There are nearly 389,000 businesses operating in Alabama. Auburn’s economy revolves around historic Auburn University, which employs over a quarter of the city’s workforce. In addition, Auburn’s over 4,600 businesses participate in a variety of industries, including several high-tech manufacturing and research firms.
Auburn business owners need a comprehensive business insurance plan to protect their assets and their employees. Since every business has unique risks, it’s important to understand all of your exposures and find tailored insurance policies to cover them. A local independent insurance agent can help you assess your risks, compare policies and quotes, and make an informed decision.
Liability Insurance for Small Businesses in Auburn, AL
Lawsuits alleging negligence by your business can easily result in judgments of over $1 million dollars. What’s more, even if claims against you are unfounded, you always have to defend yourself if you are sued, and mounting any defense will be costly. That’s why all businesses need liability insurance. A commercial general liability (CGL) policy offers broad protection from lawsuits. These policies cover court costs, attorney fees, and even settlements or judgments levied against you that you must pay to the 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. In some cases, the additional coverage you need can be added on to your CGL policy with an endorsement. Talk to your independent insurance agent about why you might need the following types of liability protection:
- Commercial auto liability insurance is necessary if your business owns and operates any vehicles. It covers your vehicle fleet and drivers if an employee causes an accident while driving a company-owned vehicle.
- Environmental liability, or pollution liability coverage, protects companies from the costs associated with damage caused by improperly disposing of hazardous waste or causing environmental harm.
- Employment practices liability insurance covers your business against accusations of harassment, discrimination, wrongful termination, or other illegal business practices.
- Professional liability insurance covers lawsuits arising from rendering negligent professional services or failing to perform professional duties. It is often recommended for people in professional positions, such as lawyers, accountants, architects, and IT professionals, but it is becoming more common for a variety of business types.
An independent agent can help you determine which commercial liability products are right for your Auburn business.
Cyber Liability Insurance for Auburn Businesses
Data can be breached and stolen in many ways, from 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
Would your standard business liability insurance protect you if your electronic data were stolen, your website were shut down by a power failure, you were hacked, or someone filed slander or libel allegations against your business based on a social media post? Almost every business has at least some cyber risk exposure that needs to be addressed; any business that possesses valuable or sensitive data faces cyber risks and needs to take steps to mitigate them.
If your business is sued because of a data breach or other cybercrime, 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. The cyber insurance market is still evolving, so finding the right policy can be challenging. Be sure to ask an independent agent about how cyber liability insurance can help you protect your business.
Property Insurance for Small Businesses in Auburn, AL
Major disasters, like structure fires, severe storms, or hurricanes, can cause extensive damage to your Auburn business property.
- Number of federally declared disasters in Alabama since 1953: 82
- Most common reasons for declared disasters in Alabama: Severe Storms and Hurricanes
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.
Talk to an independent insurance agent about various other types of property coverage that you might need, such as equipment breakdown coverage, inland marine coverage, or flood, windstorm, or earthquake coverage. 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 Auburn 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 Auburn and often cause businesses to close, sometimes for good.
Business interruption coverage, or business income coverage, protects your earnings if your business is unable to operate because of damage after a fire, hail, wind, equipment breakdown, or some other covered event. If you are forced to close your doors for an extended period in order to make repairs, this coverage pays for rent, employee salaries, lost income, relocation fees, and more. 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 Auburn, AL Businesses
Workers’ compensation insurance is designed to cover medical treatment, lost wages, and other expenses for employees who are injured on the job. Employees can get hurt, even in the safest workplaces. Workers’ compensation insurance allows you to protect your employees from the costs of these injuries, and it protects you from lawsuits related to workplace accidents.
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 Alabama workers’ compensation insurance, 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 learn more about the workers’ compensation laws in Alabama, and can help you get the best policy you can afford.
Employee Benefits for Small Businesses in Auburn
Employee benefits like group health and life insurance serve a critical purpose for many employees. 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, as well as numerous laws and regulations that you must comply with. A local independent agent can help you find suitable coverage at a competitive price.
Why Work with an Independent Agent?
There are many business insurance products and options available to protect your Auburn business. You probably have a lot of questions and don’t want to leave any gaps in your protection. A local independent insurance agent can work with insurance companies that specialize in the type of work that you do. And your agent can help you assess your risks and get quotes from multiple, highly rated insurance companies.
Find an agent in or near Auburn to get started.
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