Why Military And Veteran Entrepreneurs Need Small Business Insurance

A few years ago, the staff at USAA (the financial services company formally known as the United Services Automobile Association) kept hearing the same question: “Do You Offer Small Business Insurance?”

So, in January 2021, USAA is giving its members what they want and creating coverage available in 30 USAA-sponsored states.

Traditionally focused on providing military members and their families with personal lines of insurance, such as auto, life and home policies, USAA began helping people in 1922. It knows how to listen with the goal of accurately determining each person’s insurance needs — then tailoring policy to meet those requirements.

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Effective and efficient insurance coverage means protection from financial downturns, so it makes sense that USAA members should have one for their small business. In fact, entrepreneurship has become a growing career choice among those with a military affiliation. According to the Small Business Administration, veterans are 45% more likely to be self-employed than non-veterans. Additionally, military spouses choose to launch businesses, in part, to overcome the ongoing employment challenges that frequent PCS moves can present.

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Larry Williams, USAA’s Vice President of Small Business Insurance, said it’s a trend that may continue as the outbreak approaches its third year.

“We are seeing the growth of small businesses coming out of the global pandemic. Also, the percentage of veteran-owned businesses appears to be growing at a faster rate than the general population,” Williams said. “We’re really excited as we head into the next 100 years to roll out this new small business policy. We stand by our mission to offer a complete line of competitive products for the military.”

Does every military or veteran entrepreneur need small business insurance?

Yes, says Sean Scaturro, director of insurance advisory at USAA. He noticed some owners thought they were too small to worry him. For example, a photographer might think, ‘It’s just me. What could happen?’ Scaturro believes it may be mistake No. 1 done by entrepreneurs. Protect your financial well-being, no matter your size, advises Scaturro.

“You almost have to be a little cynical, to be able to assess the risks you might be facing,” he said of small business owners. “And if we can’t be cynical ourselves, we need to pick up the phone and talk to an expert who can assess all the threats. USAA answers questions from business owners and also asks questions that business owners don’t always know to ask.”

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They need to consider the size of their business; how it is legally structured; how many, if any, employees; current income; assets; liability; potential harm; and development potential.

Williams knows it can be difficult to find time to analyze all the details: Business owners work all day because they build the things they create. Then many take care of their families in the evening and go back to managing their business after that. Investigating USAA’s coverage is one task they can complete then — or at any time.

“We see quite a few of our members interacting with us after hours. We sell policies all night long, which is probably when they finally have time,” Williams said. Visiting usaa.com/smallbusiness makes it easy. Answer a few questions, and business owners find out what insurance options are available.

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However, doing so is not a deal.

Owners should think about how their business has changed — or will change soon — at least once a year. Next, they should check in with their insurance agent and adjust their policy to match their business plan.

Williams grew up in a family of entrepreneurs, learning at a young age that small businesses are “the driver of the economy,” he insists. When a small business owner also has ties to the military, he feels an even greater pull to help them.

“I want us to protect their American dream because they put their lives on the line to protect our dream,” he said. “It’s very personal to me that we are there for those members when they need us the most.

Visit usaa.com/smallbusiness to get started

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