In recent years, Columbus has actually been the top-performing city in Ohio for job creation and retention, and some may argue that its football team, the Buckeyes, has out-performed the other in-state competition (sorry Bengals and Browns). As the home
of The Ohio State University, it's no surprise that Columbus has seen growth in high tech jobs and other industries that require an educated, technically-adept workforce.
All this has led Columbus to be ranked by Bloomberg's Businessweek as one of America's top twenty cities. And, no doubt, it's one of the reasons you've started an IT business in Columbus. Now let's talk about protecting that venture.
Protect Your Investment: Risk Management for IT Companies in Columbus
Every small business faces risks. Lots of risks. Business deals can go bad, clients can sue you, customers can get injured on your property, a client could have a data breach – the list goes on.
Small business insurance mitigates these risks. In exchange for paying a monthly insurance premium, you get protection from certain lawsuits, property damage, and other risks that could bankrupt your business. Here are some of the policies that help IT
businesses the most:
General Liability Insurance offers protection for third-party lawsuits (aka lawsuits filed against your business by people you don't employ) by paying for legal expenses related to disputes over property damage, bodily injuries, advertising injuries,
and copyright infringement. Say a client trips over a power cable in your office and breaks their ankle. If the client sues, one injury like this can end up costing your business hundreds of thousands of dollars. Fortunately, General Liability Insurance
covers these personal injury lawsuits and other common business liabilities.
A BOP packages two policies – General Liability Insurance (see above) and Property Insurance – together, offering them at a discounted rate for small businesses. Property Insurance covers equipment, furniture, inventory, tools, and other
physical property your business owns. If you own your office, BOP Property Insurance can cover the building as well. Property policies cover the cost of repairing or replacing items that are lost or damaged in certain circumstances. Typically, this
includes fires, thefts, vandalism, and some weather damage. If a burglar robs a mobile app developer's office, Property Insurance can send the developer money to replace their stolen computers, technology, and other items.
Errors and Omissions Insurance (also called “Professional Liability Insurance”) protects you from client lawsuits about your work. Say a system admin forgets to upgrade server software and their client is hit with a data breach. E&O
Insurance covers the resulting data breach lawsuit. If a developer of enterprise software misses a deadline, E & O can cover their legal expenses. Lawsuits over software errors, missed benchmarks, flawed testing, client-side data breaches, and
other professional liabilities are all covered by E&O Insurance.
When an employee is injured on the job, their employer is liable to pay for their medical expenses and some of the salary they miss. Workers' Compensation (aka “Workers' Comp” or “Workman's Comp”) covers these
expenses. Ohio employment law requires Columbus IT companies to purchase this coverage. However, there are exceptions. Sole-proprietors and independent contractors don't need it. So if your business only employs the founders of the company, it
probably won't need Workers' Comp. But if you hire any employees, you'll need to carry a policy.
Note: Workers' Comp can only be purchased through the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation.
Most tech start-ups and small businesses won't need Cyber Liability Insurance (also called “Data Breach Insurance” or “Cyber Risk Insurance”), because it only covers data breaches that happen on their own computers. Since
most small tech companies don't have much private data on their computers, it’s not necessary to take this extra precaution. However, some tech companies (i.e., web hosts,
BI firms, etc.) store lots of data. For them, this policy covers many of the expenses that go hand-in-hand with a data breach on their own networks. For example, they’d have to contact each affected customer, offer them free credit monitoring
(to prevent identity theft), and investigate the breach. CL Insurance covers these costs and many others.
For a free, detailed insurance quote for IT coverage, contact an insurance agent at 1-800-668-7020 or fill out an online insurance application