Small Business Insurance Overview
Starting your own business? Insurance for small business, startups and entrepreneurs can be frustrating, expensive, and confusing with the wrong agent. We find many of our new and existing clients on the North Shore feel helpless when it comes to understanding their commercial insurance needs. When you’re starting out, it’s important to have an agent who will find the correct comprehensive coverage for your investment.
We value our relationship with each individual and business, working long-term to make sure you are protected. If you’re starting out, or are unsure of your current business’ coverage, we invite you to schedule a consultation with one of our knowledgeable agents to make sure you and your business are getting off on the right foot.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a FEIN number? Do I need one? What do I need for my insurance?
FEIN, “Federal Employee Identification Number” (FEIN) is a tax identification number; the equivalent of a social security number for your business. It is recommended that each business have one whether they have employees or not, as this separates you from your business to the IRS. In order to get an accurate quote, many times, our agents will require a FEIN to get started.
If I'm starting a business out of my home, do I need additional insurance?
Homeowners insurance specifically excludes any liability for someone injured on or away from your property. It generally does provide a token amount of property insurance ($2500) for incidental business property. You may need an endorsement on your homeowners policy, otherwise you’ll want to talk to an agent about a Business Owner’s Policy.
What is a certificate vs. a binder?
A certificate states you have coverage on the day it was typed for documented lines of business. A binder is a guarantee of coverage for a specified time replacing the policy until the actual is received.
If I'm leasing a space, do I need to carry insurance for the building?
This all depends on your lease. It is crucial your agent review it. If you have a “triple net lease ” you generally pay all bills on the space such as taxes, utilities, and insurance.
If I'm going to hire drivers for my business, should I check their driving records?
Yes. Your employee’s driving records will influence the rate for your commercial auto policy, so it’s important to be aware of their past driving history. You will need their permission in writing to do this.
I'm starting my own contracting business. What do I need for insurance?
Your insurance needs depend on what kind of work you do and how many employees you have. A sole proprietor’s needs will differ from a contractor with 3+ employees. It’s important to speak to an educated agent who will advise you on your exact needs of some or all of the following: General liability, workers compensation, EPLI, commercial auto, property, bonding, equipment, and possibly more.
What kind of insurance do I need for my restaurant?
Restaurants are known to be somewhat of a risky venture; it’s important to make sure the insurance is not. In order to cover all of the bases and you personally from financial hardship, you need to have an agent who you can trust and is going to advise you as your business grows. For starters, you’ll need the trifecta of: property insurance (including business interruption), general liability (protecting you from lawsuits resulting from customers’ bodily injury), and workers’ compensation (for your employees). Typically, it is recommended restaurateurs purchase a Business Owners’ Policy, which will cover you for property and liability as well as additional exposures such as food spoilage and loss of income. Additional coverages such as EPLI (Employment Practices Liability Insurance), Liquor liability, and more are often purchased. Restaurant insurance can be expensive and confusing, but our agents are well-informed and will be there every step of the way to advise you of your needs, finding the best value for your budding establishment.
I'm starting a non-profit. What do I need for insurance?
General Liability protects you from claims resulting from accidents, typically auto related, or injuries at nonprofit locations and events. You’ll also want to consider a Directors and Officers policy which protects you for non-bodily injury such as discrimination or wrongful termination.
Start Ups and Entrepreneurs Insurance Service Area
Phil Richard Insurance, located in Danvers, MA, offers small business, start up, and entrepreneur insurance services to new businesses in the North Shore of Massachusetts including but not limited to Danvers, Peabody, Beverly, Salem, Newburyport, Ipswich, Rockport, Gloucester, Marblehead, Swampscott, Amesbury, Georgetown, Lynnfield, Middleton, Hamilton, Wenham, Greater Boston Area, and more. We also serve New Hampshire, Connecticut, and Maine.
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The last piece of the puzzle?You need an agent you can rely on.
Everything you’re working for needs to be adequately protected, otherwise that second home or retirement may be out of the question. We find having an agent you trust is often an afterthought, but it should be the first one. It can make or break your business.
If you have any questions on your coverage, we will help you. We offer competitive products for many industries including Condo Associations, Non-Profits, Artisan Contractors, Restaurants, Auto Body Shops, Gas Stations, and more. Talk to us about your small business today.