I've Got a Business Owner's Policy. What Else Should I Consider?
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A Business Owner’s Policy bundles two foundational policies into one package…

  • General Liability Insurance. Facing a third-party lawsuit over bodily injury, property damage, or copyright infringement? Never fear. General Liability can cover court costs, lawyers’ fees, and settlements or judgements.
  • Commercial Property Insurance. A vandalized storefront? A fire that burns your inventory to ashes? Property Insurance can pay to repair or replace stolen, lost, or damaged business assets.

If you have a BOP, you may feel pretty invincible – after all, its policies are insurance staples for a reason. And though a BOP has many merits – among them, reliable protection and an affordable premium – there are some things it can't cover. For example, as your business grows, you may want to explore other policies to guard against your additional risks.

Insurance Beyond the BOP

If you have a BOP to take care of your basic commercial insurance needs, what’s next? That depends on your individual business. Insurance isn’t a one-size-fits-all type of purchase. An accounting firm’s needs are vastly different from a general contractor’s.

With that in mind, here are a few policies your business might want that are not included in a Business Owner’s Policy…

  • Errors & Omissions Insurance. This policy addresses your professional liability risks, such as when customers claim you made errors in your work. Say you’re accountant and your client accuses you of making a mistake on their taxes. If they sue you over the tax penalty they end up paying, E&O Insurance can cover your legal expenses.
  • Workers’ Compensation Insurance. This coverage pays for employees' medical expenses, replacement wages, and death or disability benefits if they are injured on the job. For example, say an assistant clerk at your pet store slips in front of the fish tanks, breaking her wrist. Your policy can pay for the ambulance ride, treatment, therapy, and some lost wages if she’s unable to work right away. Many states require employers to carry Workers’ Comp, even if they only have a few employees. Workers' Comp laws vary from state to state, so ask your insurance agent about your legal obligations.
  • Employment Practices Liability Insurance. This policy kicks in when prospective, current, or former employees sue your business over discrimination, harassment, or wrongful termination. Say you want to hire someone to help with stocking your store. Among your applicants is a petite woman who can’t reach the high shelves easily. You like her, but you ultimately decide to hire a tall man who won’t need a step ladder, which reduces the chance of injury. The woman slaps you with a discrimination lawsuit for not hiring her because of her gender. EPLI can help you out in this situation, covering your attorney fees, court costs, and settlements or judgments.

If you’re not sure which insurance policies are appropriate for your business, talk to your insurance agent. Not only do they know all things insurance, but they can also explain the different coverages to you in plain English.

Business Owner's Policy: Further Reading