There are currently 546,917 businesses operating in Maryland, and more than 3,200 of these businesses can be found in the city of Laurel. Businesses in the public administration and professional, scientific, and technical services industries do especially well in this city, but companies in a wide range of industries have found success here. If you are among the proud business owners in Laurel, 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 the risks your company faces and can help you build a customized business insurance plan that will cover these exposures.
Liability Insurance for Small Businesses in Laurel
Liability insurance is a crucial part of every commercial insurance policy. It is designed to cover expenses related to liability lawsuits, including court costs, legal fees, and damages. All business insurance policies include commercial general liability insurance (CGL). This covers many of the liability risks businesses face. CGL has two main coverage components:
- Premises liability insurance: Covers third-party injuries, injuries, and damage that occurred on your business property
- Product liability insurance: Covers third-party injuries, illnesses, and damage that was caused by products your company sells, produces or promotes.
Many businesses need to purchase additional liability insurance products in order to be fully covered against all their potential liability risks. There are several policies available to choose from. Some examples of coverage you may want to consider include:
- Employment practices liability insurance: Also called errors and omissions (or E&O) insurance, this covers against charges of illegal business practices such as harassment, discrimination, and wrongful termination.
- Commercial vehicle liability insurance: Required of businesses that own vehicles, this covers against the increased liability risks that go along with having a company-owned car, truck or van.
- Professional liability insurance: This is designed to cover individuals in professional positions if negligence, errors in judgment, or other mistakes lead to third-party damage.
Let an independent agent explain more about these and other liability insurance products so you can choose the policies that are right for your business in Laurel.
Cybercrime Insurance for Laurel Small Businesses
One liability product, in particular, cyber liability insurance, merits a closer look. This insurance was created to protect businesses as they began facing the growing threat of 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 company electronically stores your customers’ personal and financial information, it is at risk. Even with firewalls, passwords, and other security measures in place, savvy hackers can often find a way to access this data and then use it to commit identity theft and fraud. Companies that experience a data breach can be held liable for covering any resultant damages as well as for providing credit monitoring services to all potentially affected customers. This can be extremely expensive. If your Laurel business uses computers to store sensitive data, be sure to ask your independent about how cyber liability insurance can help.
Property Insurance for Laurel Businesses
Your business insurance policy will also include commercial property insurance. This is designed to cover your business-owned property, including merchandise, inventory, tools, machinery, computers, furniture, and more. Some commercial property requires specialized coverage, like boiler and machinery insurance or inland marine insurance, so be sure to consult your independent agent when you are building your commercial insurance plan.
- Number of federally declared disasters in MD since 1953: 32
- Most common reasons for declared disasters: Floods and Hurricanes
A major disaster, like a structure fire or hurricane, can cause excessive damage to business property. It is therefore important for you to be sure that your coverage levels are high enough to allow you to repair or replace damaged items without your Laurel business experiencing a large financial loss.
Business Interruption Insurance for Businesses in Laurel, MD
Whether you are facing a natural or a man-made disaster, damage to your business-owned property isn’t the only hazard you need to be prepared for. In some cases, a major disaster can force you to close down your business for an extended period while repairs are made. Business interruption insurance provides a continuation of income during these times.
Examples of times you may need this insurance are if the building in which your business is housed is destroyed in a fire, or if hurricane-force winds knock out power lines and leave your business without electricity for several weeks. Business interruption insurance enables you to have the income you need to continue to pay employee salaries and monthly expenses until you are able to resume normal operations. Talk to an independent agent in Laurel to learn more.
Workers' Compensation for Laurel Businesses
Employees are sometimes injured on the job. Work-related injuries can range from cuts requiring stitches to broken bones to sicknesses caused by exposure to toxic materials. If a worker is injured while working for your company, your business is responsible for covering the associated costs. Failure to do so could result in your company being sued in a liability lawsuit.
Workers’ compensation insurance is designed to protect employees as well as employers. Often referred to as “workman’s comp,” this insurance covers your employees’ medical treatment and lost wages if they are hurt on the job. It can even pay death benefits to surviving family members in the unfortunate event that a workplace accident is fatal.
Maryland mandates that most businesses have workers’ compensation insurance. There are a few exceptions, such as for sole proprietors and certain agricultural workers. An independent agent can determine whether you are required to have this insurance, and, if so, can help you find the best policy, either through a commercial provider or through Maryland’s state-administered fund.
Employee Benefits for Small Businesses in Laurel
There are advantages to providing your employees with benefits like health insurance, dental insurance, and life insurance. Studies by human resource professionals have shown that companies that offer a good benefits package are more likely to attract and retain ideal employees. It has also been demonstrated that employees who have access to health care take fewer sick days.
- 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, but a local independent agent can help you find suitable coverage at a highly competitive price. With so many different policy types for you to choose from, you can benefit from having the guidance of a local insurance professional when you are shopping for employee benefits.
Why Work with an Independent Agent?
When it comes to business insurance, there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all policy. Insurance companies offer a wide range of products and policy options so that you can fully customize your commercial coverage. A local independent insurance agent can help you navigate through your options so you can choose the coverage types that are suitable for your particular business. Independent agents work for you, not for a specific insurance company. They are therefore free to shop around to find you the best and most affordable coverage.
Contact an agent in or near Laurel to get started.