When you’ve worked hard to create a successful small business, it is critical that you protect that business. Having the right business insurance is a key step in doing that. However, understanding and buying the right insurance is not easy, especially for small business owners.
There are a lot of questions that many small business owners ask, such as: What types of insurance does your business really need? What kind of coverage and policy inclusions/exclusions should you ask for? Where do you get the insurance? When do you get it? How much should you pay for coverage? Do you understand the risks to your business and its impact? Do you need any specialized insurance that traditional agents may not provide?
We interviewed Rashmi Melgiri, co-founder of CoverWallet, to help us understand the challenges that small businesses face with regards to insurance. CoverWallet is a company dedicated to helping small businesses and entrepreneurs find, buy, and manage their insurance. She started the company after facing the same headaches that many small business owners experience about buying and managing insurance.
Here are Rashmi’s thoughts on the challenges faced by small businesses when buying insurance:
What is CoverWallet? What products do you currently offer?
CoverWallet is a company dedicated to helping small businesses and entrepreneurs with insurance. We do this by offering educational content and tools, as well as a platform to quickly buy and manage policies. We also provide certificate tracking, so if you’re a business that needs to provide a certificate of insurance, or if you track certificates from companies you work with, all of that information is stored and accessible through our interface.
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What are the biggest challenges faced by small businesses in terms of buying and managing insurance?
While many businesses start their search for insurance online, most still buy from brick-and-mortar agents, which means a lot of time spent going back and forth, plus keeping track of physical documents. This is impractical for small business owners who don’t have a lot of time to dedicate to efforts that don’t drive new business. For example, if you’re a dance instructor and need to provide a certificate of insurance before being hired to teach at a location, you can easily lose a potential client if your agent doesn’t get back to you quickly enough.
What are the difficulties often faced by small businesses in navigating commercial insurance?
Aside from the buying process and difficulties in managing policies, the biggest issue businesses have is with regards to understanding their risks and policies. Without expert advice, which we’ve worked to assemble through experts and analysis, business owners might just not be aware of regulation or common risk scenarios. A clear example is if you operate an online business and digitally store payment information or personally identifiable information (PII) on customers, you may need cyber liability coverage. Many small businesses don’t know this or think they’re already covered by a general liability policy, but the majority go out of business within six months of a data breach.
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What advice can you give small business owners in terms of managing their risks?
Well, of course, start with CoverWallet. But broadly, don’t be afraid to ask questions. What are my industry’s risks? In what scenarios would I not be covered? As my business grows, what are the additional risks and coverages I need? Get ahead of issues by understanding exactly what it is you’re paying for.
How does CoverWallet.com aim to help the small businesses?
CoverWallet helps small businesses understand, buy and manage their insurance. These are essentially the 3 pillars our company is organized around. When it comes to understanding, we provide both data around average pricing and industry pickup, as well as in-depth content and recommendations targeted towards hundreds of industries. We’re simplifying and shortening the buying process by providing solutions online as much as possible. And finally, we’re taking a technological approach to policy management, so whether or not you’ve bought it through us, you can request certificates, get expiration notifications, and refer to your coverage information through a clean portal.