Jack of all trades?

I feel like I’ve been getting a lot of calls lately from general consultants inquiring about insuring themselves for a wide array of services provided.

• An Emergency Management Consultant/IT Consultant/Auto Consultant.

• A Software Developer tossing the idea around of construction staffing services.

• A Marketing Consultant/Producer/Event Planner

I think the ambition is great, but there needs to be some degree of caution taken in regards to liability exposure. Insurance policies aren’t intended to be written as “one size fits all.”

Insurance carriers look at your business entity (sole proprietor, LLC, corp, etc) when underwriting a risk. Underneath that entity, they want to know what types of business operations are being carried out. Most businesses tend to fall under one general classification, but offer a wide array of services. For example, an IT consultant may do software development, website design, and web hosting services. No big deal, a single general liability or professional liability policy can probably be written with ease to cover these related services.

However, if you’re a handyman/marketing consultant/inflatable bouncer rental guy, then you should consider different entities for each line of business. Insurance carriers all have their own appetites as to which types of risks they like to write, so if you’re all over the board, your coverage options are limited.

If it’s too much time, trouble, or money for you to start a new business entity, then consider taking a step back and concentrate on what you do best with and focus your efforts there.  Once you find success and business is rolling, then start exploring other opportunities if that’s your passion. Taking it one step at a time might not be such a bad thing.

As the saying goes, “Jack of all trades, master of none.” You can be a Jack of all trades, but be smart about it and know your exposures.

-JK

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About Jim Kinmartin - CA Small Business Insurance Agent/Broker

Jim is a California licensed Property & Casualty AND Accident & Health insurance agent working at the ISU - Olson Duncan Insurance brokerage in Torrance, CA. He grew up in Fullerton, CA and graduated from Servite High School in Anaheim and Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles and currently lives in Long Beach, CA. Have questions? Just ask! Or, follow Jim on Twitter at @JimKinmartin

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