Do you own or manage a small business in Washington? If so, avoid these six common insurance mistakes. Having the right insurance coverage can mean the difference between continuing to thrive or having to close your doors due to unprotected financial risks.
Mistake #1: Ignoring Liability Coverage
A liability claim, like a non-employee accident on your business property or a serious error that affects a client negatively, can result in a lawsuit or settlement that wipes you out. Fortunately, general liability insurance protects you in these instances, paying for damages as well as legal fees and court costs.
You can further increase your liability protection with specialized coverage like:
- Errors and omissions insurance
- Employment practices insurance
- Officers and directors insurance
Even better, a business umbrella policy will give you more total liability coverage, available should you reach the limit on your general liability policy.
Mistake #2: Not Having the Right Property Insurance
You should protect your business premises with property insurance. If you own the property, you want to insure the entire structure, inside and out. If you rent your place of business, you can insure your property inside, such as furnishings, office equipment, tools, and inventory. Depending on where you are located, you may wish to add flood and earthquake insurance for greater peace of mind. You can also insure your belongings if you have an entirely mobile business.
Mistake #3: Forgetting Commercial Auto Protection
Speaking of mobile businesses, do you own vehicles that you or your employees use in your business operation? If so, they must be insured with a commercial policy, even if personal vehicles are used for business purposes. Be sure to ask about sufficient liability protection, plus collision and comprehensive to cover crashes, theft, vandalism, storms, and fire.
Mistake #4: Failing to Have Workers’ Compensation Insurance
You are required to carry workers comp insurance if you have one or more employees in Washington. This covers the expense of medical care and other needs if a worker is hurt on the job. In Washington, you must obtain this insurance through the Department of Labor & Industries.
Mistake #5: Skipping Additional Insurance That’s Right for Your Business
There are other kinds of insurance you probably want to make sure you don’t have gaps that leave you vulnerable to financial risks. You can add coverage for the following if it’s appropriate:
- Cyber insurance in case of data loss, security breaches, hacking, or ID theft
- Inland marine coverage if you transport expensive items for others
- Bonds to back up your promise to complete a job on time or uphold the standards of your profession
- Loss of income insurance for situations where events outside your control prevent you from operating
Mistake #6: Not Working With Independent Insurance Agents
When you purchase insurance from big companies, they only have a few options for you. But independent agents like Spangler Insurance have a huge menu of business insurance products. We work with all those familiar carriers, plus a bunch you may not have heard of. This lets us perfectly tailor coverage to your unique business.
You can reach out online to explore your business insurance choices or call us at 206-329-7447 to start a policy today.