Our small business insurance specialists are often traveling with our partners, and business owners across the country usually ask the same question: “Do I really need small business insurance?” As an insurance company dedicated to educating and protecting Canadian business owners, you can probably guess our answer. Yes – you absolutely need small business insurance! But before we get to that answer, we have a few questions for you first.
When you need small business insurance
Do you attend trade shows or events?
Most small businesses and startups in their early stages need to find ways to connect to their audience, and trade shows can be one of the best ways to do that. To book a booth at a trade show as an exhibitor or vendor, most event organizers require that you have adequate liability insurance. In most cases, you’ll be asked to show proof of insurance before being allowed to set up your rented space. This is because the organizers don’t want to be held liable if you, your employees or a guest of the event is injured in your rented space.
So, if you attend events or trade shows, then yes – you need liability insurance. However, it can be expensive to buy liability coverage for each event you attend. Depending on how often you attend events and trade shows, it might be cheaper to purchase a business insurance policy that provides liability as a standard coverage.
Are your products sold in stores or online by third parties?
If you are looking for your product to be distributed on a larger scale, let’s say, by national retailers or wholesalers, these national entities will likely require that you have product liability insurance in place, and for specific minimum limits before signing any agreements with you. Just like with event spaces, should your product be responsible for causing bodily injury or property damage, businesses want you to have liability insurance available that can respond; of course, you are helping to protect yourself against possible lawsuits as well.
Do you offer a service to other companies?
If your business involves providing a service to other companies, whether its software or giving advice as a professional consultant, they’ll probably ask if you have errors and omissions insurance. If the service or advice you provide could result in a financial loss for your client, they will need to know that you’re able to recover the costs associated with the loss. If you provide a software service, your customers will likely want to know that you have coverage for both cyber event expense and liability coverage for products and completed operations, and if you provide advice, they’ll ask if you have errors and omissions insurance as well.
Why you should have business insurance
The above examples are situations where business insurance may be ‘required’ by third parties, but looking out for yourself is the real reason why you should have business insurance. The critical questions you need to ask yourself when you’re considering if you really need small business insurance include:
- Do I have enough money set aside so that I could afford to rebuild if my business experienced a major fire?
- Can I keep my business afloat while I’m waiting for my delayed stock of product to arrive, or for damaged equipment that runs my business to be fixed?
- Can I afford the legal costs associated with defending myself and settling a liability lawsuit?
- How many months can I go without business income while still meeting my financial obligations to my suppliers, employees and the government?
- Can my business survive a loss?
Small business insurance should be an essential part of your disaster recovery plan so that your business can fully and quickly recover from unexpected risks and losses. Having small business insurance can help protect you from liability, as well as help protect your property, vehicles, stock, equipment, tools…and the list goes on. As you’re doing your research, remember that the right small business insurance policy will have coverage tailored to the risks unique to your business.
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