Irvine is home to more than 31,000 businesses, most of which are small, privately owned companies. This California city was recently ranked among the best entrepreneurial cities for small businesses in the US. If you own a company in Irvine, business insurance can protect your investment in it.
Local independent agents can help you identify your company's various exposures and recommend the best and most affordable business insurance products to cover against them. Set up a one-on-one consultation with an independent insurance agent near you to get started.
Is Business Insurance Required in Irvine, CA?
There is no law mandating that you have a business insurance policy. However, there are cases where some small businesses may need to carry some of the types of coverage often included in typical business insurance policy packages. For instance:
- If you are making payments on a business loan or line of credit, your lender may require you to carry commercial property insurance.
- If you have a company-owned vehicle or fleet of vehicles, you must cover them with commercial vehicle insurance.
- If your business has employees, California law requires you to cover them with workers' compensation insurance.
- If you are a contractor, prospective clients may request proof of liability coverage and workers' compensation insurance before hiring you to do a job on their premises.
Whether or not you need to have it, business insurance can offer protection if a liability lawsuit, natural disaster, property crime, or forced closure impacts your company's bottom line.
How Much Does Business Insurance Cost in Irvine, CA?
The cost of business insurance can vary significantly from one company to the next because insurance companies base their premiums on several factors like:
- The industry in which your business operates
- Your company's expected annual revenues
- The value of your company-owned property and other assets
- The number of workers you employ and the types of jobs they do
- Your company's liability exposures
- The types of coverage you want to buy for your business
Every insurance company has a unique way of assessing risk and calculating rates. Therefore, you will likely be quoted different costs for coverage by every company you contact to inquire about rates.
Comparison shopping lets you choose the insurance company that offers the coverage your business needs at the most competitive price. Independent insurance agents can save you time and money by doing the comparison shopping legwork on your behalf.
What Does Business Insurance Cover in Irvine, CA?
Many small businesses can get all the coverage they need through a simple business owners policy (BOP). Whether you are purchasing a BOP or a traditional business insurance policy, you can expect to receive:
- Coverage against potential liability lawsuits
- Coverage against property loss or damage
- Coverage against loss of income due to some forced closures
You can build a customized business insurance policy package by supplementing your policy's basic coverage with any additional commercial insurance policies and coverage options that are relevant to your particular business.
What Does Small-Business Liability Insurance Cover in Irvine, CA?
Although liability lawsuits against large companies are the ones that are likely to make the news, you should be aware that small businesses are also frequently subjected to expensive lawsuits.
Business liability insurance is designed to cover legal defense fees, court costs, mediation, settlements, judgments, and other miscellaneous expenses if your company faces a liability lawsuit. However, you need to have the right kinds of liability coverage in place ahead of time.
All BOPs and business insurance policies include general liability insurance as a standard part of their coverage. This insurance is designed to cover some of the most common liability risks businesses face. It includes:
- Premises liability insurance: This covers third-party injuries and property damage caused by accidents at your place of business.
- Product liability insurance: This covers injuries, illnesses, and property damage caused by products your company sells or produces.
- Media liability insurance: This covers against accusations of copyright infringement, deceptive pricing, false advertising, and other marketing errors.
General liability insurance alone is not enough to cover most businesses against all their liability exposures. Depending on what your company does, you may need to supplement your general liability coverage with other commercial liability products such as:
- Employment practices liability insurance (EPLI): This covers against accusations of illegal employment practices like harassment, discrimination, retaliation, and wrongful termination.
- Errors and omissions insurance (E&O): This covers your business and the people who work for you if negligence, inadequate work, or other professional errors cause your clients to experience financial losses or other harm, and they file a lawsuit.
- Cyber liability insurance: This covers your company's financial obligations to affected individuals if criminals hack into your company's computer network and access their personal, financial, or other data.
- Liquor liability insurance: If one of your employees serves or sells alcohol to a clearly intoxicated person who goes on to cause property damage or injuries to someone else, California's dram shop laws allow the injured party to sue your business. Liquor liability insurance covers against this risk.
