Every business can benefit from business insurance coverage, and some policies are required by law. Learn more about how insurance can help your small business.
Whether you're freelancing to make some extra cash, launching a startup, or expanding your company with new employees, the right types of coverage can protect your business assets and give you peace of mind.
It's easier than ever to be a business owner, and you might technically be considered one even if you only have a small side hustle in addition to your full-time job with an employer. Working for yourself means a lot more freedom, but it also exposes you to certain risks that are unique to business owners.
Insurance can save you from financial catastrophe if something goes wrong. Even when things go right, small business insurance can power your growth. Specifically, the right policies can help you when you are looking to:
The bigger the client, the more likely they are to require a written contract that requires you to carry errors and omissions insurance (also called E&O, or professional liability insurance in some industries). Your business needs to be ready to take advantage of such opportunities.
This type of business insurance is important because it can cover professional mistakes made by you or an employee that negatively impact your clients.
Almost every state requires businesses to carry insurance coverage. Most businesses that have employees are required to carry workers' compensation insurance. Regardless of the laws where you live, it's smart to invest in coverage that can pay the bills if your employees are injured on the job. If you have a business vehicle, state laws also require commercial auto insurance.
Owners of small businesses are often targets for lawsuits. If a visitor has a slip-and-fall accident that results in a bodily injury on your property, or you sell a product that hurts someone, you could get sued.
The right insurance, such as general liability insurance with product liability coverage, offers lawsuit protection so legal fees don’t drain your bank account or force your business to close.
Just as your homeowner’s insurance can pay for repairs and replacements if your home is damaged, commercial property insurance can pay to repair and replace your business equipment and property. This policy can provide coverage for losses related to windstorms, fire, vandalism, and theft.
If a fire or some other covered property insurance event forces your business to close, business interruption insurance can replace your lost income. This little-known gem is usually part of a business owner's policy and can make all the difference between recovery and closure after unexpected events.
Whether you haul tools between worksites or rent cars when you're traveling to meet clients, commercial auto insurance can cover damage and liability just as your personal auto insurance does.
If you have a vehicle titled to your business, commercial auto is likely the policy for you. If you or your employees drive personal vehicles for work purposes, hired and non-owned auto insurance (HNOA) is usually the appropriate choice.
The IRS considers commercial insurance policies that benefit your company a cost of doing business. That means you can deduct your commercial insurance costs at tax time, provided they serve a business purpose.
Many small business owners form their business as a Limited Liability Corporation (LLC). While LLCs can protect business owners from business debts, bankruptcy, or lawsuits against the business, the LLC will not protect the business itself from common business risks such as fire, cybercrime, and lawsuits.
If any of your business equipment, buildings, or inventories were stolen or damaged, or if a customer sues your business over a slip and fall accident, the right insurance coverage could help your business survive.
Many small business owners sign up for insurance as soon as they start their business. Even if you’re starting out as a sole proprietor and working out of your home, you could still be held legally liable for any mishaps that happen on your business property, including your home office.
Your homeowner’s insurance policy is unlikely to cover a business-related claim, so the right insurance can offer protection for your business and your personal assets as well.
Depending on your business structure, there might be some variations in the coverage you will need. For instance, workers' compensation laws in some states do not require LLCs to have coverage for business partners.
Sole proprietors, small businesses, and partnerships generally consider a combination of the following insurance policies:
General liability insurance is often one of the first policies that small business owners buy. It covers third-party lawsuits (those coming from people outside of your company), including slip-and-fall accidents, product liability, property damage to third parties, and reputational damages.
Workers' compensation insurance covers medical bills and partial salaries of employees injured at work and is required in most states for businesses with employees. Keep in mind that an employee’s regular health insurance doesn’t cover their medical expenses for work-related maladies. Workers’ comp also provides business liability protections to employers.
Disability insurance can replace some of your lost income in case you’re unable to work because of an accident that’s unrelated to your work. It’s different than workers’ comp, which covers work-related injuries. Many small business owners and sole proprietors rely on disability insurance to help pay their medical bills and keep themselves afloat after a mishap.
Commercial auto liability insurance covers your business-owned vehicles.
Hired and non-owned auto insurance (HNOA) covers you and your employees while using your personal, leased, or rented vehicles for work. Your personal auto insurance company probably won’t cover you for work-related accidents using your own vehicle.
Liquor liability insurance is often required to obtain a liquor license and sell alcohol.
Employment practices liability insurance insures your business against lawsuits in case an employee sues you in an allegation of wrongful termination or a violation of their employee rights.
Commercial umbrella insurance can provide additional coverage for liability claims made on general liability, employer’s liability, or a commercial auto insurance policy once policy limits have been reached.
Complete Insureon's easy online application today to compare insurance quotes from top-rated U.S. carriers. Once you find the right policy for your small business, you can begin coverage in less than 24 hours.