Do You Need Small Business Insurance?

Helping You Get The Right Ontario Small Business Insurance

Running a business is often challenging. There is always so much to think about and so much to do—so many risks to manage. So much dedication and work are required. It's a 24/7 commitment.

However, while the concerns and challenges of running a small business can be many, the rewards are terrific, too. A small business owner is like a gardener: With time, careful cultivation and grit, the garden can flourish. There can be personal rewards realized while running your own business. There can also be financial rewards for you, the people you employ and the community in which you operate. There are also substantial rewards realized well beyond our more familiar neighbourhoods. Ontario and Canada also 'win' when small- and medium-sized businesses thrive.

Our small business insurance provides a wide swath of information about operating a business in Ontario, focusing on getting the right business insurance to ensure your enterprise is adequately protected. In business insurance alone, there is plenty to consider: Are you covered for commercial liabilities, business interruption from property claims, professional liabilities, errors and omissions, cyber-attacks and other risks? Our brokers know the ins and outs of small business insurance in Ontario, and we are here to help. Your business insurance protection is our focus.

How Important Are Small And Medium-Sized Businesses?

Small and medium-sized businesses in Ontario and Canada are BIG businesses. In fact, small and medium-sized businesses are the bedrock of Ontario's and Canada's economies. The vast majority of all of Canada's businesses employ fewer than 500 people, making small and medium-sized businesses THE engine that drives our economy. These companies use thousands of people and contribute to economic well-being in large and small communities across Ontario and Canada.

In Ontario, there are 400,000 small businesses, reports the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, representing businesses and their operators across the province. The chamber says that small businesses make up 98% of all of the province's businesses, employ more than 3 million Ontario residents, and account for 30% of the province's gross domestic product.

According to a 2017 Future of Business survey, which is a partnership of The World Bank, Facebook and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, major challenges facing Canadian businesses included:

  • Increasing revenue and getting more customers
  • Staying profitable
  • Attracting and keeping high-quality employees
  • Financing expansions and developing new products or services

The Ontario Chamber of Commerce recently identified three main challenges for Ontario's small business owners: Access to talent, a need for government investment in infrastructure, and increased business costs.

But it's certainly not all gloom and doom. Many supports and services are available to help business owners. The Ontario government provides many online resources that contain a lot of information and act as a gateway to finding out more about what is available in Ontario to assist business owners. Another helpful government site is operated by the federal government, where they provide support and connect business owners to useful information, including a good list of Canadian business support groups.

Why Do You Need Small Business Insurance in Ontario?

When there are many things to remember while running your own company, business owners may ask why insuring a small business is important. In a nutshell, the right small business insurance can protect you from big and small risks that small businesses and their owners face daily. Protection can come in the form of insurance coverages such as liability insurance, cyber breach insurance, critical employee insurance, business interruption insurance and more. Here is the crucial point: You should get the proper insurance to meet your needs at the most competitive price. 

The Ontario small business insurance needs of businesses vary significantly from entity to entity. One business may need more liability insurance or cyber insurance than another. Another business may need greater protection for its assets, such as equipment, vehicles, inventory and other items. It's also important to keep in mind that if you are leasing a commercial property, it's likely that your landlord will require you to provide proof of insurance coverage in the form of a certificate of insurance. You may also need insurance to work with suppliers and distributors.

You must speak to an expert small company business insurance broker about small business insurance. Ontario insurance brokers will take the time to learn about your business and get you the right insurance. Brokers can shop for your small business insurance from Canada's leading insurance companies and provide you with multiple quotes.

Types Of Business Insurance To Consider for Your Small Business

Depending on your type of business and small business insurance coverage, you may want or need many different types of insurance coverage. Ontario businesses are all unique, so your coverage should be uniquely tailored to address the perils you're most likely to encounter during your business operations. Here are some of the types of coverage that are commonly recommended for small biz insurance.

