Business Insurance Center

Business Insurance Q & As

Question 2 of 61 in Basics
How much business insurance do I need?

To know how much business insurance to buy, you must decide what your policy needs to cover. Your need for business insurance will determine how much coverage you should purchase, so do a little homework before you start shopping. If you know how much business insurance you need in order to protect your valuable assets, shopping for a policy becomes easier.

TIP: Be a smarter shopper! Calculate your need for business insurance before you compare quotes!

Deciding How Much Business Insurance You Need

Risk analysis is a process by which you consider all possible risks,find out what business insurance covers, and select a policy that meets your needs. The process requires you to examine your business assets, project all the potential risks associated with those assets, and decide what risks pose the greatest threat to the survival of your business. When you have identified the risks that you need to insure yourself against, then you can get an idea of how much business insurance your company will need. When considering the need for business insurance, review the following components:

  • The size of the company
  • Type of business
  • Type of organizational structure
  • Capitalization
  • Geographical area
  • Management team
  • Degree of experience
  • Expertise in the targeted business

The business owners should consider how all of the above risks could create injury, accident, loss, or damage and to what degree in their individual business. Ask yourself questions about your business: Do you have inexperienced employees at key positions? Are you located in a high crime area? Are you in an industry under fire with federal or state laws making your business environment more litigious? Have you done this business for years or is this a newly entered field in which you could make mistakes? Questions like these and others should be fully explored in order to calculate how much business insurance you should purchase as well as the areas of your service that have a need for business insurance.

TIP: For items critical to your businesses survival, make sure your business insurance policy offers the full replacement cost of the asset!

Which Risks Should You Insure Against?

Once you have analyzed the risks inherent to your business, consider the cost of a policy and what you consider your most significant exposures to risk. Then review your available insurance budget and decide which risks you should insure against. Some coverage for certain types of risk should not be skimmed. Reviewing the risk analysis, determining your greatest risk and aligning your insurance dollars towards the greatest risks will allow you to purchase the best business insurance plan for your business.

Business Insurance Risk Analysis Example

Pretend you own a small pastry shop. The shop is in a building that you own, has space for customers to come in and sit down, and offers delivery for larger orders. The risk analysis should take the following steps:

  • Start by looking at the big picture and get insurance for the building and anything you use to prepare or display the pastries that you sell. Include coverage for mixers, ovens, counters, pots and pans, and any other important items that help keep your business running. These are the critical parts of your business, and you need to know how much they cost, and what risks are most likely to claim them (fire, flooding, etc).
  • Cover your exposure to risk from customers suing you because they may slip and fall in your building or have an allergic reaction to your pastries. This requires a need for business insurance that will cover these specific risks.
  • Include commercial auto insurance for your delivery van with higher liability limits.
  • Protect against business interruption due to lack of supply materials (flour and all other ingredient for your pastries).
  • Insure against any natural disasters that could occur in the area. If you are near a river, then flood insurance is helpful, if you are on a fault line then purchase protection from earthquake damage.
  • How many employees does the company have? You will need to have enough insurance to keep paying them should income stop after a loss.
  • Consider what would happen if you got hurt and had to miss work. Could the business survive without you running it for awhile? Look into a key person insurance policy to make sure your company survives an injury to you.

Look at all the items that you can lose, the risk of losing them, and how devastating the loss could be in order to determine how much business insurance you need. Be thorough and cover all the risks that your company faces.