Insurance: A Necessary Evil

By Sandra HaleyGeneral Liability, Liquor Liability

Most people find buying insurance a necessary evil.  No one wants to spend monies for an intangible item like insurance, but having it is not only a smart business decision in order to protect your property and your financial assets, it is usually a condition of getting a mortgage on a building. Some people purchase insurance for peace of mind, some purchase because they are forced to, and others purchase because they have suffered a prior loss and did not have insurance to cover the loss!

Your business faces plenty of threats—from fire to fraud, dishonest employees to dissatisfied customers and disconnected utilities. It’s important to understand the risks your business faces and what coverage you need to protect yourself.

Property insurance, which protects buildings and their contents such as equipment, furnishings and inventory, is the most popular kind of protection for small businesses. Banks and mortgage lenders insist you carry property insurance. Why do they care? Insurance protects the lender’s investment in case the property is damaged.

Business interruption insurance pays not just the lost sales, rent and payroll costs while you rebuild your business after an accident, but it also pays for you to rent a temporary office or equipment so you can get back on your feet quicker.

General Liability insurance is less common than property insurance among small companies but arguably more important. A claim for a serious injury could easily wipe you out. Liability insurance covers any injury or damage your company might cause to other people, their reputation or their property.

Liquor Liability insurance is mandatory in some states if you are in the business of serving or selling alcohol, but in many states it is not required.  Liquor liability pays if you are negligent in serving a minor or in over serving an individual who leaves your establishment and gets into an accident harming themselves or innocent people. When purchasing liquor liability coverage, be sure that your policy includes Assault & Battery coverage!

Before you go shopping for insurance, investigate what perils a company in your industry is most likely to face and which could threaten your company’s survival. It’s always better to play it safe!

Sandra Haley is the Senior VP Underwriting & Marketing at Hospitality Insurance Group. 

Please be advised that the opinions expressed are the views of the author alone and should not be attributed to any other individual or entity and shall not constitute a legal opinion.