There are different factors to consider when choosing insurance coverage for your business. The type of business, location and number of employees can factor into the kind of insurance coverage needed when starting and maintaining a business. Below are just a few of the coverages to consider when looking for business insurance.
Small businesses make up a large portion of the United States economy and are the major employers of workers in the country. Because of the influence to our local communities, small businesses need insurance to keep their companies protected from potential risks that could prove financially damaging. As a small business owner, you have a busy schedule and as such you need to quickly understand the business insurance options available to you so that you are able to make the right choices for the unique needs of your business.
Business Owner Policy (BOP)
The majority of small businesses do not have high risk of catastrophic claims or lawsuits so their needs can be met with a business owner’s policy or BOP. This coverage features two of the most important policies – commercial general liability and property insurance. General liability protects companies from property damage and bodily injury claims while the property insurance protects assets such as buildings, furniture, equipment and inventory. Many insurance companies also add in business income insurance, which covers loss of income and business expenses when a company must temporarily close for repairs because of covered property damage like a flood.
Commercial Auto Insurance
As a business owner, you need the same kinds of insurance coverages for the car you use in your business as you do for a car used for personal travel — liability, collision and comprehensive, medical payments (known as personal injury protection in some states) and coverage for uninsured motorists. In fact, many business people use the same vehicle for both business and pleasure. If the vehicle is owned by the business, make sure the name of the business appears on the policy as the “principal insured” rather than your name. This will avoid possible confusion in the event that you need to file a claim or a claim is filed against you.
Whether you need to buy a business auto insurance policy will depend on the kind of driving you do. You will be asked questions about how you use vehicles in your business, who will be driving them and whether employees, if you have them, are likely to be driving their own cars for your business.
Here are some Myths about commercial auto from Progressive Insurance Company:
Myth: Your employees are covered when they drive your business vehicles.
This isn’t always true. Some insurers will only extend coverage to drivers who are named on the policy. Check and see if your insurer has something called “permissive use,” which means that all of your drivers are covered as long as they have your permission to operate the vehicle.
Myth: It’s cheaper to buy all of your business insurance products from the same insurance company.
Chances are you’re going to need a wide range of coverages to protect your business. Depending on what kind of work you do, you might need everything from commercial vehicle insurance and general liability to workers’ compensation. While it might be easier to buy all of these products from the same company, you could save big bucks by buying your policies from separate providers. Shop around to find the best deal, or ask your broker for quotes from multiple companies.
Professional Liability Insurance
Some small business owners need professional liability insurance also known as errors & omissions insurance (E&O). Depending on the profession, coverage is available in $1 million increments to provide protection from mistakes or faulty service. In the medical field, professional liability is known as medical malpractice. Professionals such as accountants, architects and engineers, real estate brokers and financial service representatives use E&O insurance for protection against bad advice, mistakes and errors that could harm client financially.
Excess Liability Insurance
Excess liability or umbrella policies provide additional insurance protection over and above the policy limits of a business owner policy. This extra safety net of coverage is available starting at $1 million limits and is most likely needed by companies in high risk industries or with significant assets to protect.
Workers’ Compensation Insurance
Most states require that companies with employees carry workers’ compensation insurance. This coverage will pay for medical treatment and lost wages of employees with work related injuries or illnesses.
Employment Practices Liability (EPLI)
While workers compensation helps employees with on the job injuries, employment practices liability is actually a coverage that protects the employer. When an employee alleges wrongful termination, discrimination, harassment or even breach of contract, employment practices coverage can help pay the legal defense and claim costs alleged against the business.
Let Us Guide You
Business insurance does not have to be complicated. You are great at your business and in turn so are we! Let our licensed insurance brokers discuss with you the specific coverage necessary to provide uncomplicated full insurance protection for your growing business. Call or email us today at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-347-5373.