There are currently about 114,000 businesses headquartered in Montana. Some are large multimillion-dollar companies like First Interstate BancSystem and Great Harvest Bread Company, although most are small privately owned businesses like Image Labs International. Whether you own a Fortune 500 company that employs thousands of people or operate a sole proprietorship with a few or even no employees, a business insurance policy may be necessary to protect the investment you have made in your commercial enterprise. If you are considering purchasing insurance to cover your Montana-based company, the first step is to start comparing commercial insurance policies and quotes.
2007 Revenues Generated by MT-Based Businesses
- Manufacturers’ shipments: $10.64 billion
- Merchant wholesaler sales: $8.20 billion
- Accommodation and food service sales: $2.08 billion
- Retail sales: $14.69 billion
- Retail sales per capita: $15,343
Regardless of which industry your Montana-based business operates within, you can find a business insurance policy to protect it or you can customize a commercial insurance policy so that it meets the needs of your particular business.
What Does Commercial Insurance Cover?
The hazards faced by individual companies are dependent largely on the industry in which they operate. This is why insurers offer different business coverage options.
The main coverage categories offered by these business plans are liability, property and income insurance, as follows:
- Liability insurance: Liability insurance safeguards businesses from extreme financial losses due to lawsuits. It can provide compensation for liability assessments as well as related court costs and legal defense fees. There are many different types of liability coverage available with a commercial insurance policy. You can opt to purchase only the liability coverage types that are relevant to your particular company. Common liability coverage options include the following:
- General liability insurance: This covers injuries and property damage suffered by third parties in your place of business.
- Product liability insurance: This covers injuries and illnesses caused by the faulty product design of items produced or sold by your company.
- Professional liability insurance: Also known as Errors & Omissions insurance, this protects professionals who give advice or provide services, against charges of negligence. Included under this coverage umbrella is medical malpractice insurance.
- Commercial vehicle liability insurance: This provides liability coverage if your driver is responsible for a collision while operating a company-owned vehicle.
- Non-Owned or for-hire vehicle coverage: This provides more comprehensive liability coverage for your employees’ privately owned vehicles at the times when they are using them for company business.
- Liquor liability insurance: This protects businesses that sell or serve alcoholic beverages in the event that they are liable for the actions of an intoxicated patron.
- Property insurance: A fire, theft or vandalism could damage or destroy your business property. Property, or contents coverage, covers your business assets, inventory, merchandise and furnishings. You may need to purchase specialized endorsements to cover such things as signs, glass display cases and custom-built machinery. Because your coverage needs can change over time, it is a good idea to revisit your property coverage limits every three to five years to ensure that you have coverage in an amount that is adequate to protect you against a total loss.
- Lost income insurance: This provides your company with a continuation of income in the event that you must temporarily close your doors or cease operations because of complications brought on by a covered event. This coverage provides your business with funds in an amount that is sufficient to enable you to make payments to creditors as well as cover employee salaries until your business is able to resume operations. This coverage is typically available for up to 12 months.
Montana Business Statistics
- As of 2008, there were 114,569 businesses based in Montana, as follows:
- 31,789 were businesses with 1 to 500 employees.
- 781 were businesses with more than 500 employees.
- 81,999 were businesses with no employees (self-employed individuals).
- Companies with 1 to 500 employees provide jobs to 69.3% of this state’s private sector labor force.
- In 2009, 8,251 new businesses were established in MT and 9,245 businesses closed.
- That same year, 150 Montana businesses filed for bankruptcy.
Earthquake and Flood Coverage is Not Included
It is important for business owners in Montana to be aware that, much like homeowners insurance, business insurance policies do not provide coverage against flood or earthquake damage as part of their standard package. For this reason, you may want to consider supplementing your policy with a government-backed business flood insurance policy through the National Flood Insurance Program or with an earthquake insurance policy or rider as an endorsement to your policy.
The NFIP enables business owners to purchase flood coverage in amounts of up to $500,000 in building coverage and $500,000 in contents coverage. Earthquake insurance policies, on the other hand, have higher coverage limits, depending on the provider.
Easily Compare Business Insurance Quotes in Montana
Building an appropriate business insurance policy requires a bit of foresight. Be sure to consider all the possible risks that your Montana-based company is likely to face so that you can properly shield it from undue financial losses. An independent agent in the Trusted Choice® network can answer your insurance-related questions, help you determine your company’s specific coverage needs and help you find quotes and a suitable policy.
Trusted Choice agents are available throughout the state, so it should be easy to find one located near your home or business. Contact an agent to get more information and to get help finding and comparing commercial insurance quotes in Montana.