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Why Is Commercial Business Insurance So Important?
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Regardless of how successful your business currently is, a major disaster could be right around the corner, forcing you to shut your doors forever. Commercial business insurance serves to reduce the risk of any unforeseen damages in the future, whether it's fire or flood damage, a burglary, or a customer who gets hurt on your property. While it can be very tempting to cut your costs by skipping insurance, the Small Business Administration and other experts in the industry recommend always maintaining a current policy.
What Type of Insurance Do You Need?
There are many types of business insurance, all of which are designed to match the risks you face. If you offer any type of professional advice or services, you will need professional liability insurance to protect you if a client sues you based on bad advice. If you're a doctor, you'll need malpractice insurance to protect you in case of accidents or mistakes during your care.
Virtually all businesses will require general business liability insurance, which protects you against a range of liability, including public liability and product liability. General business liability will protect you against claims of liability resulting from a physical injury or property damage on your property due to negligence, and it will offer compensation for medical expenses as a result of injuries sustained by customers or the general public.
Business property insurance, on the other hand, protects against so-called acts of God, covering you in case of fire, theft or other types of disasters. Business property insurance protects your property, whether you own or lease, covering everything from fixtures and furniture to inventory, computers and accounts receivable records.
Depending on where your business operates, you may also be legally obligated to carry business insurance. Miami, FL requires contractors to carry general business liability insurance, for example with $300,000 in bodily injury coverage and $50,000 in property damage coverage. Any company doing business in the state must purchase general liability insurance, even if they are not based in that state.
Advice for Buying Business Insurance
It's a good idea to purchase all of your insurance from a single company, just as you may with your auto, life and homeowners insurance. You'll save money this way, and you can also bundle the various policies into something known as a Business Owner's Policy (BOP), which covers common types of insurance at a better price.
Do a risk-management audit as you're beginning your business to look for potential liabilities and identify what certain accidents may cost. This should be done annually with the help of a licensed agent who can help you identify risks common with your type of business.
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