Whether you’re the owner of a small business or an entrepreneur with multiple enterprises, it’s necessary to have the right kind of business insurance coverage in place.
There are many different types of coverage that may be required by law depending on your industry and where your business is located. In addition to general liability insurance (GL) and property insurance, there are also other coverages such as commercial auto insurance and workers' compensation insurance which can all help protect against financial losses resulting from unexpected events.
Types of Business Insurance
Here, we are diving into some of the most important types of insurance you may need for your business.
General Liability (GL) Insurance
General liability insurance is often the first type of coverage business owners consider. After all, having GL coverage is usually a requirement for leases, contracts, and loans. And if you are ever in the unfortunate position of being sued, it could potentially be for a variety of situations ranging from slip-and-fall accidents to burglary and vandalism. So it makes sense that you’d want to protect yourself with a policy that covers those risks.
General liability insurance is sometimes referred to as an "all-risks" policy because it covers damages resulting from any unforeseen accidents that occur while conducting business, even if they were not listed in the initial contract or policy documents. In this case, if an employee accidentally cuts themselves while removing debris from machinery and then sues you because there was no first aid kit on site, your GL coverage would cover their medical bills so long as it wasn't already covered by workers compensation.
GL also protects you if someone sues you for defamation of character because something happened at your business — say, an employee posts something offensive on social media about one of their clients or coworkers — which could hurt your reputation as well as your pocketbook. You could be held liable for any resulting harm caused by these actions as well as others taken within the course of doing business.
Most general liability policies include coverages such as premises liability (for injuries occurring on site), products liability (for defective merchandise sold through your store), advertising injury (where an advertisement contains false information that causes readers harm) and medical payments coverage (which pays medical expenses incurred during an accident).
These are all important considerations when purchasing GL policies, but these can also be purchased separately according to their type in order to save money if you don't need them right away. However, it may not always make sense financially, depending upon what other coverage options are available at reasonable rates, so be sure to talk with one of our experienced insurance agents, and we can help you make the right decision.
Property insurance covers the physical assets that make up your business. This includes any items you own, such as:
- Business equipment
- Vehicles or heavy machinery
- Computers and office equipment
Property insurance also covers the buildings where you operate your business. Your property insurance may include coverage for:
- Physical damage to your offices, storage areas and other facilities
- Loss of income if a fire or other unexpected event results in a forced closure of the building (business interruption)
- Losses from theft of money, inventory and other items used in doing business
Depending on what kind of business you run, there may be additional coverages available to protect against sudden loss due to lightning strikes or earthquakes -- check with us about what else might be covered on your policy.
Commercial Auto Insurance
Commercial auto insurance protects vehicles in accidents or theft. Commercial auto policies may also have physical damage coverage that includes collision and comprehensive for cars and trucks owned by the business or rented for business use. Additionally, it may include liability coverage for accidents that occur when employees are driving on company time or are driving company vehicles.
Commercial auto insurance typically offers lower rates than regular personal policies because it covers more than just liability, which reduces your risk and helps you qualify for lower premiums. Without commercial auto insurance, your business could be held liable for any injury or damage caused by motor vehicles that belong to you or your employees. This type of protection will help cover expenses such as medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering in the event someone gets injured.
Workers’ Compensation Insurance
If you employ workers, you may be required to carry workers' compensation insurance. Workers' compensation insurance provides benefits to employees who become ill or injured on the job. This can include medical care, rehabilitation, and sometimes limited wage replacement.
Is Your Business Protected?
With the right coverage, you can protect your business from a variety of risks. General liability, workers’ compensation, and property insurance are essential, while commercial auto insurance is optional but recommended. For some companies, other types of business insurance, such a s cyber liability, product liability, landlord liability, E & O, and more may also be necessary to help protect you fully.
If you’re looking to protect the future of your business, the Fiorentino Insurance Group is here to help. Contact us today to discuss the business insurance options best suited for you and your unique business.