Business can be unpredictable. Changes in the market, workplace accidents, even human error can all have a significant impact on the bottom line. As a hard working business owner, it pays to know that if something unexpected happens, both you and your employees are covered.
“Many businesses just think in terms of lost income when something happens, such as a fire or a flood,” says Solvi Stokholm of Stokholm Insurance in New Westminster, “but if the business is interrupted, what happens to the employees? The business still needs to make payroll. Who or what is going to cover that?”
Another often overlooked area, according to Solvi, is the potential for lawsuits caused by negligence or omissions. From the engineer who makes a mistake in a set of building plans to the hair stylist who gets hair colour in someone’s eye, the risk of loss can be considerable.
“If your work has the potential for error of any kind, insurance is crucial,” Solvi says. “You could lose your entire business with a single lawsuit.”
Solvi, who has more than 20 years of experience in the insurance industry, provides customized insurance and investment solutions to businesses in metro Vancouver of all sizes and recommends that a business owner consider the following questions when looking at insurance options for their business:
- Are you covered in case people slip and fall on your property?
- Do you have employees dealing with money and funds? Is it possible for them to steal from you?
- If you cause injury or financial loss by your own mistakes and get sued, what happens? Who’s going to cover your lawyer fees?
- Do you own a building? What happens if there were water or fire damage or fire and tenants have to move out? You would lose rental income and would be out-of-pocket for repairs.
- Do you run events? “Many people assume that the venue has insurance to cover liability,” Stokholm points out. “Even if the hall or venue has insurance, if your guests injure themselves by tripping on a cord they can sue both you and the venue. It happens.”
- Do you have specialized equipment, such as a commercial freezer, that can generate extensive losses if it breaks down? Equipment breakdown for refrigeration can lose companies $200,000-$300,000 worth of goods.