Small Business Growth and Insurance
Do you find your small business starting to grow? Small business growth can mean hiring more employees, opening another location, expanding the size of your factory, or adding to your inventory. These changes mean that you may need to up your insurance coverage. You need to be sure you are keeping your commercial lines agent up-to-date on changes that could affect your insurance.
Growth and expansion is a good thing for your company, but you want to make sure your newly grown company has all of the coverage it needs. Your commercial lines agent is there to help you, whether that means more coverage for your expanded warehouse or additional workers comp insurance for your new employees. The most important thing you can do is keep them posted on changes and growth.
Below are some common changes that may occur with your small business and advice to help make sure your coverage is up-to-date:
- New location
- Adding commercial vehicles
- Addition to your store or warehouse
- Hiring of new employees
It’s common for people in the retail industry to open a new store if their first store proves to be a success. Whether you are opening a new store in the same area or expanding to a different state, make sure you have all of the insurance you need for your new location. When it comes to your insurance on the second store, it’s much easier to gauge the amount of coverage you will need. However, if you are opening in a different state, you want to speak to your agent about state regulations and any requirements or laws specific to that location. Different states may have different requirements. Even in different areas in the same state may have different rules.
Always make sure that you are aware of the insurance requirements and regulations no matter what industry you are in. Restaurant owner? There could be different food and beverage rules in your new area that may require more insurance than your first location. Have enough insurance coverage for your personal and business needs. When it comes to your commercial insurance, you should also talk to an agent about non-required insurance coverage for your business. No matter how many locations you have or where your locations are, it’s key to be sure you have the commercial property insurance you need.
Adding Commercial Vehicles:
You need to make sure you obtain commercial auto insurance if you add another vehicle to your fleet. If you are not sure if commercial insurance is necessary, here are a couple of questions to ask yourself:
- Do my staff members use this vehicle(s)?
- Is the vehicle registered in the business’ name?
- Does the vehicle have decals or other markings or my business’ name?
- Do I use the vehicle for business-use?
While some of the above may be obvious, others may not be. If at any time, members of your staff are driving a vehicle for commercial use, make sure you have business auto insurance. There is a big difference in having personal auto insurance and business auto insurance. You are required to have car insurance in Connecticut and Massachusetts, but it is up to you to make the right decision on whether you need a commercial or personal policy. Talking to an agent can help you decide if you need coverage.
When you have a commercial auto insurance policy, you want to make sure you have coverage for liability, medical, collision and comprehensive. If you or an employee were to get into a multi-car or other dangerous accident, you want to be covered. If you don’t have enough coverage and the other person ends up suing you, you could risk having to sacrifice your business. Have a commercial auto insurance policy with sufficient coverage for each business vehicle.
Additions to your store or warehouse:
When it comes to making sure you have enough coverage, it is a little bit more difficult for your inventory than the business property itself. How do you value everything inside your building? It is up to you to let your business insurance agent know the contents coverage that you need for everything inside of your business property.
If you are adding new machinery, software, equipment, or anything else to your warehouse, get coverage for those new additions. If anything happened to your building, like a robbery or a fire, it’s important to have coverage for everything. In order to ensure that you will have the value of replacement costs for everything in your building, keep your commercial agent updated on your inventory. Keeping an updated inventory of items in your warehouse or store and updating your policy is essential for your business property insurance coverage.
Hiring new employees:
If you are expanding your staff, make sure to update your payroll on your existing workers comp insurance. As a business in Massachusetts or Connecticut, the law requires you to have workers comp insurance. If you are in a state that doesn’t mandate workers comp, you should still have it to help protect you and your employees should accidents occur on the job. If you already have an existing staff in place, it is very likely new staff members will be covered. Updating your agent about new staff members may not required, but it can help reduce the size of your audit at the end of the year. Updating your payroll as you add new members it could make your life easier and save you money. And, if your new employees are going to be operating any commercial vehicles you have, you’ll want to also let your agent know about this.
Small business growth is an exciting time for any business owner. Having great commercial insurance, enough commercial coverage, and a great agent can help make your life a little easier. Remember to keep your insurance updated as you expand and grow. Having a comprehensive portfolio of coverage for your business can help you stay on top of everything.