More than 81,000 small businesses can be found in the rapidly growing city of Charlotte. Businesses in the finance and insurance and the retail trade industries are most abundant in this city, but companies representing a wide range of industries are thriving here. If you are a business owner in Charlotte, you can protect your investment with a comprehensive commercial insurance plan.
Every year, companies in North Carolina collect about $3.6 billion in business insurance claims. Make sure that your Charlotte business gets the compensation it needs when disaster strikes. Talk to a local independent insurance agent for help identifying which of the many available commercial insurance policy types are right for your business.
Liability Insurance for Small Businesses in Charlotte, NC
Liability insurance is designed to absorb expenses such as court costs, legal defense fees, and damages associated with covered liability lawsuits. Given that the many liability lawsuits brought against companies result in judgments of $1 million or more, this insurance can prove extremely valuable. All business insurance policies include commercial general liability insurance (CGL). It has two main coverage components:
- Premises liability insurance, which covers third-party injuries, illnesses, or property damage that occur on your business property.
- Product liability insurance, which covers third-party injuries, illnesses or property damage caused by products your company produces, sells or promotes.
For many businesses, CGL alone is not enough. An independent insurance agent can identify your business’s other liability risks and can recommend the right liability products to protect against them. Some examples of other liability insurance products that may be appropriate for your Charlotte business are:
- Errors and omissions insurance (E&O): This professional liability insurance covers individuals in professional positions if mistakes or errors in judgment cause third-party damages.
- Commercial vehicle liability insurance: This is required if you have a business-owned vehicle or vehicles. It covers liability costs if an employee is in an accident while driving.
- Liquor liability insurance: This can protect businesses that serve, sell, or otherwise furnish alcohol to patrons if an intoxicated patron causes damages to others.
- Employment practices liability insurance: This covers your business against lawsuits related to perceived illegal business practices such as wrongful termination and discrimination.
Learn more about these and other liability coverage options by talking to a local independent insurance agent.
Cyber Liability Insurance Protects Charlotte, NC Businesses
Cyber liability insurance is yet another liability product, and it is one that is increasingly necessary. It is designed to protect your business in the event of an electronic data breach. This may happen if cybercriminals break into your business’s computer system and access sensitive information, such as your customers’ financial and personal data.
- Number of identity theft complaints in North Carolina per year: 7,334
- Ranked 27th highest for identity theft complaints in the US
- Only 22% of businesses have a cyber/data breach response plan
Even if your business protects its computer systems with strong firewalls and secure passwords, determined hackers can often find ways around these precautions. They can then use the data they obtain to commit identity theft, fraud, and other crimes. A major data breach can result in your business facing an extremely expensive liability lawsuit. If your Charlotte business electronically stores customer data, be sure to talk to your independent agent about the benefits of including cyber liability insurance in your coverage portfolio.
Property Insurance for Small Businesses in Charlotte, NC
Charlotte businesses are at risk for property damage caused by hazards such as structure fires, theft, vandalism, and severe weather events. All business insurance policies include commercial property coverage. This provides compensation for loss or damage to your business-owned property. Covered assets include furniture, computers, merchandise, and tools.
Some business property requires specialized coverage, like contractor equipment insurance, boiler & machinery insurance, or inland marine insurance, so be sure to consult your independent agent. Also, be aware that flood damage is typically excluded from commercial property insurance coverage. If your business is located near the Catawba River or is otherwise at risk, your agent can help you secure a supplementary flood insurance policy.
Business Interruption Insurance for Charlotte, NC Businesses
In 1994, an F3 tornado touched down 3.7 miles from the Charlotte city center. This twister injured two and caused more than $5 million in property damage.
- Number of federally declared disasters in NC since 1953: 58
- Most common reasons for declared disasters: Hurricanes and Tropical Storms
A major disaster, like the tornado mentioned above, can do more than just damage your business-owned property. These events can also result in your company needing to remain closed for an extended period while repairs are made. This can be financially devastating for a small business, which is why business interruption insurance can be crucial. Business interruption insurance is designed to provide your company with a continuation of income so that you can continue to pay monthly expenses and employee salaries until you are able to return to normal business operations. A local independent agent can explain more and help you review quotes for this important coverage.
Charlotte Businesses Need Workers’ Compensation Insurance
If one of your employees is injured or becomes ill on the job, your business is responsible for covering the associated costs such as medical treatment, lost wages, and other expenses. Workers’ compensation insurance (commonly referred to as “workman’s comp”) is designed to provide this coverage. The cost of your workers’ compensation policy will be based on your company’s overall payroll and the types of jobs your employees do. The more likely your employee is to suffer a debilitating injury, the higher the price of your insurance.
It would cost more to cover employees in a manufacturing plant than executives in a bank. North Carolina state law requires most businesses to carry workers’ compensation insurance. Your independent agent can help you determine whether your business is exempt, and, if not, can assist you in purchasing a suitable policy through a commercial provider. Alternatively, if approved, your business can opt to self-insure.
Employee Benefits for Small Businesses in Charlotte
Charlotte businesses with at least 50 full-time employees are required to provide them with subsidized health insurance coverage. There are many different types of healthcare products available, so it can be difficult to determine which policy is the best choice for your employee benefits package.
- Average amount spent on healthcare coverage by NC businesses: $1,568,586
- Ranked 41st for highest medical insurance costs in the US
- Average annual cost of health care in NC: $5,310/person or $15,023/family
Health insurance is expensive, but providing it to your employees can be beneficial. Studies by human resource management groups have demonstrated that offering employee benefits such as life insurance and healthcare coverage can help your business attract and retain great employees. Also, it has been shown that employees with health insurance use fewer sick days. Your local independent agent can help you review a wide range of competitively priced life and health insurance policies. That way, you will be well-equipped to make an informed decision when you select your coverage.
Why Work with an Independent Insurance Agent?
When you work with an independent agent in Charlotte, you can be sure that your commercial insurance plan does not include any unintentional coverage gaps. These professionals can help you identify your company’s various risks and can guide you in your search for the best insurance policies to cover against them.
Find an independent agent with an office in or near Charlotte to learn more. You will soon discover how easy it can be to build an all-inclusive business insurance portfolio.
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