There are over 600,000 businesses operating in Tennessee, with around 19,000 in Knoxville. This thriving city is home to a wide range of companies. Arts, entertainment, and recreation-related businesses are plentiful in Knoxville, as well as health care and professional services companies. Knoxville business owners need business insurance to protect their assets and their employees. Business insurance is not a single insurance policy; rather, it is a comprehensive set of policies and customized endorsements tailored to the unique risks of every business.
If you own a business in Knoxville, you need to understand the unique risks you face, and then work with an independent insurance agent to find the right policies and coverage to protect your assets.
Liability Insurance for Small Businesses in Knoxville, TN
If you cause any type of illness, injury, or property damage, whether on your premises or because of your products, you can be sued and required to reimburse the injured party.
Commercial general liability (CGL) insurance provides broad liability protection for injuries and property damage that occur on your premises or because of your carelessness.
If a non-employee or a member of the general public is injured on your premises, your CGL coverage will pay for related medical bills. It will also pay for repairs or replacement if someone’s personal property is damaged.
If you are sued for negligence, your CGL policy helps pay for legal fees associated with the lawsuit, as well as any settlements or judgments that you are required to pay.
You probably need a few other business liability policies or endorsements to fully cover your unique risks. These include:
- Product liability insurance, including completed product coverage: Helps pay for losses or injuries to a user, buyer, or bystander caused by a defect or malfunction of your product.
- Environmental or pollution liability coverage: Protects companies from the costs associated with damage caused by improperly disposing of hazardous waste or causing environmental harm.
- Commercial auto liability insurance: Covers your vehicle fleet and drivers in the event of an accident or other vehicle damage.
- Excess liability, or commercial umbrella insurance: Liability protection for when the limits of your CGL or commercial auto insurance policy have been reached for any single covered claim.
Cyber Liability Insurance for Knoxville, TN Businesses
Almost every business has at least some cyber risk that needs to be addressed. You are likely to be at risk for a number of potential cybercrimes if you use, store, or transfer data electronically for your business.
Data can be breached in many ways, from stolen laptops and other portable devices, to rogue employees, theft of digital assets, human error, and more.
- 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
If you have a breach of your sensitive data, cyber liability insurance protects your business assets. It will help pay a variety of related expenses, including defense costs, settlements and judgments, and even public relations costs.
Be sure to ask an independent insurance agent about how cyber liability insurance can help you protect your Knoxville business.
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Property Insurance for Small Businesses in Knoxville
Every Knoxville business is at risk for some type of property damage. Severe storms with high winds, hail, and lightning can damage your commercial building and physical assets when you least expect it. What’s more, fires, break-ins and vandalism can cause serious damage and put your ability to operate in jeopardy.
- Number of federally declared disasters in Tennessee since 1953: 76
- Most common reason for declared disasters in Tennessee: Severe Storms
- Average number of tornadoes per year: 26
Commercial property insurance ensures that Knoxville business owners can repair, rebuild, or even relocate if disaster strikes. Property insurance protects your business property from events like fire, severe weather, theft, vandalism, and certain other covered perils. It is essential to protect your physical assets like buildings, warehouses, offices, and all of their contents.
Just like commercial liability insurance, commercial property insurance doesn’t cover everything in every situation. Business owners often need additional coverage for specialized equipment and machines, or for materials, inventory, or tools that are in transit or in use at job sites. Ask your insurance agent about equipment breakdown coverage or inland marine coverage to supplement your commercial property insurance policy. And be sure you discuss how to properly value your business property so you have the right amount of coverage to rebuild after a disaster.
Business Interruption Insurance for Knoxville Businesses
Events like severe storms and fires can force you to close your business while you make repairs or rebuild your building, warehouse, factory, or other commercial property. Lost income and ongoing expenses during the rebuilding process can be impossible to overcome without the right insurance coverage.
Business interruption coverage, or business income coverage, pays rent, salaries, lost income, relocation fees, and more if your business is temporarily unable to operate because of fire, wind, hail, equipment breakdown or other covered property losses.
Workers’ Compensation Insurance for Knoxville, TN Businesses
Employers are legally and morally obligated to provide a safe workplace for their employees. But accidents happen, even in the safest of workplaces. Workers’ compensation insurance provides coverage when accidents happen at work, ensuring medical care and income protection for injured workers. Workers’ compensation insurance also helps protect employers from lawsuits resulting from work-related injuries.
Workers’ compensation insurance provides benefits to injured workers regardless of who is at fault for their injury. And it will provide death benefits for the worker’s dependents if the worker dies. Workers’ compensation insurance is compulsory in Tennessee; employers are required to provide workers’ compensation insurance for their employees. It may be provided through a private insurance carrier, or employers may self-insure.
Employers with fewer than five employees are exempt from Tennessee workers’ compensation laws, except for employers in the construction industry. Agricultural employers in Tennessee may elect to provide workers’ compensation coverage for their workers, but the statutes do not require them to do so. Likewise, employers may choose—but are not required—to provide workers’ compensation for domestic employees.
Employee Benefits for Small Businesses in Knoxville, TN
Employee benefits are linked to decreased absenteeism and improved employee morale. It's important to make careful, informed decisions about what kind of health insurance, life insurance, and other benefits you should provide to your employees.
- Average amount spent per year on healthcare coverage by Tennessee businesses: $808,055
- Ranked 25th for highest health insurance premium spending in the US
- Average annual cost of health care in Tennessee: $5,198/person or $15,214/family
There are many different policy types and options available for you to choose from, as well as numerous laws and regulations that you must comply with. A local independent insurance agent can help you find suitable coverage at a competitive price.
Why Work with an Independent Agent?
Shopping for business insurance can be overwhelming, even if you own a small business with a simple business model. That’s why working with an independent insurance agent is the best way to make sure you get all of your questions answered and find the best policy for your needs and budget.
Local independent agents can get quotes from multiple insurance companies, so you’ll be able to compare coverage and rates and make the best choice. Contact a local agent today to get started.
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