Popular Questions about Business Insurance in Washington, D.C.

Business insurance is designed to protect your company against financial losses brought about by hazards such as severe weather, property crimes, and liability lawsuits. This insurance can prove quite beneficial as is evidenced by the fact that in 2019 alone, businesses in Washington, D.C., collected approximately $750 million in insurance claims.

A local independent agent can help you build a business insurance plan that is customized to meet the specific needs of your business.

Liability lawsuits against businesses can be quite expensive. In addition to potential damages brought about by large judgments, there are costs related to legal fees, court costs, and employee time off for the purpose of testifying. All this can really add up for a business that doesn’t have the right liability insurance coverage.

Take for example customer slip & fall injuries. These rather common types of injuries cost businesses an average of about $20,000 per incident.

Here are some other common hazards American companies have been using their business insurance to cover.

  • Theft & burglary:  $8000 average cost per claim
  • Water damage and freezing pipes:  $17,000 average cost per claim
  • Wind and hail damage: 26,000 average cost per claim
  • Fire damage:  $35,000 average cost per claim

Businesses insurance is designed to pay for losses, damage, and other expenses associated with a multitude of covered events so that your company doesn’t have to.

For example, if your inventory is damaged, if a customer files a liability lawsuit, or if an employee is severely injured on the job, so long as you have the right business insurance coverage in place, you won't have to worry about the related expenses will affect your company’s bottom line.

Here are some of the things you can expect a well-built business insurance policy package to do for your business.

Pay for Damage to Your Business Property

  • This is covered by commercial property insurance.
  • Commercial property insurance can cover the structure of the building in which your business is housed (if owned by your company) as well as your company’s assets including such things as tools, machinery, inventory, computers, furniture, outdoor signs, and more.
  • Example: Faulty wiring ignites a fire at your business warehouse. Tens of thousands of dollars worth of inventory is destroyed by flames, smoke, and firefighting efforts.

Pay for Someone Else’s Medical Bills or Property Damage

  • This is covered by commercial general liability insurance (CGL).
  • CGL covers many of the most common liability lawsuits businesses face. If a third party is injured on your business premises, if a product your company produces or sells causes injuries or property damage to others, or if your company is sued for copyright infringement, this insurance can cover the related expenses.
  • Example: An elderly customer in your store slips on a wet floor and suffers a hip fracture that requires surgery and months of physical therapy.

Pay for Accidents Involving Company Vehicles

  • This is covered by commercial vehicle insurance.
  • Commercial vehicle is insurance is required for all company-owned vehicles. Businesses frequently need higher liability coverage limits to protect against expensive lawsuits, particularly if insuring a passenger vehicle or large truck.
  • Example: While driving to a product expo, one of your sales representatives loses control of the company van on icy roads resulting in a multi-vehicle accident.

Pay for Treatment of Employee Injuries & Occupational Illnesses

  • This is covered by workers' compensation insurance.
  • Workers’ comp insurance is required for all employers in this district. It covers medical expenses and disability pay for workers who are stricken with occupational illnesses or injured on the job. This insurance not only protects your workers’ finances, it can also shield your company from potential liability lawsuits related to these injuries.
  • Example: An employee at your restaurant suffers second- and third-degree burns in a kitchen mishap.

Provide a Continuation of Income during a Forced Closure

  • This is covered by business interruption insurance.
  • Business interruption insurance can cover regular monthly expenses like loan installments, employee salaries, and rent during times that your business must remain closed temporarily due to a covered event.
  • Example: A windstorm causes a tree to uproot and it falls onto your business. It takes several weeks before repairs can be made so that your company can resume normal operations.

… and More!

In many cases, the business policies mentioned above are not enough to fully cover businesses against all of their exposures.

Fortunately, there are many more commercial insurance products and options available, so with the help of an independent insurance agent, you can find the policies you need to mitigate all of risks may cause financial harm to your business.

A business insurance policy in and of itself is not required by law. However, certain types of coverage that are typically included in most business insurance policy package may be required in some instances, such as the following.

  • Businesses that have company-owned vehicles must carry commercial auto insurance that meets or exceeds district-mandated minimum coverage requirements.
  • All employers in Washington, D.C., are required by law to cover their employees with workers’ compensation insurance.
  • The clients of construction, renovation, and other contracting businesses will nearly always request to see proof of contractor’s insurance before they will hire the company to do a job.
  • Company owners who want to take out a business loan or line of credit sometimes need to show their financial institution proof of business insurance before they can qualify for a loan.

To learn more about coverage that you may need to carry, you can talk with a local independent insurance agent.

Commercial insurance premiums are calculated using a number of factors including, but not limited to the following. 

  • The type of business you own
  • The value of your company assets
  • The number of employees you have
  • Your liability coverage needs
  • The amount of coverage you want to purchase

Business coverage needs can vary significantly by industry, so it is best to consult an experienced insurance agent when you are working to build comprehensive, yet affordable, policy package for your company. These agents can help you make sure that you are getting the right coverage for each of your company’s potential exposures while avoiding purchasing policies your business does not need.

Also, because independent agents are able to work with multiple insurance providers, they can search for the best price for each type of coverage you need. Sometimes this means that they to get the best price is by having a coverage portfolio that includes policies from several different insurance companies. Don’t worry. You will still only have one point-of-contact with your local independent agent.

Yes! There are more than 25 independent insurance agents located in Washington, D.C. These agents are ready to help you find the best and most affordable coverage for your business.

Independent insurance agents can work with several different insurance providers to find you build a comprehensive and competitively priced business insurance portfolio. Contact an insurance agent near you to discover how much time and money you can save by working with one of these experienced insurance professionals.

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National Business Insurance Stats

Number of businesses in the US: 30,819,176

Burglary rate per 1,000 residents in the US: 3.76

Auto theft rate per 1,000 vehicles in the US: 2.29

LocationAverage Annual Amount of Commercial Claims PaidNumber of People Employed by Small Businesses
Washington D.C.$750,576,000247,461