According to the US Small Business Administration (SBA), there are more than 257,000 small businesses operating in the state of Mississippi. If you own one of these businesses, you can benefit from the insurance coverage offered by a business owners policy.
If you would like to learn more about how a business owners policy can protect your small or mid-sized business, you can talk to a local independent insurance agent. There are more than 200 independent agents in the state of Mississippi, so it should be easy to find an insurance agent near you.
What Is a Business Owners Policy?
A business owners policy (often referred to simply as a “BOP”) is a commercial insurance product that provides small and mid-sized businesses with coverage against many of the common property damage and liability risks they are likely to face.
BOPs are not as comprehensive as traditional business insurance policy packages, so they are more affordable. This makes them ideal for small, low-risk businesses.
Are Business Owners Policies Required in Mississippi?
Business owners policies are not required by law in Mississippi. However, there are times when you might need to have this coverage. Here are some examples.
- If you are renting your business space, your landlord may require you to carry a BOP or other form of business insurance as a term of your lease.
- If you need to take out a commercial loan or line of credit, your lender may require your business to be covered by a BOP or other business insurance policy until your loan is paid in full.
Whether or not this coverage is required, it may be a good idea if a disaster like a fire or a liability lawsuit would cause your small business to incur unmanageable financial losses.
What Are the Eligibility Requirements for Business Owners Policies in Mississippi?
Small and mid-sized business that have low liability risks are good candidates for business owners policies. To qualify for a business owners policy, all of the following must be true.
- Your business employs fewer than 100 people
- Your business is housed in a small office or workspace
- Your business generates annual revenues of less than $1 million
- Your business is in a low-risk industry
- Your business does not need to have business interruption insurance coverage that can extend beyond one year
If your company does not meet these requirements, you will need to cover it with a traditional business insurance policy package instead.
How Much Does a Business Owners Policy Cost in Mississippi?
Business owners policies tend to be very affordable because they have fewer options and lower caps on their coverage limits than traditional business insurance products.
Premiums for a business owners policy that provides $1 million in coverage per occurrence with a $2 million aggregate limit for the lifetime of the policy (which is typically one year) average about $100 a month.
To find out how much it will cost to cover your Mississippi business with a BOP, you can request customized quotes from a few competing insurance providers.
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What Does a Standard Mississippi Business Owners Policy Cover?
Business owners policy are designed to provide your business with most of the commercial coverage it is likely to need. You can expect a standard BOP to include the following.
- Commercial property insurance: This can cover your business-owned property if it is lost or damaged due to a covered event like theft, fire, or severe weather.
- Commercial general liability insurance: This can cover your court costs, legal fees, settlements, judgements, and other expenses if your company is sued for a covered event. It includes the following types of coverage.
- Business interruption insurance: This can provide your business with a continuation of income if damage caused by a covered event forces you to halt business operations for an extended time while repairs are made.
This basic coverage is sufficient to fully cover many small businesses in Mississippi.
What Extra Coverage Can Be Added to Your BOP Policy?
Insurance providers typically enable business owners to purchase endorsements that will add extra coverage to their policies if it is needed. These can include the following.
- Inland marine insurance: This can cover your company’s portable property whenever it is in transit or is being temporarily stored in another location such as at a job site or in a storage facility.
- Cyber liability insurance: This can cover against financial losses related to cybercrimes like credit card skimming and data breaches. Since most businesses currently store customer and employee data electronically, this coverage is increasingly important.
- Employment practices liability insurance (EPLI): This can cover your business against accusations of illegal employment practices such as discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination, and breach of contract.
If you are interested in these types of coverage but your insurance provider does not offer them as endorsements, you may need to supplement your coverage with stand-alone policies.
What Does a Mississippi Business Owners Policy Not Cover?
Business owners policies are very affordable because their coverage is limited.
Some business owners find they need to buy additional stand-alone policies to be fully covered against all potential risks. If you need a lot of the coverage that is not included in a BOP, you may be better off buying a traditional business insurance policy package instead.
Here are some of the things a BOP does not cover.
- Professional errors: If you want coverage against lawsuits related to negligence, errors in judgment, and other professional mistakes, you will need to purchase professional liability insurance.
- Damage to vehicles: For this, you will need to purchase a commercial vehicle insurance policy that meets or exceeds Mississippi’s minimum coverage requirements.
- Employee injuries: For this, you will need to purchase workers’ compensation insurance, which is required in Mississippi if your business employs at least five regular workers.
- Insurance for employee benefits: If you are interested in purchasing insurance products to include in your employee benefits package, there are a number of health insurance and life insurance policies available.
- Flood damage: Flood damage is excluded from nearly all types of insurance policies. If your business is at risk, you can purchase a commercial flood insurance policy that provides up to $500,000 in structural and $500,000 in contents coverage through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
If your business coverage needs go well beyond what a simple BOP policy can cover, you may want to consult an insurance professional for help building a suitable business insurance policy package.
How to Find the Best BOP Insurance Rates in Mississippi
If you are looking for the best and most affordable business owners policy to cover your small or mid-sized business, independent insurance agents in Mississippi are ready to help.
These local agents work for you, not for a particular insurance company, so they are free to shop around to find a suitable policy at a competitive rate.
It doesn’t cost anything to talk to an independent insurance agent. Find an insurance agent near you to learn more about business owners policies and you will discover how easy it can be to start comparing customized quotes from some of the leading insurance providers in the Magnolia State.
TrustedChoice.com Article | Reviewed by Jeffrey Green
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