Walt Capell started The Insurance Shop as a one-man business in his mid-Missouri garage in 2005. Walt knew he wanted to open a full-service agency that focused on the customer. What he didn’t know was his little insurance agency would turn into a thriving small business that helps thousands of people every year in every state. Getting started shopping for commercial insurance can be overwhelming. We see it as our mission to both inform and equip business owners with the knowledge and products they need to protect their assets.
Small businesses are a powerful force in our economy. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration1 (SBA), small businesses (499 employees or less) have been responsible for two out of three net new jobs since 2014. As of 2016, there are almost 30 million small businesses in the U.S., employing almost 50 percent of the nation. While professional, technical, retail, construction and healthcare are the top industries, there are much more, all with their own industry standards and exposures. Each industry and state have varying regulations that can be tricky to navigate. Getting caught without the right coverage, or the legal amount of coverage, can have dire consequences. These consequences fluctuate by state and can include felony charges, hefty fines and revoking licenses. Also, if you are not covered at the time of an incident you will be 100 percent responsible for damages and any litigation expenses from resulting lawsuits.
There are many risks in the small business world, both external and internal. Knowing which risks apply to your business, and how to mitigate them, is crucial to its success. External risks include risks that are out of your control, such as natural disasters. External risks could also include the rising price of gas, for example, if your business relies on transportation for delivery or services. Knowing your geographic external risks, such as floods, earthquakes and hurricanes, and your business-specific external risks, such as lawsuits or gas prices, is a great first step to identifying what types of coverage your small business needs.
Internal risks are thought to be more employee-related. These risks would include embezzlement, theft of goods, injury and customer loss through poor service. Internal risks can be covered by your policies, but also should be addressed through preventative systems. Strict safety procedures, third-party audits and employee training are a few methods for mitigating internal risks.
Business insurance costs are largely determined by the nature of your business. However, rates and premiums for similar businesses can still vary widely. Insurance companies underwrite accounts based on a number of factors including state, years in business, prior claims or accidents, gross payroll, gross sales and square footage of office or facility.
It’s important to shop commercial insurance coverage with a number of carriers to make sure your business is being quoted by an insurance company that has an appetite and/or a specialized Target Program for your business and your state. Many regional carriers may also offer competitive rates for certain industries.
At The Insurance Shop we do the research, we custom design coverage based on your exposures, then make our numerous insurance carriers compete for your business! Our carriers know that small businesses are a growing market, they want their share and will strive to quote the best rate. Our specialists will engage with you to identify the external and internal risks that apply to your business. Having been in business for over 15 years, our team of experts have encyclopedic knowledge of many industry and state regulations, as well, making it easy to guide business owners through red tape. As a nationwide agency, The Insurance Shop has worked with over 35,000 small businesses across the U.S. to identify hazards, get affordable small business insurance quotes from over 35 insurance carriers and to find the best coverage—without question.