There are nearly 389,000 businesses operating in Alabama, with over 6,600 in the city of Dothan. This city's economy is diverse, with agriculture as its largest industry. The service industry in Dothan is growing, as well. Whether you are a peanut farmer or the owner of a small store, all Decatur business owners need business insurance to protect their assets and their employees.
A comprehensive business insurance program can help you repair and rebuild damaged property after a fire or a storm, and it can help you stay in business and pay for your defense if you are faced with a lawsuit. Every business is different. An independent insurance agent can help you understand the unique risks you face and find the right policies and coverage to shield you from financial harm when the worst happens.
Liability Insurance for Small Businesses in Dothan, AL
Many small businesses would have a hard time recovering if they were faced with a lawsuit. If you were sued for causing injury or harm to a third party, how would you pay for your legal defense? Could you afford to pay for damages to the injured party, as well as attorney fees and other court costs? That is why Dothan business owners of any size need liability insurance. A commercial general liability (CGL) policy offers broad protection from lawsuits. It covers your legal costs, medical expenses and other damages for the injured party, and other expenses related to a liability claim against your business.
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.
CGL policies do not protect you from every type of lawsuit. Depending on the type of work you do, you might need additional liability policies or endorsements that supplement your CGL policy and eliminate any gaps in your protection. An independent insurance agent can help you assess your need for additional liability coverage, such as:
- 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.
Talk to an independent agent to learn more about liability risks and how to protect your business from lawsuits.
Cyber Liability Insurance for Dothan 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 a breach of your computer systems leads to identity theft or other privacy concerns for your customers, you’ll have to notify your customers of the breach, provide them with credit monitoring services, and undertake extensive public relations efforts to repair your image. What’s more, you’ll likely be sued for additional damages.
Cyber liability is a relatively new insurance product that is becoming increasingly important for all kinds of businesses. While policy specifics are evolving and vary among insurance companies, it typically pays for your legal defense, financial damages to injured parties, 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 solution. Be sure to ask an independent agent about how cyber liability insurance can help you protect your Dothan business.
Property Insurance for Small Businesses in Dothan, AL
Commercial property insurance is an essential building block of any commercial insurance program. It covers your 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.
- Number of federally declared disasters in Alabama since 1953: 82
- Most common reasons for declared disasters in Alabama: Severe Storms and Hurricanes
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 commercial property, so you can be sure you can make complete repairs or fully rebuild. While commercial property insurance covers most of your business property, you might still require some special policies or endorsements. Ask an independent agent about your need for inland marine coverage, equipment breakdown coverage, or spoilage coverage.
Business Interruption Insurance for Dothan Businesses
Big storms or catastrophic events—or even simple hailstorms—can easily damage your building, your suppliers’ buildings, local utilities and more, leaving you unable to operate for some time. Any business in Dothan can experience this type of loss at any time. Businesses without appropriate insurance coverage may be unable to make repairs and stay in business.
Business interruption insurance, or business income insurance, pays for certain ongoing expenses and allows your company to stay afloat if you must close to make repairs or rebuild due to physical damage. It helps you pay employee salaries and reimburses you for lost income, enabling you to make repairs and stay in business. Business interruption insurance is usually a part of your commercial property policy or 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 Dothan, AL Businesses
Your company is responsible for covering the costs of work-related injuries or illnesses, regardless of who is at fault. That’s why you need workers’ compensation insurance. It is designed to cover medical treatment, lost wages, and other miscellaneous 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 more or more employees must purchase Alabama worker's compensation insurance. However, 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
- Coverage is not required for domestic employees, farm laborers, casual employees and municipalities having a population of less than 2,000
Your independent insurance agent can help you learn more about the workers’ compensation laws in Alabama.
Employee Benefits for Small Businesses in Dothan
Employee benefits are an important component of your comprehensive business insurance plan—and one of the most complex and expensive. But most employers choose to offer an employee benefits plan because programs like group health insurance, group life insurance, vacation time, and sick time help attract and retain good employees. What’s more, larger employers are required by law to offer health insurance to their 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. It’s important to get expert advice and to shop around for quality, affordable coverage.
Why Work with an Independent Agent?
There are a wide variety of insurance products and options available to business owners. The best way to be sure you are getting appropriate coverage for all of the risks you face is to work with a helpful and knowledgeable independent insurance agent. 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.
©2020, Consumer Agent Portal, LLC. All rights reserved.