Financial Focus: Liability insurance important for businesses - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Voices

Financial Focus: Liability insurance important for businesses

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Posted: Saturday, June 7, 2014 7:30 am | Updated: 6:01 pm, Fri Jun 20, 2014.

The success of any business depends primarily on initiative and hard work. These aspects of business are easier to control than the possibility of losing property to a fire or someone slipping and falling on the premises.

That’s why insurance is so important for people who own businesses.

Extra consideration should be given to the piece of the insurance puzzle designed to protect assets if the business is negligent, sued or is found to be guilty for an injury or property damage of another.

Business owners without liability insurance stand to lose everything they have worked hard to build, including property, assets and even the business itself. Many organizations have been forced out of business as a result of a lawsuit. In today’s lawsuit-friendly world, it makes sense to have good liability coverage.

Liability insurance provides protection against the cost of lawsuits that may result from accidents, which cause personal injury (libel, slander or defamation of character), bodily injury (a slip or fall in your business or someone who burns themselves with hot coffee) or property damage (a contractor, for example, cuts cables or gas lines while digging a trench).

Liability insurance pays the cost of damages, attorney fees and other costs associated with defense of a lawsuit. This is true whether or not the lawsuit has merit.

Unfortunately, a magic formula doesn’t exist to calculate how much liability insurance a business needs. However, with careful review of the liability exposures faced by a business, insurance professionals can offer guidance in making the right decisions about liability insurance needs.

Some examples of questions to ask when considering liability exposures include:

1. Do you own the building?

2. If not, what liabilities do you have as a renter?

3. Do you visit clients on their property, or do they come to you?

4. What is the value of your assets at risk?

Insurance is but one aspect of many things to consider when starting a new business. But, the decisions made about insurance coverage are some of the most important decisions facing business owners.

Insuring against possible financial disaster should be a No. 1 priority. Learning the basics, asking questions and working closely with a person you know and trust can help you make sound insurance decisions that provide peace of mind.

• COUNTRY Financial Representative Marcia Kennedy, whose office is located at 1640 S. Stapley Drive in Mesa, may be reached at (480) 325-1521, ext. 232.

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