You’ve finally done it – become your own boss and started a business. You’re in charge of your future. Hard work, determination, and drive, mixed with great customer service and an amazing product or service, are all you’re going to need to succeed.
Actually, no, you need something more. You need protection for yourself and your business. You need insurance for your business.
Before you think of this as yet another expense, insurance protects you and your business. Depending on the type of business you operate, your insurance needs and costs will vary.
TYPES OF COMMERCIAL INSURANCE
For businesses that have multiple employees, products, and maybe even a few company vehicles, your insurance needs will vary from a consultant who works out of a coffee shop or a home office.
- General Liability insurance protects your products and operations. Think of the customer who gets food poisoning in a restaurant or a shopper who slips and falls in a store.
- Errors & Omissions, also known as E and O, is used mainly for anyone marketing themselves as an expert who offers consulting services. This insurance covers legal fees and defense costs. An example of a business who needs this insurance are real estate agents who may be sued by a buyer or seller in a transaction that doesn’t end well.
- Commercial Auto insurance is needed if you have company vehicles that are operated by yourself or your employees.
- Workers Compensation is required by law for any business with employees.
- Employment Practices Liability is used for sexual harassment, discrimination, and hostile workplace claims, as well as claims of unfair employment practices.
- Medical Malpractice is something to consider if your business sells or creates products that are regulated by the FDA.
- Commercial Excess Liability, or an umbrella policy, is extra insurance to be used if you exceed the limits of your general liability or business auto insurance policies.
- Cyber Theft insurance protects your business against cyber theft or fraudulent wire transfers against your business bank account.
- Commercial Property insurance covers your building, personal property, office equipment, and inventory to name a few against loss or damage.
- Data Breach insurance is ideal for businesses that house sensitive data about customers, clients, or employees. If a breach occurs, this insurance protects the business against loss.
- Directors and Officers insurance is something to consider for companies with a Board of Directors to protect the members of the board against the actions they make that affect the profitability or operations of the company.
Lowering the Costs
The costs will vary depending on what type of business you operate, what kind of product or service you provide, and if you have any employees. One option for keeping your insurance costs low is to consider a Business Owner’s Policy (BOP) which is a bundled package of required or recommended coverage for a business. It often includes business interruption insurance, property insurance, vehicle coverage, and liability coverage. Bundling coverage in a BOP may qualify for discounts.
The best way to make sure you pay only what you should for your commercial insurance is to speak with a qualified, professional insurance agent. The agent will help you assess your business hazards, help you understand all your options and how each type of coverage works. Having the best information will help you make the most informed decision. An independent agent can also get estimates for you to help you make sure you get the best possible price.
When you’re ready to determine your business insurance needs and get the best coverage to protect you and your business, contact us. We’re here to help.