Insurance Needs When Starting a Business

It is an exciting time when you decide to take a new direction by starting a business, even if you start self-employment in response to a change in your job in Alberta. Much needs to be decided with respect to the nature and scope of your business and you will want to make sure that you protect yourself with business insurance from the start. The business structure will also need to be decided, keeping in mind that if you choose a sole proprietorship or a partnership, then you can be held personally liable for many business losses. You may be able to package all elements of risk to your business in a single policy or you may have specific types of business insurance coverage needed. A general commercial liability insurance policy can include business property insurance and liability insurance. However, since there are many different types of businesses, your new business could have multiple insurance needs.

Business Property Insurance

Commercial business insurance in Edmonton will provide protection for your business premises and its contents (e.g., equipment and inventory on site) in the event of fire, theft, water damage or certain other liabilities such as theft or vandalism. Added protection may be required for offsite equipment or for warehouse liability. If your new business is home-based, be aware that your home insurance policy may not protect against business losses. Business property insurance will protect your business at home, in a leased space or on premises you own.

General Liability Insurance

General liability business insurance will insure your business and you and your employees from third party claims involving property damage or bodily injury (e.g., a slip and fall personal injury claim). Coverage is available for the insurance company’s investigation and legal expenses, any judgement or settlement, and medical expenses, to the policy limit. Other types of liability insurance (e.g., business practices liability, product liability) can be obtained as an adjunct to a general liability insurance policy.

Professional or Errors & Omissions Liability Insurance

Professional or errors & omissions liability insurance is needed for businesses that provide business or consulting services to clients for a fee. It covers losses to a third party due to negligence or errors in judgment by you or your employees while performing professional duties in the workplace, such as faulty recommendations or solutions. Professional liability insurance is not covered under a general liability insurance policy and its importance will depend on the type of professional service you provide and the number of employees providing the service. Examples of professions that require this type of coverage include architects, engineers, accountants, doctors, lawyers, real estate agents and in media and advertising.

Commercial and Fleet Automobile Insurance

Commercial automobile insurance is required for automobiles used in the course of business. Fleet insurance is available for groups of at least five vehicles that are under common ownership or management and used for businesses, commercial or public purposes.

Insurance for Employees

Although not provided through private insurance, new business owners need to be aware of the requirement to pay Employment Insurance premiums that protect employees against the risk of unemployment and Worker’s Compensation Board premiums that insure workers against the risk of getting injured on the job. Providing a private group health insurance policy for your employees is not required but insuring employees against health risks can help your business to run smoothly and aid in employee retention.

Health, Critical Illness, Disability Insurance and Life Insurance

As a business owner, your business could run into serious difficulty if you become ill, disabled or die. Business succession planning (e.g., life insurance funds to hire key persons) should be built into your new business from the start so it’s not later overlooked. Make sure you’re covered with life insurance today.

Contact HDF Insurance for Your New Business Needs

There are many types of business insurance in Edmonton, Alberta as there are many different types of businesses. At HDF Insurance, an independent business insurance broker can discuss a business insurance policy that is customized to your business needs. With insurance tailored to your new business, we can help to limit the risks and potential losses occurring to your business. We can also help you stay on top of the coverage you need as your business expands. We are proud to provide insurance for many small businesses in Edmonton and throughout Alberta, some of which have grown from start-ups to market leaders over the years. Contact us for your free business insurance quote at 1-800-567-2048.