Find out how small business insurance policies differ in coverage and which ones will benefit your business.
Insurance providers sell many different small business insurance policies, each designed for specific risks.
Some policies, like general liability insurance, cover customer accidents that can happen in any workplace. That includes slip-and-fall injuries, such as a customer slipping on a recently mopped floor and breaking an ankle.
Other policies are more specific. For example, commercial auto insurance is required for businesses that own vehicles. It provides coverage in the event of an auto accident.
Workers' compensation insurance pays for medical expenses from work injuries. Workers' comp is required in most states when you have employees, and also protects sole proprietors against work injury costs that their health insurance might deny.
Read on to learn more about types of business insurance and how they differ. If you are unsure which policies you need, Insureon's licensed agents can help you.
Most insurance coverage can be broken down into two main categories: property coverage and liability coverage. Small business owners usually need both types of insurance.
Property insurance, also called business hazard insurance, covers your business's property, such as a building, furniture, inventory, tools, or equipment. It helps you recover from fires, weather damage, theft, and vandalism.
Liability insurance provides financial protection in the event of a lawsuit. There are many different reasons for lawsuits against businesses, which is why there are many different kinds of liability insurance policies.
For example, someone might sue your business over a bodily injury, a mistake that caused them to lose money, or failure to prevent a data breach. These would all require a general liability policy, a professional liability policy, and a cyber liability policy, respectively.
Read more about the differences between property insurance vs. liability insurance.
Insureon's licensed agents recommend a business owner's policy (BOP) for small, low-risk businesses.
A BOP bundles general liability insurance with commercial property insurance at a discount. It protects against third-party legal fees for common accidents and the cost of business property damage or loss.
You can often add other coverage options to a BOP, such as business interruption insurance for financial protection against temporary closure.
Because insurance policies cover different risks, you may need additional coverage for your industry or profession.
For example, accountants, consultants, and others who provide advice or a professional service may need professional liability insurance, also called errors and omissions insurance, to defend against lawsuits over the quality of their work.
Some states also have business insurance requirements for certain professions. For example, real estate agents are usually required to carry E&O coverage, and businesses that sell or serve alcohol likely need liquor liability insurance.
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DY KUNKEL, VP ACCOUNT MANAGEMENT: Typically, our clients come to us originally for, let's say, a general liability policy. And they are getting that to meet contract requirements.
When they come to the account management team or at renewal time, they're looking to grow those contracts or they have a new contract, so they typically are adding on workers compensation, or they might need an umbrella limit to meet those requirements, or professional liability.
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When a customer comes to our website, the producer will work with them to get their coverage in place initially, and then after 32 days post bind of that policy, it'll rotate over to an account manager based on the business class and which vertical that client fits into in our account management team.
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And then the account manager will handle that policy and that customer for its longevity as long as it stays with Insureon, it stays with that account manager to work with the client, grow the client, and provide them whatever they might need.
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These account managers, they help retain our book of business, so their goal is to renew all the business that comes through our agency and keep it on the books, as well as grow our clients, provide customer service, as well as also cross-selling and upselling new policies to those clients to meet their business needs.
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We best serve our customers through making sure that they fit with each of our carriers by underwriting, as well as looking at each of the business's needs individually, and then matching that with our core markets that we work with and their pricing, as well as their coverages that they offer.
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We've seen a steady increase in customers over the past few years because of our technology offerings that we have. The marketplace, and most of the world, looks for things to be instantaneous. They want it on their cell phone, they want to be able to receive it immediately, and our product offerings give that to the client.
We can give them a quote in a minute, or we can provide them a certificate of insurance automatically, and all of that is done through our technology. We keep our customers coming back to us year-over-year because we have trusted insurance advisors as account managers.
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They have numerous years of experience in the insurance industry, as well as we also offer great renewal processes and procedures that provide ease of use to our clients by utilizing our technology. Typically our customers are purchasing additional policies, as well as renewing year after year. We don't typically see them coming to us for other needs.
Clients are unable to get something in an instant as far as insurance goes, they're going to walk into a local insurance agency where it could take up to a week for them to get their insurance quote or their certificate, where we can provide it to them in an instant.
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Insureon has a customer portal that gives clients access to their policies. If they want to review their policies, they can also make changes and request those changes direct on our portal, as well as they can go in and get their own certificate of insurance without ever having to interact with a human. Technology is definitely the future for small business insurance.
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Most of the insurance carriers and companies out there don't offer a technology advantage like we do, and again, everybody wants things on an instant basis, and so we're able to provide that to customers, and I think that's the way the insurance industry has to go if they want to keep up with the everchanging world.
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While both insurance agents and brokers can help offer small business owners insurance quotes on different policies, there are some notable differences between an agent and a broker.
An insurance agent represents one or more insurance companies and can complete an insurance sale for their client, while insurance brokers represent consumers in their search for coverage and can offer policies from multiple different companies, but will need to work with an agent or carrier to complete the sale.
Insureon is both an agency and an insurance brokerage, with licensed professionals in every state. We can help you find a quote, put together an insurance program that fits your risk management needs and are available for questions after we help you find coverage.
Be aware that policies with the same name can differ in terms of coverage and cost. If a policy's premium seems too good to be true, take a closer look. It may have exclusions that leave you defenseless in certain circumstances, a high deductible, or coverage limits that are too low to cover a financial loss.
Most insurance policies have both a per-occurrence limit and an aggregate limit. The per-occurrence limit is the maximum your insurer will pay out on a single incident, while the aggregate limit is the maximum for the policy period (usually one year).
Higher limits cost more, but provide better coverage. A higher deductible means you pay more before you can collect on a claim, but your premium will be lower.
For limits that are higher than average, you may need to purchase commercial umbrella insurance or excess liability insurance. Umbrella insurance boosts the limits on your underlying general liability, commercial auto, and employer's liability insurance. Excess liability insurance increases the limits on one policy, such as errors and omissions insurance (E&O).
For a deeper look at how small business insurance works, explore how these different policies compare:
Complete Insureon’s easy online application today to compare small business insurance quotes from trusted U.S. insurance carriers. Once you find the right policy for your small business, you can begin coverage in less than 24 hours.