Having business insurance is a good idea for any business owner because it can help to cover the costs that can come from property damage or liability claims from lawsuits. Without it, you would have to pay all of these costs out-of-pocket, which could be disastrous for your business and personal finances. Some types of insurance are required by law in many states, and each policy is worth the peace of mind you'll get from knowing that you're protected.
What Are the Most Important Policies to Have for a Business Insurance?
There are four types of policies that are essential for a business. The first is general liability insurance. This insurance will pay for damages if you, your services, your products or your employees are ever found to have caused harm or property damage to any third party.
Type number two is property insurance. This is just the same as the insurance you have on your home, and it will protect everything from your building to your office computers if you experience vandalism, fires, storm damage or theft among other potential risks.
Type number three is worker's compensation. Every state requires this type of insurance if you provide your employees with W-2 forms. This protects you and your business from any legal damages if your employees are hurt on the job. It provides wage replacement and medical benefits to your employees while ensuring that they can't sue you if they are injured.
Type number four is commercial auto insurance, but this only applies if you have a company vehicle. Any vehicle that's specifically intended to carry employees, equipment or products counts as a company vehicle. This type of insurance will protect your vehicles if they get involved in some kind of accident or collision.
It will pay for any repairs or replacements that may be required. If you don't have company vehicles and have employees drive their own cars, you should consider non-owned auto liability insurance for your business. This will protect your firm if the employee's auto insurance is inadequate or if they don't have insurance.
Are There Other Types of Business Insurance Available?
There are many other types of business insurance that a business owner should consider. The first is professional liability insurance or errors and omissions insurance. This provides protection and pays for damages if you're found to have improperly or insufficiently rendered your services. This applies to any service-based business from a law firm to a hair salon.
Another good option is business income insurance. If you've had a fire, for example, this policy will cover your lost income for the time that your business is closed while repairs are underway. It can keep you paying your bills and your employees until you're back up and running.
You can also consider the directors' and officers' insurance. If one of your company's officers ends up in a legal bind due to their actions, then this insurance can pay for any legal damages that might ensue. This type of policy is designed to protect your directors and officers if they're found to have directly affected your company's profitability.
Data breach insurance can help you if sensitive or private information is breached and leads to damages. These policies cover breaches from hacking into a computer or simple theft of paper files.
Commercial umbrella policies work in the exact same way as personal umbrella insurance. They're used to provide further coverage if your liabilities exceed the limits of your current policies.
Finally, there are business owners' policies. BOPs are bundles of several different policies that are meant to protect your business. They usually carry a mixture of at least three of four of the policies mentioned above, and they also tend to come with lower premiums since you're buying policies in bulk.
What Policies Are Right for My Business?
The policies that you'll need depend on the things that you think will need protection. Things you should consider include the type of work that you're doing, the actual physical premises of your business and the employees and customers you hope to have. If you're going into real estate, for example, then a good combination should be a BOP, professional liability coverage and employment practices liability insurance. The latter policy protects you in the event of an employee claiming wrongful termination.
If you're opening a shop, you should consider a BOP, professional liability coverage, data breach insurance, worker's compensation, and business income insurance. This way, your store will be protected from a natural disaster, possible lawsuits, and employee injuries among other things.
If you aren't sure what types of business insurance policies you'll need, then you should talk to a professional insurance agent to receive more information.