While it’s not fun to think about, bad things happen to good businesses. Whether this is an act of nature, like a flood or tornado, or caused by another person, like robberies or vandalism, it will impact your business just the same. It’s paramount, however, that you are prepared for such events.
Laundry store operators may have some of the highest risk for problems. Because you poured so much money into this business, it’s absolutely vital that you make sure your investments are safe. Not only is it important to have coverage, it is important to make sure you have just enough coverage, and nothing more.
Liability coverage is the first, and probably most important, type of coverage to consider. Interestingly enough, this coverage is fairly inexpensive. You can nearly double your coverage for less than fifty dollars a year! While every savvy business-minded entrepreneur is looking to cut costs, this is definitely not the place for that.
There are some other forms of coverage that you should have that are much less well known. One such coverage is bailees coverage. This covers others people’s property, so it will be much more necessary for a drop-off Laundromat. Electronic data processing coverage is another new form of insurance that you need if you have any computer-related operations. Finally, water backup coverage is a nice form of insurance to have. This covers the water rushing into the drain at a rate too high for the drain to handle, and consequently flooding the area.
As stated earlier, everyone’s looking to save a little money here and there. How can you accomplish this with regard to insurance? The following list has some interesting ideas:
• Shop for insurance every single year. Yes, this will involve extra time, but it can save you a fortune. § Run a quick comparison of your current provided vs. any prospective coverage. Compare prices and the level of coverage to figure out which plan has a better cash-for-coverage value. § Watch for hidden fees! Make sure you know everything you will be paying!
• Think about self-insuring small property claims. § Past claims can greatly affect how much you are paying for insurance in the future. § It may be wise to have a large deductible while not turning in smaller claims. If you have a considerable number of small claims followed by a large one, you may not be able to find a company willing to insure you. § Remember: Insurance companies are more afraid of frequent claims than large ones. § It’s important to note that things involving injuries should ALWAYS be reported. DO NOT attempt to pay for these out-of-pocket.
• Keep your values up-to-date. This means that if you get a bunch of new equipment, make sure it is covered. On the flip side, if you stop using some equipment, make sure you aren’t still paying to insure it! § There’s nothing worse than realizing after a disaster that you weren’t covered to the extent needed to reopen. § Make sure on a yearly basis that you are covered exactly to the extent you need to be-no more, no less. When figuring out how much insurance you need, think about how much the cost of rebuilding would be. This is how much insurance you need. The appraisal amount is NOT the cost to rebuild. There’s a big difference between how much your property would sell for and how much it would cost to rebuild. § § Read the fine print! § Go over the contract with an agent and make sure every detail is known- don’t wait until a disaster to find out what insurance you really have. § Make sure you know the ins and outs of the insurance agency you’re dealing with. You can do this by reading customer reviews etc.
• Know the agency you’re dealing with. § Find this out BEFORE you sign anything, don’t get slammed in a crucial moment. § If anything feels wrong, it probably is. When you find the right company it will feel right. § Check for their financial rating. Only deal with companies in the range of A to A++. When you get into the B range, things become a little sketchy. § Find a carrier with history in insuring your particular type of business. Ask them if they’ve ever insured laundry businesses before. This is crucial.
• Take steps to make sure you won’t have a disaster. § Have a security system. Preventing robberies is absolutely vital to any small business owner. § Repair anything and everything. Fix the leaky pipe and repair that sink. Don’t give the insurance agency anything to mark you down on. § Secure everything to the floor- this means washers, tables, etc. This will help avoid robberies, damage in earthquakes, and accidents. § This will have a twofold effect: first of all, you won’t have to go through the hassle of repairing your store in the long run and paying the higher fees after an accident, and second of all, you won’t have as high of a deductible. Hopefully, this list gave you some valuable ideas to selecting the right insurance agency and coverage. If you keep these things in mind, your deductible will be next to nothing and your store will be adequately insured at a great price. There are, however, a few things to watch for with regard to insurance.
• Using contractors that aren’t insured. § Just like you, your contractors need to be insured. Have them give you a certificate of insurance just to be sure.
• Cost of replacement vs. current value. § It’s the same concept that makes used cars so much cheaper: the value of something declines over time. You need to consider how much a new item would cost, not how much it’s worth right now.
Although looking for insurance can be a very daunting task, it’s more than necessary for every business owner. Basically, you just need to spend some time and be incredibly thorough in your search. If you are careful and follow the advice in these lists, you will be covered for nearly any emergency you will run into.