There are nearly 550,000 businesses operating in Tennessee. Chattanooga’s over 16,000 businesses participate in a variety of industries, including health care, arts, entertainment, and recreation. Chattanooga business owners need a comprehensive business insurance plan to protect their assets and their employees when something goes wrong. Since every business has unique risks, it’s important to understand all of your exposures and find tailored insurance policies to cover them. A local independent insurance agent can help you assess your risks, compare policies and quotes, and make an informed decision.
Liability Insurance for Small Businesses in Chattanooga, TN
Lawsuits against businesses are common. From simple trips and falls to illnesses caused by tainted food or severe injuries caused by faulty products, if someone accuses you of negligence, the costs to defend yourself and pay the injured party can be devastating. Commercial general liability (CGL) insurance provides broad coverage for lawsuits that may be filed against your business. CGL insurance covers third-party bodily injury and property damage claims against your company. It helps you pay for direct costs related to a claim (e.g., medical expenses, repairing or replacing damaged property) as well as your legal defense if you are sued.
Not every kind of liability risk is covered by a CGL policy. There are additional commercial liability policies available for many of these scenarios. Talk to your independent insurance agent about why you might need commercial auto liability insurance, environmental liability insurance, or professional liability insurance to appropriately protect your assets from lawsuits.
Cyber Liability Insurance for Chattanooga Businesses
Your use of computer systems and electronic data leaves you susceptible to a variety of potentially expensive scenarios. When sensitive data is stolen by outside hackers, you’re responsible for making things right with your business partners and customers. What’s more, you’ll likely be sued for the financial harm that was caused.
- Number of identity theft complaints in Tennessee per year: 4,993
- Ranked 24th highest for identity theft complaints in the US
- Only 22% of businesses have a cyber/data breach response plan
Cyber liability insurance protects your business assets by paying many of the costs related to a cyber breach and any resulting legal action against you. The cyber liability insurance market is still evolving, so finding the right policy can be challenging. What’s more, policies and coverage vary among insurance companies. Be sure to ask an independent insurance agent about how cyber liability insurance can help you protect your business.
Property Insurance for Small Businesses in Chattanooga, TN
Structure fires, severe storms, and occasional tornadoes can cause extensive damage to your Chattanooga commercial property.
- Number of federally declared disasters in Tennessee since 1953: 69
- Most common reasons for declared disasters in Tennessee: Severe Storms and Floods
Whether you own your building or lease your office space, you need some type of protection for your business property. Commercial property insurance covers damage to a building and its contents (computers, office equipment, and furniture, supplies, fixtures, etc.) if it is damaged by a weather event, a fire, theft, vandalism, and other causes of loss.
An independent insurance agent can help you determine if you need more than just a basic commercial property policy. If you live in an area that is prone to flooding, you are likely to need flood insurance designed for businesses. Flood insurance is available from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), and your local insurance agent can help you purchase coverage.
Business Interruption Insurance for Chattanooga Businesses
Unexpected events from minor to catastrophic can easily damage your building, your suppliers’ buildings, local utilities, and more. A tornado or a fire can leave you unable to operate for some time while you repair or rebuild your commercial property. Business interruption coverage, or business income coverage, protects your earnings if your business is unable to operate because of damage after a fire, hail, wind, equipment breakdown, or some other covered event.
If you are forced to close your doors for an extended period in order to make repairs, this coverage pays for rent, employee salaries, lost income, relocation fees, and more. Business interruption insurance is usually part of your commercial property policy or business owners policy (BOP). An independent insurance agent can help you assess your risks and help you get the coverage you need.
Workers’ Compensation Insurance for Chattanooga, TN Businesses
Workers’ compensation insurance is designed to cover medical treatment, lost wages, and other miscellaneous expenses for employees who are injured on the job. It allows you to protect your employees from the costs of these injuries, and it protects you from lawsuits related to workplace accidents.
Almost every state requires employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance—with few exceptions. States levy heavy penalties for non-compliance with workers’ compensation laws, which is reason enough to make sure you comply. All Tennessee employers are required to provide workers’ compensation insurance for their employees, with a few exceptions.
- Employers with fewer than five employees are exempt from Tennessee workers’ compensation laws, except for employers in the construction industry.
- Agricultural employers are not required to provide workers’ compensation insurance for their employees, but they may elect to provide it.
- It is not mandatory to cover domestic employees, but their employers may elect to purchase workers’ compensation insurance for them.
Tennessee workers’ compensation insurance may be purchased through a private insurance carrier, or employers may choose to self-insure with state approval.
Employee Benefits for Small Businesses in Tennessee
An employee benefits plan that includes health insurance, life insurance, dental and vision insurance, vacation and sick time, and other perks help companies attract and retain top employees. Good employee benefits programs can help improve employee morale and satisfaction and even decrease absenteeism.
- Average amount spent per year on healthcare coverage by Tennessee businesses: $808,055
- Ranked 25th for highest medical insurance costs in the US
- Average annual cost of health care in Tennessee: $5,198/person or $15,214/family
There are many different employee benefits options available, and not every business needs the same types of plans or programs. A local independent insurance agent can help you find suitable coverage at a competitive price.
Why Work with an Independent Agent?
There are many business insurance products and options available to protect your Chattanooga business. You probably have a lot of questions, and a local independent insurance agent can help. An independent agent can work with insurance companies that specialize in the type of work you do. And your agent can help you assess your risks and get quotes from multiple, highly rated insurance companies.
Find an agent in or near Chattanooga to get started.
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