Half a million small businesses are currently operating in Minnesota. More than 6,100 of these businesses can be found in the port city of Duluth. As a major tourist destination, retail, accommodations, and food services businesses do especially well in this city, but companies in a wide range of other industries are also thriving.
If you are among the many entrepreneurs who have started a business in Duluth, you will want to be sure to protect it with a suitable commercial insurance plan. A local independent insurance agent can help you identify the risks your company faces and can recommend the appropriate coverage solutions.
Liability Insurance for Small Businesses in Duluth
In our litigious society, commercial liability insurance is one of the most important coverage types your business can have. It is designed to cover court costs, legal fees, and damages if your company faces a liability lawsuit.
Every business insurance policy includes commercial general liability insurance (CGL). This covers your company against many common risks that businesses face. It is designed to cover third-party injuries, illnesses, and property damage, and includes two major components:
- Premises liability insurance: This can cover third-party damage that occurs on your business property
- Product liability insurance: This can cover third-party damage caused by a product your company produces, sells, or promotes.
Many businesses need to purchase additional liability insurance products in order to be fully covered. There are several commercial liability products available. Some examples include:
- Commercial vehicle liability insurance: This is required if your business owns a vehicle or vehicles.
- Pollution liability insurance: This is important if your business uses toxic substances or generates hazardous waste in case an accident pollutes the environment.
- Professional liability insurance: This covers individuals in professional positions in the event that a mistake or error in judgement causes third-party damage.
A local independent insurance can go over your many liability insurance options and can help you determine which are right for your Duluth business.
Cybercrime Insurance for Duluth Small Businesses
One particular liability product deserves special attention. Cyber-liability insurance is a relatively new liability product that was introduced to meet the growing needs of businesses affected by cybercrime.
- Number of identity theft complaints in Minnesota per year: 3,229
- Ranked 38th highest for identity theft complaints in the US
- Only 22% of businesses have a cyber/data breach response plan
If your business uses computers to store your customers’ personal and financial data, hackers may access this information and use it to commit identity theft and fraud. Companies that experience a data breach can be held liable for covering the resultant damages as well as for providing credit monitoring to all potentially affected customers.
Having firewalls and using secure passwords is a good start, but sophisticated hackers are always finding ways to get around data security. If your Duluth business is at risk, be sure to talk to your independent agent to learn more about how cyber crime insurance can be of benefit to you.
Property Insurance for Small Businesses in Duluth, MN
Commercial property insurance is included in all business insurance policies. It is designed cover your business assets, including tools and machinery, inventory, computers, outdoor signs, office furniture, and more.
In the city of Duluth, your business is most at risk for property damage caused by such hazards as accidental fires, property crimes, and severe weather events.
- Number of federally declared disasters in MN since 1953: 60
- Most common reasons for declared disasters: Flood and Severe Storms
A major disaster can cause widespread, all-encompassing damage. It is therefore crucial that that your business property coverage levels are high enough to enable you to replace lost or damaged items without experiencing large financial losses.
Some Duluth businesses are prone to flooding, as was evidenced in 2012 when this city suffered its worst flood in recorded history. However, flood damage coverage is excluded from most business insurance policies. Fortunately, an independent insurance agent can help you secure a commercial flood insurance policy through the NFIP.
Business Interruption Insurance for Duluth Businesses
When it comes to natural disasters, business property damage isn’t the only exposure you need to be concerned about. In some cases, major damage can compel you to close down your business for a long time while repairs are made. When your business is closed, it is unable to generate revenue, and this can be financially devastating for your business as well as the local economy.
- Gross domestic product (GDP) for US: 2.2%
- Gross state product (GSP) for Minnesota: 2.8%
- The GSP is 0.6% greater than the GDP
Business interruption insurance provides a continuation of income while your business is closed, such as if flood waters wash out the road that provides access to your building. This insurance enables you to continue paying employee salaries and monthly expenses so that your company can stay afloat until you are able to resume normal business operations.
Workers' Compensation for Duluth Businesses
Regrettably, workers are sometimes injured on the job. Whether your employees suffer physical injuries, such as broken bones, or become ill from exposure to toxic substances, your business is responsible for covering the associated costs. Failure to do so could result in a liability lawsuit.
That is why workers’ compensation insurance is so important. Often referred to as “workman’s comp,” this insurance is designed to cover your employees’ medical treatment and lost wages if they are hurt on the job. It can even pay death benefits to surviving family members if a workplace injury ends in a fatality.
Most businesses in Minnesota are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. There are, however, a few exceptions. For example, sole proprietors and family farms do not need to have this coverage. You can purchase your coverage through a commercial provider or, if approved, your business may choose to self-insure.
Employee Benefits for Small Businesses in Duluth
If your Duluth-based business employs at least 50 full-time workers, you are required to provide them with subsidized health insurance coverage. Even if you have fewer than 50 employees, you may want to consider offering employee benefits like life insurance and healthcare coverage in order to be a more competitive employer.
- Average amount spent on healthcare coverage by MN businesses: $1,064,684
- Ranked 37th for highest medical insurance costs in the US
- Average annual cost of health care in MN: $5,505/person or $14,820/family
Health insurance can be expensive, but a local independent agent can help you find affordable coverage. With so many different policy types and options for you to choose from, you may benefit from receiving guidance from an insurance professional.
Why Talk to an Independent Agent?
With so many coverage products and options available for you to choose from, building a comprehensive commercial insurance plan for your Duluth business can be complicated. That is why many business owners opt to work with an independent insurance agent.
These agents can help to prevent accidental coverage gaps by identifying the various risks your company is exposed to and recommending the right policies to cover against them. Because they work with several different insurance companies, independent agents in Duluth can help you find the best and most affordable business insurance to meet your company’s specific needs.