Wednesday, 21 September 2011

How much business insurance do I need?

The amount of business insurance your company needs is dependent upon a whole host of factors. You need to take into consideration the value of your property, your liability exposure, and the threat of crime, among other things. Your best bet is to sit down with an insurance broker and discuss your business and the insurance policies that will best suit your needs.

Value of your property
If there is a fire or explosion, your property could be decimated. To borrow a term from car insurance, it could be "totalled" and unfixable; in short, you would need to replace everything. Knowing the value of your property and equipment is therefore of the greatest importance, since different insurance policies come with different limits. For instance, one policy may only cover up to $1 million in losses. If your property is valued at several million, you would be forced to pay the balance.

When calculating the value of your property, be sure not to include the value of your land! Land, for the most part, is pretty indestructible and you will not find yourself needing to replace it! Many business and home owners include it in their calculations and end up paying too much for insurance.

While crime is often random and sporadic, certain neighbourhoods are more frequently targeted by criminals than others. Talk to business owners in the area and your insurance provider, and determine the level of theft coverage you will need. An independent insurance broker is able to look through policies from various companies and select the best one for your needs.

Potential liability exposure
If your business sees a good deal of customers coming through the premises, you should consider a greater amount of liability coverage. If your business does not interact directly with consumers, you may not need the same level of coverage. Liability, generally speaking, covers you in the event that a customer is injured on your premises. A bar, for instance, will require considerably more liability coverage than an accounting firm.


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