Do you own your own business? Is it family operated? Do you have a plan for the continuation of your business if the worst would happen? What would happen to your business in the case of extended illness, disability and even death?
What really amazes me is that the majority of business owners do not have a business continuation plan set up and/or never really even thought about it.
If you are a mom-and-pop business, will Mom be able to operate the business without you if something drastic happens, or will the business just close its doors? If this is the scenario that happens, what’s Mom going to do to survive?
I have had customers tell me “Well, the kids will help her keep it going.” What if the kids have no experience in the business or they live out of town? Maybe the kids have no interest in the business. Can the business be sold without the expertise from the primary person that would be doing the training for the new owners? Even though this example places all the burden on Pop, these are the same questions asked if Mom was the primary person.
This scenario is not just limited to small mom-and-pop businesses. Larger companies with presidents, vice presidents, chief executive officers, chief finance officers and chairmen of the board are not immune to this same possibility. We do not get to pick or choose when we get sick, injured or die. Game plans should be put in place to protect the business and/or partners against the unforeseen.
I have a client who told me that he needed more life insurance. During our discussion, his wife, who works with him in the business, came in and started asking questions on how much life insurance he was getting. After much discussion, some of the facts that emerged were, that if something happened to him, she could not keep the business open on her own because of licenses and education. She would be sunk without him as far as the business goes. She went on to say that she was already too old to start another career. Bottom line, he needs to purchase enough life insurance to offset the loss of his income and protect his family if the worst happened.
The above example is just one of the many uses of life insurance to protect the family in the case of an unexpected death. There are different scenarios for business owners to consider, whether you’re a mom and pop business or a corporation. It would be wise to look into buy/sell agreements, key man insurance, disability insurance and business continuation insurance.
Kim Cummins, the life and health specialist for Des Champs & Gregory Inc. with offices in Bradenton and Lakewood Ranch, specializes in individual life and health, and employee benefit plans. He can be reached at (941) 748-1812.