I am not an insurance person, agent, adjuster, or broker. What I have experienced is the interaction that happens because of accidents. I am talking about a company driver, police, on-lookers, attorneys, and insurance.

When you are a small business owner in Tampa, accidents are a fact of business life.

You might even consider me an almost expert in the field.

A few Saturdays ago, the commercial carpet cleaning at an account 15 miles away was arranged. Unfortunately, while in route, an accident involving our company van, two technicians, and the driver of another other vehicle occurred..

A driver without insurance. A driver who freely admitted, “my brakes don’t work.” Which made perfect sense since this person rear-ended the company van at a stop.

Do I turn this into insurance? Absolutely no! And this decision will not change no matter how much damage our van has because insurance, at least here in Florida, is about protecting other drivers. Other drivers willingly sue business owners because, they can.

This last year we experienced an unusually high occurrence of fender benders to company vehicles. And these fender benders range from rear-end, backside, and back wheel collusions. What a way to spend insurance dollars!

Only, we don’t! We do not use insurance funds to do our repairs. We absorb the costs. And do much of the repairs in-house.

Insurance dollars are for the other driver, the driver who wants money to cover repairs, and the lofty idea of fairness.

I learned from reports that fault does not often lie with our drivers. Sure, we make mistakes, but lately, it has been a matter of being in front of a driver who made a wrong decision.

The simple truth is that business insurance money is about paying out to the other drivers and not paying to loyal contract insurance holders. And I pay strict attention to that policy, which I learned through painful discussions with insurance adjusters.

Once I understood business insurance, I slept better and had no more worries about what if, what how, and what cost. The formula is this simple.

Owner Business Insurance = pay for the other driver, not associated with the business.

You may ask, why continue in small business with these escalating and out-of-control costs?

Crazy, I guess!

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Marleen Geyen

The best part of me shows up in my writing about business ownership, leadership, family, personal relationships, travel and what I learn from human interaction.