Becoming a business owner comes with quite a few risks but many can be avoided. Purchasing adequate insurance coverage will help safeguard you and your assets in the event of a potential claim. At Ieuter Insurance Group, we feel it is important to take a holistic look at any business to assess where the areas of risk may be. Here are four essential coverages for any small business:
1. Property Insurance - this includes coverage for buildings, business personal property, business income, and electronic data processing. It will provide compensation if your business property is lost or damaged as a result of a covered peril. Examples of a peril are fire or theft. Building coverage includes the physical structure owned by the business listed on policy as well as any permanently installed equipment. Business Personal Property coverage includes items such as inventory, raw materials, machinery, or office furnishings.
2. Liability Insurance - This coverage protects a company and/or owner in the event of a formal lawsuit or other third-party claim. It includes any financial liability incurred in addition to expenses related to the company's legal defense. There are three main types of business liability coverage: general liability, professional liability, and product liability. For more details on the type you may need, our commercial account managers can assist you.
3. Auto - If you, a company driver/employee use your car, or a vehicle owned by the business, for work purposes you have an exposure. In the event of a claim for which your business is liable, a Commercial Auto policy will pay damages to third parties resulting from bodily injury or property damage. Also, if you purchase physical damage coverage it will pay the cost to repair/replace a vehicle if involved in an accident. This is a great topic to discuss with Your Friends in the Insurance Business! Most personal auto policies will exclude coverage if a vehicle used primarily for business is involved in a claim.
4. Workers Compensation - if you have employees you have an exposure as well as a responsibility to get workers compensation coverage. Workers Compensation will pay for medical care and a portion of any lost wages if an employee is injured at work, regardless of who was at fault for the incident that caused the injury. If a death occurs during the course of employment the insurance provides compensation to the employee’s family.
According to the Michigan Department of Labor & Economic Growth, if you fall into any of the below categories, you are required to have Workers Compensation Coverage:
a) All private employers who regularly have 1 or more employees 35+ hours per week for 13 weeks or longer during the preceding 52 weeks.
b) All private employers regularly employing 3 or more employees at one time. This includes part-time!
c) Agricultural employers who employ 3 or more workers 35+ hours per week for 13 or more consecutive weeks.
d) Households employing domestic servants if they employ any person 35+ hours per week for 13 weeks or longer during the preceding 52 weeks.
e) All public employers
If you’re thinking about starting a business or would like to get a second opinion on the coverage you have in place now, call us at 989-835-6701 and speak with a representative in our Commercial Lines department.