By Tricia Hancock, CLTC, LTC/DI/Medicare Supervisor, Underwriters Marketing Service
A few weeks ago I wrote about employees facing the fear of losing their paycheck due to their own injury or illness. During these times, as agents, many of us were thinking about employees and the uncertainty they face with paychecks, such as when will they be back in the office?
As I write this, I am also thinking about what the small business owner is going through. They are just as concerned about how can they keep their business open, not just today, but 6 months and a year from now. How will they keep all their employees on payroll with businesses that are opened reducing hours? How are they going to pay rent on an office that might be sitting empty? They are also thinking beyond this pandemic to the long-term. What would happen to their business if the doors could open but they weren’t able to drive revenue into the business? How long would it stay open? Where do you begin? To start, think about these types of businesses and the problems they face. For example, think about the dentist. If they can’t see patients, how long can they pay the receptionist and hygienist? Also think of the contractor. What if they can’t go to a location for estimates? How many jobs do they have lined up and when would the business suffer? Think of the local bakery if the owner / baker can’t come to work? How will they pay for a temporary replacement or will they have to close? Ask your business owner clients what would happen to their business if they couldn’t go in and unlock the door each morning for 6 months, would the doors be opening a year from then? How long could the business continue to make payroll? The answers probably won’t surprise you. So, what can we do to help business owners in this situation, where business interruption insurance won’t help? There is Business Overhead Expense (BOE). BOE pays a benefit directly to the business for covered expenses, like most of the payroll, rent, insurance, utilities, supplies so the business can remain open while the owner is disabled so there is a business to return to when they recover. Having BOE means the owner does not have to worry about payroll, having to lay off valuable employees. The rent, phone bills, internet, equipment leases will be paid with the benefit that is paid directly to the business to keep the business afloat during those times. Let’s talk today about how you can help your business owners protect their business if they become ill or are injured.