Business Owner’s Policy
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Frequently asked questions about business owner’s policy

A business owner’s policy is one of the most common commercial insurance policies. It’s highly customizable, so the specifics depend on your business. Find out how to get a policy, which businesses are eligible, and the answers to other frequently asked questions below.

Business owner’s policy requirements and coverages

Is a business owner’s policy required by law?

A BOP consists of general liability insurance and commercial property insurance. Neither policy is required by law. However, many of the people you do business with will likely have general liability insurance requirements. You may need this policy if you want to sign a client contract with these requirements. Proof of general liability coverage is also required to apply for certain professional licenses.

Additionally, many commercial landlords require tenants to purchase commercial property insurance, or business renter's insurance. A landlord might ask to see proof of coverage before you can sign a lease. Commercial landlords themselves often carry lessor's risk only insurance, which protects against tenant lawsuits over property damage and injuries, as well as building insurance, which covers any buildings, structures, and completed additions that they lease to commercial tenants.

How much BOP coverage do I need?

The amount of BOP coverage you need depends on factors such as the type and size of your business, number of employees, and the type of customers you typically work with. However, many small businesses opt for the standard $1 million / $2 million small business policy. This means the policy will pay up to $1 million to cover any one claim, with a $2 million limit for the lifetime of the policy, which is typically one year.

Can I add non-owned auto insurance to my policy?

Consider purchasing non-owned auto insurance if your employees regularly drive their personal vehicles for business purposes, such as running work errands or traveling to meet clients. This coverage can typically be added to your business owner’s policy.

Does a business owner’s policy cover independent contractors?

A business owner’s policy covers you and your employees, but typically does not include independent contractor insurance coverage. You can either add contractors to your policy on a temporary basis as an additional insured, or require them to purchase their own general liability insurance for contractors policy.

What coverage does a business owner’s policy provide for social media risks?

The general liability portion of your BOP includes what's known as advertising injury coverage. It provides protection for lawsuits related to libel, slander, and invasion of privacy, as well as copyright or brand infringement. That means if you are sued for writing something negative about a competitor on social media, you're covered.

How to buy a business owner’s policy with Insureon

How quickly can I get insurance coverage with Insureon?

Insureon’s online application for a business owner’s policy takes just a few minutes to complete. In most cases, we’ll deliver quotes as soon as you finish the application. Once you purchase a policy, we can email you a certificate of insurance, which is the formal proof-of-insurance document you need to show when you sign certain contracts or apply for professional licenses.

How does Insureon’s business owner’s policy application work?

The business owner’s policy application requires some basic information about your business, including where it’s located, number of employees, and estimated revenue for the upcoming year. Since it includes general liability, you’ll need the same application information as you would for general liability – along with information about your business property.

Once you finish the application, you'll receive quotes from multiple carriers. Look them over and pick the one that works best for you. A licensed Insureon insurance agent is available to assist you throughout the process.

How do I get a certificate of liability insurance?

Our certificates of liability insurance are digital. We can email you one as soon as your policy is activated. You can also access your certificate online by logging into your Insureon account.

What types of businesses are eligible for a business owner’s policy?

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Business owner’s policy changes and claims

What happens if I need to buy more insurance later?

It’s easy to add insurance at a later date. Your insurance agent can adjust the coverage amount on an existing policy, and also provide assistance if you need to purchase additional policies.

What happens if I cancel my policy?

If you cancel your policy early, you run the risk of paying more the next time you purchase coverage. Insurance companies typically charge higher rates to businesses that canceled a previous policy. You also leave your business exposed to potential risk if you cancel your coverage.

How do I make a general liability or property insurance claim on my BOP?

To make a general liability claim or a property insurance claim, simply call your insurance provider. Your agent will ask you to provide a description of the incident and basic information such as your name, the business name, and your policy number. Your insurance agent can guide you through the process and provide answers to any additional questions.

Learn more about general liability claims and lawsuit examples.

Compare a business owner’s policy with other policies

Business owner’s policy vs. professional liability insurance

A business owner’s policy offers protection if a third party sues you over a physical injury, property damage, or an advertising injury (libel or slander). Professional liability insurance covers you if you are sued by a client who claims you made a professional mistake that resulted in financial loss. Almost every business owner could benefit from a business owner’s policy. Your type of business will determine if you need a professional liability policy. Read more about professional liability.

Business owner’s policy vs. workers’ compensation insurance

General liability and workers’ compensation insurance can both pay for medical expenses related to injuries at your business. However, the general liability insurance included with your BOP does not cover employee injuries. To extend this protection to your employees, you will need to purchase workers' comp insurance, which covers the costs associated with employee injuries or illnesses. Depending on which state your business is located in, you may be legally required to purchase workers’ comp coverage.

Business owner’s policy vs. general liability insurance

General liability insurance provides protection against common risks such as customer injury, but it does not include the commercial property insurance that’s included in a BOP, such as coverage for vandalism and theft.

Commercial property insurance, sometimes referred to as business hazard insurance, can pay to repair or replace business property that is damaged, stolen, or destroyed. A BOP typically costs less than if you purchased each policy separately. Read more about how general liability compares to a BOP.

Business owner's policy vs. commercial package policy

A business owner’s policy combines general liability insurance and commercial property insurance in one policy, and is usually less expensive than buying the coverages separately. It’s often purchased by small business owners and startups to save money on their liability insurance.

A commercial package policy (CPP) is typically purchased by larger businesses with higher risks, including small or midsize businesses with several employees. A CPP allows you to bundle multiple liability policies together, with more flexibility in terms of the risks covered and their coverage limits.

It also allows you to add endorsements, also known as riders, to increase or modify the types of coverage you have and tailor them to your specific needs.

Learn more about the difference between a business owner's policy and a commercial package policy.

Updated: March 1, 2023
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