Ready to find out how business insurance can shield you from a variety of expenses associated with property damage, injuries to your clients and third parties, and lawsuits? Read on and discover how a small investment in business insurance can yield big benefits for your business.
What Kinds of Business Insurance Will Protect My Company?
If you're like most small businesses, it's pretty likely that your "risk management" task force is made up of you, yourself, and any information you've dug up about insurance or stories you've heard from other people. Then, when the time comes to get business insurance, you are faced with the job of getting coverage that protects your company well and won't break the bank -- which can be overwhelming if you don't have all the information you need.
Thankfully, you are not alone in your quest to find adequate coverage for your business. There are plenty of resources out there that can help you figure it all out. This article will cover the three basic kinds of business insurance that most small businesses need: General Liability Insurance, Property Insurance, and Workers' Compensation Insurance. You'll also learn how some types of insurance are bundled together into small-business-friendly policies.
Once you know the basics and are ready to get more details on specific coverage to get your business fully protected, peruse some of the other resources available, chat with an agent at 800-688-1984, or complete our online application to receive free quotes via email.
Getting business insurance doesn't have to be intimidating if you know where to start!
General Liability Insurance is the starting point for most small businesses. As its name suggests, it protects against the general risks that businesses face regardless of industry: third-party injury, third-party property damage, and the costs of lawsuits associated with both.
In other words, your General Liability policy (also sometimes called a Commercial General Liability, or CGL policy) offers payouts in the event that someone other than you and your employees (that is, a third party) is injured or experiences property damage on your premises or because of you or one of your employees.
When injury or property damage does occur, it's possible that the party affected will bring a lawsuit against your business seeking damages. If and when that happens, your General Liability policy kicks in to cover the costs associated with defending yourself in court. This might include lawyer's fees, court or docket fees, and other expenses. Even if your business is not ultimately found liable for the incident in question, legal expenses can add up quickly, and General Liability Insurance can provide much-needed financial support.
Property Insurance protects you from damage to or loss of your company's physical property. For example, if your building is vandalized, or someone breaks in and steals your inventory, your Property Insurance will cover the losses. Even if the damage to your business property occurs away from your primary place of business, your Property coverage will protect your bottom line. You can buy this coverage separately, or bundle it with General Liability coverage into a Business Owner's Policy, or BOP (details below). Either way, this is one type of insurance that no business should go without!
Most states by now require you by law to have Workers' Compensation Insurance. Even if you're in one of the states that doesn't, though, it's an important type of insurance to carry. Workers' Comp will cover medical expenses for an employee from work-related injuries or illnesses – and those expenses don't come cheap! A single injury can easily cause tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills, and without Workers' Comp, you may be liable to cover those payments directly from the company till.
Most Workers' Compensation coverage also includes Employer's Liability Insurance, which will protect you in the event that an employee alleges that an illness or injury was directly the result of unsafe working conditions. Obviously, you already do all you can to keep your employees safe – but it's a good idea to have this coverage in place in the event that an employee does sue.
The cost of a Workers' Compensation policy is determined by what industry you're in and the number of employees your business has. Depending on your area and industry, you may be able to shave off some of your Workers' Comp premiums by excluding company executives who may not need it (e.g., yourself, other owners, partners, and officers).
As mentioned above, BOPs combine General Liability and Property Insurance into a bundle that saves you money on both. Be aware, though, that if the coverage limit on your BOP is too small for your actual business risks, you could be liable for damages you face beyond your policy's coverage limit.
Not every business is eligible for a Business Owner's Policy. In order to find out whether you meet the criteria for this affordable coverage, ask your insurance agent about your eligibility.
Some business owners find they can secure adequate coverage by purchasing a BOP and strengthening it with an Umbrella Insurance policy, which offers an additional cushion of coverage on existing insurance policies. Again, an agent can provide you with more information about this type of coverage.
The Downside of Working with Multiple Insurance Agencies
You might guess that piecing together your different types of insurance from different agencies is a good way to keep costs down, but this often turns out to be counterproductive. Just the cost of your insurance is not the only expense to be aware of. If working with several different agencies, you also need to ensure that you don't have any potentially disastrous gaps in your coverage and that you aren't paying twice for the same coverage from two different insurance providers.
Getting insurance through multiple providers also takes up a lot of your valuable time – not just when you're first buying the insurance, but also when it comes time to renew your policies. Working with a single agency can help you streamline your coverage and simplify the process of getting and renewing it. Plus, a single agency can look at your complete coverage package and help you identify gaps in coverage, or places where you might be paying for insurance you don't actually need.
Having insurance is just part of running a successful business. Now that you're familiar with the basics of business insurance, you may be wondering where to start on actually getting well-fitting coverage that won't break the bank. Connecting with an insureon agent will get you multiple quotes to help you gauge what kinds of coverage you can secure at different price points, so you can make a truly informed decision. They can help you assess your risks, find great coverage, and get you the peace of mind that comes with knowing that your business is protected.