Business insurance gives us peace of mind and knowing your business is prepared for anything can greatly reduce stress. While it is necessary, the concept of insurance or what’s covered may seem somewhat complicated. You aren’t purchasing something physical, you’re purchasing a promise. Sometimes you are required to have insurance, and other times you choose the type of coverage you think you might need. Because we want to ensure that our Certified Providers have everything they need to run a successful business, we make it a point to do regular industry research. This allows us to provide you with helpful information, because the best decisions are made when you are informed! Since all business owners need it, we did our research to provide you with a clear understanding of how it works. To do this, we consulted an expert, Jenny Bortman, the Vice President at Universal Insurance Programs LLC.
Here’s what she had to say!
First, let’s talk about you! Why are you and the team at Universal so passionate?
I think insurance is in my blood, my mom started as a file clerk and worked her way up the ranks through an independent agency in New York. I grew up in her agencies and when she joined Universal in 1995 as a single mom, I often came with her, doing small tasks like filing. I love the ability to protect people, give advice, recommendations and take the stress of insurance away, to make it enjoyable. Our team shares the same sentiment!
Why is it important to have insurance for your business?
As soon as a business owner signs a lease they assume insurable interest and owning a business comes with risks and rewards. So, it’s crucial to get insurance from build out and on. If possible, it’s recommended for business owners to have an occurrence policy as well as a liability policy. We understand that insurance can be a bit confusing for those who do not work with it every day. It does get overwhelming, and it can be challenging to know where to go first and know what you need! We pride ourselves on educating our clients so they know what their bank, landlord or finance company requires, this provides them with the peace of mind they deserve.
What should a business owner expect when they set up a call with you?
Our team does an amazing job of talking about insurance without using acronyms and uncommon insurance terms. We speak clearly about what we are covering, not the name of the coverage. We’ll ask you questions about your business, what your worries are, services, property value and more. We interview each client to put together a policy that works for them. Applications are done over the phone so the customer gets a good understanding of the questions. Once the proposal is ready, we go over the coverage in detail.
What steps can business owners take to avoid the need to make claims?
We suggest putting safety protocols in place because accidents do happen. The moment you are alerted that a piece of equipment isn’t working its best to just close that room out and offer the guest another service at a discount.
We suggest taking precautionary measures such as:
Putting out signs when the floor is wet or wait until the salon is closed and there are no clients in the salon to mop.
Creating opening and closing procedures that are followed to a T. Staff should check off on each task to ensure all runs smoothly.
Create midday procedures as well, check each treatment room and piece of equipment thoroughly and regularly.
Use regular maintenance logs for all equipment.
What are your top 3 tips for protecting a business?
Obtain insurance as soon as you gain insurable interest, and make sure you obtain the right policy. Not all policies are created equal, there are exclusions, but we will explain all of it to you. We will consider all factors and let you know what we feel is best. If you want to quote out other companies, do it! There are cases that may not be a good fit with coverage or price and we are always honest about these topics. We want to build trust between a client and their insurance agent.
Hire qualified staff that is trained. Train them to really evaluate who is coming in the door, clients look to the staff for advice to determine what’s best for them. Gain a great reputation by giving all clients great service advice and recommendations.
Run a safe operation. It is so important for owners to be involved and be sure they keep a watchful eye on the business. Having a knowledge of daily operations will keep help keep your business safe and sound.
After our conversation with Jenny we clearly understand the importance of selecting the correct insurance and protecting your business! After all, your business is how you pay the bills, pay your team, serve your clients and make a living. For business owners in the beauty industry, protection is needed, but it doesn’t have to be confusing. Although there is a lot to know about insurance teams like Universal make it easy to understand.