As a business owner, liability insurance should be at the top of your list. Protecting your business, employees, and customers can determine how successful your operation will be. Purchasing the proper business liability insurance can be daunting if you're unsure about what to look for and how to cover your assets.
Working with an independent insurance agent is the key to finding business liability insurance that's right for you. They work with a number of insurance companies which gives them the ability to find the best coverage without a huge impact on your bottom line.
What Is Business Liability Insurance?
Business liability insurance protects your business from the expenses, fees, and monetary losses caused by accidents and other inherent risks that happen during normal business operations. These accidents could involve personal or property damage among other things.
Why You Need Business Liability Insurance
Your business could be at great financial risk without business liability insurance in place. Improper coverage or no coverage could leave your business exposed when a claim occurs and your policy is found lacking, leaving you among the number of business owners who have to close their doors due to not having enough funds to sustain their business after a loss.
It is best to call your local independent insurance agent and go over your company's areas of risk. Preparing your business for an uncertain future will be vital in remaining profitable and staying in business.
What Does Business Liability Insurance Cover?
Business liability insurance is specific to your business operations, risk factors, and loss history. Coverage ranges are determined by what your business needs. The most common liability policy types are general liability, commercial auto liability, employment-related liability, and special liability.
What each liability type is:
- General liability: This is liability coverage for an injury or damage caused by your company or products used in your business operations. This policy will cover things like customer slips and falls during business operations. Should a customer get hurt as a direct result of your business product or on your business premises, then general liability is the coverage you need.
- Commercial auto liability: This is liability coverage for your commercial autos used for business operations and titled in the business name. Just like you would need individual car insurance for a personal vehicle, businesses are required to have insurance on any company-owned vehicles. Commercial auto liability needs to be written properly, meaning that the vehicles must be titled in the business name and each permissible driver needs to be listed on the policy. If a driver or vehicle is found not scheduled on the commercial auto policy, then coverage can and most of the time will be denied.
- Employment-related liability: This is for any wrongful employment practices including fiduciary, discriminatory, and wrongful termination. It is an especially important coverage since you can still be sued even if the claim is false — it is the employee's word against the business owner's. Documentation of every employee meeting, review, and disciplinary action is vital to ensure your business is properly protected.
- Special liability: This is liability insurance for perils involving pollution, aircraft, special off-premise events, liquor, and professional liabilities. These types of insurances can provide coverage for professionals such as lawyers, insurance advisors, and doctors, as well as for special events such as weddings and nonprofit galas.
Is Business Liability Insurance Mandatory?
Certain business insurance policies, such as workers' compensation insurance and commercial auto insurance, are required by state mandates. However, most of the states do not require business liability insurance by law, but all lenders will as well as commercial landlords.
Business liability insurance could mean the difference in keeping your operation open or having to close down because of financial hardship. Contact your independent insurance agent to discuss the details of your business and how liability insurance could save you in the end.
How Much Does Business Liability Insurance Cost?
The cost depends on a variety of factors including the gross annual revenue of your business and business type. The overall cost will reflect how much your business is making and what risks it has during daily operations.
Insurance company underwriters set liability premiums on how risky a business you have and how safely you operate your company. It also matters what the actuaries have determined about the industry you are in based on statistical data over a period of time.
The Benefits of an Independent Insurance Agent
Independent insurance agents will make your search for business liability insurance simple and efficient. They will compare business liability proposals from multiple carriers to ensure that you are getting the best coverage and rate for your business.
Your independent insurance agent will evaluate your needs and advise you on which business liability policy will meet your requirements. Insuring your business is their job and they are knowledgeable about where to start and what coverages need to be in place.