If you use Endicia to print shipping labels and deliver your products from the comfort of your own home, then I already know a few things about you:
- You are not a technophobe – you get that there are times when technology really does make running your business easier
- You are smart with your money
- You run a well-organized business
Those are all good and strong attributes to have as a business owner, and that brings me to the next question: Are you as smart about your insurance as you are about your shipping? Because if not, all of that time and money you are saving by using Endicia will go down the drain if you end up with a business problem your insurance policy doesn’t cover. For example, if you’re a freelancer working from home, just having homeowners insurance will not cover the accident your client has when he falls down your stairway after an appointment. So, how do you know what to get? First, consider legalities. What are the minimums your state requires for the type of business you have? Second, consider factors such as location – whether you work from home or an office, and whether you have employees.
Here are the major types of insurance that you should consider:
General Liability Insurance:
Every business needs liability insurance in case you, your products or services, or an employee, causes or allegedly causes bodily or property damage to any party. Costs vary depending on the specific risks of the business.
This is a legal requirement if you have employees. If an employee is injured on the job, he or she is covered by this insurance, which provides wage replacement and medical benefits.
If you own your building or have personal business property, property insurance can protect you from theft, fire, weather damage, etc.
Commercial Auto Insurance:
This insurance protects company vehicles. Also, if employees drive their own cars on company business, a “non-owned auto liability” policy protects your business if an employee does not have insurance or has inadequate coverage.
Professional Liability Insurance:
Otherwise known as Errors and Omissions Insurance, this policy is applicable for service-oriented businesses such as lawyers, hair salons, accountants, etc. It protects your business if you are sued for negligence, even if you haven’t made a mistake.
Directors and Officers (D&O) Insurance:
If a director or officer from your business finds him/herself in a legal situation as a result of actions from the job, D&O insurance can cover costs or damages lost as a result of a lawsuit.
If your business stores sensitive/private information about employees or clients on computers, servers or paper files, you are responsible for protecting that information. In this era when even Target can get hacked, having such a policy is wise.
Once you know your options, then the question is what to get, and how: Start by asking other online business owners who they work with. Insurance brokers represent many different policies and companies; agents are exclusive to their company. It is smart to get a few different quotes from various agents and brokers and compare rates and policies. And then it is simply a matter of making some smart choices. For more information visit: Small Business Administration.
For more insight, check out our ecommerce tips and trends page.