Ontario Business Property Insurance

Business or commercial property insurance is integral to any small business insurance policy because it protects your business's physical assets. That can include equipment, buildings, building contents, stock and inventory. It protects from financial loss in the event of a wide range of destructive factors such as fire, theft, vandalism, water damage, storms and explosions.

The destruction types covered by your small business insurance policy vary depending on how your individual policy is written. For example, water damage is not always included as standard coverage, and there are different types of water damage coverage depending on where the water comes from. Overland water damage coverage is essential for you to have if available and if your business is in a location that is vulnerable to water incursion from outside sources, such as a river or lake that has burst its banks or heavy rain that causes water to rise on the surface of the ground before it can be absorbed. However, it's necessary to have sewer backup coverage for water damage caused by a sewer backup.. If you need clarification on what exactly is covered by your commercial property insurance, consult with your small business insurance broker at Morison to learn more and ensure you have the right coverage for your particular insurance needs.

Ontario Commercial General Liability Insurance

Commercial general liability (CGL) insurance protects a business from liability risks such as claims involving bodily injury and property damage to third parties. This type of insurance varies for different businesses and covers general liability risks. No business is immune to an expensive lawsuit against them for allegedly causing third-party bodily injury or third-party property damage. Claims involving liability can seriously impact a business financially. Ontario commercial general liability insurance is good business insurance coverage to make sure you, as a small business owner, limit what you have to pay out of pocket for the potentially astronomical costs involved with being litigated against, including legal mediation, court fees, attorney fees and, should you be found liable in court, settlement costs.

Ontario Professional Liability Insurance

Do you give advice to others during the course of running your business? Do you make recommendations, represent others, or advise on solutions to problems? Professional liability insurance covers professionals such as consultants, lawyers, medical professionals, architects, financial advisors, personal trainers, real estate professionals and many others. It is good to have this type of insurance if someone claims you have done something wrong and asserts that the alleged error hurt them financially. That could include claims of poor or imprecise advice, professional negligence, or failure to deliver services as promised. Suppose someone takes you to court in an attempt to get compensation for such situations. In that case, your professional liability coverage is part of your small business insurance that will cover your litigation expenses up to the coverage limits listed on your policy.

Ontario Construction and Contractors' Insurance

Construction insurance and contractors' insurance combine several coverages to protect construction companies and contracting companies. Our team of business insurance brokers can offer you coverage for your equipment, vehicles, materials at job sites, business interruption and other risks. We will also help you apply for and obtain liability coverage.

Ontario Cyber Liability Insurance

Cyber insurance is getting a lot of buzz these days, and for good reasons. As everyone's use of technology steadily increases, the risk of computer hacking, cyber breaches, and cyber attacks continues to escalate. In fact, reports on cyber breaches are in the news almost daily. We are all vulnerable, but you may face additional risks as a business owner. Our business insurance brokers will work with you to ensure you have coverage in case of cyber problems such as cyber privacy breaches. Especially if you are doing business online, e-commerce, or maintaining customer records electronically, you should have cyber insurance coverage as part of your small business insurance in Ontario.

Some small business owners assume they don't need cyber liability coverage because they believe their small business is unlikely to be targeted by cybercriminals. Unfortunately, that's not the case. Small businesses present tempting targets because they're less likely than larger businesses to have stringent information security measures in place and probably need an in-house IT team, too. That means criminals can get in, steal data and retreat to exploit it without spending much time. Commercial cyber insurance is part of small business insurance that will help you deal with costs such as notifying customers of a privacy breach, paying ransoms for stolen information and handling the expenses of being litigated against by those who have had their information stolen.

Ontario Manufacturers' Insurance

If your business is involved in manufacturing, you know that the responsibility for products does not end after an item has been sold. Liability for a product can extend into the use of the product. Product liability coverage is advised, and we can help with this. Further, we are pleased to provide manufacturers' errors and omissions liability coverage that is tailored to specific industries.

