Business Insurance

Business owners share tips on getting good coverage, and warn about the risks of "going bare." June 12, 2005

After reading about insurance for shops, I am really wondering how many people out there are living on the edge and operating without insurance.

I am a one man shop, it’s a new 30x80 all metal building. I plan to wire it in conduit and be in code. For my spraying room, 25x30, I plan to have a 3200 cfm exhaust fan with a TEFC motor and a filter over it and a filtered shutter on the other side of the room. I don't see any way fumes will build up to the point ignition.

My point is, after all that can possibly be done is done, what is there to do if the premiums aren’t affordable?

Forum Responses
(Business and Management Forum)
From contributor D:
Find yourself a good independent insurance agent that represents more than one company and ask them to find you coverage. State Farm is an excellent insurer for personal insurance, but they are somewhat limited on business insurance.

From contributor R:
I have 30K on my shop in case of fire. I almost always work alone in the shop, so liability in the shop is low enough that I chance it.

I did have 300k GL and workman’s comp, but it was only needed for general contractors, so I dropped it. I only have a 10K bond, which is required by my home improvement license, so if I screw up on an install, I hope it's less than 10K.

From contributor P:
I would never live on the edge, and I am glad I did not a couple years ago. I was awakened by a phone call at tree in the morning by one of the fireman I knew telling me that my shop was destroyed by a fire that was set behind it and burned through the garage door. I was back up and running at a temporary shop in three weeks and moved into our new shop within the next two months.

The insurance company had $10,000 grand in my hand two days after fire to get me going. I pay for liability around $2,000 per year with a 2 million policy. Make sure to install a real spray booth and make sure you follow what your code is and what the fire department tells you to do, and you will see less problems.