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What types of business insurance do I need?

Some commercial insurance policies benefit every business. Others provide protections against risks that only affect certain businesses.

General liability is recommended for all businesses

Every small business needs general liability insurance. This policy provides protection against common customer or client incidents, including bodily injuries, property damage, and advertising injuries. An accident involving a customer can lead to huge legal bills, making this an important policy for any business.

Your business risks determine which other policies you need

Small businesses with valuable property should consider commercial property insurance, which covers your physical assets against loss or damage. If you own a small business in a low-risk industry, you may be able to cut premium costs by combining this policy with general liability insurance in a business owner’s policy.

These policies address your bare-bones exposures. However, you may need additional coverage depending on your industry, location, and operations. For example, most state laws require you to carry workers’ compensation insurance if you have employees. Similarly, all business-owned vehicles must have commercial auto insurance.

Types of liability insurance for small businesses

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General liability insurance

Who's blaming you? Customers, delivery people, and other non-employees
For what? Injuries or property damage
What’s covered? Lawyer’s fees, court costs, settlements, judgments

Learn more about general liability insurance.

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Professional liability insurance

Who's blaming you? Customers and clients
For what? Work mistakes that caused injuries or financial losses
What’s covered? Lawyer’s fees, court costs, settlements, judgments

Learn more about professional liability insurance.

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Workers' compensation insurance

Who's blaming you? Current employees
For what? On-the-job injuries or illnesses
What’s covered? Medical bills, missed wages, death benefits

Learn more about workers' compensation insurance.

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Cyber liability insurance

Who's blaming you? Customers and clients
For what? Exposing personal information in a data breach
What’s covered? Credit monitoring, notification costs, legal expenses, cyber extortion

Learn more about cyber liability insurance.

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Commercial auto insurance

Who's blaming you? Drivers, property owners, or other third parties
For what? Injuries or property damage caused by a business vehicle
What’s covered? Lawyer’s fees, court costs, settlements, judgments

Learn more about commercial auto insurance.

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Employment practices liability insurance

Who's blaming you? Current, former, and potential employees
For what? Harassment, discrimination, other violations of employee rights
What’s covered? Lawyer’s fees, court costs, settlements, judgments

Learn more about employment practices liability insurance.

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Directors and officers insurance

Who's blaming you? Employees, regulators, third parties
For what? Your board or executives misusing funds, failing to meet regulations, or failing to fulfill official duties
What’s covered? Lawyer’s fees, court costs, settlements, judgments

Learn more about directors and officers insurance.

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Liquor liability insurance

Who's blaming you? Customers, property owners, or other third parties
For what? Injuries or property damage caused by an intoxicated customer
What's covered? Lawyer’s fees, court costs, settlements, judgments

Learn more about liquor liability insurance.

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Insurance recommendations by industry

Your insurance needs depend on the specific characteristics of your small business. Because similar businesses share the same risks, it's helpful to explore insurance recommendations by industry. Select your profession from the list below for details about what kinds of insurance your company might need.

Don't see your profession? Find insurance for other professions.

Compare and contrast different policies

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