau of Canada claims that insurance plays an integral role in the success of any family business. In fact, the IBC has created a pamphlet with tips and other information to explain the importance of insurance to business owners.
Here is an overview of these tips:
- Check to see if your home owners insurance offers business coverage. Many business owners can obtain business coverage through their existing homeowners’ policy. Depending upon your policy, your business books, your tools, your office supplies, and office furniture may be covered if something should happen in your home office upto a specified limit. These items would not be covered if they were removed from the home office and taken to a client’s home however. For more information on your coverage, check with your insurance broker that has written your existing homeowners’ policy.
- Liability is a big issue for business owners. This is especially true if your business offers a service to clients. Even if you are not offering a service, an accident can threaten the financial stability of your business. For example, suppose a client slips and falls on the ice on your property when he arrives for an appointment at your home office? If you are not properly insured, a lawsuit could jeopardize your business and personal assets. For this reason, the IBC recommends that all home business owners obtain commercial liability insurance.
- Consider the risks by creating a plan. In order to fully protect yourself and your assets, it is important to create a management plan. This means considering what would happen if someone would be injured on your property or if someone would file a lawsuit against your business. By anticipating problems ahead of time and preparing for these issues, you can significantly minimize your business and personal losses. The IBC recommends identifying probable risks, identifying ways to prevent the risks, and then outlining ways to handle these risks if they should occur. For example, you could work to minimize slip and fall accidents by hiring a business to clear your walkway when it snows. You could also post signs warning clients to watch their step. If a client should fall, you can relax knowing that your liability insurance should cover the costs of any lawsuit.
- Consider obtaining error and omission insurance. This insurance coverage will protect you if a client should sue because you have offered bad professional advice, or if there was a problem with the services or product that the client obtained from your business.
The IBC recommends setting up an appointment with your insurance broker well in advance of the date that you intend to open your doors for business. That way, you and your insurance broker can create a plan to make sure that you have obtained adequate insurance coverage.
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