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Business Insurance

Starting and running a business can be exciting and rewarding. But every small business owner knows it comes with risks. These risks can result in significant financial loss. The potential for loss and liability is a natural consequence of doing business. The potential for loss includes the following situations:

  • Destruction of business assets
  • Injury of a customer on your premises
  • Theft
  • Vandalism
  • Injury of a worker on the job

Insurance for your business should play a critical role in your company's risk management. Liability policies meet insurance needs by protecting policyholders from losses. To protect yourself against these events, you must carry adequate and appropriate business insurance.

Read on to learn how commercial business insurance can protect your business.

What Is Business Insurance?

We are all familiar with insurance. You likely have personal insurance such as:

  • Homeowners' insurance
  • Umbrella insurance
  • Health insurance
  • Life insurance

It's critical to have insurance for small businesses, too. Business insurance comes in a variety of flavors. It includes any insurance that protects your business and assets from unexpected events. Business insurance guards against risks that face your company and can protect business income.

Insurance companies offer several types of coverage to protect small business owners.

Types of Business Insurance

To be fully protected, a business owner should have appropriate levels of casualty insurance. Casualty insurance is a broad category of liability coverage.

It includes property insurance, liability insurance, and workers' compensation insurance.

Property Insurance

Property damage is an unfortunate reality for business owners. Insurance policies can reimburse business owners for damage to business assets and property.

Specialized types of business property insurance include coverage for:

  • Boilers
  • Machinery
  • Other equipment

Business owners can also purchase insurance policies to cover glass. In such a case, the insurer would reimburse the business for broken store windows.

It's also good for business owners to maintain a crime insurance policy. Such a policy allows the company to recover in the event of theft. It also covers a burglary or robbery.

Liability Insurance

It's critical for businesses to carry adequate liability insurance coverage. Liability insurance protects the company from liability to third parties. For example, suppose you own a store. A customer sustains an injury when they fall while shopping. Your business could face a personal injury lawsuit in this situation. Defending against a claim could devastate your business if you're not adequately insured.

Workers' Compensation Insurance

Workers' compensation insurance protects workers. It protects them against illnesses and injuries sustained while on the job. Workers' comp is state-mandated. Each state has its own workers' compensation insurance program. Workers' compensation insurance covers the injured worker's expenses, including:

  • Medical care
  • Replacement income
  • Costs for retraining
  • Compensation for permanent injury
  • Benefits to survivors of a worker killed on the job

Notably, workers' compensation benefits don't include pain and suffering. Also, workers can't sue the employer for an injury or illness when they accept workers' compensation benefits.

Business Owners Policy (BOP)

A business owner's policy can meet your business needs in several ways. It provides critical coverage across multiple areas. A BOP includes the following:

  • Comprehensive general liability (CGL) insuranceCGL insurance covers any liability your business owes to others. This coverage pays for legal costs and judgments against you and your company. It also provides coverage for reputational damage. This includes copyright infringement, libel, and slander.
  • Commercial property insurance: This type of coverage covers business items, including business inventory, supplies, and office furniture. Business property insurance is another name for commercial property insurance.
  • Business interruption insurance: This type of insurance helps businesses recover lost business income if your company can't operate because of a covered problem.

Often, purchasing BOP can be less expensive than buying separate policies providing the same coverage.

Other Types of Business Insurance

Depending on the nature of your business, there are other types of commercial insurance to consider. They include the following:

  • Errors and omissions: This type of policy covers inadvertent mistakes or failures that cause injury to a third party.
  • Data breach and cyber liability insurance: This type of insurance protects against risks from using technology. These risks include data breaches, cyberattacks, and hacking.
  • Malpractice insurance/professional liability insurance: If you offer professional services, you need professional malpractice coverage. It protects the business from legal liability that comes with the work. If a company conducts professional services, malpractice insurance offers protection. These include medical or legal services. For example, if an employee's conduct falls below the profession's standard of care and you are sued, it could be a covered loss.
  • Commercial automobile insurance: If your business has company cars, trucks, or vans, you'll want adequate commercial auto insurance policies. Commercial automobile insurance provides property coverage. It also provides bodily injury and medical expenses depending on your selected coverage level. It can also protect your business automobiles from theft and other damages.

Small Business Insurance Cost

A licensed insurance agent can help. They will connect you with the right coverage for your needs. An experienced insurance agent can also provide an insurance quote so you can compare terms and prices. Getting a quote is the best way to estimate your business insurance costs.

Generally speaking, high-risk industries pay more than lower-risk industries. For example, a construction business would pay more than a low-risk operation, such as an accounting consultant working at home. Other factors that influence cost include:

  • Location
  • Claims history
  • Building age and size
  • Number of employees
  • Amount of coverage
  • Types of coverage

Finding the appropriate business insurance products is crucial for any small business owner.

Get Legal Help With Business Insurance Issues

Business insurance policies protect you from business liabilities. The law requires some types of business insurance. You must understand your obligations. Speaking to an insurance lawyer is prudent if you need legal help with small business insurance. Find an experienced insurance law attorney in your area today.

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