Small businesses are the backbone of our culture. Yet they’re not always easy to run. One natural disaster, accidental fire, or major theft can leave the business struggling. If you’re wondering how to get full protection, here are some tips.
Businesses visited by the public need general liability insurance to protect against injuries and accidents. If a visitor or customer causes property damage or slips and falls, this insurance covers the costs. Home-based businesses may or may not need this coverage. Liability policies can cover damage you accidentally do to a client’s home when visiting to provide services as well. Whether you’re a plumber, beautician, or the owner of a tire shop, liability insurance is essential.
If you hire anyone, you’ll likely need worker’s compensation insurance. Some states allow small businesses to go without it if they only have a few workers. However, you could still end up paying for an employee’s injury out-of-pocket. If the worker can prove there was negligence in the workplace, the business owner may be responsible for the costs of the injury. A worker’s compensation plan is a good idea, even when it’s optional.
Whether you own or rent your retail or office space, it needs property insurance. Damage to the structure may become your responsibility if you’re renting and cause an accident. Property insurance protects against vandalism, natural disasters, and most forms of damage. Commercial policies should stay separate from your home insurance, even if you run your business out of your home.
Errors and Omissions Insurance
Professionals providing services like accounting, home inspection, consulting, and engineering design work need errors and omissions insurance. If you overlook a figure or make a mistake on a design, the resulting costs are covered by the policy. Even some trades like electricians and plumbers may benefit from E&O policies. A client that needs to rebuild part of a structure or file a tax amendment is likely to be compensated for their trouble and expenses without the need to go to court.
An umbrella policy increases your general liability coverage by a certain amount, usually $1 million or more. It’s often a temporary option that businesses pick up and drop as needed. A short-term increase in your coverage can help you bid for projects that require a high level of insurance. Small businesses often struggle to take government or public contracts due to these financial requirements. Umbrella policies help you access more work and defray the risks of taking on large projects.
Insuring Equipment and Shipments
Inland marine insurance covers any products in transit or equipment that’s away from your main property. Construction companies take out policies under this category for their heavy equipment. If it’s damaged or stolen while at a distant job site, it’s still covered. Small businesses importing or exporting products will also want inland transit insurance to secure their shipments.
The Business Owner’s Policy
For a complete package, try a business owner’s policy (BOP). This is a combination of must-have business insurance policies. Property and liability insurance are generally included, but packages vary by company.
Between all of these options, you should have an idea of what insurance you need for a small business. If you’re ready to put together a package or need more help, contact us today at Integrity Insurance Agency. Our agents are ready to help you protect your small business.