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Minimize Your Business Risk

The best way to avoid business liability is through prevention Clean up the workplace. There is a primary mantra in the military: "A place for everything and everything in its place." You may still be in danger on the battlefield but you're unlikely to be injured by tripping over something that was left in the wrong place around the barracks.

While you can't make risk go away, there are smart things that you can do to minimize the impact on your business. Buying insurance is only one of them. For a more comprehensive risk management strategy, we recommend four things:

Be safe

Safety consciousness is the place to start:

  • Keep areas clean
  • Put things away
  • Maintain service areas
  • Keep guards on equipment
  • Protect inventories
  • Keep unauthorized personnel out of restricted areas

The most important advice here is to simply use some common sense. Have a safety plan, and make sure that everyone is engaged in its maintenance.

Educate your employees

Build a safety conscious business attitude. Attitude is a top-down phenomenon. You can preach all you want about the way things ought to be, but unless your employees can see that you not only believe and also practice what you preach, they won't really respect what you are saying.

Workplace rules are a good thing. They make it perfectly clear to everyone how things should be done and what the consequences would be if the rules are followed. Safety rules top the list. Make sure that they are clear, understandable, rational, and practical.

In a paint spraying operation, the rule was that employees engaged in the work MUST wear breathing protection. This was such a primary health hazard, and one where the employer could be subject to serious workers comp and other health and even negligence claims, that employees would be fired if they didn't utilize the safety equipment.

Institute a climate of safety awareness. Have regular safety meetings. In hazardous areas make sure that employees receive appropriate training in the use of and care for their safety and protective equipment, and that they understand the consequences of not properly utilizing the equipment and safety procedures.

Set a safety example. Let the employees know that you respect and care about the rules at least as much as you expect them to.

Buy Insurance

There is insurance coverage available for just about any business risk imaginable. You may be in an exotic business and so require some form of exotic insurance, but for most businesses coverage is very straightforward and very affordable.

Areas that you would normally seek coverage include:

  1. General Liability Insurance
  2. Umbrella or Excess Liability Insurance
  3. Professional Liability Insurance
  4. Errors and Omission Insurance (E & O)
  5. Workers Compensation Insurance
  6. Property Insurance
  7. Cyber-Liability Insurance
  8. Employment Practices Liability

Many of the more common areas are covered through a Business Owners Policy (BOP). Explore this and other coverages by reviewing the Business Insurance Checklist or visit for more detailed information.

Did you know?

insureon "...that insureon is the leading online provider of high quality, affordable small business insurance coverage? As a Web-based e-agent, insureon specializes in offering small, home-based and micro-businesses fast, easy, one-stop shopping for property and liability insurance needs. Insurance coverage applications are submitted using a convenient online application and quotes are provided typically on the next business day at no charge and no-obligation. insureon customers receive ongoing, personalized customer service from knowledgeable, experienced and licensed insurance advisors."

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Note: This information has been compiled by the Knowledge Institute for Small Business Development (KISBD) for educational purposes only in order to convey a general overview of the options and related services available to small businesses in the subject areas introduced. Content is provided on an "as is" basis and is not intended to be an exhaustive representation, nor does it provide advice or create a customer relationship between KISBD and its sponsors,, its affiliates and any other organization named herein, and any reader.

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