Without a thorough evaluation of its business model, any manufacturer can be severely threatened by an economic downturn. While devising creative solutions to keep your business running despite unfavorable economic conditions, keep in mind that changes to your business can result in changes to your liability exposure.
Facing Your Supply Chain
It’s no secret that the financial security of your business hinges on that of your partners, vendors and suppliers and that in tough times, everyone is looking for a way to cut costs.
Never rely on the insurance coverage of your business partners to protect your assets or protect against third-party liability claims. In the event of financial insolvency, a business’s upstream partner organizations could eventually be held liable for claims filed against it. However, healthy, well-insured partner organizations are no substitute for comprehensive liability coverage for your business.
Ultimately, in order to protect your company it may be a smart long-term investment to expand your coverage limits. While many businesses may opt to cut costs by lowering their coverage, dropping coverage could result in paying out of pocket for an expensive claim caused by suppliers’ shortcomings. If you are involved in outsourcing or are considering this option to mitigate costs, first talk to Phelan Insurance Agency about covering the associated risks.
In a turbulent economic climate, it is more important than ever to have thorough, seamless contracts. They should clearly outline the obligation of each party and discuss dispute resolution policies so that if something goes wrong, you avoid a messy and expensive disagreement.
It is never a good business decision to sign a contract hastily, but especially in difficult economic times be sure to look into all the risks and legal ramifications. Small companies who partner with larger companies are often strong-armed into making decisions with which they are not completely comfortable.
In many cases, change is the best way of reacting to an economic crisis. It allows you to explore and exploit new customer bases and offer additional products or services. While expanding in either of these ways can revolutionize your business and keep you afloat in tough times, it could also expose you to additional liability.
When you experiment with new products or services, you will inevitably face a learning curve, which puts you at a larger risk of facing product liability claims. You may want to consider purchasing additional lines of coverage to protect yourself, as your surplus lines insurance policy may only cover claims arising from one particular product.
By the same token, shifting or expanding your client base may put you at risk of unexpected class action lawsuits. The same product or service may evoke disparate reactions in different sectors of the market. This is another instance in which it is important to be covered for potential liabilities resulting from a change in your business. Contact us today to be sure your plan for escaping an economic downturn unscathed does not backfire.
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