Owning, operating and maintaining a small business is tough. Fortunately, you have a lot of resources available. If you’ve worked hard, have invested properly and are ready for a higher degree of protection, consider picking up a business owner’s policy—or, as it’s commonly called, a BOP.
A BOP, while an effective liability protection tool, shouldn’t be your end-all-be-all resource against the legal turmoil most businesses face. If you want to stay legally safe when operating a business, make sure you’re doing the following.
Cover Your Inventory
Whether it’s via a BOP or a separate insurance policy, your inventory should be your priority. This includes any items you use to maintain or sell products. It can also include the products, themselves. Additionally, inventory covers any materials used to produce your products. Your inventory makes up a majority of your business’s assets, and it needs to have protection before everything else.
Cover Your Equipment
Next, you should make sure your equipment has insurance. Uninsured equipment is a legal misstep. If your workplace’s equipment isn’t covered, you might encounter otherwise avoidable risks. Make sure your coverage includes manufacturing systems, cooking equipment, vehicles, components and even point-of-sale equipment.
Secure the Business Interruption Insurance
A lot of BOPs include business interruption insurance. If yours doesn’t, however, you should make sure you’re securing it another way. Business interruption insurance will protect you if your business stops service due to downtime, site damages or legal problems. Eventually, you'll encounter problems. Make sure your business can stay operational. You're usually able to counter interruption with a protective policy.
Secure the Crime Insurance
Sometimes, BOPs have limited crime insurance coverage. Expect to get vandalism, break-in and physical crime coverage. If your workplace is susceptible to other crime, consider purchasing a separate policy. Or, if your BOP coverage options are flexible, prioritize the crime insurance.
Get Cyber Liability Coverage
Unfortunately, a lot of business owners forget about their digital property. A lot of BOP packages include cyber liability coverage. However, you might want to purchase extra data breach coverage if you have a lot of digital assets. Even if your business doesn’t supply digital goods and services, it still needs to have protection in the digital world with solid business insurance. Remember, you're going to need to protect your own data systems.
It’s a good idea to sit down, analyze your business and pick a BOP package which covers your day-to-day activities. Remember, every business is different. Your BOP options are often customizable. Don’t be afraid to negotiate with your provider. At the end of the day, your business comes first. Your provider is on your side, and they can help you get the best out of your policy.