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Do You Have the Proper Insurance Coverages for Your Business?

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Bi-weekly blog from the N.C. Retail Merchants Association
By: Richard Suddarth, First Benefits Insurance Mutual  |  March 23, 2016

Tangible, actionable, and practical are the roots to any successful business plan. Over the course of my career I have been fortunate to be involved as entrepreneurs branched out with their own ideas and services to carve their path. Each of them had a different and unique approach as to how they would work towards success. Not all of them found the success they were looking for, but those that had invested in creating a plan and sticking to it were the ones that usually made it work.

I’m excited to be a part of the process of bringing these elements of planning via the T.A.P. Talks that the North Carolina Retail Merchants Association (NCRMA) is hosting. Providing tips and information that can help small business owners succeed on a variety of different topics is a tremendous value.

There are numerous things to put together when running your business. You’re going to be spread thin monetarily, physically, and perhaps even emotionally. Having the proper insurance coverages in place can help you rest a bit easier. Let’s take a look at some quick examples:

Your business property is an integral part of your business. Many business owners consider it to be stock that they have on hand and, frankly, often underestimate the figure in order to keep insurance costs low. What many overlook is that it also includes the property necessary to run the business as well as any improvements or betterments that have been made to a leased space to make it functional for the business operations. This omission can lead to significant differences in coverage requirements which can ultimately result in not getting the settlement you anticipated in the event of a claim.

Business Income and Extra Expense coverage is another valuable coverage that can be extended to small business owners when property insurance coverage is purchased. Business Income and Extra Expense coverage can save your business in the event of a partial or total loss. The coverage allows for the payment of necessary business expenses that continue during the period it takes for your business to be restored, and the extra expense coverage will pay if you resume operations with expenses greater than those you were subject to prior to the loss. This insurance not only replaces lost business income while the office and its contents are being rebuilt and replaced, but it can also cover the operating and payroll expenses necessary to keep you and your business on your feet after a loss.

We will also discuss liability coverage and what it does to help protect your business. As a business owner with a storefront you have a premises and operations to maintain. Consider this scenario: A customer at the store you own trips over a fixture and sustains a significant injury from the fall. Bills for the hospital visits are submitted to you for payment. Your liability coverage will protect you from claims of negligence.Your products and completed services may also lead to injuries as well.  For example, as a baker, you sell a cake and a customer alleges that nut shells in the cake caused a broken tooth. These claims usually take a good deal of investigation and the cost of a lawsuit isn’t just about the settlement amounts. The cost to defend the lawsuit can be as much or more than some settlements.

Professional liability for those that provide services is another important coverage. Consider this a type of malpractice insurance. Everyone is familiar with doctors and lawyers carrying such a policy, but those that provide professional services have a similar exposure as well. Let’s say, for example, that you have decided to use a professional party planner to throw a party for your college graduate. You’ve agreed to have the food catered and for a band to play at the event. The day arrives, so do 150 guests, and there is no caterer or band because the planner booked the incorrect dates. Who do you expect to pick up the tab?

We’ll also go into detail about workers’ compensation, which is our specialty at First Benefits Insurance Mutual (FBIM). This may be the one area where people roll the dice more than others. You may not realize the amount of risk you are putting on you and your business when you fail to carry workers’ compensation insurance – even if state statutes say you’re not compelled to do so. North Carolina law mandates that you must carry workers’ compensation insurance when you have three or more employees, but your liability begins when you hire the very first one.

Please plan on attending one of the T.A.P Talks that NCRMA is hosting. The value is fantastic, and you’ll walk away with something Tangible, Actionable, and Practical that you can utilize right away!

Written by Richard Suddarth, Vice President of Marketing and Administration for First Benefits Insurance Mutual.


This article and the information presented during T.A.P. talks are meant to demonstrate basic principles and ideas regarding insurance coverage. These are not recommendations as to coverages your business may need or require. Please consult your insurance agent for a needs analysis based on your specific business operation.


The first Retail TAP Talk will be held on Thursday, April 7, in Morrisville.

Registration is limited to the first 50, so sign up TODAY!



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