Running a business has more risks than just not having enough sales to cover the operating expenses. There are a number of things that can happen beyond a business’s control that can have a catastrophic effect on its finances, particularly for a solid, brick-and-mortar store. Customers can injure themselves on the property, employees could hurt themselves while working, or an employee driving a company vehicle could be responsible for an accident — just to name a few possibilities. Feeling paranoid yet?
Though regulations vary from state to state, it is always a good idea to carry workers’ compensation insurance. Should anything happen to an employee during the scope of performing a job, the employer is on the hook for all of the medical treatment and financial care of the employee even if the employee is not able to work. These issues can be very costly because not only could you end up paying someone to not work while you are paying for that person’s health care, but you may also have to now cover the expense of an additional employee performing the work in the absence of the injured one.
General liability insurance represents the cornerstone of your commercial insurance. This is often thought of as “the ol’ slip-and-fall” insurance as that principle is the general idea. If a customer falls on your property due to an issue deemed the business’s responsibility to have prevented, this is the insurance that would protect the company. This is also the insurance that protects the premises out of which the business is operated, even if it is a rented property.
Commercial auto insurance is likely required by state law, but is also always a good idea to have. Much like personal auto insurance, this type protects a company’s interests in the event an employee happens to be responsible for an auto accident. Even the best drivers have an off day, and as with any other employee actions, it only takes the “one” time to have a costly accident. Another advantage of this insurance is that if a company vehicle is struck by an uninsured motorist, the damage to the company vehicle is covered.
Even when you take every precaution, remember Murphy’s Law: “Whatever can go wrong, will.”
That being said, don’t let one mishap be the thing that closes your business. Take out appropriate insurance, and that will be one less thing you have to worry about.
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