Your small business may just be you doing freelance work from your home office for a little extra money, or it could be a rapidly growing enterprise with a physical location, employees and even company vehicles. From small-scale manufacturing to consulting, from family-run restaurants to contracting, Canada’s small businesses are all different, and so are their insurance needs.
Coverage for Most Small Businesses
There is some coverage that is specific to certain businesses, and then there is coverage that almost every small business needs. Here are those basic coverages that you will most certainly need:
Commercial General Liability (CGL) – This is a very general coverage that protects your business if someone sues you for damage to their property or injury to themselves. The classic example is someone slipping on an icy step at your office, but CGL would also cover you if your employee accidentally drilled into a pipe at a client’s home and led to water damage.
Cyber Insurance – Even the smallest home businesses nowadays have an online presence, possibly including a website, e-commerce and social media accounts. Cyber insurance protects you if your website is hacked, if you lose customer data, or if one of your online accounts becomes compromised.
Business Interruption Insurance – If a fire, a break-in or a major storm leads to your business not being able to operate as it usually would, this coverage can replace lost revenue while your business gets back up and running.
Commercial Property and Contents Insurance – If your business has a physical location, you would need coverage for the building itself, if you own it, or possibly for tools, equipment and supplies that you keep there, in case they are stolen, damaged or destroyed.
Tenants Legal Liability Insurance – if your business rents or leases a space, then this coverage will protect your business if it is liable for any damage to the property you are occupying. It is usually included in your Commercial General Liability coverage, but ask to be sure.
Commercial Auto Insurance – If your business owns vehicles, or even if you use your personal vehicle for business, commercial auto insurance can provide the same coverage as your personal auto insurance, but tailored to your business needs.
How much is small business insurance per month?
The cost of insurance for small business in Canada is lower than you might think, and can be available for as little as $60 per month.
Every business is different, and the price can depend on a number of factors; including:
The industry in which your business operates
The specific products or services provided by your business
Where your business is
The size of your business (annual revenues)
The number of employees that you have
Your experience within your profession and that of your employees
Any claims that you have made
As with most insurance you can usually reduce your premiums by choosing lower policy limits and higher deductibles.
Insurance Options For Different Small Businesses
Different businesses have different risks. The following coverages are not for every business, but depending on what exactly your business does, they may be essential to protect your livelihood:
Product Liability Insurance – If your business manufactures or sells physical products, then you need product liability coverage in the event that your products cause injuries to people or damage to property. For example, food products could cause allergic reactions, power tools could lead to injuries, etc.
Professional Liability Insurance – Also called Errors & Omissions (E&O), this coverage is mostly for businesses that consult or offer advice to clients, and will protect you if someone claims that bad advice or negligence on the part of you or your employees led to injuries, damage or other losses.
Employee Dishonesty Insurance – Any business that has employees may be susceptible to employee dishonesty in the form of theft or fraud. This coverage, also sometimes called “Crime” coverage, is most common in retail, where numerous employees have access to cash and inventory.
Believe it or not, there are literally hundreds of different coverages available to protect small businesses from risks inherent in their daily activities. Contractors installing flooring, lighting or plumbing fixtures may purchase what is called an installation floater, to insure materials from the time they get them until they are installed in a client’s premises. Loss of rental income coverage is also available for landlords who can’t collect rent while their property is being repaired after a storm or fire.
To be sure you have all the coverage you need and ONLY the coverage you need for your small business, call Mitchell & Whale today. Our experienced business insurance brokers will ask you about your business and suggest only the coverages that make sense, to deliver a comprehensive yet affordable package of coverage.