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Insurance for your new business will help protect it from unforeseen dangers in the future. Below are some tips to help you get started.

  • Asses the Risks. When you apply for insurance, the company evaluating your business's information will conduct a process called "underwriting," that means that their evaluation determines whether they will provide all or only part of the coverage you are requesting. Once the amount of coverage has been established you will be given the options for the amount you wish to pay for premium and deductible. Your insurance premium is the amount you will pay for your insurance. The deductable will be the amount you pay when you file a claim. Usually the higher the deductable the lower the premium and vice versa. By assessing your own risk before you go shopping you will be in a better position to know which premium and deductible is best for your business's finances.
  • Shop Around. The kind of business you own will help you determine which insurance company to choose. The National Federation of Independent Businesses provides information to help you choose which insurance is best for you. You can access this information at http://www.nfib.com/business-resources/insurance-healthcare
  • Consider a Business Owner's Policy. Instead of purchasing various policies from different insurers, which can add up, consider a 'Business Owner's Policy" (BOP). A BOP will package all your policies and usually leads to a lower total cost on premiums. A typical BOP will include coverage for property, general liability, vehicles, and business interruption. Remember a BOP may not give you the full coverage you need and so it is important to understand your particular business's needs.
  • Finding the Right Professional. There are a number of professionals out there to help you with this process.
    • Consultants: These professionals help you evaluate your businesses needs, design a plan, and help you find the most economical insurer. These professionals are paid by you, the buyer, based on a contract or agreement. For small businesses an agent or broker can do the same work.
    • Agents & Brokers: These are licensed representatives of insurance companies. They may represent only one company (captive), or several companies (independent). They usually earn commissions based on their sales and thus market a particular company's products. It is important to find someone who is reputable that will understand the needs and risks of your business and lead you to the best solution. Agents and Brokers must be licensed by the State of Florida. To learn more or find an agent near you visit http://www.myfloridacfo.com/agents/index.htm.
  • Assess Your Coverage Annually. As your business grows so too will your insurance needs. It is important to evaluate your risks annually to avoid being caught unprepared in a disaster.

Businesses with employees are required by law to have worker's compensation insurance and to pay the unemployment insurance tax. To learn more about the worker's compensation insurance in the state of Florida visit http://www.myfloridacfo.com/wc/keycoverage.html.

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