According to a 2015 study, four out of 10 small businesses will experience property or liability claims within the next 10 years. If you’re a small business owner, the statistics show that claims aren’t rare, and it’s only a matter of time before something happens to you.
Aside from having comprehensive business insurance coverage, knowing what the most common small business claims are can help prepare you for future liability cases. Below are the six most common insurance claims businesses make annually and the issues likely to cause said claims:
Theft or Burglary
Thievery constitutes nearly 20 percent of all small business claims made in the United States. Coming in at the top spot on the list, chances for burglary can come from various sources. Perhaps the suspect is a negligent employee that has malicious intent, or it may be as simple as an outsider breaking in and robbing the business. Beefing up security measures and keeping an eye out for suspicious activity can help you avoid falling victim to burglars.
Wind or Hail Damage
Wind and hail claims comprise of roughly 15 percent of total claims made by small businesses. If your business operates in a location that is known for hurricanes, tornadoes, or severe storms, make sure that the underwriting of your business insurance policy also covers potential damages from these weather conditions.
Water or Freezing Damages
Water and freezing damage makes up 15 percent of total business claims. Structural damages that come from water-related issues can be detrimental. Although your location plays a part in determining if you’re at risk, weather conditions aren’t the only thing that can cause water damage. Poorly maintained piping can cause pipes to leak, which, if not repaired immediately, can go on to do some major damage to the business.
It’s not only restaurants that are susceptible to workplace fires the Insurance Journal notes, as 10 percent of small businesses have been found to make fire-related insurance claims. Regardless of your industry, the potential for a fire to break out is always possible. Taking extra measures to ensure your business and employees are prepared in case of a fire can help mitigate the destruction they are likely to reap.
For business owners that have customers walking in and out of their store on a daily basis, this is a worst-case scenario. Comprising 10 percent of total business claims, the possibility of a customer falling and injuring themselves on your sales floor or in your office only increases with more foot traffic. These issues can be quite costly, with the average claim costing nearly $20,000.
If you have customers that visit your store regularly, make sure to take necessary steps to avoid this type of claim. Floors should always be dry and clean, objects and product displays should be out of the way and any debris on the floor should be tended to immediately.
When making claims about your product, keep in mind that the slightest slip up can cost your business greatly. With product liability composing of five percent of total business insurance claims, being completely honest and transparent with customers is the only way to fully avoid this issue. Although coming in at sixth on the list, product liability claims rank third for being the most expensive.
With 40 percent of companies likely to make an insurance claim over the next decade, it is crucial for business owners to implement measures that will decrease the chances of making a claim. With insurance rates already a costly expense for some businesses, the fewer claims that are made, the lower insurance premiums will be.