The COVID 19 pandemic has forced small businesses to adapt to restrictions that slow down the spread of the virus. The lockdown created an atmosphere of uncertainty and diminished business sentiment.
To come out of the crisis, small businesses have had to relook at their offerings and launch new products and services that meet the changed expectations of their customers.
So for instance, some manufacturers have started to produce personal protective equipment that aids frontline healthcare workers especially doctors and nurses in their day-to-day work. Similarly, some distilleries have started manufacturing hand sanitizers to prevent the spread of the virus and fast food joints have started to sell groceries and meals from their outlets.
These changes in business operations have an impact on the terms and conditions of business insurance Alberta policy of small businesses and require these businesses to reevaluate their policies and see if they need to be updated to reflect their new operations.
Implications on business insurance Alberta policy due to change in operations
In case COVID 19 has forced you to change the operations of your small business, then you need to inform this to your insurance company, so that they can evaluate your situation and check whether you are still covered against the risks stated in your policy.
In case you don’t reach out to your insurance company, then you run the risk of your claim getting rejected, in the event that you encounter a loss.
As a rule of thumb, you can always ask yourself these questions to know whether your business insurance Alberta policy requires a change or not:
- Have your business operations moved to new location?
- Are you and your employees now working from home?
- Has the amount of your revenue changed?
- Did you need to invest in new equipment or tools?
- Is your small business doing deliveries?
If the answer to any of the above questions is “yes”, then you need to contact your business insurance Alberta broker, who will expertly guide you on the changes that need to be made in your business insurance Alberta policy.
Important coverages that you might need to modify in your policy after reevaluation
An experienced business insurance Alberta broker will be able to easily reevaluate your policy and recommend to you appropriate modifications that suit your changed business situation.
You must always remember that no two policies can be alike. The very fact that some small businesses operate from home, while others operate from a commercial space, are grounds that require coverages and insurance policies to be different.
Commercial General Liability (CGL):
This is a ‘must have’ comprehensive liability coverage that protects you from potential losses associated with liability lawsuits. Instances are:
- If a person suffers any bodily injuries in your business premises.
- Property damages to third parties arising from your operations, or products or occurring on your business premises.
With this coverage you will be protected from potential losses associated with liability lawsuits and keeps the costs of liability claims low. During the COVID 19 lockdown, the risk was lower, but as businesses re-open now and you start getting foot traffic, it becomes necessary.
Commercial general liability is especially important to have as your business re-opens and you start getting more foot traffic.
Errors and omissions (E&O) or professional liability:
This coverage is essential for professionals such as a consultant, a contractor, or a designer who offer a service for a fee. This coverage provides protection in case you are found at fault in a lawsuit for any mistake, error, or omission that you made in your work.
For instance, if you make a mistake in your work and it leads to a financial loss for your client, they can then file a lawsuit against your business. These lawsuits are time-consuming and can be very expensive. However, with professional liability insurance you are protected from the costs associated with such a lawsuit.
Commercial property insurance:
Some small businesses operate from home, whereas others operate from commercial spaces. However, irrespective of the fact from where you operate, it is essential to protect your business property, tools and equipment with commercial property insurance.
With this coverage, your risk is covered in case your business experiences a loss due to damage or theft. Always remember that it is very expensive to replace buildings, tools, equipment, inventory, electronics and furniture.
Having a commercial property insurance cover will help lower the costs of replacement, and will help your business recover quickly.
Commercial auto insurance:
In case your small business requires a vehicle, say for example, to make a delivery, then it is essential to take coverage under commercial auto insurance. This coverage will include:
- Replacement car coverage: In case you are involved in an accident and your vehicle is unusable, then you can hire a temporary vehicle and the costs will be covered.
- Lost wages and medical expenses: If you, or any of your employees are injured in an accident, such a cover could help with lost wages and medical expenses.
- Equipment protection: This cover will help with cost of repairs to loading and unloading equipment that is used in your vehicle to transport products to events or to your clients.
Cyber risk and data breach:
In case your small business operates online and collects customer information, email addresses, or payment/credit card information, then you run the risk of losing this data to malicious cyber attacks.
To protect your business, you need security measures to protect the data and privacy of your customers.
Having a cyber risk and data breach cover helps you cover the costs associated with cyber attacks, data breaches and hacks into your computers, networks and mobile phones.
As your small business continues its operation in the midst of uncertainty and keeps meeting the changing demands of your customers, it is highly important that you check with your business insurance Alberta broker to ensure that you are covered when you need it the most.