Experts Weigh in on the Need-to-Know Details of Business Insurance

June 5, 2013

On May 15th, experts spoke about the essential details of insurance options available for small businesses at last month’s Doing Business 2.0 seminar. The panel, part of the monthly Doing Business 2.0 series hosted by WDCEP, included the topics of healthcare reform, cyber liability options, and the importance of finding the right insurance agent.

Philip Barlow, the Associate Commissioner of the Department of Insurance, Securities, and Banking, presented the impacts of healthcare reform on small businesses. Healthcare benefits play an important role in recruiting employees. The DC Marketplace Exchange, created as a result of the Affordable Care Act of 2010, will give small businesses more choices, options, real price competition, and better benefits according to Barlow. This one-stop-shop for healthcare packages to be launched in October for small groups will have packages compared by “medal levels” (bronze, silver, gold, and platinum) that correspond with a percent of coverage versus out-of-pocket costs. For example, a silver package will cover 70% while the remaining 30% is covered by the enrollee. View Mr. Barlow’s presentation below for more details.

Ken Daveler, the President of Alliance Insurance Services, Inc., spoke about the wide ranges of insurance to protect property, casualties, and other liabilities. Daveler outlined numerous insurance options while stressing the importance of being covered on all fronts. This included property coverage as well as a need for good aggregate insurance. Daveler also remarked on coverage for improvements and betterments, loss of income, and cyber liability. The new, hot item in cyber liability products protects against losses for businesses that are paperless and the costs of data breeches. Such compromises of data, according to Daveler, have a number of additional costs associated with hiring forensics teams in response to the breech.

Lee Herman, the President of Palace Florists, Inc., provided insurance experience from the perspective of a small business owner. Herman compared his work with perishable products to that of working at “Dominos on the Super Bowl.”

“What happens if the phones go out?” Herman asked in emphasizing the importance of being covered during high demand times. Palace Florists face this during holidays when a lot of perishable supplies are ordered in anticipation.

According to Herman, the best way to be covered is to join peer groups and associations related to the business’s industry to learn best practices. Additionally, one should seek out an agent that is comfortable to work with and knowledgeable about the industry.

Doing Business 2.0 panels are held on the second Wednesday of each month at 575 7th Street, NW, Washington DC 20004 thanks to the continued support of Venable, LLP.

Posted Under: DC News