CEO and Founder, Next Insurance
“Having proper insurance shows potential customers that you run a good business, a responsible business that will protect them.”
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 20 percent of all small businesses close up shop within one year of opening, and every year about 9 percent of existing businesses shut down.
For the businesses that survive, the key is identifying the right resources and gaining access to them. What a lot of small business owners don’t realize is how the right insurance partner can help them.
“Insurance is another tool in your arsenal and it can help you be more successful,” says Guy Goldstein, CEO and founder of Next Insurance.
Goldstein thinks more small businesses need to see insurance as a meta-resource. “Most insurance companies focus on ‛we will have your back when things are bad.’ We are actually trying to help businesses grow and be successful,” he says, noting five specific areas where small business can benefit from the right insurance partner.
It can cost $75,000 or more to settle a general liability claim, and the fundamental use of insurance is to shield your business from these dangers. One problem many businesses face is the difficulty involved in getting coverage. “The reason I founded Next was because at my previous business, getting insurance was very difficult,” says Goldstein. “It took a long time, I felt I was paying too much, and every year the renewal was a hassle. At Next, we make the process easy. Buying insurance takes less than 10 minutes and can be done completely online (unless you choose to talk to an agent). And the product is tailored to the business, it’s not a generic solution.”
2. Cash Flow
Low sales and poor cash flow is the No. 1 reason small businesses fail each year. What most don’t realize is that the right insurance partner can help with this as well. “Cash management is an issue for many businesses,” Goldstein notes. “One way we help is by providing everything as a monthly subscription so you don’t need to pay up front. We also allow you to cancel anytime if needed, so, if, for example, you don’t work during the summer, you can cancel during the summer. And there are no fees on anything. We have a zero-fee policy.”
Another consideration is how long it takes to process claims—something else Goldstein understands. “We are with you every step of the process and handle many of our claims within two days, where the rest of the industry can often take months.”
3. New clients
Every business lives and dies on its customers—both retaining the ones they have and gaining new ones.
“Having proper insurance shows potential customers that you run a good business, a responsible business that will protect them,” says Goldstein. “For example, a carpenter will have a very hard time going to a restaurant to fix the cabinets without being able to show proof of insurance.Our proof of insurance is free for our customers and the documents can be downloaded instantly online.”
Many small businesses have significant investments in property, equipment, or vehicles needed for their operations, and the right insurance can not only pay for repairs when needed, but can also assist with locating and purchasing replacements or renting temporary offices, vehicles, or tools.With vehicles, some business owners rely on their personal car insurance to cover their business activities —but a personal policy will often not cover an accident that occurs during a run to Home Depot to purchase construction materials. For robust protection, a business needs a Commercial Auto policy.
5. Protecting employees
For many businesses, their most important resource is their employees. The right insurance can protect your employees if they are injured on the job, while also protecting your business against worker’s compensation claims.And the right coverage should not be prohibitively expensive, or take weeks to purchase.
Goldstein is passionate about the ways insurance can help small businesses. “At the end of the day,” he adds, “insurance is a social good.”
Jeff Somers, [email protected]