This week is Global Entrepreneurship Week, so I want to take a moment to talk about something that most entrepreneurs just don’t know enough about: insurance. Between opportunities like becoming an Uber driver or starting your own web design business, there are lower barriers to entrepreneurship than there ever have been before. But the ease of entry doesn’t mean would-be business owners don’t need to be smart about the risks they’re taking on when they decide to become entrepreneurs. Thankfully, many of these risks can be protected with the purchase of an insurance policy. But how do you know if you need insurance for your new entrepreneurial endeavor or side gig? Here are some questions that can help you figure it out.
- Can anyone get physically injured in the process of you doing your work? If you, a subcontractor, an employee, a homeowner or even a mail carrier can get injured in the place where you do your work during your working hours, it’s possible that you need some kind of injury liability coverage. Even if you work as a web designer from home, if you have clients or deliveries to your house, then it’s worth looking into.
- Can anyone else’s property (either real or digital) suffer damages while you work or through your work? If there’s a possibility that another person’s real or digital property could be damaged or go missing as a result of your work or while it’s in your possession, then you may need liability coverage.
- Do you have property that can be damaged or lost? When you use personally insured property for business purposes, it’s not protected. You need commercial property coverage in order to ensure you can recover damages and losses.
- What are some things you could be sued for? If there’s a chance you could be sued for anything in connection with your work, then a commercial liability policy is a must. General liability may be enough, or you might need more niche coverage such as malpractice.
- Can you afford to be out of work? Disasters such as tornadoes, hurricanes and fires can put even self-employed people out of work for a time. If you aren’t financially prepared to support yourself while you rebuild your business, then business continuation insurance is a policy you should consider.
These are just a few of the questions that indicate you might need insurance for your business or side gig. To get a more comprehensive assessment to cover all your bases, meet with an insurance agent.