What Is Small Business Insurance?
Small Business Insurance is a type of insurance that provides coverage for your small business, this includes liability of injury and protection against theft and natural disasters. Every small business owner needs to be able to separate their personal finances from their small business finances. Separating your finances is the best way to avoid personal liability from something that happens at your place of business. For example, If someone trips, falls, and hurts themself, business insurance will absorb the liability, and it will become much harder to sue you directly as an individual. I know this sounds like something we should never need, but that’s only in a perfect world.
*If you’re starting a business, make sure you have the funding to make it happen before you start buying insurance. Take a look at this Funding Circle Link for funding options. BlueVine is also another good choice.
USAA Small Business Insurance
This can be a little misleading because USAA sponsors this coverage under The Hartford Insurance company. This is similar to a lot of USAA’s coverage options, such as USAA Motorcycle Insurance, USAA Boat & Yacht Insurance, and USAA Flood Insurance. Although you go through USAA to obtain these insurances, they are run by Progressive, Markel Specialty, and The Hartford. The Hartford offers plans that can protect your income, offer protection from a data breach, and protects you from liability for worker’s compensation in case of serious injury to one of your employees.
As a USAA member, you’ll receive a discount on opening up a business insurance account and be helped by business protection experts anytime you need them. The Hartford covers your small business property and alleviates the personal liability you have within your business. The Hartford also offers a Business Owner’s Policy (BOP), which is the base of the plan that covers your small business from fire damage, theft, and lawsuits. Call 855-829-1682 to get set up with a customer service representative.
What Is A BOP?
A Business Owner’s Policy (BOP) is only used for small businesses that want to package all of their protections into one policy, instead of buying each coverage separately. BOP’s are a great way to save money by bundling your liability and protections into one plan. Think of it like buying cable from Comcast, you “save” money by bundling your internet and phone with your cable package. Generally, there are 2 types of BOP’s that small businesses use, which are Standard and Special. Standard is great for businesses with only a handful of employees, whereas the Special coverage would work best for mid-sized businesses with more than a dozen employees. The most significant difference is the Special BOP gives more coverage for the business property, including everything owned inside the company.
What Is Covered in a BOP?
|Normal BOP Coverage|
|Property Insurance||Buy Standard for smaller businesses and Special for mid-sized companies.|
|Business Interruption Insurance||One of the most important types of coverages that go overlooked is the one that supports you after something catastrophic happens to your business. The Hartford covers your entire staff’s paychecks for up to 6 months while your business recovers from a flood, fire, vandalism, and any other natural disaster you’d face in your region.|
|Liability Insurance||This protects the business owner from incurring personal costs if one someone in your business gets hurt because of something the business did or didn’t do. The company would receive legal aid from a lawyer of your choosing and pay all associated costs after a deductible.|
What Are The Optional Coverages?
|The Hartford Optional Coverages|
|Income Protection||The Hartford insurance plan already includes the Business Interruption policy, so why would I need more income protection? A great question to ask, and the answer is the added income protection doesn’t just pay bills, it provides the expected income you’d receive for the duration of the construction of your business.|
|Off-Premise Utility Services||With the new advancements in technology, utility companies that provide power, heating, cooling, plumbing, and internet access can have services more remotely dispersed. Meaning, your power or cable can be interrupted from a natural disaster across the country. If your business is interrupted by something this far out of your control, you can get extra coverage to replace your expected income until you get back up and running.|
|Extended Coverage Limit||If something happens to your company, you can buy this coverage to ensure you’ll get a very minimum of $25,000. This is good coverage to buy because it can be added to an appraisal, or it can ensure you have something left to try and rebuild.|
|Data Breach||The Hartford provides you with all the resources and people you need to prevent and recover from a data breach to your company. Any data breach that is of no fault to you will be covered financially in full.|
Worker’s Compensation Insurance
One thing to understand about BOP’s is they don’t cover worker’s compensation, health insurance, and disability insurance for your employees. The Hartford understands the sometimes overwhelming stress associated with owning a small business. Worker’s compensation will keep business owners up at night worrying about covering the expenses of insured employees, dealing with doctors and lawyers, and helping their employees get healthy and back to work in the shortest time possible. The amazing thing about purchasing a separate worker’s compensation insurance plan for your business is the fact The Hartford covers all these issues with compassion and empathy.
The Hartford has a special office in their company called, The Hartford’s TeamWork program to assist you and your injured employee during the recovery process. For business owners, it’s a boulder lifted off your shoulders, knowing your employee is going to receive the best doctors, nurses, and speak with the best pharmacists in their recovery. The Hartford also offers extensive education resources like the famous chalk talks and plans to prevent any loss in your business.
Business Vehicle Insurance
If you use your personal vehicle for your small business, you might be entitled to apply for business vehicle insurance and write off your transportation costs. For example, if you own a brewery and transport hops, grain, and fruit in your own vehicle, you could write those off on your business taxes. If you have a specific vehicle with a company logo on it and used for only business, this insurance is a must-have.
*If you want to look at other car insurance companies, the table below should be a good start.
What Is Covered Under Business Vehicle Insurance?
|The Hartford Business Vehicle Insurance Coverages|
|A Broad Form Endorsement||This endorsement provides protection for all electronic equipment in your vehicle, allows for payments from different accounts into the same policy (hybrid payment option), and a loan lease gap payment. The best coverage here is the loan lease gap, which is when the insurance company (The Hartford) pays the difference between the cash value of the totaled car and what it’s appraised at.|
|Accident Forgiveness||The Hartford understands that fender-bender accidents happen all the time, and it’s unethical to punish everyone with higher insurance rates if they’re involved in one. The Hartford requires you to be claim-free for 3 years before the accident forgiveness kicks in.|
|Discounted Safety Features||Every business owner has to always do what’s best for his.her business, and that sometimes means using devices, such as telematic receivers. These are the adapters that you can place in your business car to monitor driver behavior, speed, driving time, and stops. This allows business owners to ensure the rules of the company are being followed to the letter. This is best for the transportation industry, such as delivery drivers and long-haul truckers.|
Why Do I Need Small Business Insurance?
Small business insurance will protect you from incurring personal financial liability if something goes wrong in your business. Insurance is also mandatory in most states and cities across the country as a way to allow small business owners the ability to run their business and not do so in fear of being sued or taken advantage of. If you have employees, small business insurance gives them the peace of mind that if they get hurt on the job, they will be covered by their employer. Finally, if you fail at business, as 90% of all small businesses, you can help prevent the bank from taking everything from your personal finances. I could not encourage you more to apply for business insurance, and I believe it would be reckless to ignore basic coverage at the minimum.
USAA Small Business Insurance will ensure you have coverage from basic liability, worker’s compensation, and business car insurance. Although USAA does not provide the coverage directly, they have sponsored The Hartford Insurance company to provide this comprehensive insurance package. The Hartford provides coverages for your employers, equipment, and utilities to keep your business running on a day to day basis. If a catastrophic accident happens and your business burns down, floods from a hurricane, get ripped apart by a tornado or damaged by snowfall, Hartford provides coverage to keep you afloat while they fix your structure. Small business insurance is also mandated in most states to protect the rights of both the employee and employer during business operations.