« Small Business Resources « « Make Sure You're Insured for Growth
If your business is growing, you’ll want to be sure your commercial insurance is up to date and adequately sized to your business. Here are some of the most common growth-related changes in business and how you might ensure you’re sufficiently covered for each.
Additional employees. If you’ve recently expanded your staff, be sure your workers’ compensation insurance covers this expansion, especially if these new employees are performing activities new to your business, such as operating a new piece of equipment or vehicle. While many workers’ compensation policies automatically cover additional employees, you don’t want to run the risk that yours doesn’t.
You should also be aware of steps you can take internally to mitigate your workers’ compensation risks, such as ensuring your new employees are trained properly. Some insurance carriers offer pre-employment screening assistance to help mitigate risk.
New location(s). If your business has moved to a brand-new location, or if you’ve expanded into additional facilities, be sure these properties are properly evaluated by your agent for sufficient coverage. For instance, do any of your facilities face high-risk hazards, such as flooding or hurricanes? Does your property have any walls, equipment or land adjacent to high-risk property, such as a storage tank containing flammable liquids?
Additionally, if your new property is in a different geographic area, be sure that your coverage complies with regulations pertinent to that location or state. Your agent can assist with gathering this information.
New technology. As your business becomes increasingly tech-dependent, your needs for adequate protection against cyber-fraud and hacking increase. Armed with the right type and amount of insurance coverage, your losses can be covered if your business temporarily stops because you’ve been hacked, if you must notify customers of a data breach or if you have to address breach-related lawsuits.
Additional commercial vehicles. If you’ve expanded your fleet of commercial vehicles, make sure that each vehicle is properly covered for its intended use. Be careful if any of your employees use their personal vehicles to conduct company business; check with your agent to see how such use might affect your coverage. If needed, impose strict guidelines on how and when your commercial vehicles are to be used.
Additional equipment and/or space. If you’ve purchased new commercial equipment or added onto an existing facility, you’ll want to be sure your additional equipment and property are factored into your coverage. Keeping an updated record of your equipment and facility expenditures, including purchase date and cost, can go a long way toward facilitating your property insurance coverage and expediting any claims.