When to Get Business Insurance: The Most Important Things to Know

Are you the proud owner of one of Canada’s 1.2 million small businesses?

If so, you’ve no doubt poured your heart into creating your brand. You’ve built a good reputation in your community and you take good care of your employees.

The question is: Are you giving the same concern and consideration to your business?

If something unexpected should happen, the right business insurance can protect both you and your company. In fact, it can be the deciding factor in whether your business recovers from an accident, a disaster, or a lawsuit.

We understand that the insurance world is difficult to navigate, so we’re here to help. Keep reading to learn when to get business insurance and which business insurance policies to consider.

Do I Need Business Insurance Right Away?

The short answer is: Yes, you do.

The best time to get commercial insurance is when you first start your company. However, if you’ve already been in business for a while, you should consider buying (or updating) an insurance policy when you:

  • Relocate or expand your business
  • Hire or lay off employees
  • Start offering new products or services
  • Purchase new equipment
  • Significantly increase or decrease your income

Even if you’re just a small startup or if you only have a few employees, the unexpected can always happen. A customer could trip and fall in your store, a hailstorm could damage your roof, or a thief could steal valuable inventory. Your business could also fall prey to a cyberattack, as one in four Canadian companies have already experienced.

Any of these things could happen whether you launched your company yesterday or you’ve been in business for 50 years.

Case in point: We worked with a small auto financing company to provide them with not only basic liability insurance but also office contents coverage. Less than a year later, a fire destroyed their office and forced them to close for repairs.

Their $66/month business insurance policy paid for the repair work and loss of income during the closure. It also paid to replace $30,000 worth of computers and hardware.

This is just one of many examples that illustrates that every business, big or small, has inherent risks and liabilities. Even if you work from a home office, your homeowner’s insurance policy likely has exclusions that will not cover your equipment or loss of income.

The right business insurance policy can make the difference between a successful recovery or an inevitable closure.

What’s Included in Business Insurance Coverage?

Because every business is unique, every commercial insurance policy is also unique. Your insurance broker will take the time to understand the ins and outs of your company and recommend the best coverage for your needs.

In the meantime, here’s a brief overview of some of the most common types of business insurance policies.

Commercial Property Insurance

Whether you rent, lease, or own commercial space, this type of insurance provides coverage for the physical property. This includes damage to the:

  • Building/office
  • Equipment
  • Furniture
  • Inventory
  • Electronics
  • Signage
  • Landscaping

If any of the covered items get damaged, your commercial property insurance will pay to repair or replace them.

Commercial General Liability Insurance

If you rent or lease your commercial space, you may be required to carry this type of insurance coverage. Even if it’s not mandatory, it’s a smart idea for every business owner.

Liability insurance protects your business from losses if someone brings a lawsuit against your company. For example, someone could fall and injure themselves inside your store or in the parking lot. Another scenario is a customer getting sick or injured from a faulty product they bought from your company.

If they sue you, your liability insurance policy will pay for the damages.

Professional Liability Insurance

Although it sounds very similar to general liability insurance, this is a completely different type of coverage. While general liability protects your business from accidents or negligence, professional liability protects you from any negative consequences of your advice or service.

For example, if you’re a consultant or an accountant, a client could bring a lawsuit against you saying that your advice caused them financial harm. If you’re a massage therapist, a client could sue you for resulting injuries from a massage session.

If your business involves giving professional advice, counsel, or services, professional liability insurance is a wise investment.

Cybersecurity Insurance

As mentioned earlier, 25% of Canadian businesses have already been victims of cyberattacks. On average, these attacks cost businesses $26,000 in lost time and money.

Don’t think it can’t happen to you. All it takes is one innocent click in a phishing email and your entire business infrastructure, including sensitive customer data, could be compromised.

Cybersecurity insurance protects your business in the event of a security breach. It could pay off the ransom to retrieve important files or cover the cost of legal fees and credit monitoring.

Commercial Auto Insurance

Do you regularly transport people or products during your business dealings? Even if you don’t have a large “fleet” of vehicles, it’s worth protecting your business with commercial auto insurance.

If your delivery truck breaks down or one of your vehicles is involved in an accident, you may not have the funds on hand for necessary repairs. This type of business insurance will pay to repair the vehicle and get it back on the road ASAP.

When to Get Business Insurance: The Sooner, The Better

If you’ve been wondering when to get business insurance, the answer is right now.

No matter the size of your company or the type of services you offer, there are always risks involved. Business insurance is a small investment that can give you tremendous peace of mind!

As professional insurance brokers, we understand that it can be intimidating and confusing to find the right business insurance for your company. That’s why we’ve made it as easy as possible to get in touch and get the information you need.

James Inwood has 10 years of experience finding the best policies for businesses just like yours. You can use our online form to request a free quote or email us at: jinwood@cibi.ca.

If you prefer to speak with a real human, give us a call at 647-966-7093.

James Inwood is a member of Canadian Insurance Brokers Inc. CIBI operates across Canada with more than 40 licensed brokers and is completely independent so our advice is always objective. Representing 14 insurance carriers on the personal side and over 20 insurance providers on the commercial side helps give my clients clear choice and competitive pricing.

James Inwood, Insurance Broker
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