Friday, October 12, 2018

Insurance Policies can be Tailored to Meet the Needs of Emerging Businesses

By Edward L. Blais, JD, CIC
President, Blais Insurance 

New and improving technology have changed the business landscape in multiple ways. Besides the advent of streaming and ridesharing services, advancements in technology have also allowed more people to take charge of their lives by empowering them to become entrepreneurs. As individuals carve out new methods to deliver a service, Blais Insurance encourages entrepreneurs to consider working with an independent agent that can tailor a business owner’s policy (BOP) to meet your specific needs.
It wasn’t long ago when the average entrepreneur solely owned a convenience store or sold merchandise online. Nowadays, accurately guessing their line of work can be a complete coin toss. Through the aid of software that can be purchased at a local department store or in the digital marketplace, motivated individuals can give consulting services, provide fitness instructions, or deliver various types of care services that were not possible within the last decade. More importantly, each of these ‘gigs’ carry different risks that can significantly stunt any dreams of being a successful entrepreneur.
Traditional BOP insurance packages have not yet adapted to the changing business landscape. The reason is because BOP insurance was originally designed with the thought that business owners would remain fixed to one location, and that typically meant that they could also rest assured knowing that their property was completely protected. This protection would also extend to bodily injury claims directly connected to an owner’s establishment.
Problems with this approach are immediately apparent if you examine the types of businesses people have launched in recent years. For example, fitness trainers who provide lessons at multiple locations have different insurance needs than individuals who own a gym. Another example might include individuals who are managing a fleet of drivers through an app like Uber or Lyft.

Some insurance professionals might recommend that these individuals acquire a traditional BOP insurance package, but doing so might result in having policyholders pay for more coverage than they need and for protection with clear gaps in coverage. It is easier to understand this dilemma if you could imagine a scenario where a yoga instructor is sued after a client is injured during a routine exercise. These kinds of claims can be covered by tailoring and complementing a business owner’s policy to create an insurance package that is customized for the individual.