Massachusetts has 599,389 small businesses, according to the most current federal data available. Are you one of those new businesses? First of all, congratulations on your entrepreneurship. Second, while you may have a strong grasp of your field of business, you may have a million questions about what insurance you will need to protect your fledgling small business. Read on to find out about the insurance types that you are required to have and those which you may want to also consider.
Your insurance needs depend on what kind of work you do and how many employees you have. Are you opening a restaurant? Then you will want to consider a Business Owner’s Policy, EPLI (Employment Practices Liability Insurance), and liquor liability. If you are starting a nonprofit, then you will want to investigate a general liability policy. Contractors will want to examine general liability, workers compensation, EPLI, commercial auto, property, bonding, equipment, and possibly more. As you can see, it really depends on the nature of your business and how many employees you have. Our commercial and business specialists can evaluate what your needs will be to cover your possessions, location, transportation, and employees.
Our agents can tell you what is required by law as well as other policies that you may want to consider. Here are a few from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for you to examine as you move forward in your business venture.
General Liability Insurance
This type of insurance is for any business, big or small. This coverage protects against financial loss as a result of bodily injury, property damage, medical expenses, libel, slander, defending lawsuits, and settlement bonds or judgments. In short, if someone is injured on your business property, the liability insurance would help to cover the costs of a medical or legal claim.
Professional Liability Insurance
This specific type of policy is also referred to as errors and omissions (E&O) insurance and covers a business against negligence claims due to harm that results from mistakes or failure to perform. For example, this service protects against financial loss due to a defective product or an erroneous service.
Worker’s Compensation Insurance
This insurance should be added as soon as there is one employee, including yourself. This will cover medical treatment, disability, and death benefits in the event an employee is injured or dies as a result of his work with that business. Injuries, from small accidents to life threatening ones, can wipe out a company and an employee with medical bills.
Commercial Auto Insurance
If your business involves travel or use of a vehicle, having this policy coverage is a smart plan. This policy helps to cover the costs of auto accidents that you or your employees are involved in while driving for work purposes.
Commercial Property Insurance
If your small business rents or owns a building, you will want to have commercial property insurance. This insurance covers equipment, signage, inventory, and furniture in the event of a fire, storm, or theft. However, mass-destruction events like floods and earthquakes are generally not covered under standard property insurance policies. If your area is prone to these issues, check with your insurer to price a separate policy.
If you’re operating your business out of your home, ask your insurer for additional insurance to cover your equipment and inventory in the event of a problem. Coverage that’s added to homeowner’s insurance as a rider can offer protection for a small amount of business equipment and liability coverage for third-party injuries.
Business Interruption Insurance
In our region a blizzard, hurricane, power outage, or any other natural cause could cause an interruption of business that results in lost income. Business interruption insurance compensates a business for its lost income during these events.
Data Breach Insurance
If your business deals with sensitive information such as social security numbers, credit card numbers, or other personal data, you may want to consider cyber liability coverage. A data breach can result in financial loss, customer loss, and damage to your company’s credibility. Although they don’t make the news, small businesses are often an easy target for cyber attacks, which is why you need to protect your business and livelihood with a cyber liability insurance policy.
Do you need help sorting through what is needed for your insurance coverage? Our commercial specialists can talk through your coverage and make sure there are no gaps. Call Phil Richard Insurance today with any questions at 978-774-4338, or contact us through our website with questions.