Can You Afford Not to Have Insurance for Your Business?

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Why should a company have business insurance? Perhaps the number one reason for not having coverage is the financial costs involved. The logic is probably a common one. Why get insurance if it costs too much and nothing has happened to warrant the need for insurance anyway, right? Wrong.

Few things can put you and your company at risk more than unforeseen disasters. You are quite literally one big storm or one major lawsuit away from financial ruin if you don't have some form of adequate coverage for you business -- no matter how big or small it is.

Furthermore, what some perhaps some small business owners or self-employed individuals don't understand is that any business is at risk of being sued for all kinds of reasons. No one can physically protect themselves from every conceivable disaster that can happen at some point in the future. It's why insurance exists. It's why you need business insurance. It's why you need to make the investment in coverage to protect everything you've worked for in establishing and growing your business.

Similarly, one of the greatest risks to some firms is the prospect of being sued for professional misconduct. It's the reason why some businesses need professional liability protections as part of their insurance coverage. Without it, one lawsuit for professional misconduct can not only put your business in serious financial risk, but it can also affect your reputation and those associated with you. Without liability protection, you can be one step away from jeopardizing your professional status permanently.

In fact, if you're a successful and growing business, the amount of people you affect with your activities could be unlimited. The services you provide or even outsource to others could become the subject of litigation without even the slightest of warnings. It is literally impossible for any business to protect themselves from every possible lawsuit without some form of professional liability insurance.

Think about the extent to which your professional conduct can have an impact on others, and the extent to which those activities put you at risk of litigation. You provide direct services to clients. Those clients turn around and use your work in the conduct of their business. This impacts their clients, who use that work to impact others, and so and so forth.

It can literally take years for something to become the subject of litigation at some point in the future. Without professional liability protection as part of your business insurance coverage, a lawsuit can strike and you won't know what hit you. This can be avoided by smart businesses that protect themselves with foresight and the proper coverage.

What some business owners aren't aware of is that some jurisdictions won't even allow you to have a license or conduct business without insurance which can include professional liability coverage. Some businesses won't deal with you unless you have professional liability coverage because they don't want to be the subject of a lawsuit themselves. By getting professional liability coverage as part of your business insurance coverage, you're essentially engaging in good business practice as well a protecting yourself from the risk of litigation big or small.

Now, some business owners or professionals might think that their conduct is above reproach. For that reason, they might think that things like professional liability insurance coverage are unnecessary. If you do everything by the book, and provide the kind of service and professionalism you know you're capable of, some people think that's good enough.

There are two basic reasons why this thinking is flawed.

The first is that you're human. You're going to make mistakes. And all it takes is one mistake and you could be ruined. As much as it might be comforting to think that it will never happen to you, the prospect of it happening should be of enough concern to you. Think about it. It's after disaster happens when you say to yourself, "I should have seen this coming." By getting professional liability coverage as part of your insurance package, you did see it coming and did something about it to avoid disaster.

The second reason you can't rely on your own conduct is that you simply cannot imagine how frivolous or innocent a lawsuit or allegation can be, and how costly it might end up if you find yourself having to fight it. By having business insurance with liability coverage, you almost take all the worrying off the table. It's only at that point that you can truly feel comfortable in relying on your professionalism and conduct. If the truth wins out, then adequate insurance coverage makes that victory a less anxious and worrisome one.

As much as business owners and professionals would like to think that they won't be struck by lighting, or that business insurance is too costly, it's only smart and prudent to ensure that you have the right coverage that includes professional liability. Otherwise, one morning you might wake up and notice you've been served with a notice of litigation, and your business life can flash right before your eyes.