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Commercial Insurance Policies Required for Your Small Business (The Full List)
As a small-business owner, you may be at risk of having your business wiped out without the right insurance due to lawsuits and claims arising from accidents and/or malpractice. Therefore, getting the right insurance for your business is very important.
MartinoWest understands how challenging it is to grasp the requirements of the different types of commercial insurance. We like to make things simple and straightforward for you, so that you can focus on the core of your business. And this is why we put together this light, comprehensive read for you.
But before I tell you more about small-business insurance, I’d like to go over a few questions that clients regularly ask us.
What Does the Term “Commercial Insurance” Mean?
Any form of insurance designed to protect a business and business owners falls under the umbrella of commercial insurance. Other terms used to refer to types of commercial insurance are liability insurance and business insurance, also known as small-business insurance.
As stated earlier, insurance is a critical aspect of risk management that protects your business and your employees. There are certain types of commercial insurance required by law, depending on the state you operate your business in and your industry.
What is the Difference Between Commercial Auto and Business Auto Insurance?
Business Auto & Commercial Auto are used synonymously when ordering coverage. Agents/Carriers interchange them – the internet can be a little misleading with this.
Commercial Auto is just a broader all-encompassing term. Commercial automobile coverage can include several policy ‘forms’; such as garage, business auto, and motor carrier.
Always remember –
- Business Auto can cover any vehicle used in the course of business, owned, hired & non-owned.
- Business automobiles are cars, pick-ups, small trucks, large trucks, dump trucks, even ambulances can be on the fleet list. Business Auto is for standard usage owned vehicles for businesses.
- Garage forms are used for public repair shops, dealerships, and attended parking lots. They’re also useful for any other situation where the general public might drive the business vehicle or where you have care, custody or control over other people’s vehicles. The risk is different from business auto because either the cars or drivers do not belong to the same organization. Garage liability also covers towing other vehicles.
- Motor carrier forms anticipate different ownership of either the power unit or the trailer it hauls. The nature of long haul trucking is independent contractors “owner operators” hook to other business’ trailers and move them from one spot to another.
- Motor carrier coverage is designed to cover the nuances of the independent operator system. Long-haul trucking has different exposures than the average salesman’s vehicle, and needs different coverage.
Where Can I Get a Commercial Insurance Quote?
Fill out this form. One of our experts will contact you for more information and give you timelines for preparing your FREE quote.
Clients also frequently ask us how much it costs to get business insurance. Well, the cost of business insurance mostly depends on the size of your business, the number of employees you have, the nature of your business, the value of your assets, and the state of business operation—among other factors.
Call MartinoWest at (855) 924-1597 to get a comprehensive, business insurance quote designed specifically for your small business.
Do I Need Small-Business Insurance if My Business Is Home-Based?
The short answer is, absolutely yes! Remember, the sole reason for getting insurance is to protect you from any liability arising from conducting your business. So, irrespective of where you run your business, if you’re an entrepreneur, you very well may need insurance coverage.
Top 9 Types of Insurance for Your Small Business
The type of insurance coverage you should get may be independent of the state in which you operate your business and the nature of your business. Below are a few types of business liability insurance you can obtain:
- Workers’ Compensation Insurance – If you have employees, you need to get workers’ compensation.
- Commercial General Liability Insurance – Next to workers comp, the most crucial insurance to secure for your business is general liability insurance. It covers claims by a third party suffering bodily injury and property damage. The coverage works under the assumption that the business owner was at fault. The assumption is valid since at times, a client or patron may be responsible for their injury or damage but may still sue you for bodily harm. In such cases, the coverage will help you meet legal fees or settle lawsuits.
- Professional Liability Insurance – For lawyers, accountants, physicians, consultants, copywriters, graphic designers, brokers, financial advisors, public relations representatives, IT technicians, and other related professionals in the business of giving and executing advice given to clients. Matters of malpractice and misrepresentation are included.
- Liquor Liability Insurance – Is an insurance appropriate for you if your business manufactures, serves, or sells alcohol. It covers legal fees, medical costs, and settlements associated with bodily harm or property damage caused by an intoxicated person who consumed the policyholder’s liquor.
- Product Liability Insurance – For small businesses that provide products, not services. If a problem arises with a user that can be traced back to your product, you may be liable to pay compensation. Issues arising from products that expose you to lawsuits include faulty products, products that cause bodily harm or property damage, and illness from consuming food and beverage products.
- Home–Based Business Insurance – If you operate your business from your house, you need home-based comprehensive commercial insurance.
- Crime and Cyber Coverage – Protect your business from possible cyber-attacks and breaches from hackers with this insurance. Such coverage also helps you recover from fraud and employee theft.
- Commercial Property Insurance – Covers your office equipment or assets in case of damage or theft.
- Business Interruption Insurance – Is an essential aspect of business continuity plans in situations where natural calamities result in an interruption of your business activities. In such an event, you may find it hard to meet payroll and other financial obligations, such as rent. Your business interruption insurance should be able to meet the costs of operation as your business works to get back on its feet.
Benefits of Securing Business Liability Insurance
- Mitigate the Risks of Doing Business – Imagine if you didn’t have insurance for possible property damage, employee injuries, and third-party claims. The financial risk exposure would devastate all your other business sustainability efforts. But with business insurance, you have peace of mind knowing that your business can meet injury and damage claims and obligations without threatening its survival.
- Protect the Welfare of Your Employees – With insurance, your employees work confidently knowing that their employer is taking care of their well-being and welfare. Such assurance will position your business to attract top talent and acts as a performance incentive for your employees.
- Increase Business Efficiency – As a business owner, the right insurance coverage is an essential aspect of your risk management strategy. With suitable coverage, you’re able to focus on the other critical elements of your core business without worrying about possible injury and property damage claims.
- Ensure the Continuity of Your Business – Insurance, especially the business interruption coverage, guarantees your business’ continuity. Business continuity strategies are essential for seasons when the business cannot generate revenue to meet the costs of doing business. The coverage enables you to keep your doors open until the time comes when you’re able to continue with your endeavors.
You’ll want to keep these two essential points in mind when securing commercial insurance: it’s critical to get the right coverage and to ensure that the terms are appropriate for your business activities.
To do so, you need to acquaint yourself with the legal and regulatory requirements in your state—or partner with us at MartinoWest, where we’ll take care of that for you. MartinoWest will work to ensure that you get the appropriate insurance for your small business. Contact us today to find out how we can cater to your business insurance needs!