By: Jennifer Hanzlick, Owner of Clutter Trucker
How an Insurance Policy Saved My Business
Let’s face it. Unless you work in the insurance industry, you probably get bored stiff whenever someone brings up the topic. Plus, whenever you are in a position where you must purchase a policy, like for your car or home, you might skip through the fine print, ask for “minimum legal coverage” to keep the state or your mortgage holder happy and sign the forms. I used to be that way too, until I became a business owner.
Reading the Fine Print Pays Off
After putting my life savings into equipment, supplies, a lease contract for office space, and advertising, I quickly realized that insurance coverage was my best friend. How did that happen? Well, for starters, I decided to read the fine print of the business insurance policy that was in front of me.
It took a couple of hours, and a huge magnifying glass because the policy documents were not online. But the effort was worth it. I soon discovered that this inexpensive policy included financial protection for me in all sorts of situations. So, I opted for what’s called a “BOP” or a business owner’s policy.
It cost a bit more than minimal coverage but offered protection against things like property theft, equipment breakdown, employee accidents, data hacking, business interruption, general liability claims, and much more. The BOP is a smart way to get an entire package of insurance coverage at a reasonable cost because you’re essentially buying policies “in bulk,” the way you’d save at a wholesale club if you purchased a 10-pound jar of peanut butter.
That was the first eye-opener for me: reading the policy cover to cover. The small amount of money I spent for the coverage protected my life savings, in other words, my business, from just about every type of accident or case of bad luck under the sun.
Don’t Let Stolen Equipment Ruin Your Day
The next thing that turned me into a “true believer” in the power of insurance, was something that happened to me on an otherwise beautiful summer day.
After cleaning a rather large home on one of the first jobs I had after opening my company’s doors, my co-worker and I noticed something. During a three-minute interval, while we were finishing up client paperwork, about $4,000 worth of equipment was snatched from our truck. Someone had been watching us, sneaked up to the vehicle while we were occupied, bashed out a window, and made off with two very pricey cleaning machines.
What’s the good news? The commercial property section of my insurance policy covered that stolen equipment. Of course, I filed a police report, but the items never showed up. However, after I provided all the documentation to my insurance carrier, they reimbursed me within 24 hours.
That policy saved me from shelling out several thousand dollars on new equipment when my company was new, and I didn’t have many clients yet. It would have been an extreme financial hardship for me if I hadn’t had commercial property coverage within my BOP, business owners policy.
My Comeback From a Hack Attack
Since then, my BOP insurance coverage has saved the day in other, smaller ways. Once, for example, my company lost all its online access for two days due to a widespread server shutdown. That meant our computer systems, which we use for quality control, client follow-up, and job tracking were completely down. A two-day business interruption like that can be costly for a small entrepreneur with a loyal client base and a small workforce.
However, my Business Owners Policy, reimbursed us for financial losses incurred due to the downtime covered under the cyber insurance clause of the insurance contract. It turned out that the server failure was due to a massive computer hacking incident. Cyber insurance covers situations just like that.
Long story short: an anonymous hacker was able to knock out thousands of computers in a four-state region but couldn’t stop my business from continuing to make a profit. Cyber insurance is one of the newer types of business coverage and is well worth it, in my opinion. Hacking is becoming more common, so it’s a good thing the insurance industry offers this kind of protection.
Sleep is Sweet, and Highly Underrated
Never underestimate the power of insurance coverage. If you’re like me, it could save your financial life and help keep your company rolling along and earning a living no matter what happens. The other bonus is hard to prove, but I believe it: if you have an excellent business insurance policy you’ll be able to sleep very well at night.
I think insurance professionals should add restful sleep right into the paperwork as a policy benefit. All joking aside, if you own a business, shop for the best coverage you can get. You won’t regret it.
Jennifer Hanzlick is an Entrepreneur, Speaker and Hoarding Expert. She was inspired to create a business to help people remove the junk and clutter from their homes. She found out many people are overwhelmed with the amount of clutter or junk in their homes. They want to get rid of it but don’t know where to start and need extra help. And this is how Clutter Trucker was born!
Disclaimer: This post is to be used for informational purposes only. Each person should consult their insurance or business advisor with respect to matters referenced.