_MG_2373If you own a small business, you need insurance. But how much and what kind?

“Insurance can be one strategy to manage your risk,” says chartered accountant Vic Skot, principal, Benefit Partners Inc. in Barrie, Ont. “It can give the business owner and the corporation ways to manage and mitigate their risks that are both tax and cost effective.”

Life insurance is important, whether you are a sole owner or have a business partner. “If a sole owner dies, life insurance can help the business continue and/or liquidate in an orderly manner,” says Skot. “If you have a partner and one of you dies, insurance can provide the cash the surviving partner needs to acquire the shares of the business and keep it running.”

If you become ill or have an accident, disability insurance can protect your income stream while you are unable to work. “A subset of disability insurance is critical illness insurance,” says Skot. “It can provide the cash you might need to seek treatment to restore your health without having to tap into personal savings.”

Be sure to insure your property, inventory and equipment against such risks as fire and theft. “You need insurance to protect you from business interruption and employee dishonesty,” says chartered accountant Eric Walker, a partner with Cookson Walker LLP in Toronto. “You can customize your coverage to the size and nature of your business.”

Liability insurance is also mandatory. “Accidents on your property may injure your staff or others,” says Walker. “Many owner-operators don’t realize that court settlements for some injuries can run up to $10 million. Talk to your insurance broker about having enough liability insurance to cover the worst-case scenario.”

Most small business owners provide group insurance benefits to their employees, which may include life, accidental death or dismemberment, extended health, dental, long-term disability and/or critical illness insurance.

“For key employees, you may want to provide additional disability or critical illness insurance because you want to get these key individuals back to work quickly or because you need to immediately hire someone to replace them if they cannot return,” says Skot. “Banks often require key person coverage so that their loans to a business are well protected and will be paid back if something happens to the business’s key person.”

Talk to your CA about your insurance needs. “Your CA can help determine how much coverage you should have for your inventory, property and equipment by advising your insurance broker on their value,” says Walker.

Adds Skot: “There are many different insurance products available and it can be very difficult for a layperson to determine what is necessary versus what is marketing. Your CA can help assess your risk, analyze the options and identify the right solution for you.”

This article was written by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario.


  1. My official corporate logo copyrighted in 1991 when I opened my boutique real estate company has been stolen by an internet magazine blogger who launched her magazine in 2014. She wrote a blog for an international travel cooking school company and the blog showing my name logo artwork (that’s not my handwriting in my logo but rather a graphic artist interpretation of my corporate name) and her blog for the cooking school got picked up by Travel Advisor and other sources.

    When I accidentally tripped over her picture on Google images on line, I notified the owner of the cooking school in Paris, France who denied ever knowing one “Carolyne XXXXX” but within hours of sending them a cease and desist email, the owner’s wife contacted me to say that this person wrote a “marketing blog” for the cooking school (using my stolen logo). This is not just my corporate name, but also my personal name, misused. She didn’t use her full name just her head shot photo with my logo beneath it “Carolyne.”

    I asked if the blog was a “work for hire” (a legal term), and the reply I got was instead from the husband, seeming to be the cooking school international travel owner telling me not to communicate with them further.

    As this is a true story I am able to use their Corp name but decided not to give them any free advertising.

    But I write this to say any of you with a website might want to engage the use of Copyscape to monitor uninvited duplication of your personal/corporate materials. There’s theft everyday on the Net.

    Oddly enough my stolen material logo the blogger used was rapidly removed from Google. I will check with the WayBack Machine to see when she first mounted my stolen logo on her Internet magazine under her photograph.

    Lots of things are stolen including REM stories, but when it’s your personal name as well as having been copyrighted, it is particularly nasty. I don’t believe for one minute that people think it’s okay to steal whatever is on the Internet and call it their own. Maybe thinking since she was far away in Paris France that I would not discover the theft.

    And to add insult to injury she had the nerve to say at her photo with my logo “protected by copyright.” RIGHT! My copyright. So clearly she understands copyright.

    I can’t help but wonder if I reproduced some of her magazine blog material and casually called it mine, what her reaction would be. She has yet to communicate with me. Copyright is indeed international. And clearly she is compensated by her affiliates on her blog.

    Of course it’s her name too, but that didn’t give her the right to use “my logo.” She could have used her own name in some other fashion but instead elected to take my “logo,” and publish it around the world.

    You can choose to print anything you like so long as it’s true. And this my situation is indeed true.

    Carolyne L

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