There are over 2.1 million businesses operating in the state of Florida, with over 7,500 in Melbourne. Defense and technology companies employ much of the area’s workforce. Retail, healthcare, and tourism also play a large role in the city’s economy. Melbourne business owners face a variety of risks, from severe weather and fires to the financial devastation that a single lawsuit can bring. A comprehensive business insurance program can help you repair and rebuild damaged property after a disaster, and it can help you stay in business and pay for your defense if you are faced with a lawsuit.
An independent insurance agent is the best place to turn to understand the unique risks you face as a Melbourne business owner. Independent agents can help you review policy options from multiple insurance companies so you can make an informed and affordable choice.
Liability Insurance for Small Businesses in Melbourne, FL
Many small businesses would have a hard time recovering if they were faced with a lawsuit. That’s why liability insurance is such an important part of your comprehensive business insurance program. Commercial general liability (CGL) insurance offers protection from many types of negligence claims, from simple trips and falls on your premises to major product liability cases. It covers your legal costs, medical expenses and other damages for the injured party, and any settlements or judgments that you are required to pay.
Be aware that CGL policies do not protect you from every type of lawsuit. You are likely to 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 your liability risks and how to protect your business from lawsuits.
Cyber Liability Insurance for Melbourne Businesses
Any business that handles electronic data—especially personally identifiable information about its customers—is particularly susceptible to cyber threats.
- Number of identity theft complaints in Florida per year: 37,059
- Ranked first in the US for identity theft complaints
- 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 probably have to contend with many unexpected expenses, from notifying your customers of the breach and providing credit monitoring services to extensive public relations costs. And you can probably expect to be sued for additional damages.
General liability policies may not cover all of the expenses related to such a lawsuit. Cyber liability insurance, however, typically pays for your legal defense, financial damages to injured parties, and even PR and other related expenses. Talk to an independent insurance agent in or near Melbourne about your need for cyber liability insurance.
Property Insurance for Small Businesses in Melbourne, FL
Melbourne business owners experience a variety of threats to their commercial properties. With over 49 inches of rainfall annually, severe storms, brush fires, and even the threat of tropical storms and hurricanes, any local business can sustain physical damage and face devastating costs to repair or rebuild after a disastrous event.
- Number of federally declared disasters in Florida since 1953: 132
- Most common reasons for declared disasters in Florida: Fires and Hurricanes
Commercial property insurance covers your buildings and office space, merchandise, inventory, tools, machinery, computers, office furnishings, and more when physical damage occurs. 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 special flood, windstorm, or earthquake coverage.
Business Interruption Insurance for Melbourne Businesses
Business interruption insurance can mean the difference between recovering after a disaster and closing your doors for good. It 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 reopen with confidence. Business interruption insurance is usually a part of a 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 Melbourne, FL Businesses
Your company is responsible for covering the costs of work-related injuries or illnesses, regardless of who is at fault. Excessive workplace injuries can be costly for everyone involved. That’s why you need to ensure a safe workplace and purchase workers’ compensation insurance. It is designed to cover medical treatment, lost wages, and other miscellaneous expenses for injured employees.
Florida workers’ compensation laws require all non-construction employers who have 4 or more employees to purchase workers’ compensation insurance. Construction employers who have 1 or more employees must purchase workman’s comp coverage. Florida agricultural employers who have 6 regular employees and/or 12 seasonal employees who work more than 30 days during a season, but not more than a total of 45 days in a calendar year, must have workers’ compensation insurance.
Sole proprietors and partners are excluded from coverage, but they can elect to be covered by their workers' compensation policy. Sole proprietors and partners in the construction industry must be covered. Corporate officers or members of an LLC are included in Florida workers’ compensation coverage, but they can apply for an exemption. Corporations or LLCs in the construction industry can have up to three officers opt out of coverage if each owns at least 10% of the business.
Florida workers’ compensation insurance can be purchased from an insurance agent who is licensed to sell workers’ compensation insurance in the state. Employers can self-insure with approval from the state, or they can join a commercial self-insurance fund where members pool their resources, spread their risk, and self-insure as a group. Your local independent insurance agent can answer your questions about Florida workers’ compensation insurance and help you find the right coverage for your business.
Employee Benefits for Small Businesses in Florida
Employee benefits are an important component of your comprehensive business insurance plan—and one of the most complex and expensive.
- Average amount spent per year on healthcare coverage by Florida businesses: $3,131,293
- Ranked 3rd for highest medical insurance costs in the US
- Average annual cost of healthcare coverage in Florida: $5,408/person or $16,070/family
Employee benefits play a major role in employee satisfaction, retention, and loyalty. As you design your employee benefits plan, remember that many of the most successful employee benefits packages revolve around choice, flexibility, and customization in order to appeal to a diverse and multigenerational workforce.
There are many different health insurance 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 in Melbourne?
There is a wide variety of insurance products and options available to Melbourne 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.
Get started by contacting a local agent today.
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