Small business owners have a lot to consider when it comes to insurance, and it’s vitally important to ensure your venture is properly protected. Every enterprise has different needs, and the types of coverage you require will be influenced by a number of factors, including the nature of your business, the industry you work in, the value of your assets and the amount of revenue you generate, just to name a few.
It’s a good idea to talk to an insurance broker to familiarize yourself with the various types of business insurance in Alberta, and to ensure your business’s specific needs are being addressed.
An Overview of Business Insurance Coverage Types
Commercial property insurance is one of the most common types of coverage for business owners, and it’s compulsory if you own the building in which your enterprise is based. This type of insurance protects the building from losses and damages, and it also covers the contents stored inside. Even if you lease your business space, you’ll need to carry coverage that protects your on-site assets.
- General liability insurance for businesses is usually called commercial liability insurance. These insurance products protect your business from claims resulting from bodily injury and third-party property damage caused by events involving your premises, products and/or business operations. Employee injuries are covered by Alberta’s Workers’ Compensation Board, so be sure to familiarize yourself with the applicable rights and obligations you must abide by. Remember, as well, there have been recent changes in business insurance coverage for certain farm owners in Alberta.
- Commercial health, life and disability insurance helps businesses attract the best available workplace talent. Offering these types of benefits gives prospective employees added incentive to work for your business, and helps you retain current employees while maintaining higher levels of worker satisfaction.
- If you use your own vehicle for business purposes, or if you and/or your employees drive company-owned vehicles, you’ll need commercial auto insurance. Note that your personal auto insurance policy will not protect you from losses or damages resulting from incidents that took place while you were driving for commercial reasons.
- The Internet age has brought a whole new set of risks and perils, which is why cyber insurance is so important. If you own or hold significant intellectual property assets, of if your digital data represents an essential part of your business operations, you should strongly consider this type of coverage. Remember: the vast majority of small businesses that suffer a critical breach or loss of data end up going out of business within three years.
- Fidelity insurance offers enhanced protection against losses resulting from crime. With crime rates on the rise in Alberta, and with a growing number of employees stealing from their workplaces, fidelity insurance can pay dividends by closing coverage gaps that may exist.
- Does your business have a continuity or disaster recovery plan? It should, and business interruption insurance should be part of it. This form of coverage provides financial relief and practical support if an unforeseen event causes a serious interruption to your regular business activities.
- Are you a professional with a private practice? If so, you should have errors and omissions insurance, also known as malpractice or professional liability insurance. Licensed professionals are held to high levels of personal accountability for errors and oversights, and this type of coverage protects you from lawsuits arising from such claims.
- Like licensed professionals, executive-level employees take on high levels of accountability for their actions. That’s why it’s wise to carry directors and officers insurance if you’ve reached the upper echelons of management. It protects you from liabilities resulting from failure to meet compliance standards or conduct yourself in accordance with preexisting statutes.
- If you’re involved in shipping or transportation and the cargo you deal with poses ecological hazards, you’ll need to carry environmental insurance. It will protect you from liability, up to your coverage limit, in the event of a disaster involving that requires environmental remediation.
- Finally, you’ll need to carry contractors insurance if you work on a contract basis and provide your own assets and employees. This type of insurance is most common in the construction industry, but it applies to many other businesses as well.
Enterprises operating in certain industries may require additional types of coverage that are not listed above. Examples include:
- Aviation insurance
- Control of well insurance for the oil and gas exploration industry
- Rip and tear insurance, which protects construction contractors from liability if their work needs to be torn down and redone
- Garage insurance for auto dealerships and repair facilities
There are many other examples, so again, be sure to discuss your particular needs with an insurance professional.
Business Insurance in Alberta: Great Advice and Comprehensive Coverage from Lane’s
If you need resources or advice regarding business insurance in Alberta, don’t hesitate to contact the knowledgeable and courteous professionals at Lane’s Insurance. Our brokers work for our clients, not for the insurance companies, so you can be sure you’re getting impartial advice that protects your best interests. Be sure to visit Lane’s Insurance online to get a free business insurance quote.