Not all small business owners are fully covered with enough insurance to protect their business and its assets. Does your company have the coverage it needs?

Business insurance can help protect your company from loss or liability. In addition, the right types of business insurance can support an overall operating strategy that helps you stay competitive, protect against forces of nature and unforeseen accidents or events, and even overcome catastrophes.

Here’s some basic information about the different types of insurance and how they are designed to protect you.

Property and liability. Property and liability insurance can protect you in the event of fire, flood, and other natural disasters, as well as judgments for accidents on your property or involving your employees while they are conducting company business.

Health and medical. You may or may not choose to offer health benefits to employees. Most large companies provide some coverage to employees; whether or not you choose to depends on several considerations, such as whether you can afford the expense and whether you feel that doing so will help you recruit and retain the talent you need.

Vehicle. This product provides collision, comprehensive, and liability coverage for company vehicles.

Business interruption insurance provides coverage in the event of a catastrophic loss that interrupts routine business activity. If your company office burns to the ground, you may need some time to get back on your feet. Business interruption is one of those things that many small business owners (SBOs) don’t consider when assessing business risk.

Help ensure that your business doesn’t go out of business because you can’t conduct routine business activities. Get business interruption coverage to protect the future of your future, and help ensure that you have an income while your business is interrupted.

Errors and Omissions insurance, sometimes called professional liability insurance, protects your business against malpractice, service errors, negligence, and other errors and omissions made by employees of your business.

Businesses that provide home maintenance services should certainly have Errors and Omissions coverage. In some states, it’s a requirement for certain professionals like home inspectors, notaries, real estate professionals, and others to carry E&O coverage to protect consumers. For example, in Nevada, notary publics are required to carry at least $10,000 of Errors and Omissions coverage.1

Even if your business isn’t required to carry E&O coverage, it’s probably a good investment in business security.

Key executive life insurance. Some companies choose to insure key executives. Keep in mind the beneficiary of such policies is the company, not, for example, a family member of the executive insured. The goal of key executive insurance is to minimize the loss to the company upon the death of a key employee. Key person coverage is smart for small partnerships in which two or three owners control business activity. If one of those owners is suddenly unavailable, this coverage keeps business activity moving forward while you look for a replacement.

Director and officer. If your company has a board of directors or officers, this insurance covers them against liability if the business is sued. While a corporation, by definition, offers some amount of personal protection against liability to employees, some companies choose to offer additional protection to those key members of the executive team.

Data insurance coverage. If your business owns a patent, that’s an important asset. If you have a mature database of happy customers, that data has marketing value that’s difficult to calculate and impossible to replace if it disappears.

Hire a cyber-security professional and insure intangible but essential business assets – like the secret family recipe for the best pizza in town. Data can fill dozens of drives, or simply be a record of current order status. Large or small, make sure your company data is protected from loss and retrievable from a remote site, like cloud storage, that you can access if your main server is hacked and data stolen.  

Many insurers provide a detailed risk assessment as part of their service offerings. OSHA – the Occupational Safety and Health Administration – can assess workplace risk to determine that your company is compliant with all federal regulations about workplace safety and worker health.

You can also hire risk assessment consultants, or talk to a business attorney who knows your company and the services and products you deliver.

Once you have policies in place, review them at least once a year to be sure your needs continue to be met. Check to see if existing policies should be changed and whether you need to add new types of coverage.

How much insurance do you need? The answer depends on the size of your company, the nature of your business, and the potential for loss or liability. Talk to a business insurance agent – better yet, shop around and talk to several different agents – to get advice on the most comprehensive coverage you can afford.