- Workers' compensation insurance: This shields your company from potential liability lawsuits by covering your employees' medical treatments and lost wages if they are injured on the job or are diagnosed with an occupational illness. It is required for nearly all employers in this state.
These are just a few of your business's many commercial liability product choices. An independent agent can help you be sure that all of your company's liability exposures are covered by the right policies.
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What Kinds of Property Coverage Does Business Insurance Offer in Irvine, CA?
Every BOP and business insurance policy includes commercial property insurance. This insurance is designed to cover repair or replacement costs if your company-owned property is damaged or destroyed by a covered event. Covered hazards that are likely to affect business in Irvine include:
- Fires: This includes damage caused by accidental fires, wildfires, and explosions. It also covers property damage caused by smoke and firefighting efforts.
- Property crimes: This includes crimes like vandalism and thefts through shoplifting, burglaries, and holdups.
- Severe weather: This includes hazards like thunderstorms, windstorms, and, though rare in Irvine, tornadoes.
Commercial property insurance has a few limitations, so you may want to supplement it with additional policies such as:
- Inland marine insurance: Commercial property insurance only covers items when they are on your business premises. Inland marine insurance covers your property when in transit over land or kept in another location like a job site or a warehouse.
- Flood insurance: Approximately 6% of the properties in Irvine have at least a 26% chance of sustaining significant flood damage in the next 30 years, but commercial property insurance does not cover flood damage. To protect your business against this risk, you can purchase a commercial flood insurance policy through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
- Earthquake insurance: Businesses in Irvine have a very high risk of earthquake activity. The US Geological Survey reports this city has a 95.36% chance of enduring a quake of magnitude 5.0 or greater over the next 50 years. Because commercial property insurance does not cover seismic events, you may want to consider supplementing it with a commercial earthquake insurance policy.
Independent insurance agents live and work in your community, so they understand the risks you face as a business owner in Irvine. They can help to ensure that your business is suitably covered against all potential hazards.
How Can Business Interruption Insurance Protect Companies in Irvine, CA?
Some parts of Irvine are designated as being in the Wildland/Urban Interface (WUI). If your business is in the WUI, it is at risk of being damaged by wildfire activity someday.
When wildfires or other disasters impact businesses, property damage isn't the only expensive risk they may face. If the damage to your business is significant, you may need to halt operations for several days or weeks while repairs are made. That is why business interruption insurance is important.
Business interruption insurance is a standard part of every BOP and business insurance policy. This insurance is designed to provide your company with a continuation of income if it needs to temporarily shut down because of damage caused by a covered event.
This insurance can provide your company with the funds needed to continue paying regular expenses like salaries, taxes, bills, loan payments, and rent until it can resume normal business operations.
What about Insurance Products for Employee Benefits Packages?
You can make your business more attractive to the area's best workers by offering benefits like paid time off, insurance coverage, and pension plans. If you are thinking about putting an employee benefits package together, an independent insurance agent can help you find suitable:
Your agent can help you be sure that whichever health insurance plan you choose for your employees is accepted by many local doctors and medical facilities like Joseph Hospital and Kaiser Permanente Orange County.
What Are the Best Business Insurance Companies in Irvine, CA?
The best business insurance companies in California in Irvine, California are the ones that have a consistent record of offering their policyholders exceptional customer service, reliable coverage, and competitive rates.
Independent insurance agents in Irvine have partnered with some of the area's top insurance providers. This means you can expect that any business insurance policies your agent recommends to you are offered by trustworthy companies.
How Can an Independent Agent in Irvine, CA Help Me Find the Best Business Insurance Policy?
Independent agents are happy to do a complete risk assessment of your business to identify all potential risks. Your agent can then recommend the right business insurance products to cover against each exposure.
If you would like help finding the best and most affordable policies to meet all of your company's needs, set up an obligation-free meeting with an independent insurance agent near you. You can start comparing customized business insurance quotes in no time.
TrustedChoice.com Article | Reviewed by Jeffrey Green
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