From huge corporations to small companies to individual entrepreneurs, every business needs insurance. It protects you from unexpected expenses for lawsuits, property damage, etc. If you don’t have the policies and coverage amounts appropriate for the risks your business faces, you can end up with a significant out-of-pocket expense.
Unfortunately, many companies go out of business every year under the weight of that type of financial burden. And they don’t have to! Business insurance policies are very affordable—as low as a few hundred dollars annually for hundreds of thousands of dollars in financial protection.
Think your business will never be hit by a lawsuit? That’s a belief you may come to regret. All it takes is one visitor’s slip-and-fall incident on the wet floor at your office to generate a lawsuit. The damages if your company is found liable, coupled with your legal defense costs (which you have to pay even if the court doesn’t deem you responsible), can easily be in the tens of thousands of dollars or more. But a general liability insurance policy can pay those costs.
Insurance Policies Every Small Business Should Consider
Every business has unique insurance requirements based on several factors, including the type of work it does, its size, location, etc. Insurance companies offer different policies for different kinds of risks. That’s helpful for you as a business owner because you can buy the policies you need and not pay for unnecessary coverage.
The policies businesses most commonly purchase include:
- Workers’ compensation insurance. States generally require companies with employees to have this kind of insurance. It protects employees and their families financially if the worker is hurt, contracts an illness, or dies due to an on-the-job incident.
- General liability insurance. This type of coverage provides payment for customer property damage, injury lawsuits from non-employees (as in the example above), and other specific business risks.
- Errors & omissions insurance. Also known as professional liability insurance, an E&O policy protects your business if a client claims you made a mistake in providing them professional advice or services and the error caused them financial harm.
- Business owners policy (BOP). Also called property & liability insurance, a BOP conveniently combines coverage for liability and company property damage.
- Commercial auto insurance. Most states require companies that own or lease vehicles and use them for work purposes to have this type of policy. It can pay costs associated with liability and vehicle damage from specified risks.
- Cyber insurance. Nearly every business handles sensitive information—credit card data, customer contact information, etc. This kind of insurance, which often is an add-on to another policy, provides financial protection in the event of a computer system hack or data breach where someone steals data and uses it to commit fraud or is likely to do so.
- Umbrella insurance. Liability insurance policies have coverage limits. If someone sues your business and you’re required to pay an amount exceeding the limit of the applicable policy, an umbrella policy can pay the difference up to its limit.
Keep in mind that while you typically can make self-service insurance purchases online, a good insurance provider will have licensed experts who are happy to help you decide on the policies and limits you need.
Get Solid Financial Protection From a Reputable Insurance Company
It’s crucial that you maintain insurance coverage for your business. It’s equally important that you get your policies from a trusted source.
There are many insurance companies out there, with new ones popping up frequently. You should work with a provider with deep insurance industry experience and a track record of paying claims. No business owner wants to report a claim only to learn that their insurance company can’t or won’t pay it!
With the right policies from a reputable company, you can focus on your business with confidence that they’ll cover unexpected incidents and enable your company to keep moving forward.