Alberta is young and entrepreneurial, with a median age of 36.7 and more small- and medium-sized businesses than any other province, according to the government of Canada’s Key Small Business Statistics from June 2016. Small businesses also enjoy the second-lowest small-business corporate income tax rate among all provinces, which was reduced from three per cent to two per cent as of January 1, 2017
The province is fertile ground for commercial innovation, but that doesn’t mean starting a company is easy. Businesses need a lot of the right components in order to run well. After cobbling together everything needed to operate ― the appropriate products, the best customer management system, and the most experienced and talented employees that can be found, don’t let all that work go to waste. Even if you think you have planned for every eventuality, business owners should always expect the worst. Business insurance is designed to cover for a range of happenstances in the entrepreneurial world so that you can keep operating after any unfortunate incidence.
Tool Theft or Loss
Tools are often the livelihood of contractors and tradespeople. They may be handed down from generation to generation, or cost thousands new. The right tools take years to accumulate, and many customize theirs to perform exactly the way that is needed.
Don’t assume that your regular business insurance or commercial vehicle coverage will cover the loss of tools from your vehicle or job site. This is not the case if the tools have left your property or vehicle and are being used at another location, which is essential for most contractors. If your tools are an fundamental part of your occupation, consider adding a tool floater to your regular business insurance policy. A tool floater protects tools while being transported and at job sites.
Employee theft is unfortunately very common, and there’s no way to know who might be an eventual perpetrator. Even with rigorous pre-employment screening, often it’s those you would least expect who turn out to be thieves. Consistent inventory and financial audits are two ways to reduce the risk of loss, as well as fraud and ethics training. Physical safeguards such as safes and password-protected network systems are also recommended.
Two types of business insurance can protect against employee theft. A blanket position bond will cover for employee dishonesty up to a maximum amount per person. A commercial blanket bond protects the business up to a maximum limit per loss, regardless of the number of employees.
Lawsuits Resulting From Advice Given
Errors and omissions or professional liability insurance is a consultant’s protection from lawsuits should advice given result in a financial loss for the client. A wide-ranging type of insurance, nearly every business owner can benefit from errors and omissions coverage, not just consultants. It provides a high level of protection against litigation and financial loss due to your business’s actions and is a supportive safety net against a number of different types of incidences.
Slip and Falls
The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) recommends that all business owners follow a three-part strategy for protecting themselves and their employees:
- Recognize how most slip-and-fall accidents happen
- Identify problem areas in the work environment
- Take action to reduce risk
Claims for slip and fall injuries fall under business or commercial general liability insurance, which provides coverage for third-party property damage and third-party bodily injury. Third-party property damage is when your business somehow causes harm to someone else’s property. Business general liability insurance coverage will pay for repairs and retributions. Third-party bodily injury could mean someone being hurt by one of your employees failing to carry out their duties safely, or someone slipping and falling on your property, or one of your products causing an injury. Business general liability insurance will help with repairs and reprisals and/or legal expenses.
How Do I Avoid A Business Insurance Claim?
Creating a loss prevention plan reduces the chance of accidents and occurrences at work. Your loss prevention plan should match the type of your business, which dictates the specific risks to which you are prone.
Your loss prevention plan should detail how to prevent and mitigate the following circumstances:
- Employee theft
- Computer breakdown
- Malware attacks
- Injuries on the job
Try this outline from Brokerlink to get started.
Trust Lane’s for all of Your Commercial Insurance Needs
The experienced and knowledgeable insurance brokers of Lane’s can help explain all of the ins and outs of the commercial general liability aspect of your commercial insurance coverage. We work for you – not the insurance companies. Just a sampling of the products we provide includes commercial auto insurance, commercial property insurance, commercial surety bonds, contract surety bonds, and contractors insurance. Contact us at our Calgary, Edmonton, Banff, and Alberta offices today.