Even Small Businesses Have Big Risks
Many think that operating a small business has little or no risk. The fact is, operating a small business has just about the same risks as any other business. Employees can still sue you, you can cause injuries to your customers, and your building can burn just like a big business. General liability risk is very real for small businesses and it is important to have a business insurance program that addresses these issues.
To protect a small business from potential lawsuits, liability insurance is necessary. Policies vary greatly, and they cover different classifications of risks for varying costs.
- Commercial General Liability Insurance covers claims from accidents, injuries, or negligence when the business is at fault. Small businesses may face a wide array of damage charges. Personal injuries, property damage, libel, and slander are just a few examples.
- Product Liability Insurance covers legal fees for litigation involving a faulty product. It also covers any personal or property damage charges caused by the defective product.
- Employment Liability Insurance provides protection for an employer against claims made by employees, former employees, or potential employees. It can cover discrimination (age, sex, race, disability, etc.), wrongful termination of employment, sexual harassment, and other employment-related allegations.
- Professional Liability Insurance pays for damages caused by services. It is also called errors and omissions coverage. This is for companies that market a service instead of a product. For example, professionals in medical clinics must have medical malpractice coverage.
- Cyber Liability Insurance covers the risk posed by conducting business over the Internet, over other networks, or using electronic storage technology. It covers third party losses from hackers, theft, and loss of information including sensitive client or individual personal information.
There are other types of insurance designed for specialty businesses. For example, there are special policies for companies involved only in internet sales. The nature of the business determines what type of coverage is necessary.
Are You Shopping Online This Holiday?
The holiday shopping season is upon us, and many of us are searching our favorite web pages for the best deals on the items that top this year's wish list. Last year, cyber Monday was the year's single biggest day for shopping, generating over 2 billion dollars in sales. This year, consumer experts predict an even bigger day. However, this online activity is also a big day for cyber criminals.
We recommend that you have us review your personal insurance to make sure you have the right kind of insurance, including identity theft protection, to protect you and your family throughout the holiday season.
Holiday Cyber Safety Tips
- Use a credit card rather than a debit card. It is easier to resolve issues.
- Make sure your computer has updated security software. Verify that your antivirus software is up-to-date with the latest virus definitions, and that useful features like real-time scanning are enabled.
- Update your passwords and make sure they are strong. Do not use 1234 as your password.
- Don't open email advertisement for sources you do not know.
- Use only familiar websites.
- Check you statements to make sure charges are correct.
- Always log out of websites after your shopping is complete. Cookies can often keep you logged into accounts even after you close the browsing tab, an obvious no-no. Get in the habit of clicking the "log out" button.
- Try not to do your online banking on the same computer you use to shop online.
- An extremely important online shopping safety tip is to keep your personal information protected. No store needs your social security number or your birthday.
- The National Retail Federation predicts that 25 percent of adults will do online browsing with their smartphones to find gifts. If you use your smart phone to shop, make sure that you are only browsing safe, well-known sites.
Sources - Protection one, CNET, Identity Hawk.com, and Tripwire.
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