If you operate a business, you need insurance to protect yourself against liability claims and other risks. Many states require specific types of insurance, and some companies offer specialized coverage for particular industries.
We recommend shopping around for a company that offers the business insurance policies you need. Some providers, like Next, sell all the policies most small businesses need online.
Business property insurance
Business property insurance protects the physical assets of a company, like furniture, fixtures and inventory. It usually covers items that are in a building or on its grounds, as well as those that are moved from place to place on the company’s behalf, such as laptops and tablets. It also covers things that may be stolen from the premises.
This coverage is often included in a Business Owner’s Policy (BOP). It’s also available on its own or as an add-on to other policies.
It’s important to tally your assets so you know how much coverage you need. It’s also a good idea to review your policies on an annual basis to see how your business has grown, which might indicate changes in the scope of your coverage. This is the only way to be certain that your business is fully protected from unexpected calamities. As the famous McDonald’s fire incident shows, without it, companies can suffer devastating losses.
General liability insurance
Almost every business has the potential to be held liable for damages caused by its products, services or operations. This is why it’s important for businesses to have general liability insurance. These policies typically cover the cost of legal fees and court-ordered judgments or settlements up to a per-occurrence limit and an aggregate limit. Often, general liability insurance is combined with property and business income insurance in a comprehensive business owners policy.
Liability claims are not uncommon and can be very expensive, especially if they result in lawsuits that exceed your policy’s limits. A general liability policy helps protect your business from common third-party risks, including bodily injury, property damage and advertising injuries such as copyright infringement or reputational harm. However, it doesn’t typically cover intentional acts or damage to someone else’s property by you or your employees. These coverages may be included in a separate professional liability policy or errors and omissions (E&O) insurance.
Business income insurance
Business income insurance is an add-on to commercial property coverage that helps you cover your revenue losses if a covered peril (such as fire or tornado) causes you to shut down your business. It pays you for the net income your business would have received had it remained open, and also helps pay for extra expenses such as rent at a temporary location.
There are a few different ways you can get business income insurance. The actual loss sustained method requires extensive documentation, including receipts and accounting data that prove what your business would have earned had it remained open. This option is cheaper than coinsurance, but it may not fully cover your expenses. The period of restoration or waiting period option is more straightforward, but it typically doesn’t cover income you would have received if you were forced to close during an evacuation due to a natural disaster. This option is typically available for 30 days, though you can increase the period to up to 360 days.
Commercial auto insurance
Anyone who drives a car or truck for business purposes needs commercial auto insurance. This is typically required by law in New York and covers property damage, bodily injury and lawsuits up to state minimums. It can also include collision and comprehensive coverage, which covers damage from a crash, as well as losses due to theft, vandalism or severe weather. In addition, you can get hired and non-owned auto liability coverage that pays for liabilities incurred when someone else uses your company cars or trucks.
Commercial auto policies usually cost more than personal auto insurance because they offer higher liability limits and cover a wider range of situations, including the value of cargo carried by trucks, rental reimbursement with downtime and more. Depending on your business, you may need to add other coverages, such as a motor truck cargo policy or an umbrella policy. You can also purchase rideshare coverage, which is separate from commercial auto insurance, if you drive for services like Uber and Lyft. assurance entreprise