Are you covering your business for all its exposure?

Craig Hall, The Business Times:

Many businesses believe their insurance needs are covered with basic workers’ comp and property and casualty insurance, and that cannot be farther from the truth as it relates to the current economy and our ever-evolving technology based business environment.

“The fact is, most business owners have little to no idea just how exposed they and their business may become in this day and age,” says Vikki Bell, a commercial insurance agent with Colorado West Insurance, “And that is why it is important to sit down with an agent you trust and knows your business, to limit your risk.”

Bell notes that Cyber Liability insurance is something that is a must for any business that takes credit cards or does business via their website, as both of these increase the business’s exposure to identity theft. The theft can come via computer hackers, but the most likely source is the business’s own employees. “What business owners do not realize is that it is their responsibility to notify every single cardholder whose account may have been compromised, in addition to being liable for the dollars spent on those accounts,” says Bell.

Additionally, Bell indicates that small businesses are indeed prime targets for cyber crimes as they may not have the ability to either afford or have in place the internet security or policies and procedures needed to prevent an easier path of access to credit card records for would-be perpetrators.

Another area of concern that is seeing an increase in activity in the employment practices arena of insurance. This area of insurance covers sexual harassment and discrimination and termination of employees. “Our experience shows that these kinds of claims do indeed increase during difficult economic times like we are experiencing in today’s economy,” says Bell, “And it’s the biggest cost doesn’t always come in resolving a claim, as many are indeed frivolous, but in the cost of defending your business against the claim.”

Bell says it is best to sit down with an agent if you have concerns about just what your current policy covers, as the answer may very well be in the fine print. “Your agent can give you a plan of action to prevent these types of crimes, even if all you need is a way to protect your employee files and social security numbers,” Bell adds, “But it is imperative to understand just what level of coverage your business needs, so that your policy and coverage does not overlook your business’s particular needs.”