According to the US census, there are 871,376 businesses operating in North Carolina. Nearly 44,000 of these businesses can be found in the city of Raleigh. Raleigh is a part of North Carolina’s “Research Triangle” and is a major retail shipping and wholesale distributing point. This vibrant city is an excellent location for entrepreneurs operating in a wide range of industries. If you are among the many entrepreneurs in Raleigh, you will want to be sure to protect your business 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 Raleigh
A lawsuit against your company can be very expensive, even if the courts rule in your favor. That is why liability insurance is a crucial 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).
It has two main coverage components: premises liability insurance, which covers third-party injuries, injuries, and damage that occur on your business property; and product liability insurance, which covers third-party injuries, illnesses, and damage that are caused by products your company sells, produces, or promotes. Most businesses need additional liability insurance products in order to be fully covered against all their potential risks. There are several other liability policies available to choose from, including:
- Employment practices liability insurance: This covers your business against accusations of illegal practices such as harassment, discrimination, and wrongful termination.
- Commercial vehicle liability insurance: This covers your business against the increased liability risks that go along with having a company-owned car, truck or van.
- Pollution liability insurance: This covers your business against accidental environmental damage caused by toxic substances used by your company.
- Professional liability insurance: This covers 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 Raleigh business.
Cybercrime Insurance for Raleigh Small Businesses
Cyber liability insurance is a commercial liability product that merits a closer look. This relatively new insurance was created to protect businesses affected by 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 uses computers to electronically store your customers’ personal and financial information, it is at risk. Even if you protect your data with strong firewalls and secure passwords, determined hackers can often find a way to access sensitive data. They can then use this illegally obtained information to commit identity theft and fraud. Companies that experience a data breach can be held liable for covering any resultant damages, and this can prove extremely expensive. If your Raleigh business collects and stores customer data, be sure to ask your independent agent for more information about cyber liability insurance.
Property Insurance for Raleigh Businesses
Business insurance policies also include property coverage. Commercial property insurance is designed to reimburse your company for loss or damage to your business-owned property such as inventory, tools, computers, furniture, outdoor signs, 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 uncontrolled fire or a severe storm, can cause excessive damage to your business property. It is therefore important to be sure that your coverage levels are high enough to enable you to repair or replace damaged items without your Raleigh business experiencing a large financial loss. Certain commercial property requires specialized coverage (e.g., boiler & machinery insurance, contractors equipment insurance, or inland marine insurance), Your independent agent can make sure you are getting the right coverage when you are building your commercial insurance plan.
Business Interruption Insurance for Businesses in Raleigh, NC
Whether hit by a natural or man-made disaster, you need to be prepared for more than just the destruction of your business-owned property. In some cases, a major disaster can force you to close down your business for weeks, or even months, while the damage is repaired. Business interruption insurance provides your company with a continuation of income during these times. Business interruption insurance enables you to have the income you need so that you can continue to pay your monthly expenses and employees’ salaries until you are able to resume normal operations. Most policies limit this coverage to up to one year. Talk to an independent agent in Raleigh to learn more.
Workers' Compensation for Raleigh Businesses
There are a number of ways that workers can be injured on the job. These include cuts that require stitches, long-term injuries like lost limbs or chronic back pain, and illnesses following exposure to toxic substances. If an employee is hurt while doing their job, your business is responsible for covering the associated costs. Workers’ compensation insurance (or workman’s comp) is designed to protect employees as well as employers.
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 far more to insure than a researcher. North Carolina requires most businesses to carry workers’ compensation insurance. Exceptions are made for sole proprietors, domestic workers, and certain agricultural workers. An independent agent can help you secure an appropriate and competitively priced policy through a commercial provider.
Employee Benefits for Small Businesses in Raleigh
It can be to your advantage to provide your employees with benefits like vacation time, health insurance, and life insurance. Studies by human resource professionals have demonstrated that companies that offer great benefit 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
Healthcare coverage 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 guidance and assistance from a local insurance professional when you are shopping for employee benefit products like health insurance.
Why Work with an Independent Agent?
Every business is different. That is why 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. This enables business owners to fully customize their commercial coverage. Local independent insurance agents can help you navigate through your many options so you can choose the coverage that is best for your Raleigh business.
Contact an agent in or near Raleigh to get started.
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