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“Business owners should recognize that you don’t need every option available. Pick and choose which options you want and which risks you have the greatest exposure to.”

Dale Parker is an Agent for State Farm Insurance Company

Interview by Kelsey Meyer

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Dale Parker is an insurance agent with State Farm insurance agency.  He has been with located in Columbia, MO and has been a part of State Farm since 1991.  Dale Parker offers insurance in many areas including auto, home, renter’s health, and life. 

When not working Dale is very involved in the Columbia community, helping with public school little league teams, being on the board of Ducks Unlimited, and assisting other charitable organizations.  Dale sat down with us to help us understand exactly what small business insurance is, and why we need to know.

View Dale Parker’s Interview via Video here, or read the Interview below:

What is the most important fact small business owners should know about small business insurance?

Business owners need to know that they need it.  Many small business start-ups go several years without insurance, and one loss could be devastating to the success of the business.  Also they need to know that there are many options for their insurance, and they can pick and choose and customize, to a certain extent, their policy coverage.  Those choices can greatly affect their coverage and their premium.

What factors determine the cost of business insurance?

The property insured and the value of that property determine the cost.  Real property (buildings) are insured if you own them; and personal property (desks, computers, inventory, etc.); are the two types of property that are insured.  Liability insurance, which is damage or injury to another party, is included with most policies.  The cost of it can be influenced by the type of business you have (contractors are more expensive to insure than a CPA’s office).  Also, some businesses are rated based on their gross receipts, or their total revenues.  Contractors are a good example of this.  The amount of work they do (total revenue) is directly related to their liability exposure.   

Dale Parker is an Insurance Agent for State Farm

Can you describe what Business Owners Policy (BOP) insurance is, and what qualifies a company for this type of insurance? 

BOP is a comprehensive policy that can include property insurance and liability insurance.  Most businesses can qualify to purchase this type of policy, if they have a good record and do not have a large number of claims on their claim history.  But not every insurer will have a program or policy designed for every need.  At State Farm, we do not insure large manufacturers, car dealers or mechanics, for example.  But we insure more business offices (attorneys, CPAs, dentist offices) than any other company.

Can you speak about some of the community involvement you have participated in as an insurance agent? 

Most of my involvement with the community has been centered around the local schools, their sports programs; little league team sponsorship; and then some work with local charitable organizations including Relay for Life and Ducks Unlimited.

What should business owners do to keep their insurance expenditures low?

Business owners should recognize that you don’t need every option available.  Pick and choose which options you want and which risks you have the greatest exposure to.  I.e. don’t purchase coverage for money and securities if you never deal in cash or other securities.  Don’t buy flood insurance if you business is located well above a flood plain.

Can you explain what type of insurance a business would need if the owners and employees all work from home? 

This scenario is becoming increasingly popular, especially over the last decade.  The number one thing is talk to your Homeowners insurance agent about the business and don’t expect your homeowners policy to cover your business without significant changes to the policy.  Several businesses I insure are run out of the policyholder’s home.  Some of those are very well insured.  And only needed to make some small changes to the policy.  They are small in the premium or cost of the insurance, but they are huge in the amount of coverage they provide.  If the coverage you need cannot be added to your homeowners’ policy, then a separate policy can usually be purchased.  That policy is based at your home address, and usually receives a significant discount because there is a presence at the premises most of the time, as opposed to a stand-along business that might only have employees there 8 or 10 hours per day.

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