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Has your business changed due to COVID-19?

To stay operational in today’s unprecedented circumstances, many businesses have had to alter their course to meet new customer expectations, adapt to restrictions that help slow the spread of COVID-19, and continue thriving amid uncertainty. In Canada, small businesses have risen to the occasion: seemingly overnight, manufacturers began producing personal protective equipment to arm front-line healthcare workers, distilleries started producing hand sanitizers when they became scarce on our shelves, and restaurants pivoted to sell groceries and meals from their curb.

With all these changes happening so quickly, it may not have occurred to businesses that their insurance policies may need to be updated to reflect their new operations.

Does your business insurance need to change if your business has changed due to COVID-19?

If your business operations have changed because of the pandemic, it’s important to contact your insurance company to let them know. They’ll need to review or update your policy to make sure that you’ll still be covered if anything goes wrong or let you know of new risks you might be facing.

If you’re not sure if your business needs an insurance check-up, start by asking yourself these questions:

  • Are you and your staff now working from home, or have your business operations moved to a new location?
  • Has your revenue changed?
  • Have you had to invest in new equipment or tools?
  • Is your business doing deliveries?

Other important coverages your business may need

Not all businesses need the same coverages when it comes to an insurance policy. Some businesses operate out of homes, while others operate out of a commercial space. The following are some of the most common coverages business owners may need to consider modifying or adding to their policy:

Commercial general liability (CGL):

All businesses should have a comprehensive liability policy to protect them from potential losses associated with liability lawsuits. Commercial general liability is especially important to have as your business re-opens and you start getting more foot traffic.

If someone slips and falls at your business, you could end up with a costly lawsuit. Should your business face a liability claim for bodily injuries or property damage to third party, CGL coverage helps keep the costs of liability claims low.

Errors and omissions (E&O) or professional liability:

Does your business offer a service or advice for a fee? Whether you’re a consultant, a contractor, or a designer – having errors and omissions insurance (also known as professional liability insurance) built into your policy is important as it can protect your business financially if you are found at fault in a lawsuit for a mistake or error you made in your work.

If your business is in a high demand, it can be easy to make mistakes, overlook a small error or omit something, especially if you’re trying to meet a deadline. If a mistake in your work leads to a financial loss for a client, they can file a lawsuit against your business. Lawsuits are time-consuming and expensive. A way to mitigate the costs associated with an unexpected lawsuit is to ensure you have professional liability insurance.

Commercial property insurance:

Whether you operate your business out of your home or a commercial space, it’s important to protect your business property, tools and equipment. Commercial property insurance is especially important now if your business has invested in new tools or equipment in order to adapt to new business avenues.

No one really wants to worry about theft or damage to their business property or contents, but the reality is no business is impervious. Commercial property insurance helps cover that cost if your business experiences a loss caused by damage or theft. Replacing or repairing buildings, tools, equipment, inventory, electronics and furniture is expensive, so having commercial property insurance helps keep those costs down and helps your business get back on its feet faster.

Commercial auto insurance:

Have you or your employees started making deliveries for your business?

Personal auto insurance and commercial auto insurance are not exactly the same, and by not having commercial auto insurance, you may be leaving yourself vulnerable to risk. Some of the things that are covered by a commercial auto policy include:

  • Replacement car coverage: A commercial auto insurance policy can help with the cost of a temporary rental car to continue business operations if you’ve been involved in an accident.
  • Lost wages and medical expenses: If you, any of your employed drivers or passengers are injured in an accident, a commercial auto insurance policy could help with lost wages and medical expenses.
  • Equipment protection: If your vehicle has any loading and unloading equipment to help your business transport products to events or clients, your loading and unloading liability could help with the cost of repairs if the equipment needs it.

Cyber risk & data breach:

Does your business collect customer information, email addresses or payment/credit card information? If you said yes to any of these, your business may be at risk for cyber attacks. It’s important that big and small businesses have security measures in place to protect data and the privacy of their customers.

A lot of businesses have gone digital – opening e-commerce shops, partnering with food delivery apps, and offering contactless payment options. All of this requires data and customer information. If your business suffers a data breach, do you know what to do? Having insurance coverage for cyber risk and data breaches can help you cover the costs associated with cyber attacks, data breaches and hacks into your computers and mobile devices.

As your business operations continue to evolve to meet the changing demands of these unprecedented times, it’s important to check in with your insurer to make sure that you’re covered when you need it most.

This blog is provided for information only and is not a substitute for professional advice. We make no representations or warranties regarding the accuracy or completeness of the information and will not be responsible for any loss arising out of reliance on the information. Terms, conditions and exclusions apply to coverage. See policy for details.