Ontario Business Interruption Insurance

What if you go to work one morning to find your business premises flooded? There is extensive and expensive damage, and you know you will have to close the business until repairs are done. Or, what if a key piece of equipment breaks down by an insured peril at your business, and you can't operate without it working? A major cyber breach could also mean closing your doors until the problem is addressed. It is in these kinds of instances that business interruption insurance can be a very, very good addition to your small business insurance solution. Ontario business interruption insurance will cover expenses such as loss of income, earnings or profit during the time when repairs are being completed. You may also obtain protection from financial demands—such as lease payments—that continue during the period when your business is not operating.

Equipment Breakdown Insurance

Suppose you run a manufacturing or fabrication business that relies on heavy machinery to get the job done. In that case, there's no doubt that you need those machines up and running reliably every day so you can continue to fulfill your contractual obligations and get orders out the door. The same principle applies to hospitality businesses that rely on kitchen appliances to help serve their customers. But even if you work in an office environment, you have equipment such as an HVAC system that needs to work correctly to keep your business productive. If that equipment suffers an insured mechanical accident or is damaged, you could lose a lot of revenue. That's what equipment breakdown insurance on your small business insurance is for. Commercial property coverage applies specifically to commercial equipment breakdown, often excluded from standard property insurance.

Environmental/Pollution Liability Insurance

Suppose you have a business that uses substances that could cause pollution or contamination. In that case, environmental/pollution liability insurance is a coverage option well worth considering for your small business insurance package. It may cover both sudden and slow polluting events, which could include letting a toxic substance leak into soil or groundwater, leaving you vulnerable to fines, penalties, costly lawsuits and clean-up costs. But remember that even seemingly benign substances such as gravel or food ingredients have the potential to cause pollution if they end up somewhere they shouldn't be. For example, run a landscaping business, and your employee accidentally lets a load of gravel fall into a waterway, which is a protected wildlife habit. Your environmental liability insurance may cover the costs associated with that error up to the coverage limits on your small business insurance policy.

Ontario Commercial Fleet And Auto Insurance

Commercial auto insurance covers your commercial vehicles—cars, trucks, fleets of vehicles—and protects you from vehicle-related liability and physical damage. This coverage is helpful for business owners, whether they run a farming operation, a trucking business, or a construction business, or if you, as a business owner, drive your car to deliver products to customers.

If you regularly use your vehicle for work-specific purposes such as product delivery, your auto insurance does not cover you adequately. It's necessary to have commercial auto insurance to protect you against financial losses if your vehicle is damaged or destroyed while you're using it for business or if you get involved in an auto-related liability situation and have legal action brought against you in court.

Ontario Commercial Umbrella Insurance

Commercial umbrella insurance, aka excess liability insurance, is akin to heading out on a cold winter day and wearing an extra sweater under your coat to provide additional protection from the frigid outdoors. Commercial umbrella insurance is that extra sweater. That is to say, it is extra protection for your business—an extra layer of liability insurance coverage. This kind of coverage comes into play if you exceed the limits of your existing policies. For example, if your policy has already paid $1 million in a claim and there is still an outstanding amount, Commercial Umbrella Insurance can cover an additional amount. This type of insurance can provide extra peace of mind.

Looking For More Small Business Insurance Information?

While the above may seem like a lot of information, and it is, there is much more to small business insurance. Information here has been abridged and needs to be more exhaustive. Our business insurance brokers will be pleased to dig deeper into the details when discussing your business and insurance needs. We also want you to know that this blog doesn't constitute nor should it be considered a substitute for speaking to a licensed insurance broker. Your insurance protection is important to us. Let's get it right. Contact Morison Insurance. We are here to help you.

This content is written by our Morison Insurance team. All information posted is merely for educational and informational purposes. It is not intended as a substitute for professional advice. Should you decide to act upon any information in this article, you do so at your own risk. While the information on this website has been verified to the best of our abilities, we cannot guarantee that there are no mistakes or errors.

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