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Needs To Know

Before choosing just any insurance package, analyze your needs.

Despite the proliferation of "package policies," insurance is not a one-size-fits-all issue. You need to understand what your risks are, how much liability you can handle, and what you need to cover.

Some issues to consider:

  • Do you own or lease your property? As an owner, you're responsible for the building and its contents. As a renter, you need to cover your equipment, supplies and inventory.
  • Is your work performed solely in your office or plant , or do you routinely travel with equipment and inventory, or work off-site?
  • What is the likelihood that your product could cause injury or damage? To what degree?
  • Have you made provisions in case you suddenly die or become disabled?
  • Do you have employees who work from their own homes or take equipment or materials home with them?
  • Are there other businesses you depend on but have no financial interest or control in?
  • Does your company own vehicles, or do you use your personal car in the course of business?
  • What types of personal insurance, such as medical, disability and life, do your employees need?
  • How important is insurance to your ability to offer a competitive compensation and benefits package in order to attract and retain high-quality employees?

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This article was originally published in the January 1999 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Needs To Know.

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