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Free Book: Guide to Small Business Insurance Coverage

 

Guide to Small Business Insurance Coverage

A Step by Step Guide to Managing Risk In Your Business

Guide to Small Business Insurance Coverage

This guide will heighten your awareness of business insurance and encourage you to consider carefully the various insurance programs and options available on the market. As a business manager it is imperative that you understand the various aspects of insurance and how it can help a firm be more successful. This book  will walk you step by step through all the essential phases of managing risk in your business.

Here's what’s in the book:
* How to Identify and Analyze Exposures to Loss

* How to Protect from Property Losses
* How to Protect from Business interruption Losses
* How to Protect from Liability Loss
* How to Protect from Liability to Employees
* Loss Exposures and Risk Management
* Insurance Checklist for Small Business
* How to Organize Your Insurance Program
* Glossary of Insurance Terms
* All these and much much more.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction
2. Identifying and Analyzing Exposures to Loss
3. Property Losses
4. Business interruption Losses
5. Liability Loss
6. Liability to Employees
7. Loss Exposures and Risk Management
8. Insurance Checklist for Small Business
9. Organizing Your Insurance Program
10. Glossary of Insurance Terms

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Sample Content:

RISK MANAGEMENT AND THE SMALL BUSINESS

Is your business a risky business? You bet! Every small business is. Just think for a minute about the hundreds of things that most business owners worry about. A few are predictable or, at the very least, are items that you can plan for and perhaps even control to a certain extent, such as:
expected sales volume
salary costs
taxes

Overhead expenses
equipment and supply costs
the price you charge for the goods or services you offer to your customers
Others are unpredictable, largely beyond your control. Examples of these unpredictable risks include:
actions your competitors may take
changing tastes and trends
the effect they have on your market and your customers
the local economy and its impact on your customer base (plant closings or unemployment, for example).
And then there are the events that can and do happen to small businesses all the time. They could directly affect your day-to-day operations, impact profits, and result in unexpected financial losses that may be serious enough to cripple your business or even bankrupt it. You've probably already considered the most obvious risks and have bought insurance to protect against the financial losses that could result from them. Most business owners recognize the loss potential from fire and injury.

Fire could damage or destroy the building your firm occupies and turn the building's contents into a pile of smoking rubbish. Whether you rent or own, your place of business and your ability to continue to do business may both be seriously affected.
If someone is injured on business premises, or injured by a product you manufacture or market, or because of the way your firm performed a service, your firm may be held responsible for that person's medical bills, lost wages or even loss of future income.

Loss of property from fire and liability for injury to another person (or another person's property) are familiar exposures. But there are hundreds of other losses and liabilities that every small business faces, many of which are often overlooked or ignored.
Large corporations often employ a full-time "risk manager" to identify and analyze possible exposures to loss or liability. The risk manager then takes steps to protect the firm against accidental and preventable loss and to minimize the financial consequences of losses that cannot be prevented or avoided. But most small businesses can't afford the services of a risk manager, even part-time, so the business owner often has to take on that responsibility.

WHAT IS "RISK MANAGEMENT"?
Regardless of who does it, risk management consists of:
1. Identifying and analyzing the things that may cause loss.
2. Choosing the best way of dealing with each of these potentials for loss.
You've worked hard to build your business, and you've poured a lot of time, effort and money into identifying loss exposures.

2. Identifying and Analyzing Exposures to Loss
Identifying exposures is a vital first step: until you know the scope of all possible losses, you won't be able to develop a realistic, cost-effective strategy for dealing with them. The last thing you want to do is come up with a superficial BandAid approach that may cause more problems than it solves.
It is not easy to recognize the hundreds of hazards, or perils that can lead to an unexpected loss. Unless you've experienced a fire, for example, you may not realize how extensive fire loss can be. Damage to the building and its contents are obvious exposures, but you should also consider:
the damage or destruction that smoke or water from dozens of fire hoses can create.
damage to employees' property (coats, tools and personal belongings) and to property belonging to others (data-processing equipment you lease or customers' property left with you for inspection or repair, for example).
the amount of business you'll lose during the weeks (or months) it takes to get back to normal again.
the loss to competitors of customers who may not return when you reopen for business.
You begin the process of identifying exposures by taking a close look at each of your business operations and asking yourself:
1. "What could cause a loss"? If there are dozens of exposures you may find dozens of answers.
For each exposure you identify, ask yourself:
2. "How serious is that loss"? (This question helps you focus on the possible severity of each exposure. What kind of price tag, in dollars and cents, applies to that exposure?) The purpose here is not to determine where the money will come from, but how costly the loss could be.
Many business owners use a "risk analysis" questionnaire or survey as a checklist. These are available from insurance agents, most of whom will provide the expertise to help you with your analysis. With their expertise and experience, you're less likely to overlook any exposures. They'll also be available to answer your questions when you try to determine how serious a loss from a given exposure may be.
WHAT KINDS OF EXPOSURES SHOULD I LOOK FOR?
In general, most questionnaires and surveys address the potential for:
property losses
business interruption losses
liability losses
key person losses
automobile losses

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