At the same time, it can be challenging to know what kind of insurance you need without overpaying for policies and coverage you don’t need.
Two common forms of insurance for small businesses are general liability and business owner policies. These two policies have some overlap, important differences, and exclusions.
Read on for the basics of the coverage and limitations of each policy, average costs for common coverage, and special business situations. You’ll soon be prepared to shop for the best policy for your company!
A general liability policy is one of the most basic safeguards for small businesses– it protects them from common mistakes and accidents.
General liability insurance covers you when you’re sued, including attorney fees, court fees, and settlement money up to your policy limit. General liability coverage is considered the minimum amount of coverage your business needs, no matter how careful you are as the owner.
General liability insurance offers excellent protection in many common business scenarios. It gives you peace of mind in the case of legal action, but it isn’t always the perfect solution.
General liability insurance doesn’t cover many everyday needs, like workers’ comp or data breaches. You may overpay for additional coverage if you’re eligible to bundle policies within a business owner’s policy.
A business owner’s policy is the preferred choice for many small business owners. This is because a BOP includes a general liability policy and adds further coverage.
However, BOPs aren’t for everyone or every business. There are restrictions on who can have a policy, including company size and industry risk.
You can often add additional coverage to your business owner’s policy for less money than buying the policies separately.
A BOP can potentially offer the most customization for the lowest price, but not all businesses are eligible.
Many people started a new business or side hustle during the pandemic. As a result, you may feel like you don’t fit neatly into typical business categories. Here are a few common special cases.
Yes! A business with only one employee (you) still needs business insurance. Even if your production is small right now, you never know when you could face a lawsuit. Talk with a qualified insurance provider to understand the best coverage for your risk and income.
Small businesses in high-risk industries still need general liability coverage and other specialty insurance. For example, an auto repair shop may use garage liability insurance, which includes general liability and other industry-specific risks.
It may be difficult to know if your business is considered high risk, be it from personal experience or from searching the internet. The best way to understand your available options is to talk with an insurance provider about your business and desired coverage.
While most businesses aren’t required by their state to have general liability insurance, many choose this coverage because the benefits far outweigh the premium expense. On the other hand, most businesses are required by state law to have workers’ comp insurance, which is a common addition to business owner’s policies.
Remember, every situation is different and not every business is eligible for a BOP. Do your research and speak with a trusted advisor.
Thanks for reading! Please note that this content is intended for educational purposes only. As best practices change regularly, you should refer to your trusted advisor for specific counsel.