Types of Commercial Insurance You May Need for Your Small Business
When looking for the right insurance coverage for your business, you’ll need to know the options available to you, and whether it’s the right solution. The last things any business owner wants are not having a vital part of their business protected and paying for coverage that’s not needed. Let’s break down the individual types of commercial insurance and discover how each one can help your business grow.
Business Owner’s Policy (BOP)
This is one of the most important insurance policies for small business owners to have. A Business Owner’s Policy conveniently bundles basic coverage for property damage along with general liability, making it simpler for you to protect what matters most to you and your company.
Having a BOP safeguards you against the most common risks that businesses face and helps ensure that you can remain financially stable if unforeseen circumstances temporarily interrupt your business operations. Combining these two policies provides the wide-ranging coverage your company needs in one cost-effective package.
General Liability Insurance
As a small business owner, you never know what’s around the next bend, but having General Liability Insurance can give you peace of mind and help you roll with the punches, regardless of what comes your way.
Should you find yourself facing a lawsuit regarding one of your products, a personal injury claim from a customer who slipped and fell on your property, or allegations of false advertising, General Liability coverage will help offset the costs associated with your legal defense and any settlement that your company may be required to pay.
Commercial Property Insurance
No matter what type of small business you operate, chances are your company owns property. Whether that includes a physical space, manufacturing equipment, an inventory of materials or merchandise, or office furniture and technology, Commercial Property Insurance is what will allow your business to recover, should you incur property loss or damage.
Without the right Commercial Property policy, your company is at risk of permanently losing these valuable assets in the event disaster strikes. However, providing your business with adequate property coverage will ensure that your small business is financially protected from risks such as theft, vandalism, and damage caused by fire or natural disaster.
Commercial Auto Insurance
For businesses that rely on vehicles to transport employees or move merchandise, Commercial Auto Insurance is a necessity. Whether you manage a fleet of delivery trucks, a collection of commercial vans, or a single company car, having a Commercial Auto Insurance policy protects your business in case you or one of your employees causes property damage or bodily harm from behind the wheel while on company business.
Hired & Non-Owned Auto Insurance (HNO)
Hired & Non-Owned Auto Insurance (HNO) protects you in cases where a claim is filed against your company because of property damage or bodily injury caused by one of your employees while conducting company business in a vehicle not owned by your company (such as a rented or personal vehicle).
In general, HNO does not cover damage to the vehicle itself (this is covered by the owner’s auto insurance policy). However, HNO does protect you and your employees by paying for any legal fees, medical expenses, or property damage that result from an auto accident that occurs while you or one of your employees are on the job.
Today, virtually all companies rely on technology to carry out business operations, whether that means storing records on electronic databases or using computers to manage communications and accounting. And just like physical records, digital information is susceptible to being lost or confiscated.
Luckily, you can offset the financial risks of costly data breaches with Cyber Insurance, which safeguards your company’s servers and protects sensitive digital assets like client information, employee files, and financial records.
Professional Liability Insurance (PLI)
Although Professional Liability Insurance originated as a protective measure for doctors and lawyers, PLI has evolved to cover a wide variety of professional service providers.
Professional Liability Insurance is essential for businesses whose mainstay is advising clients. These professions include certified public accountants, investment advisors, management consultants, IT professionals, and marketing agencies among many others. If a customer incurs financial loss due to alleged negligence, mistakes, or oversight on your part (or that of your employees), PLI protects your business from being held financially liable.
Directors & Officers Insurance (D&O)
Should a legal claim be brought against one of the officers or directors within your company, Directors & Officers Insurance (D&O) can help cover the associated defense fees, as well as any settlement costs they may incur. In some instances, D&O can also provide protection for your company itself, if it happens to be named in the lawsuit.
Errors & Omissions Insurance (E&O)
No one is perfect, including companies that provide clients with professional services such as legal counsel, business advice, or financial management. However, an Errors & Omissions (E&O) policy can take the worry out of doing business as an agent, broker, or consultant.
If a client files a claim against your company, alleging that financial losses resulted from receiving your services or acting on your advice, Errors & Omissions coverage steps in to pay for the cost of your legal defense and can help provide the funds with which to settle, if necessary.
Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI)
As a business owner, you are responsible for finding the best people for your team. Sometimes, that means letting go of individuals that hold your company back from achieving success. In addition to everyday employment-related issues, the process of hiring and firing members of your staff can sometimes incite legal action by both current and former employees, as well as applicants.
Without the protection of Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI), your company could be subject to serious legal and financial burdens. Having an EPLI policy can help you protect your business, covering any costs required to defend and settle employment-related claims.
Even though you make every effort to provide your employees with a safe working environment, accidents can still occur. Workplace mishaps can leave an employee with substantial medical bills, in addition to their inability to earn wages during recovery.
This is where Workers’ Compensation steps in, covering expenses related to the treatment of injuries sustained by your employees while on the job, along with compensation for lost wages. The amount of Workers’ Compensation coverage you need depends on the nature of your business, since different industries have varying levels of risk. But all companies with employees should consider a Workers’ Comp policy to comply with government regulations.
Fidelity & Surety Bonds
Depending on the nature of your small business, you may be hired as a contractor for a short-term project. In these instances, Surety Bonds serve as a binding agreement and financial guarantee that helps assure clients that the work will be completed in a timely manner and in accordance with set expectations regarding cost and workmanship.
Fidelity Bonds are generally used to manage long-term relationships with contracted employees, helping prevent employee theft while encouraging proper employee conduct.
Commercial Umbrella Liability
If your business ever faces especially costly litigation, having a Commercial Umbrella Liability policy may be the only thing that keeps your company from folding. An umbrella policy ensures excess coverage, should your primary insurance be exhausted by a catastrophic exposure.
Protect Your Dream with the Right Commercial Insurance Coverage
When it comes to navigating the complex world of small business insurance, having the right guide makes all the difference. Let the commercial insurance specialists at ValueOne help you protect your assets with the best policy options for your company. Contact us today to get started.