What Type of Insurance Do Small Business Owners Need?

September 22nd is Business Women’s Day. Learn how to assess your insurance needs as a small business owner.

Woman business owner holding "open" sign

As National Business Women’s Day approaches again, the trends in women-owned businesses are more exciting than ever. With more and more women eager to carve out LLCs, S-Corps, and independent operations of their own, there’s never been a better time to jump in and seize the moment as an owner.

As with all great business plans, however, assessing insurance needs thoroughly before growth happens can prevent a lot of headaches and “growing pains” later.

What Type of Insurance Does My Small Business Need?

According to a 2021 survey of 2000 business owners by the Small Business Trends Alliance (SBTA), women-owned businesses are most likely, at 14% of the total, to be related to health, beauty, and fitness services, followed closely by business services at 12%.

While all of these niches are fast-growing and promising places to start a business, they also carry significant liability potential, which means liability insurance is a must.

Questions like these should be carefully weighed and discussed with an insurance agent to ensure comprehensive coverage:

  • Are the products or services being sold capable of potential bodily harm?
  • Is the business operating out of a location that clients will travel to?
  • Will the business be entering or operating out of a secondary location?
  • Will the business utilize any vehicle(s) for official business?

These are particularly important points for health and fitness business owners, who may travel to or operate out of gyms, client homes, or even their own homes.

Most personal insurance coverage – e.g. personal homeowner’s insurance policies, personal auto insurance policies, etc. – are not compatible with or suitable for covering business operations. That means that even though operating a new business out of a proverbial (or literal) car trunk or garage makes an inspiring brand story, it could quickly become a tale of woe if something goes awry.

Don’t take a chance – it’s always better to have a stronger policy than you think you may need, rather than getting caught without one!

Being Prepared with Paperwork

Women in business are a rich, vibrant, and necessary part of every market sphere, and that means that steady protection and coverage for their companies benefits everyone in their circles, even their rivals.

Shutting down potentially exploitive lawsuits, for example, sends a clear message throughout an industry not to repeat them. The easiest way to send that message? Preparing for the worst and hoping for the best.

Having your business insurance policy paperwork on hand, understanding how it protects you, and knowing its limits are just as important a part of your business “to do” list as opening the doors and stocking your shelves.

In order to protect your business and support it as it grows, a filing cabinet could potentially be your greatest ally. Always keep both paper and digital copies of your business insurance policies, as well as your insurance agent’s and, if applicable, legal representative’s contact information handy — you’ll be very glad you did if they’re ever needed in a hurry.

If your businesses or services offered require a contract between the business and client, treat these with the same level of care. You never know when you may need to reference a signature on the dotted line later on.

September is National Preparedness Month - How it Relates to Your Insurance in Seattle, WA

September is National Preparedness Month – Here is How It Relates to Your Insurance

September is National Preparedness Month - How it Relates to Your Insurance in Seattle, WAFEMA, Ready.gov and Listo.gov are big voices in reminding Americans that September is National Preparedness Month. Ready.gov is a great resource for teaching you how to prepare for a natural disaster.

What do they consider a disaster? Wildfires, flooding, thunderstorms & lightning, hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, landslides, severe weather, droughts and more. No matter where you live in the United States, you can be vulnerable to one or many natural disasters.

Ready.gov breaks down National Preparedness Month in four steps below.

Step 1 – Make a Plan

Step 2 – Build a Kit

Step 3 – Low-Cost, No Cost-Preparedness

Step 4 – Teach Youth about Preparedness

Every step is important in the event of a natural disaster and we encourage you to use this month to read through their information. You can read more here. Knowing information such as a shelter plan, evacuation route, communication plan or even having an emergency kit can be life-saving.

Proper Insurance & Natural Disasters

Having the right insurance coverage is essential if a natural disaster strikes. Many people assume that by purchasing home insurance, you are covered for anything and everything. This isn’t the case. By not having proper insurance coverage, countless people have been financially ruined.

