What Is Business Insurance?
Business insurance coverage protects businesses from losses due to events that may occur during the normal course of business. There are many types of insurance for businesses including coverage for property damage, legal liability and employee-related risks. Companies evaluate their insurance needs based on potential risks, which can vary depending on the type of environment in which the company operates.
Understanding Business Insurance
It is especially important for small business owners to carefully consider and evaluate their business insurance needs because they may have more personal financial exposure in the event of a loss. If a business owner does not feel he or she has the ability to effectively assess business risk and the need for coverage, they should work with a reputable, experienced and licensed insurance broker. You can obtain a list of licensed agents in your state through your state's department of insurance or the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.
Several types of business insurance that small business owners might consider:
Professional Liability Insurance
Professional liability insurance insures against negligence claims that result from mistakes or failure to perform. There is no one-size-fits-all professional liability coverage. Each industry has its own unique concerns that should be addressed.
Property insurance covers equipment, signage, inventory, and furniture in the event of a fire, storm or theft. However, it doesn't cover mass-destruction events like floods and earthquakes. If your area is at risk for these issues, you'll need a separate policy.
Homeowner’s policies don’t cover home-based businesses like commercial property insurance covers businesses. If you're operating a home-based business, inquire about additional coverage for equipment and inventory.
Product Liability Insurance
If your business manufactures products to sell, product liability insurance is very important. Any business can find itself named in a lawsuit due to damages caused by its products. Product liability insurance protects a business in such cases.
Any vehicles used for business should be fully insured. At the very least, businesses should insure against third-party injury, but comprehensive insurance will cover the vehicle in an accident, as well. If employees are using their own cars for business, their own personal insurance will cover them in the event of an accident. One major exception is if a person is delivering goods or services for a fee, including delivery personnel.
Business Interruption Insurance
This type of insurance is especially applicable to companies that require a physical location to do business, such as retail stores. Business interruption insurance compensates a business for its lost income during events that cause a disruption to the normal course of business.