Top 5 Mistakes People Make When Getting Business Insurance

This might come as a surprise to some, but getting the right insurance for your business might be one of the most important decisions you’ll make as a business owner. The consequences of inadequate coverage, or no coverage, could be devastating. There is a whole world of things that can happen to you and your business. Not protecting yourself and your business with the right insurance could cost you in so many ways.

That’s why engaging in a process of obtaining business insurance right for you and your company is so important. Do you know what general commercial liability insurance is? Well, if you don’t, then it’s just another reason why doing it right is so important. Not doing it right might cost you when you need help the most — during crisis. It’s why people get insurance. It’s why smart business people get smart business insurance.

Doing it right essentially means avoiding some common mistakes made when trying to get the best insurance policy for your business. Knowing what some of these mistakes are, and avoiding them in the future, will help you in your quest to simply make the right business decision when it comes to insurance.

Top 5 Mistakes When Getting Business Insurance:

1. Discounting the importance of business insurance

Business people of all types, whether it be CEO’s of large business conglomerates, or even someone just working out of their home office, have their own set of reasons for getting insurance specifically for their business. But not all business people necessarily think this way. Some think it might be too costly. Some think it might not be necessary . Some may even think that they’re covered by other insurance policies that they have for their property or for themselves.

Not having the insurance specifically tailored for your business often comes as a result of simply not thinking that it’s necessary. But it is. Take general commercial liability insurance, for example. This kind of insurance protects businesses from the costs of lawsuits resulting from basic damages done to people or property that have even the slightest contact with what you do. Not having this coverage when someone decides to throw a lawsuit at you, even if frivolous, could cost you in terms of money and reputation.

2. Not knowing the basic issues

It’s nice to think that insurance is just insurance, but it isn’t. Would you get car insurance for you house? Would you get life insurance for your healthcare? Of course you wouldn’t.

Yes, some of the issues involved in business insurance are similar to other forms of insurance. A good policy will, for example, protect your assets in case they get stolen. It will also protect you if bad weather destroys your business property. These are straightforward insurance issues for your business. But don’t be fooled into believing that they’re the only insurance issues for your business.

For example, take general commercial liability insurance. Some business owners might not even know what liability insurance actually is. It’s the insurance that protects you from the financial costs resulting from a lawsuit from somebody who claims they or their property has been hurt or injured as a result of the way your business conducted itself. General commercial liability insurance is the kind of insurance those companies engaging in commercial activities get to protect themselves because people hurt themselves on their premises or one of their products did damage to someone’s property. Being knowledgeable about these kinds of things will most certainly help you get the right insurance.

3. Not getting insurance early enough

There are two things that can happen to you if you don’t get insurance for your business early enough. The obvious one is that you’ll need it before you get it, and you’ll be stuck with paying for the damages from a storm or a lawsuit yourself. The other thing that can happen is that you will not have a budget for your start-up for the proper insurance, so you’ll get stuck with inadequate coverage. That’s the last thing you want to happen. Therefore, to avoid it, thinking about insurance as early as possible, even at the business plan stage, will help you create the budget you need to get you adequately covered for all future circumstances.

4. Getting the wrong kind of insurance provider

Perhaps the most tempting option for someone seeking business insurance is to get it through insurance companies they’re already doing business with. So, for example, you like how your house is covered, and who’s covering it, so you’ll seek to extend that coverage to your business, too.

The reason this is inadvisable, or should at least be looked at very carefully, is that your property insurance provider might simply not have the kind of experience with the kind of insurance you need for your business.

For example, if general commercial liability is what your particular business is in need of, even if a provider carries that kind of insurance, they may simply not have enough developed expertise to know what’s right for your particular needs. Ideally, only those companies and agents who have dealt with your kind of business before can help your kind of business get you adequately covered for your particular situation.

5. Getting the wrong kind of coverage

Following from the risk of getting the wrong insurance provider, a mistake to avoid is getting the wrong kind of coverage. Ultimately, you’re the person in charge of making the right business decisions for your company. You’re the best person suited to look out for your own interests. No one else is. That’s why it’s incumbent upon you to make sure you’ve got the right coverage for you and your situation.

As much of the above already suggests, delegating these decisions is important. Yet, in the end, it’s you who has to decide if you have the right kind of coverage for your business. After going through the entire process, collecting all the information, and talking to the right people, it’s you who makes the decision. Make sure it’s the right one for your business and where you want to take it.

