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How Women in Business Can Protect Themselves and Their Companies

In the past several decades, women have made great strides in the world of business. To protect their hard-earned merit and capital, the Insurance Information Institute recommends having adequate business insurance. In the 1960s and 1970s, women only owned about 5 percent of the country's small businesses, but that number has jumped to nearly 35 percent today.

Women generate about $1.5 trillion in revenue from their businesses today. From 1997 through 2015, the number of businesses owned by women grew by nearly 75 percent. To honor Women's History Month, experts recommend business insurance to prevent major losses in the event of a lawsuit or catastrophe. The following strategies are helpful for keeping any business protected.

Evaluate current risks.

Business owners must think about how much property they own, how many employees they have, what the business does and what major risks are associated with each aspect. A good explanation of these areas of the business will help an insurance professional build a solid coverage plan.

Find a good insurance professional.

It is wise to work with the same insurance company and the same agent whenever possible. Building a good professional relationship is helpful, and having an agent who knows the business and understands its unique needs is an asset. Never choose an insurer based on prices alone. The best insurers know how to identify every type of risk and address it. Having a good agent can mean the difference between suffering a major loss during a catastrophe and being able to reopen the company's doors soon after a catastrophe.

Prioritize budget needs.

Not all companies can afford a large monthly premium. When this is the case, it is better to choose an insurance policy with a higher deductible and a lower monthly premium. Some businesses with high risks may need to restructure their budget to allow for a higher monthly premium if the business has many significant insurance risks and cannot afford a high deductible. Discuss budget concerns with an agent to determine the best option.

Review coverage regularly.

It is important to review coverage at least every year. If the business added more inventory, upgraded equipment or made any other significant changes, the changes should be reported to an agent. This is especially true when branching out into foreign purchases, sales and business relationships. Keeping the policy updated ensures adequate compensation for all losses in the event of a theft or catastrophe.

Every business owner should also be protected individually. For the sake of survivors, it is important to have life insurance. Disability insurance is also a must in the event of a disability that would hinder the business owner from performing necessary functions or keeping the business going. To learn more about business insurance options, discuss concerns with an agent.

Frances Zettl