Keeping it safe: Why liability insurance is a smart idea for your small business

I know many people who have opened small businesses, offering consulting services of all kinds: computers, human resources, advertising, business coaching, accounting, legal services, web design, and more. No matter what type of "consulting" you do, you need liability insurance.

You're sitting there saying, "What? Me? Liability? For what???" The sad truth is that our society has gotten to a point where people are suing anyone and everyone, even if it's not your fault. Do you want to risk a lawsuit against your small business without the benefit of insurance? Do you think you could really cover all of the legal fees? Are you in a position to pay a settlement to a plaintiff and still keep your doors open and food on your table?

The fact is that we, as consultants, can and do make mistakes in our work. Liability insurance is a necessary evil to protect ourselves and our families in the event that we make a mistake (or are accused of a mistake). For many types of consultants, liability insurance isn't even all that expensive, costing from $1,000 to $2,500 for a year of coverage. Of course, the premium will depend upon the type of work you're doing and the bells and whistles you want on your policy. But the peace of mind offered by such policies is definitely worth the price tag, and a "must have" for all small businesses.

Tracy L. Coenen, CPA, MBA, CFE performs fraud examinations and financial investigations for her company Sequence Inc. Forensic Accounting, and is the author of Essentials of Corporate Fraud.
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