First step with insurance, talk to your agent

Not only should you use this time with your agent to understand your current coverage, but talk about your risks. Should you purchase flood or earthquake insurance? If you were to experience an insurance claim, do you know how you will be compensated to repair or replace what has been damaged?

After talking with your agent, work on Step 2.

Step two includes creating your home inventory list, safely storing important documents and knowing exactly what to do if you experience a claim.

  1. Do you currently have a home inventory list? This is a list of your most important belongings. A home inventory list can be as simple as taking photos of every room in your house. Some individuals have an itemized list on a spreadsheet too. In the event you have an insurance claim, you can quickly reference your items in the event they need to be repaired or replaced.
  2. If you have an insurance claim, be sure to take pictures and videos of your damage. You will work with a claims adjuster so be sure to be timely with your response and save all receipts from purchases you have made regarding your claim. Examples – hotel receipts, meal receipts or other important items.
  3. Are your records safe? Records such as insurance documents, birth certificates, social security cards, marriage or divorce license, passport, pet ID tags, immunization records, medication lists, lease or rental agreement or mortgage or real estate deeds of trusts should all be safely stored in a water or fire proof box.

If you have questions about your current insurance coverage and would like to talk to a professional insurance agent, call us! We are experts in the insurance industry and can do a comprehensive review of your current coverage.

Does My College Student Need Life Insurance?

It may not be on your radar, but there are important factors to consider when determining if your college student needs life insurance.

College student writing paper

While students of all ages are currently making their way to the digital and physical seats in college classrooms, higher education – particularly undergraduate college – is defined by younger attendees. Fresh out of high school with decades of learning and living ahead of them, life insurance isn’t typically even a blip on a college student’s radar – but should it be?

Determining if your College Student Needs Life Insurance

Indeed, the life situations and needs of a 19 or 20-year-old are often significantly different than someone 40 or older, but that doesn’t mean there are not important overlaps to consider, such as:

  • Lingering debts from housing or vehicle loans
  • Open grants or student loans that require repayment
  • Cohabitation costs

Debts Linger On – Even for Students

Large debts have a stubborn way of sticking around, even if the original debt holder isn’t able to pay them. That means that a new, reliable vehicle financed to help ferry a college student to and from campus ends up as an expensive liability in the event a student can no longer pay their car note.

While college students may be living out of the dorms or renting a partial or full apartment in the short term, a car or truck can end up being a financially painful burden in an uncertain time. If the student carried an appropriate amount of life insurance, the remaining debt could be paid off and a liability transforms into a resource that may help in a trying time.

Grants and Loans Need Repayment

Unexpected situations, by definition, won’t wait for a convenient moment to strike. If a life insurance policy is needed mid-term, all the school debts associated with that semester (or even that year, depending on a college’s billing practices) may come due from an estate. That means considerations like tuition, room and board, books, equipment or lab rental, and more all need to be paid, regardless of how much they’ll go unused in the future.

If a college student is relying on a conditional grant or an on-campus work-study program to pay their debts as they go along, this is an especially important consideration. A college student’s life insurance policy takes the stress of the unknown out of settling a semester’s financial obligations.

Cohabitation Concerns

It’s not unusual for groups of college students to rent a home or apartment together for school, or for college student couples to do the same as they start their lives together. With so much time and energy devoted to studies, the types of jobs that college students typically have are generally more of a hand-to-mouth variety than positions with generous pay.

The loss of even partial income can be devastating if it occurs without warning, which is why a life insurance policy for college students can be a genuine lifesaver for those they care about. Partners, friends and family can be financially provided for in nearly every life scenario – plausible and improbable alike with a bit of forethought.

If you’re looking to lock in financial security for yourself as you attend higher education, or to secure that stability for a student in your family, consider buying a term life policy for college students. It’s one less worry at one of the most stressful periods in an academic lifetime, after all.