Insurance for North Carolina Businesses
North Carolina is a beautiful state for your business to call home. From the forested western Appalachians to the sandy eastern Outer Banks, the state offers gorgeous views and a growing economy for you and your business. Best of all, in case you haven’t heard, Blackbeard’s ship Queen Anne’s Revenge was run aground near Beaufort about three hundred years ago, so you don’t have to worry about pirates.
Though much of North Carolina’s economy is driven by farming, agriculture, and tourism, opportunities are opening up for many different industries, including biotechnology and engineering. It’s a good time to be a small business in the Tar Heel State.
Keep in mind, though, that there are two things that might happen when you start a business in North Carolina. The first is that your business will be a success, and it will take off like the Wright brothers’ first flight (but hopefully last a lot longer). The second option is that it won’t be successful, and your business will be lost to history, otherwise known as the Roanoke outcome. Hopefully that’s not the case.
One way to help make sure your business doesn’t become the “lost colony” is to have small business insurance. It can make all the difference in saving a business from unexpected disasters.
Keeping Your North Carolina Business Insurance Costs Low
Who said you have to cut corners to cut costs? Here are some pointers for keeping your insurance rates low, while still adequately protecting your business:
- Don't insure yourself under your Workers' Comp plan. Though you can elect to cover yourself, you'll reduce the price of your plan if you only insure your employees.
- Choose a cash-value Property policy. Property Insurance is typically available in two forms: cash-value and replacement-value coverage. Cash value costs less because it pays only what your items would be worth at the time of the claim. Replacement-value coverage compensates you for what your items would be worth brand-new.
- Carry Umbrella Liability Insurance. If you want to boost your protection plan without your rates skyrocketing, consider an Umbrella policy. For an affordable annual premium, you can cushion multiple policies' limits by millions.
North Carolina: Where Small Businesses Get Their Wings
North Carolina's economy is propelled by tourism. In fact, in 2012, the state reported record visitor spending at $19.4 billion. That's a five percent increase from 2011. Tourism also generates $970.4 million in state and $579.4 million in local tax revenue. All in all, these numbers mean that North Carolina is only behind California, Florida, Texas, New York, and Pennsylvania in terms of visitors per year. (Read more about North Carolina's booming tourism scene in the North Carolina Department of Commerce's guide, "Fast Facts: 2012 Impact of Visitor Spending.")
All this traffic means your North Carolina-based business has plenty of opportunity to draw people to its doors. But on the other hand, this increased traffic also means your business is more likely to encounter a premises liability claim. Say, for instance, someone enters your shop, trips over the welcome mat, and breaks a leg. They could sue you for medical expenses simply because the accident happened on your commercial property.
No matter what industry you’re in, you need to plan for the unexpected. That's why North Carolina businesses of all walks benefit from a strategic business protection plan. And our expert agents at insureon can help you find the small business insurance policies that account for your business's most pressing risks.
North Carolina Businesses: Which Insurance Coverages Benefit You?
Discover how the following insurance policies protect businesses just like yours:
- Business Owner's Policy. A "BOP" is offered only to small-business owners with a low risk profile. Those that qualify can receive General Liability Insurance, Property Insurance, and Business Interruption Insurance bundled together at a lower rate. With your BOP in force, you'll have an array of valuable business protection, including coverage for premises liability, property loss and damage, and foregone income when you have to close your doors because of a covered Property claim.
- Professional Liability Insurance. As the technology and consulting sector continues to grow, so does the need for Professional Liability coverage. Also known as "Errors & Omissions Insurance," this policy covers lawsuits arising from professional negligence. Say, for instance, you make a mistake in your work that costs your client sales. They could sue for damages. When they do, your E&O Insurance can cover the cost of settlements, judgments, and defending your business in court.
- Workers' Compensation Insurance. Workers' Comp steps in when one of your employees suffers a work-related injury or illness. It can cover medical expenses, disability benefits, and more. Most employers are legally obligated to purchase Workers' Comp if they have employees. North Carolina's laws dictate that businesses with three or more employees must insure their employees with Workers' Compensation coverage. To find out more, read our guide, "North Carolina Workers' Compensation Law Review."
- Employment Practices Liability Insurance. EPLI covers litigation costs when an employee sues your business for sexual harassment; wrongful termination or demotion; slander or libel; or discrimination based on age, religion, gender, disability, or race.