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UPDATED: Oct 23, 2020
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Should you buy business insurance? As the owner of a business there are many things to consider. Whether or not to carry business insurance is definitely one of those things. You might feel that your business is too small to need to carry insurance; however, you may be surprised.
If you have inventory or supplies for your business, coverage for loss or damage is a good move. If you deal with the public, you are subject to being the target of lawsuits, and therefore liability coverage is important. There are numerous situations in our day to day business dealings, even for the small businesses, that should be covered by insurance.
Many insurance companies in the marketplace offer Business Owners Policies that combine a variety of the different types of insurance necessary into one convenient package. Such policies can usually be tailored to the needs of each individual business. Two of the most important types of business insurance coverage that are included in such policies are liability insurance and property insurance.
Liability Insurance for Businesses
Liability insurance is probably the most important type of business insurance to carry. If someone is injured or suffers a personal property loss as a result of something your business has done or sold, or even while on the physical premises of your business, you could be held liable. This could result in huge financial losses in the case of serious injuries or losses. By purchasing liability insurance your insurer will pay claims up to the limit of coverage you have taken out in such circumstances.
Property Insurance for Business
Property insurance is a necessity for practically all businesses, as it protects any property the business owns from damage resulting from fire, theft, water damage or other named perils. If you carry any inventory, it is crucial to carry property insurance. If your business has its own location, you will need to carry the appropriate type of property insurance in order to replace the building or repair damages to it in the case of a covered loss. If your business is a small one run from your home, be sure that you specifically add your business equipment to your homeowner’s policy, so that if damage or loss were to occur, you would be covered under your homeowners insurance.
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Other Types of Specialty Business Insurance
Depending on the type of business you own, you may need specialty coverage. There are multiple different types of policies that are created to fit the needs of unique industries. By talking to an insurance agent, you should be able to easily find out which ones are recommended for your kind of business. Take a look at some of those specific offerings below.
If you work in a professional domain, you will want to invest in professional liability insurance in case of loss occurring as a result of your professional services.
For those with employees, workers compensation insurance is an important consideration. In fact, it is mandated by the state, often in accordance with the size of your staff and the industry you are in. It is critical to be on top of your state’s regulations for workers compensation.
Environmental liability insurance is a wise investment for any company that produces, uses or deals in chemicals toxic to the environment. Such coverage will cover the cost of clean-up, property damage or bodily injury that occurs as a result of your company.
Equipment breakdown insurance will protect you from losses incurred if the machinery in your business breaks. Because of the importance of technology in most businesses, it is vital to have the security of knowing that you have help paying for repairs or replacement, the cost of spoiled inventory and other fees associated with a breakdown.
Interruption insurance will help cover costs if your business is unable to run for any of a number of named reasons. This helps to protect you from losing your business, even if you are unable to generate sales and yet your bills continue.
If you have one or more personal vehicles for your business, it is mandatory to carry auto insurance with business use coverage included. If you have vehicles owned by your business, you will need to take out a commercial auto insurance plan. Whether or not you carry the minimum amount of coverage required by law or full coverage on your company cars will depend on the same factors as for personal auto insurance. The value of the cars and whether or not they are financed will help you decide how much coverage to carry beyond the basics.
Umbrella liability insurance coverage increases your liability on all your different types of business insurance that include liability. It further protects you from any claims that might arise from serious situations that might go above and beyond the coverage you already have. It is very affordable to add umbrella coverage to your existing policy.
Things To Consider Before Taking Out a Business Insurance Policy
Prior to taking out a business insurance policy it makes sense to learn as much as you can about the products that you will be asked to consider. This will help you in deciding which types of insurance to purchase and which not to purchase, as well as how much of each type of coverage to get. In addition, it pays to shop around for price quotes from as many different companies as possible.
When you compare the different prices being offered by insurers, you will want to make sure that each is quoting you on relatively the same coverage. If one insurer offers a price that is significantly lower than everyone else, be skeptical. You should check the quote carefully to be sure that you really are getting quoted for the proper amounts of coverage, that the duration of the policy is the same as other quotes, and to see if there are any unusual exclusions or limits.
When you have narrowed down your choices to a select few that are competitively priced, you should be prepared to do your homework on each of the companies. You can find out an insurer’s independent insurance rating by contacting one of the ratings companies like A.M. Best, Standard & Poor’s or Moody’s. The letter grades these companies assign to insurers are a reliable indicator of how economically stable the insurer is. This tells you know whether or not the company can likely meet its present and future obligations. A grade of “A” or above is ideal.
You will also want to check into the customer service record of any company you are considering getting business insurance from. Prompt claims handling and good customer service are essential aspects of a good insurance company. If you check with the state insurance department in the state your business is located in, you will be able to find out the frequency of complaints lodged against an insurer. In many places you will also be able to get additional details like the type of complaint and how it was resolved. By doing a quick online search for complaints about the insurer, you can also discover what type of reputation the insurer has with customers.
Free Online Business Insurance Quotes
The best place to start your search for business insurance is online using our free business insurance quote tool. You can get insurance quotes from multiple business insurance providers serving the area your business is located in quickly and easily. The information that you need is presented in an easy to use format so that you can conveniently compare and contrast the different options available, in order to find the perfect business insurance to meet your needs. Take a few seconds to start comparing business insurance quotes now!