You may not be the biggest employer in Washington, DC, as that status belongs to the federal government. You may not even be as big as Marriot or Lockheed Martin, who also call DC home. Big or small, business insurance is a must-have for any company owner. What you need to build a comprehensive business insurance package depends on your company's unique needs and services.
Before you search for business insurance quotes, there are several factors to consider.
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How Washington D.C. Does Business
- The gross state product of the District of Columbia in 2010 was $103.3 billion, which would rank it No. 34 amongst the 50 U.S. states.
- The gross product of the Washington, DC Metropolitan Area was $425 billion in 2010, making it the fourth-largest metropolitan economy in the United States.
- Tourism is Washington, DCs second largest industry. Approximately 18.9 million visitors contributed an estimated $4.8 billion to the local economy in 2012.
- The District of Columbia has growing industries not directly related to government, especially in the areas of education, finance, public policy, and scientific research.
- According to statistics compiled in 2011, four of the largest 500 companies in the country were headquartered in the District of Columbia.
What Types of Business Insurance Am I Required to Carry?
Some types of business insurance are required by federal law under certain conditions. The following business coverage is necessary if you have non-related employees:
- Unemployment insurance: Applies to a business that has employees and may be obligated to pay unemployment insurance taxes. You must register your business with the Washington, DC work force’s agency to pay for this insurance.
- Workers compensation insurance: If your business has employees, you are most likely legally obligated to carry workers’ compensation insurance, either on a self-insured basis, or through a commercial insurance carrier or DCs worker compensation program.
- Professional liability insurance: Washington, DC requires certain professionals such as attorneys and other consultants to carry insurance against professional liability.
It's a good idea to speak with an experienced insurance agent to find out which insurance mandates apply to your particular business.
What Kinds of Business Insurance Options Are Available?
Most Washington, DC insurance providers offer a number of options to choose from when you build your business insurance package, including:
- General liability insurance: Covers third party liability claims for injuries to other people and third party property damage to individuals like customers or delivery personnel, and is designed to also cover any legal defense if your organization is sued over a covered incident
- Professional liability and malpractice insurance: Covers professionals against lawsuits stemming from bad advice or services
- Product liability insurance: Covers manufacturers and protects them from lawsuits due to faulty products
- Property insurance: Covers loss and damage to your commercial business property due to severe weather events, fire, and even vandalism or theft
- Commercial vehicle insurance: Covers commercial vehicles and drivers for collision, liability, property damage and personal injury; you may also choose comprehensive commercial vehicle insurance that protects you from severe weather damage, vandalism and theft
- Loss of income: Covers your business expenses such as rent and employee wages if, for some reason, you can no longer operate your business
- Key person insurance: Covers loss of income that may result from the head of the business or other key personnel becoming incapacitated or passing away
- Cyber-crime insurance: Provides protection for risks of digital breeches to internet data systems and online communications
- Records retention policies: Covers loss of important data and financial records
What Is a Business Owner's Policy?
If your Washington, DC based company is small or medium sized, a business owner’s policy, or “BOP,” is specifically designed for you. Insurance providers may require your business to have a certain number of employees or a set income level before you can quality for a BOP. This type of policy combines several options of insurance coverage in a packaged format, and can be customized to suit your unique company. Generally, this type of policy includes both property and liability coverage.
BOPs may also include:
- Property claims
- Breakdown of equipment
- Loss of income/business interruption
- Professional liability
- Copyright infringement
- Libel protection
- Products and completed operations
What About Insurance for My Employees?
As a Washington, DC business owner, you know the value of a well-trained and loyal staff. By securing an attractive employee insurance package, you can ensure your work force is healthy, happy and ready to keep your company strong.
The four most common types of employee insurance benefits include:
- Medical insurance: These plans cover hospital visits, doctor visits, surgeries, prescriptions, and possibly vision and dental. As the employer, you will cover the majority of the premium, but a healthy workforce produces more than a sick one.
- Life insurance: If an employee dies, this benefit will provide financial payments to the employee's named beneficiaries; these benefits can help that person's family to cover funeral costs and ongoing living expenses. You can also find life insurance packages that compensate you, the employer, for the loss of life of a key staff member.
- Disability insurance: You have the option to offer short term and/or long term disability insurance. In the event that an employee is injured or has a lengthy illness, this benefit provides payment during the period of time the employee cannot work.
- Retirement benefits: The most common type is a 401(k) which allows employees to deduct a certain amount of each paycheck to put towards retirement savings. Some businesses choose to match that deduction amount up to a certain percentage.
Not only do these employee insurance benefits attract the best and brightest to your company's workforce, but each one of them is also tax deductible.
What Will My Business Insurance Quote Look Like?
The business insurance quotes you will receive to cover you company will vary. As there are so many different types, sizes and functions of businesses, it is virtually impossible to calculate an average quote without knowing the details of your specific operation.
Most Washington, DC insurance providers use a number of factors to determine the quote for your business insurance package, including:
- The size of your business (how many people you employ and your average annual revenues).
- The coverage options you choose
- Whether or not you plan to offer employee insurance benefits
A small, home-based computer repair business can often be adequately insured and quoted for as little as $500 per year. On the other hand, an insurance package for a large law firm in the DC area with many employees and a wide range of business risks could find quotes as high as $500,000 annually.
Where Can I Find Business Insurance?
Knowledgeable independent insurance agents on the Trusted Choice® network are highly experienced in working with Washington, DC business owners in building comprehensive insurance packages to protect their business interests. Their extensive experience allows them to gather a variety of quotes from a number of insurance providers, ensuring you only receive the most comprehensive packages at the most competitive rates.
Contact a Trusted Choice agent to find out how you can be protected with business insurance that meets your needs and budget.