Running a small business in Idaho can get expensive, especially without adequate insurance coverage. And if you put too much financial risk on your company, your hard work may go to waste. There are several types of policies that you should get, depending on your industry and legal requirements. However, the ones listed in this article only scratch the surface, and you should speak with an agent to get tailored coverage for your business.
Auto Liability Coverage
If your business operates with company-owned vehicles, you should consider taking out an auto policy. Minimum liability coverage may be required in some industries, so check with your lawyer or an insurance agent to confirm.
In cases where you or your employees use your personal vehicles to conduct business, look into additional coverage for cars that aren’t company-owned. Keep in mind that these may only cover work-related accidents, and you will need a separate policy for your personal time.
General liability, also known as public liability, is a policy that covers claims filed by the general public for injuries, death, or damage to property caused by your business. The general public is usually anyone who is not an employee or owner of the company.
Remember, general liability does not mean you’re entirely covered. Every carrier has a different policy, and you will need to discuss which events will be covered under yours. This can help you determine whether you need additional coverage.
If you have at least one employee, you must get workers’ comp insurance for your business in Idaho. Failure to obtain it can result in hefty fines, misdemeanor charges, and a potential shut-down, depending on your industry. Plus, you have to foot the bill without a policy when one of your employees gets hurt on the job. Covered benefits of a workers’ compensation policy may include:
- Medication and emergency treatment
- Lost wages from time spent recovering
- Surgeries and physical therapy
Several customers buy your product, and they get injured or sick after using it. They could file a lawsuit against your company, and you may be responsible for paying their medical expenses (and more) without product liability insurance. This type of coverage is necessary when your product hurts customers due to a malfunction or flaws in the design. And thinking it won’t happen to you will only put your business at risk, even if you feel your product is perfect.
Unemployment Insurance Tax
Unemployment insurance is not a traditional policy that you can get from an insurance carrier. Instead, employers are required to pay for it through the Unemployment Insurance Tax to the state of Idaho. As the owner of your business, you are responsible for paying this tax, and you cannot put the cost onto your employees at any time.
Business interruption insurance covers the loss a company faces when a natural disaster causes it to shut down. However, it doesn’t cover all interruptions. For example, when the Covid-19 pandemic caused many businesses to close their doors, they expected their insurance to cover this interruption.
However, many companies said this was not a covered loss under the policy. The situation prompted some carriers to create coverage related to pandemics, as this was an unforeseen circumstance. Just remember, as the world evolves, so will insurance.
Insurance for Home-Based Businesses
Your homeowners’ insurance policy may not cover work-related incidents if you’re operating from home. For example, if you build a dresser for a customer and damage your personal property, your insurance carrier might not cover the claim. So you may need to buy an additional policy to ensure complete coverage.
Home-based business insurance policies may include services you conduct in your clients’ homes, such as cleaning or repairs, but you should speak with an agent to confirm your level of coverage.
Key-person insurance covers the company in the unfortunate event that an owner, manager, or other critical team member dies or becomes disabled. This is a type of life insurance policy, and it’s essential when the death of the insured threatens the overall well-being of the business. In addition, it gives shareholders and employees peace of mind that the company and their jobs are safe.
According to the Affordable Care Act, if your company employs over 50 people, you are required to provide health insurance or pay a special tax.
Companies often underinsure themselves while trying to keep costs down, but doing so can put too much financial risk on their well-being. Insurance can save small businesses from financial strain, liability, and even bankruptcy.
While the coverages listed in this article are important, there are many more. So it would be best if you spoke with your lawyer and insurance agent to determine the types of policies and the level of coverage you need.