Missouri is home to many highly successful companies including the National Beef Packing Company, Buster Brown Shoe Company and Precious Moments, Inc. But not every business that opens its doors here in the Show-Me State will grow to be a multimillion dollar, internationally known company. If you own a business of any size in Missouri, you would be wise to protect it from undue financial hardship by purchasing a comprehensive business insurance policy. Maybe you've been looking at quotes for coverage, or maybe you haven't started yet. Either way, it's useful to know a few things about the unique business environment in MO, and the ways in which commercial insurance could benefit your bottom line and keep your profits safe.
2010 Top Five Industries for MO-Based Businesses
- Construction: 13,700 businesses
- Retail trade: 13,500 businesses
- Professional, scientific and technical firms: 12,400 businesses
- Healthcare and social assistance: 12,100 businesses
- Accommodation and food services: 9,000 businesses
Businesses operate in different industries. Regardless of which industry your business falls under, you are likely to face potential problems that could cause your company to suffer financially.
For example, if you own a day spa in Branson and a client suffers injuries while receiving services, your business could face professional liability charges and owe for medical expenses and punitive damages. Or, if you own a manufacturing company in St. Louis and a customer suffers injuries due to a poorly made product, you might find your company sued for product liability damages.
Businesses face different potential risks according to their various industries. That is why there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all commercial insurance policy. Instead, these policies are flexible and tailorable to fit your specific business and its inherent risks.
Missouri Business Industries with the Most Employees, 2010
- Healthcare and social assistance: 380,700 employees
- Retail trade: 305,900 employees
- Manufacturing: 239,300 employees
- Accommodation and food services: 230,900 employees
- Administrative support and waste management: 144,000 employees
- Professional, scientific and technical: 139,300 employees
- Finance and insurance: 128,100 employees
Is Missouri Commercial Insurance Mandatory?
If you have employees, by law you must purchase disability, workers compensation and unemployment insurance. If your business uses vehicles as part of its operations, you will also need to have a commercial auto insurance policy or for-hire liability coverage. Lastly, if you have taken out a business loan or a mortgage on your MO business property, your lender will likely require you to carry a commercial insurance policy to protect your business from factors that could lead to bankruptcy and default.
In many cases, Missouri small businesses are not under any legal obligation to carry commercial insurance. However, just because this coverage is not mandatory does not mean that it is not extremely important. It takes just one unexpected mishap, like a major fire or a liability lawsuit, to cause enough financial devastation to your business that you may find yourself forced to shut its doors for good.
If you have invested a lot of time, money and effort into building your business, you may want to consider purchasing an all-inclusive business insurance policy. Doing so may increase the odds that your company will prosper.
Missouri Business Statistics
- In 2010, there were 508,001 businesses based in Missouri:
- Small businesses (1 to 500 employees): 115,038
- Large businesses (500 or more employees): 2,794
- Non-employers (self-employed individuals): 390,169.
- Small businesses employ 1.1 million state residents.
- The number of small businesses owned by women and minorities is on the rise.
- In 2011, Missouri saw the creation of 22,058 new businesses.
- In that same year, 639 of Missouri’s businesses filed for bankruptcy.
What Does Missouri Business Insurance Cover?
Commercial insurance policies are as varied as the businesses that rely on them for protection. You can customize a policy to meet your company’s specific coverage needs. Some policy options include the following:
- Coverage against liability lawsuits: There are several different types of liability coverage available with business insurance policies. Not all will be right for your particular business, so you need only purchase the relevant types. These types include, but are not limited to, the following:
- General liability: This protects you from lawsuits due to injuries or property damage suffered by third parties while on your business property.
- Product liability: This protects your business from lawsuits resulting from faulty products whether your company produced them or sold them.
- Professional liability: This includes malpractice insurance. It covers any instances where a professional makes an error in judgment or fails to perform services as expected and these failures lead to injury, financial loss or property damage to another.
- Liquor liability: If you own an establishment that sells or serves alcoholic beverages, the state can hold you liable for the actions of intoxicated patrons. This insurance will protect you from this type of liability lawsuit.
- Coverage against property loss: This coverage applies to the building in which your business is housed and any of your business equipment that may be damaged in the event of a disaster. If your business is home-based, your homeowners insurance may include this coverage. Otherwise, you may need to purchase an additional rider. Business insurance policies include coverage for disasters such as fires, falling objects, vandalism and natural disasters. Policies rarely cover flood damage, however. So, you may need separate business flood insurance.
- Coverage for a loss of income during a business interruption: If a covered event forces you to temporarily halt business operations while repairs take place, this coverage will provide your business with continued income in the interim.
Secure the Best Missouri Insurance Policy for Your Company
Purchasing the right business insurance policy requires a bit of forethought and planning. You will need to carefully consider all possible risks that your business might face so that you are able to build and purchase an appropriate policy. It's also a very good idea to compare quotes for similar coverage before you buy so you can make sure you're not paying too much for a policy. An independent insurance agent in the Trusted Choice® network can help you do this.
Contact a Trusted Choice agent near your business to receive a variety of commercial insurance quotes for policies constructed specifically for your Missouri-based business.