COVID-19 has impacted nearly every aspect of life all over the world. In the U.S alone, different degrees of lockdown orders have affected most, if not all, Americans since March. People staying at home to slow the spread of the virus has taken a toll on the operations of various businesses, regardless of industry.
As small businesses begin operating again under this new “normal” they’re faced with a difficult balancing act of resuming operations while maintaining safety standards that include social distancing and face coverings.
If you’re reopening your business, a major factor to consider is protecting your assets through insurance. There are several factors to consider to ensure that your business is well-protected. Here’s an insurance checklist that can help you in reopening your business:
Reevaluate your policies
Did you deactivate your commercial insurance when you closed your business? Some providers are offering a grace period to allow you to easily activate your policies without losing any coverage. This option could save you a lot of time, letting you get back to business sooner.
What if you canceled some or all your policies? Ask your insurance advisor about bundling policies. For example, a Business Owners Policy combines General Liability and Commercial Property. This could save you money in the long run as opposed to paying for two separate policies.
Keep the “new normal” in mind
Reopening your business during a pandemic comes with a new set of risks, and you may be thinking about restructuring your business. For example, maybe you’re cutting or adding to your workforce. Are you moving from a physical storefront to an online operation? Did you get a company vehicle to accommodate delivery demand?
These are all things that will impact your coverage needs and premiums. Make sure you keep your insurance advisor up-to-date on any changes.
Another major consideration for businesses at the moment is cash flow. You might find it difficult right now to pay a lump-sum for a premium payment, so check with your advisor about pay-as-you-go options or even payment deferments.
Check for coverage gaps
When reopening your business, even if you kept all your policies active, it’s important to check for coverage gaps. Now, you might find you need to add additional policies to keep operations running smoothly. Here are some different options to consider:
- General Liability insurance: Does your business have a physical address? Are you renting an office space? You’ll need to protect your business against claims associated with bodily injury or property damage by purchasing this policy.
- Workers Compensation insurance: This is a legal requirement in most states so make sure to carry this policy when you reopen. This protects your business against financial losses due to work-related injuries sustained by employees. Keep your insurance advisor updated on the number of employees you have as this can impact your premium.
- Professional Liability insurance: Does your business provide consultancy or professional services? Consider buying this policy to protect you against claims related to errors made while providing services to your customers.
- Commercial Auto insurance: Are you using a vehicle to make deliveries? If so, you’ll need this policy, even if you’re using a personal car because your personal policy typically won’t cover damages that result from activity related to business.
- Cyber Liability insurance: Does reopening your business involve accepting payments digitally or fulfilling online orders? Today, small businesses are vulnerable to cyberattacks, and Cyber Liability is the only commercial policy that can protect you from data breaches.
- Equipment Breakdown insurance: This policy covers the repair or replacement costs of equipment. In most cases, buying or renting equipment for your business is expensive. Protect your investments by carrying this policy.
We’re all living and working in unprecedented uncertainty. Small business owners are facing major challenges like keeping their employees safe and finding ways to operate with new restrictions, like social distancing. The reopening process is bound to be complex, but the right insurance can help you get off the ground faster. Having the right coverage can give you some peace of mind to focus on getting back to work.