Small business insurance is often overlooked as businesses transition from “I don’t see the value in that, we only help a few customers” to “We are too busy to keep up with orders, I don’t have time to search for solutions for my business I have no risk”.
The reality is every business is exposed to some kind of liability. This exposure could be personal injury, like a slip and fall on your premises, professional liability, for a recommendation you made to your client(s), cyber liability, with storing and managing personal information, or an auto related liability, for an employee driving a company vehicle.
I have always been an advocate for having ease of doing business online, and it’s one of the reasons I constantly review and update this site. As we see global markets impacted by COVID restrictions, more businesses are shifting from traditional brick and mortar storefronts to a digital marketplace! With this transition, many businesses must adapt by learning to manage customer data for curbside pick up, online ordering, or even simple appointments. If your data gets breached by a cyber attack, or by an error made storing it, do you have coverage? Did you know cyber liability and an entire holistic liability approach is likely a lot lower cost than you thought?
My approach as a broker is to put together a profile of our clients’ businesses and advocate for them through our network of over 30 insurance companies to find the best solutions. We work with thousands of businesses across Canada in a range of all industries. This helps us to make sound recommendations on coverage, pricing, and risk management practices to better improve your workflow and viability.
An example comes to mind for a client I helped in 2019 to set up a small commercial liability package
My client was operating an auto financing company in the Greater Toronto Area, where he employed 14 staff members and was expanding to a new location. When he received his lease agreement, the landlord required him to have his own liability insurance as part of the lease agreement and mitigate risk for the landlord. My client was unaware that he had any exposure to risk, as he hadn’t heard of any lawsuits or claims with his peers in the industry.
I took the opportunity to educate my client by presenting solutions for liability and office contents coverage, and loss of income should a fire, flood or other covered loss with physical damage against his location. Together, we set up a policy for $800 a year that extended his coverage beyond his basic legal liability for his lease agreement, and, sure enough, a fire occurred out at the location within the first year of the policy term. We were able to claim coverage for his office contents, including computer hardware, loss of income during the shut down and repair. This provided peace of mind for all related damages.
A simple liability policy would have left him high and dry, without being able to generate income during the shutdown. As we capture things like current revenue and last year’s revenue, the forensic accounts from our provider were able to correlate the future loss of income, and compensate him. Additionally the $30,000 in computers could easily and quickly be replaced because they were covered. No one expects a loss but as brokers when we get to know our clients and go through claims we see the value of these offerings. For $66 a month, we were able to protect both the business and its employees!
Have you considered your current exposure to risk and liability? As the world continues to evolve and we watch the global market shift, I would encourage you to call me today to chat objectively about the options that we can provide for your business. Having a great financial plan is a key step in the future health of your business!
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.