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Insurance Matters

Determine how much, and what type, of coverage you need.

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If figuring out what insurance you need makes your head spin,calm down; chances are, you won't have to consider the wholemenu. Most property and casualty companies now offer specialsmall-business insurance policies.

A standard package policy combines liability; fire, wind andvehicle damage; burglary; and other common coverages. That'senough for most small stores and offices, such as an accountingfirm or a gift store. Some common qualifiers for a package policyare that your business occupy less than 15,000 square feet and thatthe combined value of your office building, operation and inventorybe less than $3 million.

Basic package policies typically cover buildings, machinery,equipment and furnishings. That should protect computers, phones,desks, inventory and the like against loss due to robbery andemployee theft, in addition to the usual risks such as fire. A goodpolicy pays full replacement cost on lost items.

A package policy also covers business interruption, and someeven offer you liability shelter. You may also be covered againstpersonal liability. To find out more about package policies, askyour insurance agent; then shop around and compare.

Excerpted from Start Your Own Business: The Only Start-Up GuideYou'll Ever Need

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