Thursday, May 7, 2015

Top 10 Small Business Threats to Watch Out For

As a small business owner, you're often faced with many different challenges. While there are ways to respond to these challenge, it's best to do everything you can to minimize problems in the first place. Wise business owners learn to manage their risk. Be sure to watch out for these top 10 threats to small businesses.

1. Property Losses

For many business owners, property is the largest asset. Be sure to take a complete inventory to determine how a loss might affect your business and how much Lake of the Ozarks insurance coverage you need. Leaving your small business underinsured is too large of a risk to take.

2. Business Interruption

The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that more than 40% of business affected by a disaster, such as a flood or fire, never reopen. With proper insurance, you would be able to continue operating your business at a temporary location during the repair process.

3. Liability Losses

The only way to completely avoid liability is to shutter your business; however, the next best thing is to carry Commercial General Liability (CGL) Insurance coverage at the Lake of the Ozarks. CGL is a standard insurance policy issued to business organizations to protect them against liability for bodily injury and property damage arising out of premises, operations, products and completed operations, and advertising and personal injury liability. The policy allows you to continue normal operations while dealing with the claims.

4. Key Person Losses

Many small business have few employees, many of which hold key roles. In the event that one of those key people departs unexpectedly, would your business be able to continue functioning properly? Key Person Insurance can provide financial stability in a time of stress, allowing you to keep your business running properly.

5. Injuries to Employees

Workplace accidents can have a huge effect on your business. Beyond initial treatment costs and lost production time, on-the-job injuries have an impact on insurance premiums, which can increase your costs for years to come. By managing exposures and promoting safety, it is possible to control workers compensation premiums.

6. Electronic Data Breaches

Many small businesses lack an IT department, leaving themselves vulnerable to cybercrime. The cost of a single data breach can be devastating for a small business. In addition to taking preventative measures to reduce Internet-based exposures, specialized technology coverage, such as Cyber Liability Insurance can help protect your business against damage from cyber attacks, data breaches and other Internet-based exposures.

7. Environmental Exposures

While large manufacturing companies may be at a higher risk, they're not the only industries at risk for environmental liability losses. It is important to perform a comprehensive risk analysis because most commercial insurance policies contain pollution exclusions. Consider carrying Environmental Insurance for coverage against these exposures.

8. Employment Practices

Did you know that 3 out of 5 employers will be sued by a current or former employee while they are in business? While many lawsuits are groundless, defending against them can be very costly. Employment Practices Liability insurance will protect your company against wrongful termination, discrimination or sexual harassment lawsuits.

9. Contracts

Many new business owners don't have the time or expertise to adequately evaluate everything they're signing. While it's tempting to shave costs by skimping on legal fees, oversight can cause major problems down the road. Making sure your business isn't accepting additional and unnecessary risk can save you in legal costs and insurance coverages.

10. Auto Liability

Every business has auto liability exposures that can put the business future at risk regardless of if the business owns any vehicles.  Non-Owned or hired vehicles used on behalf of the business can just as easily bring rise to a claim as autos owned in the business name.  Make sure your commercial auto policy includes Hired and Non-Owned auto coverage.  If you do not have a Business Auto policy then ask to add a Hired and Non-Owned endorsement onto your General Liability policy if available.

Lake of the Ozarks business insurance is a key component of any comprehensive risk management plan, but successful risk management also involves prevention, training and contingency planning. Contact your insurance agent at the Lake of the Ozarks to learn more about the tools and resources we can offer to help you manage risk, advance safety procedures and boost employee morale.

Contact Insure the Lake today for all your Lake of the Ozarks insurance needs! 

About the Author: Steve is a double back-flip insurance ninja. He was named Young Insurance Agent of the Year by the Missouri Association of Insurance Agents in 2010 and is a Certified Insurance Counselor. When he is not helping customers, he enjoys community service, Latin dancing with his beautiful wife and going on adventures with his two awesome sons.

Steve Naught, CIC

3736 Osage Beach Parkway
Osage Beach, MO 65065
Next to Golden Coral

T: 573-348-2794
F: 573-348-0191