Startup or reopening company: How to get insurance right from the start
Are you making progress on your business plan and looking to start your company soon? Have you been closed for several months and are ready to reopen?
Here are some tips to help you insure your business.
Finding your insurance sales representative
Take the time to find a good insurance sales representative that you can trust. A person who will answer all your questions and is willing to support you and with whom you will stay in touch because lots of things can happen in business.
What the insurer or your broker needs to know
Your insurer or broker needs to know exactly what you do at your company. They will ask you for specific descriptions, an estimate of your revenue and your business plan. Feel free to showcase your experience in the sector or elsewhere. They will also ask whether you have the required permits and authorizations and, of course, the prevention and safety measures you have in place.
Show the precautions you’ve taken to protect your facilities, equipment, products and merchandise, computer data, and employees and customers.
Good to know: Do you have a criminal record? It’s better to be upfront. Your insurer is there to support and advise you. The more information you give them about you and your business, the lower of chances fewer surprises you’ll have.
Various types of coverage
Various types of insurance and additional coverage are available to protect a business. Comprehensive insurance tailored to the business sector is also available in several packages.
To get started, you will typically need the following coverage:
- General civil liability: covers your business for property, bodily or moral damage caused to a third party. Other civil liability insurance is available depending on the sector.
- Property (buildings, merchandise, equipment)
- Business interruption: covers loss of revenue, fixed costs and additional costs during business interruption for a covered event.
Other coverage you may need:
- Commercial crimes: theft, fraud and other crimes committed by your employees
- Equipment breakdown, commercial vehicles, premise rentals, etc.
- Natural catastrophes: flood, sewer backup, earthquake, clean-up of pollutants, etc.
- Cyber risks: data theft, online fraud and malware are important to consider.
For more information, see The business insurance contract page.
Deductibles and insurance amounts
Deductibles and limits on the amount of an insurance contract can make a difference on your premium. Carefully assess your actual insurance needs. Feel free to ask questions and take the time to consider each available coverage.
You will need certain types of coverage, but you may be able to assume some risks and their costs. Be sure to compare options, so you’re not giving up the coverage that could be important.
Risk management: It’s not just for big companies
Risk management is not just for big companies. The process identifies specific risks that may affect the business. It also sets up a plan to prevent or mitigate them. Risk management should be part of your business plan.
Ask yourself these questions: What events are most likely to happen that could harm your business? What would you do to prevent such events? If an incident or accident happens, will you have the financial means to fix or correct the situation?
If you haven’t already, ask companies in the same business as you, and check with small businesses or industry associations, they will be of great help.
Your insurer’s assessment may take time. Set aside a few weeks and make insurance part of your business plan.
Note: during the underwriting process, the insurer may inspect your facilities more than once. They will then share their advice and tell you if any improvements are required.