More than 21,000 businesses can be found in the North Carolina city of Durham. Duke University and Duke University Health System are Durham’s biggest employers. Companies in the construction, educational services, and healthcare industries do especially well in this city, but businesses in a wide range of industries are thriving here. If you are among the proud business owners in Durham, you will want to be sure to protect your investment with comprehensive commercial insurance. A local independent insurance agent can help you build a customized business insurance plan that will cover against all of your company’s various exposures.
Liability Insurance for Small Businesses in Durham
Liability insurance is an important part of every commercial insurance policy. It can cover the expenses related to liability lawsuits, including court costs, legal fees, and damages. All business insurance policies include commercial general liability insurance (CGL). CGL has two main coverage components:
- Premises liability insurance: Covers third-party injuries, illnesses, and property damage that occur on your business property.
- Product liability insurance: Covers third-party injuries, illnesses, and property damage that are caused by products your company sells, produces or promotes.
Most businesses need to purchase additional liability insurance products in order to be fully covered against all their potential liability risks. There are several policies available to choose from. Examples of some of the liability policies you may want to consider include:
- Commercial vehicle liability insurance: This covers against the increased liability risks that go along with having a company-owned car, truck or van.
- Pollution liability insurance: This covers against environmental damage caused by toxic substances used by your business.
- Professional liability insurance: This is designed to cover individuals in professional positions if negligence, errors in judgment, or other mistakes lead to third-party damages.
Let an independent agent explain more about these and other liability insurance products so you can choose the policies that are right for your Durham business.
Cybercrime Insurance for Durham Small Businesses
Cyber liability insurance is another commercial liability product. It was created to protect businesses against the growing threat of cybercrime.
- 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
If your company electronically stores your customers’ personal and financial information, it is at risk. Even if you use strong firewalls, passwords, and other security measures, savvy hackers can often find a way to access sensitive data and then use it to commit identity theft and fraud. Companies that experience a data breach can be held liable for covering any resultant damages, which can be extremely expensive. If your Durham business uses computers to store customer data, be sure to ask your independent agent about how cyber liability insurance can help.
Property Insurance for Durham Businesses
Your business insurance policy includes commercial property coverage. This is designed to reimburse your company for loss or damage to business-owned property such as merchandise, inventory, tools, machinery, computers, furniture, and more.
- Number of federally declared disasters in NC since 1953: 58
- Most common reasons for declared disasters: Hurricanes and Tropical Storms
A major disaster, like an accidental fire or hurricane, can cause extensive damage to business property. It is therefore important that your coverage levels are high enough to allow you to repair or replace damaged items without your Durham business experiencing a large financial loss. Some commercial property requires specialized coverage (i.e., boiler and machinery insurance, contractors equipment insurance, or inland marine insurance), so be sure to consult your independent agent when you are building your commercial insurance plan.
Business Interruption Insurance for Businesses in Durham, NC
Whether you are impacted by a natural or a man-made disaster, damage to your business-owned property isn’t the only risk you face. In some cases, a major disaster can force you to close down your business for weeks, or even months, while repairs are made. Business interruption insurance provides a continuation of income during these times. Business interruption insurance enables you to have the income you need to pay employee salaries and monthly expenses until you are able to resume normal operations. This coverage is typically limited to 12 months. Talk to an independent agent in Durham to learn more.
Workers' Compensation for Durham Businesses
Work-related injuries can range from lacerations requiring stitches to illnesses following exposure to toxic fumes. If an employee is injured while working for your company, your business is responsible for covering the associated costs. Failure to do so could result in your company being sued in a liability lawsuit. Workers’ compensation insurance is designed to protect employees as well as employers. Often referred to as “workman’s comp,” this insurance covers medical treatment, lost wages, and other related costs if an employee is injured on the job.
Rates for this coverage are based on the risks associated with the work your employees do. A construction worker would cost more to insure than a college professor. North Carolina mandates that most businesses have workers’ compensation insurance. There are a few exceptions, such as for sole proprietors, domestic workers, and certain agricultural workers. An independent agent can help you find an appropriate and competitively priced policy through a commercial provider.
Employee Benefits for Small Businesses in Durham
Studies by human resource professionals have demonstrated that companies that offer decent benefits packages are more likely to attract and retain ideal employees. It has also been shown that employees who have access to health care take fewer sick days.
- 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 care is expensive, but a local independent agent can help you find suitable coverage at a highly competitive price. With so many different policy types for you to choose from, you may find it beneficial to have the guidance of a local insurance professional when you are shopping for health insurance.
Why Work with an Independent Agent?
Simply put, when it comes to business insurance, there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all policy. Insurance companies offer a wide range of products and policy options so that business owners can fully customize their commercial coverage. A local independent agent can help you navigate through your options so you can choose the coverage types that are suitable for your Durham business. Independent agents work for you, not for a specific insurance company. They can, therefore, shop around to find you the best and most affordable coverage.
Contact an agent in or near Durham to get started.
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