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The Insured Entrepreneur

(c) 2003 by Cheryl Williams Levey,

In a traditional job, typically your employer takes a certain amount of money from your salary for benefits before you receive your pay. These benefits include items such as taxes, health and life insurance, and retirement savings and/or pension.

For the entrepreneur, having a sound financial plan for taking care of these expenses is essential. This article is a very basic primer focusing on your minimal insurance needs as a business owner. Please do additional research and/or talk to a financial advisor for the best types of insurance and coverages for your particular situation.

Health insurance - If you're lucky, you can be covered by a spouse. If you can't do that, there are lots of resources for finding coverage. The first thing I recommend is to think about any organizations or affiliations you may already be a member of that may offer group health insurance at reasonable rates. For instance, did you know that AAA offered health insurance? Or, you could join an organization like the National Association for the Self-Employed to get member group health rates along with all kinds of other great benefits.

If you can't get the kind of coverage you need through any affiliations, you can search and compare rates for individual-family coverage at places like Depending on your family status and how healthy you are, you can adjust deductibles and all kinds of other factors to get the best rate for your circumstances.

Life insurance - Many of us tend to ignore this necessity. It is difficult to really think about our own deaths. However, if for no other reason, you need life insurance to cover your burial/cremation and other "funeral" expenses. You also need life insurance if you have a family that depends on your income to survive, and/or you have debts (which is almost all of us!) You should make sure your life insurance provides adequate coverage for at least your funeral (or other) expenses and the pay-off of your debts.

Homeowners or Renters insurance - If you work out of your home, this is also an absolute essential. Fire/flood, robbery, or even if something major in your home breaks (like if the water pipes just above your computer were to burst!), not only would you lose personal possessions, but possibly your entire business as well. Homeowner coverage needs to be high enough to replace the value of your home and possessions *plus* the value of your business belongings, particularly your computer system. Additionally, always keep backups of any electronic files, preferably in another location.

You can learn about your various insurance options by shopping around online. Check out for information to comparison shop for all kinds of insurance needs, including health, life, home owners, disability, and more.

In the end, if you make sure you are adequately insured in all aspects that are appropriate for your situation, nothing can happen that you won't be able to handle -- financially at least.


Cheryl Williams Levey owns, a site
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