Santa Monica is the headquarters of many large corporations like Lionsgate Films, Miramax, RAND Corporation, and Hulu. Still, many of the 23,000 businesses in this city are start-up tech firms and small, privately-owned companies. Business insurance can help all these companies stay profitable.
Suppose you are among the small-business owners in this Pacific Coast city. In that case, a local independent agent can identify your company’s exposures and recommend the best and most affordable insurance products to cover against each of them. Find an independent insurance agent near you to get started.
Is Business Insurance Required in Santa Monica, CA?
You are not required by law to have a business insurance policy. However, there are situations where certain types of commercial insurance coverage may be needed:
- If your business has employees, you need to carry workers’ compensation insurance to comply with California law.
- If you are applying for a commercial mortgage or a business loan, your lender may require you to carry commercial property insurance until your loan is paid in full.
- If you are a contractor, you may need to show prospective clients proof that you have liability insurance and workers’ compensation insurance before they will hire you to do a job on their property.
- If your business owns and operates motor vehicles, you need to carry commercial vehicle insurance to comply with California law.
Business insurance is ideal for most companies. It has the potential to save your business from significant financial loss if it is impacted by a hardship like a liability lawsuit, a natural disaster, or a forced temporary closure.
How Much Does Business Insurance Cost in Santa Monica, CA?
The cost of business insurance coverage 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 and the services it provides
- The size of your business space and whether it is open to the public
- Your company’s expected annual revenues
- The number of workers you employ and the kinds of jobs they do
- The estimated value of your business-owned property
- Your business’s various liability exposures
- Whether your company owns and operates motor vehicles
To find out how much coverage will cost for your Santa Monica business, you can contact a few insurance companies to request customized quotes. Or, if you prefer, an independent insurance agent can do this on your behalf.
Every insurance provider has a different way of calculating costs, so comparing quotes can save you money by enabling you to choose the policy that offers the coverage you want at the lowest rate.
What Does Business Insurance Cover in Santa Monica?
Many small business owners can get all the coverage their company needs through a simple business owners policy (BOP). Larger businesses and companies with complex coverage needs will need coverage through a business insurance policy.
Whether you are purchasing a BOP or a conventional business insurance policy, you can expect it to provide three main types of coverage. These include:
- Business liability insurance: This covers your company against liability lawsuits.
- Commercial property insurance: This covers the cost of repairing or replacing your business property if it is damaged in a covered event.
- Business interruption insurance: This provides your business with a continuation of income if a covered disaster forces a temporary closure.
By adding additional policies and options, you can build a customized business insurance policy package suited to your company’s specific coverage needs.
What Does Small Business Liability Insurance Cover in Santa Monica, CA?
Even the smallest businesses can wind up on the wrong end of a liability lawsuit. If someone sues your company, business liability insurance products can cover expenses like legal fees, court costs, settlements, and judgments.
All BOPs and business insurance policies include general liability insurance as a standard part of their coverage. General liability insurance includes:
- Premises liability insurance: This covers third-party injuries and property damage caused by accidents on your business premises.
- Product liability insurance: This covers third-party injuries, illnesses, and property damage caused by products your company produces or sells.
- Media liability insurance: This covers accusations of copyright violations, deceptive pricing, false advertising, and other marketing errors.
- Coverage against accusations of libel or slander
General liability insurance covers a lot, but it does not sufficiently cover all businesses. Companies with additional liability exposures will need to purchase additional commercial liability products. An independent agent can recommend policies that may be a good fit for your business, such as:
- Errors and omissions insurance (E&O): This covers lawsuits related to negligent acts, inadequate work, missed deadlines, and other professional errors that may have caused your clients to experience injuries, financial losses, or other harm.
- Employment practices liability insurance (EPLI): This covers your business against accusations of illegal employment practices such as harassment, discrimination, wrongful termination, or retaliation.
- Cyber liability insurance: This covers your company’s financial obligations to affected individuals if criminals hack into your business’s computer system and access personal, financial, or other sensitive data.
- Workers’ compensation insurance: This covers the cost of medical treatments and lost wages if your employees get hurt on the job. This coverage is required of nearly all employers in California.
These are just a few of the many commercial liability insurance policies you can add to your business insurance policy. Consult a local insurance professional for help determining whether these or any other liability products are a good fit for your business.
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What Kinds of Property Coverage Does Business Insurance Offer to Companies in Santa Monica, CA?
Commercial property insurance is a standard part of every BOP and business insurance policy. It can cover repair or replacement costs if your business-owned property is damaged or destroyed in a covered event. Covered hazards include:
- Fires and explosions
- Property crimes like shoplifting and vandalism
- Severe weather events like thunderstorms, windstorms, and bomb cyclones
To fully cover their commercial property, some business owners in Santa Monica may want to purchase supplemental property coverage such as:
- Inland marine insurance: This covers your company’s portable property when it is being transported over land and when it is being kept at a location other than your business premises, like a warehouse or job site.
- Flood insurance: Commercial property insurance does not cover flood damage. Fortunately, only 3% of the properties in Santa Monica have a significant risk of experiencing flood damage. If your business is among them, you can cover it with a commercial flood insurance policy through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
- Earthquake insurance: Commercial property insurance does not cover earthquake damage, but there is a very high risk of seismic activity in Santa Monica. The USGS reports a 94.99% chance the area will experience an earthquake of magnitude 5.0 or greater over the next 50 years. You can purchase an earthquake insurance policy to protect your business against this risk.
Independent insurance agents live and work in your community, so they are familiar with your risks as a business owner in Santa Monica. Your agent can help you be confident that your business insurance suitably covers your company-owned property against all potential risks.
How Can Business Interruption Insurance Protect Businesses in Santa Monica, CA?
Catastrophic events like structure fires and bomb cyclones can cause a lot of damage. If your company must close down for several days or weeks while repairs are made, the loss of revenue can be devastating. Fortunately, business interruption insurance offers protection against this risk.
Business interruption insurance provides your company with a continuation of income while it is closed down. That way, it will have the funds necessary to keep paying regular expenses like rent, loan payments, taxes, and employee payroll until you can resume normal operations.
What about Insurance Products for Employee Benefits Packages?
Offering your employees benefits like vacation time, sick time, health insurance, and life insurance can give your business a competitive edge when recruiting and retaining a strong workforce.
When you are putting together an employee benefits package, you can turn to a local independent agent for help finding the best and most affordable:
- Small-business health insurance plans
- Small-business life insurance plans
- Simplified employee benefits plans (SEPs)
Your agent can ensure that the health insurance plan you choose is accepted by many area doctors and hospitals like UCLA Santa Monica Medical Center and Providence Saint John’s Health Center. That way, your employees will have easy access to care when needed.
What Are the Best Business Insurance Companies in Santa Monica, California?
The best business insurance companies in California are the ones that consistently offer exceptional customer service, reliable coverage, and affordable prices.
Local independent insurance agents have teamed up with some of the area’s most highly rated insurance carriers. This means you can be sure that any policies your agent recommends to you are offered by insurance providers you can count on in times of trouble.
How Can an Independent Insurance Agent in Santa Monica, CA Help?
It’s easy to build a comprehensive business insurance policy package when you work with a local independent agent. Your agent can do a complete risk assessment of your business and recommend the right commercial insurance products to cover against each identified exposure.
These agents are free to work with multiple insurance companies as they search for the policies you want at the most competitive rates. Contact an independent insurance agent near you to arrange an obligation-free consultation and start comparing customized business insurance quotes.
TrustedChoice.com Article | Reviewed by Jeffrey Green
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