How to Protect Your Business from Increased Risk During the Holidays

How to Protect Your Business from Increased Risk During the Holidays

This post was contributed by Hiscox.

What do slippery floors, seasonal employees, and the push to make Q4 numbers have in common? They all represent risks to your business during the holiday season.

Here’s how to protect your business from these and other risks during the busiest time of the year.

Don’t slip on coverage

Bad weather and holiday foot traffic can mean an increased risk for slips and falls. If you have a business filled with busy holiday shoppers, you run the risk of someone having an accident on your premises. If this happens you could be liable for the medical costs associated with any injuries, including time lost from work.

Commercial general liability insurance protects your business against someone else’s claim of bodily injury, property damage, or personal injury. Bodily injury most often results from someone being hurt while at the business, like a holiday shopper who slips and falls. Property damage can result if you have to be in a client’s home or office and something of theirs is damaged. Personal injury is libel or slander, such as when you or an employee says (slander) or writes (libel) something false and harmful about another person.

Speak to an insurance specialist about what coverage and levels are right for your business.

Watch the push to make the numbers

In any kind of business, the fourth quarter is busy. You may have projects that need to be completed or new customers who need to spend their annual budget or risk losing it. At the same time, you and your employees may take off more time to spend with family.

All of these factors can make it more likely that you or someone who works for you may make an error that could cost your company.

Professional liability insurance protects you from claims that you were negligent or made a mistake. Dissatisfied customers sue companies all the time, and even unfounded claims can be expensive to defend. Professional liability insurance protects your business even if you haven’t made a mistake.

Speak to an insurance specialist about what coverage and levels are right for your business.

Mind the seasonal help

Hiring seasonal help for the holidays? Employees or contractors who are brought in during the busy season may make mistakes that lead to lawsuits or claims. They may also be less loyal and more likely to “help themselves” to a pay raise.

According to Hiscox’s 2016 employee theft report, four out of five organizations that are victims of employee theft have fewer than 100 employees. If employee theft is a concern for you, talk to your insurance broker about a crime insurance policy.

Protect your equipment

Many owners of home-based businesses think their homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy covers their business equipment, but that’s usually not the case.

If you use specialized equipment to do your work, you can insure it under a business owner’s policy. This policy makes sure that someone like a photographer or web developer can get their business up and running quickly if their equipment is lost, stolen, or damaged.

The bottom line

It’s important to keep your costs in line when you’re starting a business. Some people look at business insurance as an unnecessary cost and think they can save a few bucks by foregoing it.

While it may be tempting to cut this corner, remember that even a lawsuit without merit can cost upwards of $100,000 to defend. That’s the kind of unexpected expense that can derail a new business before it even gets off the ground.

About Hiscox Small Business Insurance

Hiscox, the international specialist insurer, is the first company in the U.S. to offer insurance for small businesses direct, online, and in real time. We provide professional liability, general liability, and business owner’s insurance, underwritten by Chicago-based Hiscox Insurance Company Inc., which is rated ‘A’ (Excellent) by A.M. Best Company. Additional information can be found on the Why Choose Hiscox? page. Coverages are subject to underwriting and may not be available in all states. Hiscox Ltd is listed on the London Stock Exchange UK: HSX.

Hiscox also provides professional liability, property, and specialty insurance to U.S. businesses through U.S.-based brokers. This communication does not constitute a solicitation of business by Hiscox’s syndicates at Lloyd’s, London.

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