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Wyoming Business Tips for June 5-11

May 27, 2016

A weekly look at Wyoming business questions from the Wyoming Small Business Development Center (WSBDC), part of WyomingEntrepreneur.Biz, a collection of business assistance programs at the University of Wyoming.

By Bruce Morse, WSBDC Region II director

“Besides the customary liability and commercial coverage on company assets, are there other types of insurance I should consider?” Larry, Riverton

I recently had some surgery on my hand, which has made it painfully clear the difficulty some small businesses would have operating in the event the owner or key employee was injured.

Years ago, I worked with an owner-operator trucking company. The owner was tarping a large load, and a gust of wind caught the tarp and threw him off the trailer, severely damaging his arm. Consequently, he was unable to drive for a period of time, had to hire a replacement driver who cost him most of his profits, and this driver did not take care of the truck like an owner would.

This unfortunate event nearly cost him his business. While this was most likely a personal injury coverage situation, having additional coverage would have helped.

I recall another instance when a motel burned down late one evening. The owner had the property insured, of course, and was able to rebuild the structure, but this took considerable time to accomplish. In the meantime, he had no revenue coming in to live on.

These two incidents illustrate that, while none of us likes to pay for insurance coverage, it serves a valuable purpose in protecting a business and lifestyle. Depending on the type of business, different coverage options might make sense for the business owner.

Business interruption, key man or buy/sell, professional liability, commercial auto, and something that has been in the news lately, data breach or cybersecurity, are all possible needs in addition to basic commercial property coverage.

I encourage business owners to contact insurance agents and visit about appropriate coverages for their businesses.

A local SBDC adviser, while not an insurance professional, can help with possible types of coverage needed and can suggest questions to ask an agent.

A blog version of this article and an opportunity to post comments is available at www.wyen.biz/blog1/.

The WSBDC is a partnership of the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Wyoming Business Council and the University of Wyoming. To ask a question, call 1-800-348-5194, email wsbdc@uwyo.edu, or write 1000 E. University Ave., Dept. 3922, Laramie, WY, 82071-3922.


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