From the moment you chose to start out on your own and to open your own business, you are exposing yourself to a particular set of risks, even before you hire your first employee. It is important when beginning your business, to get the right insurance coverage. A single lawsuit or catastrophic event can ruin everything you are working so hard for.
There are many types of insurance coverages available, some of them even tailored to specific industries, so shopping for business insurance can be overwhelming. To help ease the process, here are 7 types of insurance coverage that any business, in any industry, needs.
- Professional Liability Insurance
This type of insurance is also commonly referred to as Errors and Omissions (E&O) Insurance. It provides coverage in the event of a liability or negligence claim that an intentional act, non-intention act, failure to act, or professional advice (or lack thereof) directly lead to harm. This is one of the most customizable policies that allow businesses in any industry address specific areas of concern.
- Property Insurance
Whether you are leasing your business space or own it, Property Insurance will provide cover your business equipment, inventory, signage, and even office furniture in the event of a fire, storm, or theft. If the area your business is located is prone to catastrophic events such as severe flooding or hurricanes, then you will need additional coverage as basic Property Insurance does not cover the mass damages these events cause.
- Worker’s Compensation
Once you have hired your first employee, you should begin to consider worker’s comp insurance. Florida mandates that most businesses must carry Worker’s Compensation Insurance when you have four or more employees (regardless of hours worked) but you can purchase this coverage prior to that point. Worker’s Comp Insurance protects your business from liabilities sustained on the job or while performing job-tasks. Medical treatment and lost wages are covered under Worker’s Compensation. Even low-risk business need to carry Worker’s Comp – something as simple as carpel tunnel syndrome can lead to extensive medical care.
- Home-based Business Coverage
Operating your business out of your home can be a cost-effect way of managing your business, especially if the services you offer do not require a separate office (like consulting or online sales); however, operating a business out of your home can present a dilemma with your homeowner’s insurance. Damages to your inventory, or other business property, and injuries sustained on your premises are not covered under your homeowner’s insurance policy. You need a separate policy to protect your home-based business.
- Product Liability Insurance
This is important to have if your company will be manufacturing any type of product for sale. Although, you may be taking every safety consideration into account during the manufacturing process, something could go wrong, leaving your business liable for the damages it causes. Your Product Liability Insurance Coverage can be tailored to the type of product that your business will be making.
- Commercial Vehicle Insurance
If your business requires the use of company vehicles (cars, trucks, semi-trucks, box trucks, etc.) then having a vehicle insurance policy is a must. This includes if you have a delivery driver or ever have an employee run a work-related errand. Employees can use personal auto insurance when driving to and from work, but if they are performing job tasks like those previously mentioned, then you need to have them insured for such. Also, the driver’s personal insurance is not going to cover an accident in a work vehicle. Commercial vehicle policies must include the state minimum coverages but should also consider comprehensive or collision coverage to reduce company losses.
- Business Interruption Insurance
In the event of a natural disaster or other catastrophic event (like a fire), your business may not be able to open its doors for some time. As a result, your business, you, and any employees you have will suffer from a loss of income. Business Interruption Insurance covers these moments and provides compensation for the loss in income. You can use the money to keep the business afloat (pay bills or invoices) and continue payroll services for yourself and employees.