A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Keven Moore: Small business are lifeblood of our economy, need to protect from pitfall of no insurance

Small businesses are the lifeblood of our economy, and every major company was once a small business. Some of the more notable businesses started in a garage such as the likes as Amazon, Apple, Google, Harley Davidson, Disney, Mattel, Yankee Candle, Hewlett Packard, and more.

There are some 28 million small businesses in America and approximately 543K new businesses are started each month, of which 70 percent are owned and operated by a single person and 52 percent of these small businesses being home-based.

William Warfield in the booth (Photos provided)

William Warfield in the booth (Photos provided)

Many of these risk-taking entrepreneurially minded business owners get up every morning with the sole purpose to grow their business, take care of their customers and put food on the table. Far too often many of these business owners become too preoccupied with the daily grind to assess the risks exposures around them that could cause them to become one of the 50 percent of businesses that fail within the first five years.

On the night of January 13th (Friday the 13th) William Warfield ,the founder of www.Prepspin.com a digital sports casting network that is the official streaming media partner for the KHSAA, had just finished up working the LCA vs. Lafayette basketball game in Lexington and had dropped off at a local restaurant to grab a bite to eat.

When he returned to his vehicle he quickly discovered that his passenger side window had been shattered and that all of his broadcasting equipment and custom built laptop have been stolen.

A value of over $20K in equipment and a lifetime of work were ripped away, leaving him totally devastated. He didn’t have the equipment properly insured to have it replaced.

The scene of the theft . . .

The scene of the theft . . .

William Warfield is like millions of other small business owners; he is industrious, had a dream to take a risk and chased after it.

He started out streaming games just for fun in 2007 when streaming was new to everyone. He was working a full-time job and just wanted to give back to the local schools by streaming high school games and soon began providing audio coverage for free.

IHigh.com soon came calling and asked him to be a part of their team, until one day he found himself to be one of many laid off.

Not one to cry in his soup and with such friends as Tim Campbell and the Commissioner of the KHSSA Julian Tackett around him, he formed PrepSpin.com to begin streaming the KHSSA events and he never looked back. Since 2007 he has broadcast over 3000 games and became a contractor in 2013 to cover the National Junior College Athletic Association NJCAA in 2013.

Today he broadcasts all the KHSSA TV championship events on KHSSA.tv and he was the first to transmit the first ever HD video broadcast of high school sports in the state of Kentucky in both 720P & 1080P broadcast.

Like any good small business owner he kept reinvesting in his business and as his quality of video kept improving he was able to land more jobs. To date he has produced and broadcasted over 100 Division 1 college basketball games and even some SEC Network games for UK. In 2015 he was able to land the Lexington Legends contract streaming all home games to MiLB.com.

Set up at a game. . .

Set up at a game. . .

High School Sports is his passion and thru his coverage of local high school games and events he is able to help kids get noticed and give them the coverage that they deserve. His work has helped open doors for countless coaches and student athletes at the next level, while also promoting local schools and programs.

Talking to William on social media over the weekend, he said that the equipment was brand new and that it wasn’t covered by his insurance policy, and more importantly to him the material on the hard drive was priceless.

Far too often business owners don’t see the potholes that lay before them that can derail them from their dreams. They have completed all the heavy lifting to create a successful small business, but for whatever reason they don’t go that extra mile to protect their business and life blood. Many of these small business owners are natural born risk-takers and rarely ever slow down enough to assess the hazards around them because the path before them has finally become profitable.

For any small business owner the best way to safeguard what they have worked for is to make sure they have the right insurance coverage in place. This is a quick and easy process and could be the most important business decision that they will ever make, or it could be one of the biggest non decision that they will ever make.

It’s been said that if a small business can’t resume operations within 10 days following a natural disaster or unforeseen and uncovered event on their insurance policy such as this, then it probably won’t survive.

I didn’t question William any further as I didn’t want to throw any additional fuel on the fire. I suspect that he did have liability insurance policy for his business in order to work these events, but did not pick up any additional insurance to protect his equipment that would have been covered on a BOP policy for small business.

His equipment. . .

His equipment. . .

Many small business owners operate on a shoestring budget and insurance is simply a luxury that they can’t afford when they first get started, and once they start making money they forget to circle back around and pick it up. Usually after a loss such as this it quickly becomes a priority, but often times it’s too late because the damage is done.

Far too often many small business owners will solely rely on their Homeowners policy, thinking that their business equipment will be covered under this policy, which it is not. If William had picked up a BOP policy it would have been covered if it had been properly scheduled. If he had Loss-of-Income coverage also known as business interruption insurance it would have taken care of the damage done to his income as a result of the business being shut down until he could have his equipment replaced.

William agreed to allow me to use his story as a lesson for other small business owners to take the time to properly insure your dream and life blood. The local news has since carried his story and he has placed a reward out there to help find his equipment. He even made a plea on TV for the people responsible for this theft, to do the right thing and turn it in. He is forever optimistic and has called this a speed bump and has vowed to be back in the broadcasting booth soon.

A friend has since gone on to create a GoFundMe page with the hopes to help raise enough money to get William back on his feet and back in the broadcasting booth. From the looks of it he is well on his way, but will need some additional support to get him over that speed bump.

With any kind of luck I pray that William is able to recover his equipment, but the takeaway from this story is that you never want to rely on a GoFundMe account and the good graces of your community as your risk management plan, and as a small business owner you need to call your local insurance agent and get your business properly insured.

Be Safe My Friends


Keven Moore works in risk management services. He has a bachelor’s degree from University of Kentucky, a master’s from Eastern Kentucky University and 25-plus years of experience in the safety and insurance profession. He lives in Lexington with his family and works out of both the Lexington and Northern Kentucky offices. Keven can be reached at kmoore@roeding.com.

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