Approximately half a million small businesses are currently operating in the state of Maryland, and more than 7,400 of these businesses can be found in the city of Gaithersburg. Businesses in professional, scientific, and technical services and the administrative, support, and waste management industries do especially well in this city, but companies in a wide range of industries have found success here.
If you own a business in Gaithersburg, you will want to be sure to protect your investment with a comprehensive commercial insurance plan. A local independent insurance agent can help you identify your company’s specific risks and can recommend the appropriate business insurance solutions to protect against those exposures.
Liability Insurance for Small Businesses in Gaithersburg
Liability lawsuits against small businesses frequently end in judgments of $1 million or more. That is why liability insurance is a very important part of your business insurance package. It can cover associated court costs, legal fees, and damages if your company is sued. All business insurance policies include commercial general liability insurance (CGL). This insurance is designed to cover many of the liability risks most businesses face. CGL has two major components:
- Premises liability insurance: This covers third-party injuries and damage that occur on your business property.
- Product liability insurance: This covers against third-party injuries and damage caused by products your company produces, sells or promotes.
You may need to purchase additional liability insurance products in order to be fully covered against all of your risks. Some examples of other commercial liability products that are available to businesses include:
- Commercial vehicle liability insurance: This covers liability damage if an employee causes an accident while driving a company-owned vehicle.
- Pollution liability insurance: This covers damage and clean-up costs if toxic substances used by your business pollute the environment.
- Professional liability insurance: This covers individuals in professional positions if they make a mistake or error in judgment that causes third-party damage.
- Employment practices liability insurance: This covers your business against charges of harassment, discrimination, or wrongful termination or other illegal business practices.
Your independent agent can explain these and other liability insurance options and can help you determine which are right for your Gaithersburg business.
Cybercrime Insurance for Gaithersburg Small Businesses
Cyber liability insurance is yet another commercial liability product, and it is one that merits closer attention. This relatively new liability product was created to meet the growing needs of businesses affected by cybercrime.
- Number of identity theft complaints in Maryland per year: 5,734
- Ranked 10th highest for identity theft complaints in the US
- Only 22% of businesses have a cyber/data breach response plan
If your business stores customer information electronically, hackers may be able to access this data and then use it to commit identity theft and fraud. Businesses that experience a data breach can be held liable for covering the resultant damages and may also be required to provide credit monitoring to all who were potentially affected. This can be very expensive. Savvy hackers are constantly finding ways to get around firewalls, passwords, and other data security measures. If your Gaithersburg business is at risk, be sure to ask your independent agent for more information about how cyber liability insurance can provide protection.
Property Insurance for Small Businesses in Gaithersburg, MD
Commercial property coverage is included in all business insurance policies. It is designed to shield your business’s physical assets—including supplies, inventory, furniture, tools, and computers—against loss or damage caused by property crimes, natural disasters, or accidents. Certain business property needs to be insured by specialized policies such as inland marine insurance or boiler & machinery insurance.
Your independent agent will be able to offer you appropriate coverage advice so that all of your company’s property is suitably protected. Bear in mind that most business insurance policies exclude flood damage from their commercial property coverage. Fortunately, your local independent agent can help you supplement your policy with flood insurance through the National Flood insurance Program (NFIP).
Business Interruption Insurance for Gaithersburg Businesses
Natural disasters do not strike Gaithersburg frequently, but when they do, they can be destructive.
- Number of federally declared disasters in MD since 1953: 32
- Most common reasons for declared disasters: Floods and Hurricanes
Property damage isn’t the only loss that disasters can cause to area businesses. In some cases, extremely damaging events, like structure fires or hurricanes, can force you to shut down your business for several weeks—or months—while repairs are made. Business interruption insurance is designed to provide your business with a continuation of income when it experiences a forced extended closure. This insurance enables you to pay employee salaries and monthly expenses even while no income is being generated. This coverage is typically limited to twelve months.
Workers' Compensation for Gaithersburg Businesses
Sometimes workers are injured on the job. Whether it is a physical injury (such as a herniated disc) or an illness (such as may be caused by exposure to toxic fumes), as their employer, you are responsible for covering the cost of any necessary medical treatment and providing them with paid time off while they recuperate. Workers’ compensation insurance covers these costs.
Workers’ compensation insurance (or “workman’s comp”) is beneficial to employees and employers. It shields your business from potential liability lawsuits and ensures that your workers do not suffer financial hardships because of workplace injuries. The cost for this coverage is based on how dangerous your employees’ jobs are. Construction workers are far more expensive to cover than office workers.
Most businesses in Maryland are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. Exceptions are made for sole proprietors, some agricultural employers, independent contractors on farms, and owner-operators of large tractor-trailers. Your insurance agent can help you purchase coverage either through a commercial provider or through the state-administered fund.
Employee Benefits for Small Businesses in Gaithersburg
High employee turnover is not ideal. Studies by human resource professionals have demonstrated that one of the most effective ways to attract and retain the best employees is by offering appealing benefits packages that include ample vacation and sick time and subsidized life insurance and healthcare coverage.
- Average amount spent on healthcare coverage by MD businesses: $944,612
- Ranked 33rd for highest medical insurance costs in the US
- Average annual cost of health care in MD: $5,654/person or $15,820/family
Health insurance is expensive and there are a number of different policy types to choose from. Fortunately, an independent agent can explain your various coverage options so you can make an informed decision about which type is the best choice. These local insurance professionals can then help you find suitable, yet affordable, coverage for your employees.
Why Work with An Independent Agent?
A wide variety of business insurance products and options are available for your Gaithersburg business. This can make shopping for coverage overwhelming. That is why so many business owners opt to work with a local independent insurance agent. These insurance professionals can help you find the right commercial insurance products at highly competitive rates.
Find an agent in or near Gaithersburg to learn more, and you can soon be comparing quotes for all-inclusive business insurance plans.
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