Business owners have plenty of options when it comes to insurance, and choosing the best policies for their needs can be challenging. Every business has unique risks, and essential policies for some industries are middling or marginal for others. However, some risks are universal, and all businesses must prepare for them. These include business liability, property, cyber, and business interruption risks.
Types of Business Insurance Policies
Choosing the best business insurance policies depends on numerous factors. For example, the type of product or service, typical risks for the industry, the business property type and size, and staff size all affect coverage needs. The federal government requires all businesses with employees to carry worker’s compensation, disability, and unemployment insurance. However, business owners need several other types of insurance to protect their interests. These include:
- General Liability Insurance (GLI). GLI policies cover lawsuits claiming the business caused bodily injuries, personal injuries (e.g., slander), or property damage.
- Commercial Property Insurance. Commercial property policies cover company property, equipment, or other physical assets damaged by fire, lightning, wind, vandalism, or theft. It does not include flood damage, and businesses in flood zones will need a separate policy for it. Home-based businesses still need this type of insurance, as most homeowner’s insurance policies won’t cover business-related losses.
- Business Interruption Insurance. These policies help recoup lost income if a covered peril forces a company to close temporarily. For example, a fire may force a business to close until they repair the damage. Commercial property insurance covers the physical property damage, whereas business interruption insurance pays for any income lost while waiting for the repairs.
- Business Owner’s Policy (BOP). BOP policies combine GLI, commercial property insurance, and business interruption insurance. BOPs are often flexible and business owners can customize them to meet their unique risk profile. Bundling the policies is often less expensive than investing in each individually.
- Errors and Omissions (E&O) Insurance. E&O policies protect businesses against litigation claims that they made an error or mistake that caused damage. Examples include claims of negligence, misrepresentation, or providing incorrect information.
- Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI). EPLI is essential for any business that has employees. These policies offer protection against lawsuits alleging the employer violated an employee’s legal rights. Most of these lawsuits claim discrimination due to age, sex, race, religion, and national origin.
- Cyber Insurance. Cybercrime is on the rise, and no business can afford to go without it. Although mega-corporation data breaches make big headlines, cybercrimes disproportionately affect small businesses. Smaller enterprises often assume they’re not a lucrative enough target. However, their insufficient or lack of defenses makes it that much easier to hack into their networks. Regardless, cyber insurance can help address numerous challenges following a cyberattack. These include diagnosing how the breach happened, informing possible victims, managing and repairing public relations and image, and more.
The above policies are some of the most critical business insurance coverage options. However, certain industries have specific coverage needs. Contact the experts at Windermere Insurance Group to talk about your risks and identify any coverage gaps.