Before You Get BOP Insurance: Taking a Business Inventory

Businessman taking a business inventory in a warehouse.Once a business goes from ideas on paper to business cards or from hobby to storefront, it’s time to invest in a BOP – Business Owners Policy. And one of the most important parts of that coverage? Insuring your business’s property. Furnishings, computers, and specialized equipment can all add up, and a disaster such as fire, theft, or flood can end your business without coverage. And one of the most important parts of getting the right BOP is taking a business inventory.

What is a Business Inventory?

A business inventory is a centralized list of all your businesses property – generally tangible assets – complete with as much information about the objects (crucial data such as the items name, condition, cost, date purchased, and serial number – if applicable) and records including receipt, lease, and documentation of conditional changes. This can include both purchased or leased property, including your building or offices.

What Property to Include in a Business Inventory?

It can be daunting to think of everything you use for work and how much it’ll take to inventory. However, you’ll be surprised how easy it goes once you break it down. Just like with a home inventory, you’re looking at your big-ticket items. Below is some commonly insured property:

  • Building (Owned or Leased): Where you run your business. This can include other features like outbuildings, parking lots, etc. If you work from home, you may need a different policy.
  • Exterior and Interior Fixtures: If you’ve got significant signage, fencing, or electronics like cameras or satellite dishes, include those, especially if exposed to weather or theft.
  • Furniture: Including things you have in bulk (such as desks, chairs, etc.), even if they are leased.
  • Electronics: Desktop computers, laptops, phone systems, work smartphones, point of sale systems, or other expensive, work-only devices.
  • Specialty Equipment: If you own niche appliances for your business, these are probably some of the most critical property you own (and the hardest to replace).
  • Bulk Supplies: While you shouldn’t inventory every paperclip or fork of your business, if you keep large amounts of bulk supplies or goods, it may be worth insuring.

How To Take a Business Inventory

Creating a business inventory list serves many purposes, such as tracking the properties associated with your business, keeping equipment maintenance schedules, and simplifying item storage. Here are some tips on how to start your business inventory list:

  • Use a Digital Spreadsheet: Using a computer application like Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets, or a point-of-sale system is the easiest way to track your inventory. Save your documents to the cloud so you can access the inventory in the event your business’s premises are inaccessible.
  • Record Relevant Contacts: At the top of the spreadsheet, add relevant contacts, such as who tends to the list, the vendors responsible for product delivery, and your insurance agent or carrier information.
  • Identify the Important Data: Determine which information is crucial to your lists, such as item names, the condition of your equipment, the amount the items were purchased for, and the date they were bought.
  • Take Inventory: The final step is filling in the spreadsheet with all necessary equipment and products on your premises. Enlist the help of employees to find out when the business’s property was last serviced or maintained to ensure all information is accurate.

Learn more about the process in our How to Build a Business Inventory List blog!

Whether you’re an established business or just turning your hobby into your full-time job, you’ll need to back that business inventory with great business owners insurance. Here at TJ Woods Insurance, our agents can help you get your business ready to be insured and pair you with the best business insurance for your needs. Ready to get started? Contact us today.