It’s a new year, so let’s indulge in a bit of forecasting. Let’s say those two calling birds your true love sent you on the second day of Christmas took to each other and began producing little calling birds. You see an opportunity to operate a home business selling calling birds on the Internet. The business takes wing and before long you have a soaring operation. Wisely, you got general liability business insurance. Good move. But you failed to foresee some of the other risks to your new business, so you didn’t purchase product recall insurance or inland marine cargo coverage. Now you have a real mess on your hands.
First of all, an entire shipment of your calling birds was involved in an accident on the interstate. Inland marine cargo insurance would have provided coverage for damage, destruction or loss of your insured property. A standard inland marine cargo policy covers such shipments for perils including theft, fire, lightning, flood, windstorm, collisions, bridge collapse and if the transporting vehicle turned over. You didn’t have your delivery trucks, so you figured you didn’t need this coverage. Worse, you assumed your third-party shipper had your back. But the cut-rate company you used did not have this coverage. Too bad, because it would have covered the shipper for liability exposure for damage or destruction to your property while it was in the shipper’s care, custody or control. Next time, if there is a next time, take out your own inland marine cargo coverage, and insist that anyone shipping your calling birds also produce proof of coverage.
Another disaster you neglected to foresee was an outbreak of a rare avian disease that could be passed on to humans. Your calling birds are making their owners sick. Product recall insurance would have come in really handy. It would have supplemented your product liability insurance coverage and paid for the costs you’re about to incur retrieving and safely disposing of all those ailing birds. It would have also helped cover the public relations campaign you’ll have to mount to repair (or at least limit) the damage to your company’s reputation, credibility and image. Alas, in your zeal to get rich quick off those calling birds you are now looking at bankruptcy.
The moral of this cautionary tale: always consult a business insurance professional to assess all your risks and exposure. Then get competitive quotes for all your business insurance needs.