As business owners, it?s important for women entrepreneurs to understand the ins and outs of protecting their assets.
This blog post was written as part of a sponsored program for State Farm?. All views expressed are entirely my own, and were not influenced or directed by State Farm.
When it comes to women entrepreneurs, you might be surprised at how important having the right kind of insurance can be. Because March is women?s history month, I thought it would be a good idea to look at some of the issues related to women and business.
It is especially important to consider the impact of women-owned businesses in the United States when you consider that between 1997 and 2015 the number of women-owned businesses increased by 74%, according to the 2015 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report from American Express OPEN.
As you start your own business, or even if you have been in business for a while, it?s important to consider your insurance needs. The right insurance policies can protect your business assets as well as your personal assets. Here are some things the Insurance Information Institute suggests that you consider if you are a woman business owner.
Know Your Risks
The first thing you need to do is understand your risks. As a freelancer, I don?t have a lot of inventory or equipment to worry about. I also don?t have any employees. Other women who own a more traditional business could have more to worry about. Look at your operation and determine what type of coverage you might need. If you have a separate office space, if you have employees that you need to cover, or if you are worried about liability, it?s important to get the right business insurance coverage.
Work with a Knowledgeable Insurance Professional
No matter who you are, it makes sense to work with a knowledgeable professional in the financial field. When it comes to women and business, research indicates that women lack confidence when it comes to money. This makes it important to find the right professional to help you choose your insurance. I know my parents use State Farm for their insurance needs, and when my mom owned her own business she turned to her agent for advice on the appropriate insurance coverage.
A good insurance agent or broker can help you evaluate your risks and figure out which business insurance policies are right for you.
Compare Rates and Lower Your Premiums
The Insurance Information Institute also points out that it is a good idea to compare rates and look for ways to lower your insurance premiums.? This is good advice for anyone in business, and when figuring out your own personal insurance needs.
Depending on your business, you might need Errors and Omissions insurance or some other type of professional insurance in addition to property and liability insurance. Also, understand that business use of your home, or your car, might need additional insurance. Your current personal home and auto policies may not cover the things you do for business. You might also need help pricing different employee benefits, like health insurance and life insurance. Speak with an agent or broker who understands a small business owner?s needs.
There are also ways to reduce your insurance premiums and still have the right amount of coverage. This is important because your costs can take a bite out of your real earnings. Even though many of your business insurance premiums are tax deductible, it can still help to keep your premiums as low as possible.? Here are some things you can do to reduce your business insurance premiums:
- Bundle your products together. Many insurance companies will give you a discount if you have multiple policies with them.
- Increase your deductible. The higher your deductible, the lower your insurance premium. Just make sure you have enough money in an emergency fund to cover your out of pocket requirement.
- Ask for discounts. You might be surprised to find that there are discounts available if you just ask. Take the time to ask your insurance agent or broker for more information about what discounts might be available to business owners.
Review Your Insurance Policies Regularly
Finally, the Insurance Information Institute recommends that you review your insurance policies regularly.? Set time annually to meet with your agent or broker to make sure that your current policies still meet your needs.