Should You Hire a Property Manager Or Not?

Using a property manager has both pros and cons. There are no hard and fast rules regarding whether you should hire one or not. You have to evaluate the answer based on your own situation. The following are some considerations to take into account before you jump to a conclusion.Time CommitmentA lot of real estate investors have a full time job so they do not have enough time or energy to manage properties. Especially if the house is situated remotely, many investors might feel they cannot manage on their own or do not want to travel. If fact, you can manage on your own.Cost BenefitIf you have several properties or an apartment complex in one area, using a property manager to manage all the property may be economic. The manager will be able to combine expenses and costs. For example, they can purchase maintenance materials in bulk for all the rental units. If you don’t have several rental units in one area, but together with your friends’ or families’ rental units you do. Then you can afford to hire a professional dedicated property manager.The Nature of the Rental Market Where your Property is LocatedIf your rental property is located in an area where renters mostly check out the rentals through the local property management companies, then you have no other choice but to hire the company. This may happen in small towns where there is only a handful of management companies.Tenant’s CharacteristicsSome tenants are not easy to deal with. You may find some tenants that are constantly paying late, asking for a lot of unnecessary repairs, complaining about everything, or having difficulty keeping up the premises. A property manager may handle the situation better than you as you might be emotionally attached to your property and less likely to handle many issues impartially. What’s more, the tenant might try to take advantage of you. They may take it more seriously if they are dealing with a professional property management company instead of an individual.Does your Property Need Frequent Repairs or Maintenance?If your property needs frequent repairs due to its age or other reasons, having a property manager may help you if repairs are a burden. Usually the property management company either has its own in-house repair service or contracts with outside vendors. In any case, you should ask about it before hiring them and understand how much they charge.What Kind of Service do you need from a Property Manager?Do you need a full service property management, which includes placing tenants and ongoing management service? If the condition of your property is good or new and not much repair is anticipated, you may save your money on the ongoing management service part. If you already have a tenant but you are moving out of that area you can use a local property manager to collect the rent and do the maintenance work.Lack of Interest in ManagingSome rental property owners just do not want to get involved in managing the property at all. They rather have someone look after their rental properties so they can enjoy their life doing other things. That is absolutely ok. Enjoying life is also very important.The purpose of hiring a property manager is to free up your time and make your rental investment successful. Nevertheless, hiring a poor one is worse than hiring no one. You can end up spending more time and money to rescue your property.If you hire one, keep in mind it does not mean you have to be a completely hand-offs owner. You should keep in regular communication with your property manager so he understands you do not treat your real estate business lightly. How to hire a good property manager belongs to another blog we will write about.

Is Your Workplace an Obstacle to Your Good Health and Fitness?

Do you have cake for colleagues’ birthdays? Vending machines in your break room? Cookies at staff meetings? Did you know that between one-third and one-half of Americans working today are in jobs where they are sitting for most of the day? With unhealthy foods and lack of activity, your workplace may be an unexpected obstacle to your health and fitness.When I started teaching at Rutgers University in 1995 there were three options for lunch within a 5-minute walk from my office on campus: Pizza Hut, Dunkin’ Donuts, and a vending machine. To compensate for my pizza and doughnut diet in those early years, I started working-out at the gym on campus. My workplace gym ritual didn’t last long. All too frequently (usually at the very moment I was struggling under an embarrassingly-light bench press), a student from one of my classes would say “hey professor — is that you?” with a smirk. The day I heard “hey Prof, do you need a spot?” marked the end of my workplace work-outs.What are your challenges to healthy behaviors at work? Nationwide Better Health, a subsidiary of Nationwide, conducted a survey of American workers on their workplace eating habits and physical activity. Their study revealed that 72% report eating an unhealthy snack more than once per week at work (13% snacking on unhealthy food at work 5 or more times each week). Only 42% of those surveyed reported that their company offered healthy food options. (I am happy to report that my workplace did add a deli with healthy food options next to the pizza and doughnuts.)Are you searching for ways to improve your workplace eating habits and level of physical activity? If you would like to read more about the steps you can take toward better health and fitness at work, I’d recommend reading the two-page article from Nationwide Better Health Survey entitled “Source or solution?: The workplace’s role in an unhealthy lifestyle”.