There’s nothing more satisfying than owning your own business, where you can directly see the results of your hard work. Ninety-six percent of enterprises in Alberta are small businesses, which are defined as having less than 50 employees. Infusing about $100 billion each year into the economy, small businesses are truly the backbone of the province.
The Alberta government provides of number of resources in support of small businesses, including programs for innovators and entrepreneurs, training on how to run a business, and loans that can help you make your business idea a reality.
But even with a true passion for what you do in addition to knowledge and know-how, the unforeseen can happen at anytime. Small business insurance options are specially designed to be both flexible and wide-ranging, with several choices for owners, property and earnings, and liability.
Small Business Insurance Choices
If you are an owner or a partner in a small business you should consider the following insurance coverages:
- Life insurance: Life insurance protects your family if something happens to you. It will pay out benefits to the individual(s) named in the policy in the event of the policyholder’s death, and often covers costs such as funeral expenses and outstanding mortgage balances.
- Disability insurance: If you are hurt and unable to work for a specified period of time, disability insurance will provide you with income.
- Partnership insurance: If your partner passes away, partnership insurance will allow you to legally purchase their shares in the business.
- Critical illness insurance: If you are diagnosed with a critical illness, this type of coverage will provide you with a lump sum payment.
- Key person insurance: This type of insurance protects you against the loss of people who are critical to helping run your business.
- Errors and omissions insurance: If you provide professional services under contract, you should also consider errors and omissions insurance. Some contracts even require it.
- Business interruption insurance: Business interruption insurance provides compensation for financial losses resulting from unexpected circumstances that cause temporary or long-term interruptions to your business operations.
Those who own assets as part of their business should consider the following:
- Property insurance: A no-brainer, business property insurance is a must for protecting against named perils such as fire and flood.
- Contents insurance: Just as with your home, you must insure your business’s building and the contents inside separately. We highly suggest replacement cost insurance over actual cash value.
- Vehicle insurance: If your business uses a vehicle to transport goods or materials, tools or equipment that are somehow related to your occupation, you have a commercial vehicle and need commercial auto or trucking insurance.
Business Liability Coverage
Liability coverage is your protection for when mistakes happen. It is specially designed to prevent against or mitigate through lawsuits.
- General liability: Covers for injuries to you or your employees.
- Product liability: This covers in the case a product you offer causes injury or harm.
Commercial general liability coverage is a comprehensive option including both general and product liability protections.
Home Business Insurance
Home-based business insurance covers your inventory, computers, office furniture and equipment, damage to your home due to a covered loss, and it also provides liability coverage for employees, delivery people, and your clients and customers. If your business does not include anyone coming to your home (as this greatly increases your chance of liability), you might be able to add your equipment to your current homeowner’s policy as an endorsement.
Additionally, as almost every business requires the use of a computer, in which contacts, project materials, inventory lists, banking details, and invoices are all stored. This is exactly the kind of information hackers are looking for. In the age of the savvy cyber-attacker, we highly recommend cyber insurance. Also known as CPM, an acronym for the three essential levels of protection it offers, cyber insurance is specifically designed to protect organizations and businesses from financial losses resulting from online criminal activity. “CPM” stands for “cyber, privacy, media,” reflecting the three spheres in which these policies work to protect you. If you are hacked and your client and customer’s personal information is stolen, cyber liability coverage will provide for losses resulting from a lawsuit due to breach of privacy.
Don’t forget to always keep your files backed up, as well, whether through the cloud or with an external device of some kind, as it provides additional information security in case you are attacked.
Workers Compensation Coverage (WCB) in Alberta
If you have any employees whatsoever outside of a family farming business, you are required to have injury coverage for those employees through the Workers Compensation Board of Alberta. To those just starting out, such coverage may seem like just another bill that has to be paid, but be warned that the penalties for non-complying employers will make mandatory WCB coverage seem a bargain by comparison.
Trust Lane’s for all of Your Small Business Insurance Needs
The experienced and knowledgeable insurance brokers of Lane’s can help explain all of the ins and outs of your small business 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.