Kansas City, MO–(HISPANIC PR WIRE – PR NEWSWIRE)—January 15, 2008–The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) recently launched a comprehensive Spanish-language public education program to assist small businesses with information about business risks and insurance options.
According to a 2006 report issued by the U.S. Census Bureau, Hispanic-owned businesses grew by 31 percent between 1997 and 2002 – three times the national average for all businesses. Under the banner of Insure U for Small Business, the campaign includes an online education site, public service announcements and community outreach by state insurance departments.
The Insure U for Small Business curriculum, available in Spanish at http://www.insureUonline.org/smallbusiness, includes six categories of vital information to small businesses: workers’ compensation; group health and disability; business property and liability; commercial auto; group life and key person life; and home-based business insurance. After reviewing the curriculum’s helpful information, small business owners can test their knowledge using an online quiz. Upon successful completion, they can download an Insure U for Small Business en Español diploma.
“Small businesses are a major engine for our national economy, employing millions of Americans and generating immense economic activity,” said NAIC President and Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger. “Hispanic small business owners need to understand the array of business risks they face, as well as how to protect themselves with the right insurance coverage. Insure U for Small Business — supported by state insurance departments across the United States — will help small business owners and managers make smarter insurance decisions.”
Research conducted by the NAIC revealed that many small businesses — defined as those with fewer than 100 employees — are exposed to serious risks that could be mitigated by a better understanding of insurance options, according to Catherine J. Weatherford, NAIC Executive Vice President and CEO. Key findings of the research show:
— Only 47 percent of small businesses offer heath insurance to their employees. Of those, 24 percent report changing the fee structure, deductibles or other components in the past year to offset the rising cost of premiums.
— Only 59 percent of small businesses with fewer than 20 employees have workers’ compensation insurance, which state law requires for most companies.
— Only 35 percent of small businesses have business interruption insurance, which covers expenses such as payroll and utility bills that often continue after a major event (e.g., a fire or storm) shuts down a company.
— Only 48 percent of small businesses carry commercial auto insurance. The others apparently rely on their employees’ personal auto insurance. However, personal auto insurance policies typically have lower liability limits and might even exclude business-related liability.
— While 71 percent of small businesses indicated they are “very dependent” on one or two key people for their success and viability, only 22 percent have key person life insurance, a type of policy that enables a business to continue operations following the death of a key employee and/or buy out that key person’s heirs if ownership rights are involved.
— Among home-based businesses 48 percent depend on their homeowners insurance to protect their businesses. However, most homeowners insurance policies severely limit coverage of business property and might exclude business-related liability claims.
“Insure U for Small Business en Español represents a major commitment by the NAIC and its members — the chief insurance regulatory officials of the 50 states, the District of Columbia and five U.S. territories — to help Hispanic small business owners,” Weatherford said. “It builds on the momentum of the NAIC’s highly successful Insure U consumer education program, helping us educate and better protect additional segments of insurance consumers.”
The U.S. Treasury Department’s Financial Literacy and Education Commission has embraced Insure U and made the program part of its National Financial Education Network.
Para obtener más información visite http://www.InsureUonline.org/smallbusiness.
ABOUT THE NAIC
Headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) is a voluntary organization of the chief insurance regulatory officials of the 50 states, the District of Columbia and the five U.S. territories. The NAIC’s overriding objective is to assist state insurance regulators in protecting consumers and helping maintain the financial stability of the insurance industry by offering financial, actuarial, legal, computer, research, market conduct and economic expertise. Formed in 1871, the NAIC is the oldest association of state officials. For more than 135 years, state-based insurance supervision has served the needs of consumers, industry and the business of insurance at-large by ensuring hands-on, frontline protection for consumers, while providing insurers the uniform platforms and coordinated systems they need to compete effectively in an ever-changing marketplace. For more information, visit NAIC on the Web at: http://www.naic.org/press_home.htm