Insurance and Finance

The Small-Business Owner’s Guide to Commercial Insurance During Uncertain Times

By Staci Parks 2.7.22

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by endless negative headlines about the state of our nation’s economy. An ongoing pandemic, inflation, and supply chain issues are frequent topics. But these repetitive reminders can be especially unnerving to small-business owners, many of whom have faced challenges in the past two years, juggling high employee turnover — a result of The Great Resignation — in addition to these issues.

Despite dismal headlines, it’s not all bad — especially for the Texas economy. Texas boasts one of the largest economies in the world; it produces 9% of U.S. GDP, second only to California, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. No wonder businesses and their leaders continue to flock here.

That said, it’s never a bad idea to build a safety net for tumultuous times. Small-business owners can get ahead of the curve by creating a failsafe for their operations with the right insurance policies. The right coverage can help small-business owners navigate ups and downs.

Here are six small-business insurance coverages owners should consider to protect their livelihoods from the unexpected.

1. Commercial General Liability Insurance

In our increasingly litigious society, every small-business owner needs this type of policy. This type of coverage helps protect a business from liability lawsuits. For example, this policy would help protect your business if a customer slips in your business’ lobby, falls, breaks their leg, and decides to sue for damages. Don’t be knocked off guard by a lawsuit; get the coverage your business needs.

2. Commercial Property Insurance

This type of coverage helps protect the structures in which you do business and the personal property inside. Another perk? If your business is unable to operate because of structural damage, this policy will cover the loss of income experienced during this time frame. For example, if a winter storm crushes your roof or frozen pipes burst, causing water damage and rendering your business unable to operate for a few days due to structural damage, a commercial property insurance policy could help fix this damage and help you recoup lost income.

3. Commercial Inland Marine Insurance

Don’t let the name fool you. Inland marine policies don’t have anything to do with sea life. They do offer broad insurance coverage — great for general and specialized businesses. This type of policy, which covers anything that can be physically removed from your property, is a common addition to existing policies. You’ll want this coverage as it protects items you use in your small business on a daily basis, ranging from computers to irrigation equipment.

4. Commercial Auto Insurance

Make sure you have the right coverage for your business’ needs if you’re using a vehicle for business purposes or you have a fleet of company vehicles. Commercial auto insurance is a good investment for businesses of any size, from one-person startups to large corporations. Your Agent can help you determine your policy limits.

5. Disability Insurance

This type of coverage is helpful for small-business owners at every level — even if you’re at the helm of a well-established operation. If you’re sick or injured and can’t work, disability insurance can help you support your family while you recover. It can also help pay any lingering medical bills you might incur.

Pro tip: If you’re thinking about quitting your job and starting a small business, buy a disability policy now, while you still have a stable, predictable income. Often, small-business owners have to prove that their operation has been profitable for at least two years before they can obtain a disability policy.

6. Life Insurance

When you’re a small-business owner, people’s livelihoods depend on you. Because of that, it’s best for small-business owners to understand their needs and options for life insurance. Consider personal life insurance (either a term life or whole life policy) and a key person insurance policy for your business. A personal life insurance policy can help replace a portion of your income and protect your family from debt in your absence, while a key person insurance policy helps keep a business running if the owner, co-owner, or another critical employee dies.

If you’re beginning your journey as a small-business owner, read our insurance and finance guide for small businesses and startups.

Your Texas Farm Bureau Insurance Agent can help you get the coverage you need, whether you’re a budding business owner or a seasoned professional. Contact your Agent to see how they can help.

Coverage and discounts are subject to qualification and policy terms and may vary by situation. © 2022 Texas Farm Bureau Insurance