Insurance is a wise investment to protect everything you’ve done to make your small business successful. But is the policy you bought when you were just starting out adequate for your current needs, or the direction your company is heading?

L-A SCORE small business counselor Ralph Tuttle recommends, “Start with a full assessment of your company’s insurance needs. Business insurance safeguards your property against the consequences of fire, theft, liability and other common risks. As your business has grown, however, you may have added new services and specialized equipment that require policy endorsements or modifications.”

Before purchasing a policy or increasing your insurance coverage, consider all the possible ways of holding down the costs. Tuttle advises to “cover the most risky and largest perils first, then work down your list of priorities. Don’t buy insurance you don’t need, but don’t overlook seemingly minor risks simply for the sake of saving money. If the probability is small, the premium will be too. Use as high a deductible as you feel your cash flow and savings will allow.”

Making wise insurance decisions is easier when you work with a reputable and qualified agent or consultant. Conducting research on your own is helpful, but a qualified professional can make an informed evaluation of your small business insurance needs and match them with available coverage options. A search feature at, the site of the Independent Insurance Agents of America, will help you find qualified professionals in your own community with special expertise in small business needs.

Note that many small business policies offer the option of adding riders as opposed to buying separate policies. That’s why purchasing all of your coverage from a single agency, company or broker will help reduce costs. If multiple policies are necessary, make sure they cover separate risks. Otherwise, you’ll be making unnecessary payments for what is essentially the same coverage.

To learn more about business insurance matters in building your small business, contact SCORE. The nonprofit association of more than 10,500 volunteer business counselors provides confidential counseling and training workshops. Call L-A SCORE at 782-3708 for additional information and an appointment.

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