Protect the future of your business
Running a small business or franchise can be an exhilarating experience; especially once the company begins to flourish and produce a profit. However, business growth is inevitably accompanied by increased exposure to risk; in particular, risks relating to liability. In the USA alone, more than 80 million lawsuits are filed each year; with a significant proportion of those figures being claims made against businesses. Whilst it is imperative to focus on developing your company and ensuring that it sees growth year on year, it is also vital to make sure that it is protected adequately in terms of liability; and that your company is not at risk of sinking beneath the weight of a hefty liability claim, which can run into thousands, if not millions of dollars. It is important to be aware of the liability pitfalls that can potentially threaten your business and to be aware of how to protect yourself against them as best as possible; preferably by enlisting the support of an expert. Here are a few key things to bear in mind when considering liability insurance.
The Rise of a Very 21st Century Liability Threat to Your Business
Traditionally, the liabilities that a business needed to safeguard against were very much based on the physical aspects of the company. However, in the 21st century, when many companies generate most, if not all of their business from their website, they find themselves at risk of a very different kind of threat; that of cyber-crime. For many businesses that suffer from cyber attacks, the results tend to be a loss of revenue, with account details hacked into, and money extracted from the account. However, cybercriminals are growing ever more interested in obtaining sensitive data; and as a company, you are liable if that data is no longer confidential. A few years previously, large companies were the main focus of cyber thieves, but in recent years, there has been a significant shift, and now, over 30% of cybercrimes are targeted at companies with less than 250 employees. Consider getting insurance to protect yourself against this, but also consider investing in the help of an expert, who can put additional security measures on your site.
Guarding Against the ‘Slip and Fall’
As a business owner, particularly if you own a premise that is open to the general public, you are probably already familiar with the terminology ‘slip and fall’. To clarify, a ‘slip and fall accident claim is a tort legal term, used to describe a physical accident that occurs on the premises of another person; for example, slipping on a wet floor in a high street store, or tripping on an uneven floorboard in dental surgery. If an accident happens in your workplace, and you are uninsured against it, then you can anticipate a substantial legal claim to be made against you and your company. Ensure that you protect yourself against this by ensuring your business, but also by creating a list of safety checks that you undertake at regular intervals within the premises; and do not avoid necessary repairs and alterations to your property; whilst seeming to save you money in the short term, neglecting your premises can damage the reputation of your company considerably in the long term.
Confused About Taking Out Liability Insurance?
If in doubt about what sort of insurance is best for your company, ask an expert. Discovering what insurance is suitable for your business can prove to be complicated, and an expert will guide you in the right direction. When talking to an expert, be prepared to assess aspects of your business, such as the perceived risks and whether your company operates in a high or low-risk manner; and also location, as some states in the US will have different approaches when it comes to awarding damages to plaintiffs. As with any other type of insurance, be prepared to consider excesses; and it is a good idea to ascertain how much excess you can afford, should you face liability charges in the future. Depending on the nature of your business, you may also need additional insurance; but your business advisor will help you with finding out exactly which policy will work to your advantage.
This article is a guest contribution from Melissa Barry.