There are about 396,400 small businesses operating in Alabama. Over 2,700 of them are operating in Alabaster, with finance, insurance, and professional and technical services firms being prominent.
A wide range of businesses can be found in Alabaster. If you’re an Alabaster business owner, you’ll want to protect your investment with a comprehensive business insurance plan. A local independent insurance agent can help you identify the unique risks your company faces, and can recommend the commercial insurance products you need to cover them.
Liability Insurance for Small Businesses in Alabaster, AL
One of the most important components of any business insurance plan is commercial liability insurance. When you purchase a commercial general liability (CGL) policy, you gain protection from lawsuits and claims of negligence. These types of lawsuits happen when your business is responsible for damage or injuries to third parties.
And even if the claims against you are unfounded, you still have to defend yourself, which can be expensive. A CGL policy helps you recover by reimbursing you for court costs, attorney fees, and even any settlements or judgments that you are required to pay to an injured party.
A CGL policy has two major coverage components:
- Premises liability insurance: Covers third-party damage, injuries, or illnesses that occur due to an accident on your business property.
- Product liability insurance: Covers third-party damage, injuries, or illnesses caused by a defect in a product your company produces, sells or promotes.
Businesses often have liability risks that go beyond what CGL insurance can cover. Fortunately, there are several additional commercial liability policies available. And in some cases, the additional coverage you need can be added on to your CGL policy with an endorsement.
You can customize your overall business liability insurance coverage to include the following, as needed:
- Employment practices liability insurance: Covers your business against accusations of illegal business practices such as discrimination and wrongful termination.
- Environmental liability insurance: Covers your business if an accident results in your company polluting the land, water, or air.
- Liquor liability insurance: Covers businesses that sell or furnish alcohol in the event that an intoxicated person causes injury or property damage to others.
- Professional liability insurance: Covers individuals in professional positions if errors in judgment or other professional mistakes cause third-party damage.
An independent agent can help you determine which commercial liability products are right for your Alabaster business.
Cyber Liability Insurance for Alabaster Businesses
Any business that handles electronic data—especially personally identifiable information about its customers—is particularly susceptible to cyber threats. Data can be breached in many ways, from stolen laptops and other portable devices, to rogue employees, theft of digital assets, human error and more.
- Number of identity theft complaints in Alabama per year: 3,770
- Ranked 22nd highest for identity theft complaints in the US
- Only 22% of businesses have a cyber/data breach response plan
If your business is sued because of a data breach or other cybercrime, you’re responsible for paying legal fees, court-ordered judgments or settlements, and any other court-related costs. You’ll also need to notify your customers of the breach, provide them with credit monitoring services, and undertake extensive public relations efforts to repair your public image. Imagine the financial blow this would be, especially for a small firm.
Cyber liability insurance protects your business assets by paying for your legal defense, settlements and judgments, and even PR and other related expenses. Cyber liability coverage can be added to a business owners policy (BOP) or commercial general liability policy, or it can be a stand-alone.
Even if your Alabaster business uses firewalls and passwords to protect sensitive customer data, your computer system could still be at risk. Be sure to ask an independent agent about how cyber liability insurance can help you protect your business.
Property Insurance for Small Businesses in Alabaster, AL
Commercial property insurance is another basic and essential building block of a commercial insurance program. It covers your company’s physical assets, including buildings and office space, merchandise, inventory, tools, machinery, computers, office furnishings, and more when physical damage occurs due to fires, severe weather, theft, vandalism, and so on.
Some of your commercial property could require specialized or tailored coverage. For instance, if you have tools and equipment that are transported from job site to job site, you probably need inland marine insurance to cover it while it is in transport or at a site. Or if you have specialized machines or equipment, you might need equipment breakdown coverage (sometimes referred to as boiler and machinery insurance).
- Number of federally declared disasters in Alabama since 1953: 93
- Most common reasons for declared disasters in Alabama: Severe Storms
Major disasters, like structure fires, severe storms, or hurricanes, can cause extensive damage to your business property. Be sure to talk to your agent about the appropriate coverage limits for your unique business, so you can make repairs or rebuild without taking a major financial hit.
Business Interruption Insurance for Alabaster Businesses
Big storms or catastrophic events—and even not-so-catastrophic ones—can easily damage your building, your suppliers’ buildings, local utilities and more, leaving you unable to operate for some time. Bad storms can happen at any time in Alabaster and often cause businesses to close, sometimes for good.
Business interruption insurance, or business income insurance, reimburses you for lost revenues when your business is unable to operate after a disaster. It pays for certain ongoing expenses and allows your company to stay afloat until you are able to reopen.
Business interruption insurance is usually a part of your commercial property policy or a business owners policy (BOP). An independent insurance agent can help you assess your risks and help you get the coverage you need.
Workers’ Compensation Insurance for Alabaster, AL Businesses
No matter what kind of business you own, your employees can be injured or become ill on the job. Regardless of fault, your company is responsible for covering the costs of work-related injuries or illnesses. Workers’ compensation insurance is designed to cover medical treatment, lost wages, and other expenses for injured employees.
Most businesses in Alabama are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. For example, all employers in the construction industry with one or more employees must purchase this coverage. There are some exceptions:
- Employers with less than five employees
- Sole proprietors and partners are not required to be covered but can elect to cover themselves
- Domestic employees, farm laborers, or casual employees and municipalities having a population of less than 2,000 are not required to provide coverage
Your independent insurance agent can help you obtain appropriate coverage through a commercial provider.
Employee Benefits for Small Businesses in Alabaster
While offering employee benefits is optional for some small employers, the impact that they can have on a workforce is immense. Employee benefits like group health and life insurance serve a critical purpose for many employees.
The positive impact of offering employee benefits tends to far outweigh the costs. Employee benefits in general are linked to a decrease in employee absenteeism and improved morale. What’s more, a good employee benefits plan that includes health insurance, life insurance, vacation and sick time, and more, helps companies attract and retain top employees.
- Average amount spent per year on healthcare coverage by Alabama businesses: $639,311
- Ranked 21st for highest medical insurance costs in the US
- Average annual cost of health care in Alabama: $5,754/person or $13,477/family
There are many different health and life insurance policy types and options available for you to choose from. A local independent agent can help you find suitable coverage at a competitive price.
Why Work with an Independent Agent?
There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all business insurance policy. The wide variety of insurance products and options available to business owners allow you to cover your assets against the unique risks you face.
Independent insurance agents can help you find the right policy for your needs and budget. Independent agents can work with multiple insurance companies, so you can compare competitive quotes and make an informed choice.
Contact a local agent to get started.
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