Business Insurance Basics
Whether you are just starting out as a new venture, or if you are fully established and cemented in your market, insurance is an integral part of any business. You are responsible for the work you perform, for your employees, for your property, equipment, and your building. With this many exposures to risk and damages, there are a variety of insurance policies to ensure that you and your business are covered. Here is a general overview of the types of policies that are available. We will be taking a look at each one more in depth at a later time.
General Liability Policy
The moment a person walks onto your business's property, they become your responsibility. Any damage to that person or their property on your premises your business is liable for. A General Liability policy will protect you against any such claims, as well as any associated medical costs.
Professional Liability Policy
Where as a General Liability policy will protect your business against claims of bodily injury and property damage, Professional Liability will protect you against claims of malpractice or negligence in the work that your business is conducting. A Professional Liability policy will also help cover legal fees associated with these claims.
Business Owner’s Policy
A Business Owner’s Policy, or BOP, is an insurance package that can be thought of as the commercial equivalent of a Homeowner’s policy. In a BOP, not only do you get general liability coverage to protect against damage claims against your business, but you also get protection for your building and business property. A BOP can be tailored to fit your business and can cover a wide variety of classes of property, from furniture, to equipment, to even business records.
Commercial Auto Policy
If your company uses any vehicles to conduct business, they will need to be insured. Whether your business has a single compact sedan for making deliveries, or an entire fleet of tractor trailers, a Commercial Auto policy can cover not only the vehicles themselves, but also their cargo. Like a Personal Automotive policy, a Commercial Auto policy will also contain a liability portion to cover any damages your drivers may cause in the event of an accident.
Commercial Umbrella Policy
In the event that the limits on any commercial policy are not sufficient, there is always the option to add an accompanying Umbrella Policy. An Umbrella policy is a supplemental policy that adds an additional layer of coverage above and beyond an existing policy. For example, when the limits on your Professional Liability policy are exceeded, your Umbrella policy will kick into action and extend your coverage.
Workers Compensation Policy
You are not only responsible for the well being of your customers, but also that of your employees. Worker’s Compensation is state required coverage for your employees in the event that they injure themselves while performing work for your business. Every state has varying Worker’s Compensation laws and requirements, and it is best to go over these regulations with your agent.