Voice Acting & Insurance / Part 3
Insurance for Business Continuation
& Disability Keeps Cash Flowing If ...
By Keith Michaels
Voice Actor & Insurance Specialist
Read Part 1: Personal vs. Business Insurance
Read Part 2: Liability Insurance
In Part 2 of this series, I discussed liability insurance and how it can protect you from lawsuits from third parties, and errors and omissions in the operation of your business.
In this third and final article, I'll talk about how to keep your income flowing in the event an insurable loss affects your business.
What is a covered peril? An insurable event - or "covered peril" - is insurance speak for a loss that is not excluded by your insurance policy.
When we talk about business income continuation insurance, a typical insurable event would be a fire that destroys your business, or prevents you from continuing your operations.
Business income continuation (BIC) is insurance that pays you what you typically earned before the business was stopped by the insurable loss. It replaces lost income at a time you need it most.
For voice actors, this typically would be a natural event, such as fire, tornado, etc.
There are various formulas for calculating business income replacement, such as "actual loss sustained," which will determine exactly how much money your policy will pay out.
Most business income policies also have endorsements that will cover you in the event you lose electricity, telephone services, or water services.
Since we as voice actors don't rely on water to run our business, we would not need that coverage. but phone and power are critical.
FOR EXAMPLE ...
So let's say a car veers off the road two miles away from your house and crashes into a power box or telephone pole, and knocks out power to you and your neighbors for two days.
Will your policy respond? Probably not.
Most policies carry a 72-hour "waiting period," which is a nice term for "deductible."
But if you lose power due to a covered peril for more than 72 hours, then your policy will respond, and typically pay benefits from Day 1.
Keep in mind that not all business income continuation policies are the same. Each insurance company has different events they will cover, and different deductible criteria.
Speak with your insurance agent about which policy is best for you.
Also, you may not be able to buy a stand-alone BIC policy. Most BIC policies come packaged within a business owners insurance policy.
Keep in mind, too, that you'll need verifiable financial statements in order to apply for this coverage. And some policies require a minimum amount of income earned in order to qualify.
WHAT IF YOU'RE INJURED?
Disability insurance is another form of business income continuation, and many people overlook it.
If your voice acting business is not big enough to qualify for BIC insurance, or the premiums seem too high, you may want to think about disability insurance.
Even those who sit at a computer all day long, like you and I, can still run the risk of a disability.
A disability can strike a person's head, hands, arms, shoulder or back as easily as it can strike lower on their body.
DISABILITY COVERAGE ...
Disability usually covers disease and sickness, too. This insurance can play a very important role in your business, and premiums are typically affordable, depending on your age and the type of industry you are in, or the kind of job you perform.
Disability insurance will pay you a set amount of money each month, usually until age 65 if the disability is permanent.
Speak to a qualified life and disability insurance agent about the many options available.
As we say in the business, that's a wrap!
Thank you for taking time to read my articles and I sincerely hope I have enlightened you on insurance for your voice over business. As always, feel free to send me email if you have any questions on these topics.
ABOUT KEITH ...
Keith Michaels is a 25-year veteran of broadcasting and voice acting, and owns Keith Michaels Voice Imaging in Tampa, FL. He is also a licensed property and casualty agent. After leaving broadcasting in 2002, he started a new career in commercial insurance, but always maintained a home studio to stay active. He currently works full-time as a voice actor and producer.
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