How to Customize Your Business Owner’s Policy
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How & Why to Customize Your BOP Insurance

People like options. And why wouldn’t they? Take, for example, the popularity of a build-your-own sundae bar, where consumers get to choose the type of ice cream, waffle cone, and toppings (from traditional sprinkles to fruit and hot fudge sauce). The possibilities are dizzying – and delicious.

Small business insurance may not have the literal tastiness of a sundae, but the ability to customize your plan can surely whet your appetite. Feel like a Business Owner’s Policy? Good choice! It's made expressly for low-risk small businesses and offers you the following two policies at a discounted rate:

  • General Liability Insurance, which covers third-party lawsuits over bodily injury, property damage, and advertising injury. It can pay for court costs, lawyers’ fees, and settlements or judgements.
  • Property Insurance, which can replace or repair your business property when you’re left reeling from theft, vandalism, fire, and some weather damage.

Pretty sweet, huh? But no sundae is complete without additional toppings.

I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for a Customized BOP

You can customize your BOP to fit your business’s specific needs with riders or endorsements. Think of a rider as a topping on your BOP sundae – you “sprinkle” it on your primary BOP to add insurance protection for different risks. For example, you can usually add the following riders to your Business Owner’s Policy:

  • Business Interruption Insurance. If a covered Property claim forces your business to close its doors temporarily, this coverage can help you pay for ongoing expenses when you can't generate revenue. It can also help you cover lost income when your business’s primary supplier shuts down for a spell and you can't access supplies or inventory.
  • Hired and Non-Owned Auto Insurance. If you or your employees travel for your business, this coverage can supplement or replace car rental liability coverage. (Note: this policy will not cover physical damage to a rented vehicle.) It also addresses your business's liability if your employees have an accident in their personal vehicles while carrying out work errands.
  • Commercial Auto Insurance. If your business owns a vehicle, this coverage can pay for medical costs, repair costs, and legal expenses related to an auto accident.
  • Cyber Liability Insurance. If your business experiences a data breach, your policy can protect you from the costly aftermath. It can cover the expense of credit-monitoring services, patching your security, and notifying affected parties.
  • Liquor Liability Insurance. If your business sells or serves alcohol to customers, this coverage can step in when a drunk patron hurts someone and you're held accountable for the damages. Some states require businesses that serve or sell alcohol to carry this coverage because of the high risk involved.
  • Inland Marine Insurance. If you transport goods or travel with tools and equipment, this coverage can insure those items. If they’re lost, damaged, or stolen while in transit or at another location, Inland Marine coverage can pay for replacement and repair costs.
  • Damage from natural disasters. Most BOPs do not cover property damage caused by natural disasters (e.g., earthquakes, hurricanes, or floods). Adding a specific endorsement for a weather event can fill this gap.
  • Spoilage Insurance. If you sell perishable products such as food or flowers, this coverage can protect you from losses when an equipment breakdown, contamination, or power outage causes your products to spoil.

Insurance Options: The Cherry on Top

With so many BOP endorsements to choose from, making a decision about what your business needs can be overwhelming. Though you can't sample policies like you would ice cream at a parlor, you can talk to your insurance agent to help you identify supplemental coverage that can boost your BOP's protection. 

Business Owner's Policy: Further Reading