Business Insurance

Small Business Insurance

A small business owners insurance policy provides prepackaged Property and Liability insurance coverages tailored to protect small and medium-sized (“Main Street”) businesses from a wide range of perils.

Small Business Insurance Eligibility

Types of businesses eligible for a Business Owners Policy (Small Business Insurance) cover a wide spectrum, ranging from bakeries and Mom-and-Pop convenience stores, through dry cleaners and fast-food restaurants, to a variety of service operations, and retail and wholesale merchants. Note that some small businesses — such as auto repair shops, bars, full-service restaurants, and manufacturing operations — might be ineligible for Small Business Insurance and require other types of insurance.

There are specific size criteria for Business Owner Insurance eligibility.

If you have a home-based business, check out the home business insurance page.

Small Business Insurance COVERAGES

Property

Covers losses to your building and business property. You can choose the Standard Form (“named perils”), which covers losses from perils listed in the policy. If you'd like broader coverage — at a higher premium — the Special Form (“all risk”) covers losses from all causes unless the policy specifically excludes them.

Property coverage includes your building and premises, permanently installed machinery and equipment (heating and air conditioning equipment, etc.), and business personal property (furniture, business stock, and property stored off premises).

You'll also have coverage against losses from crime (theft, forgery, counterfeiting, etc.) and for income lost when your business can't operate at full strength (Business Interruption).

Liability

Covers the legal liability of your business for monetary losses to third parties from a variety of causes:
  • Bodily Injury — repays visitors injured on your premises or customers injured by a product you manufacture or sell.
  • Personal Injury — covers violations of privacy, false imprisonment (for example, detaining a suspected shoplifter), wrongful eviction, etc.
  • Advertising Injury — pays for losses due to the written or spoken words of you or your employees (slander, libel, copyright infringement, etc.).

Optional Small Business Insurance Coverages

For an extra premium, you can beef up your small business insurance policy by adding such coverages as:
    Employee Dishonesty: Covers losses to money, securities, and other property due to employee theft. Burglary and Robbery (added to the Standard Form): Covers loss or damage to your business personal property, including money and securities, on and off premises. Mechanical Breakdown: Covers property damage from the failure of boilers, heating and air-conditioning systems, or electrical equipment. Outdoor signs.
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Alternatives to Inspirational Office Posters

10. Romans did not create a great empire by having meetings; they did it by killing all those who opposed them.

9. If you can stay calm, while all around you is chaos... then you probably haven't completely understood the seriousness of the situation.

8. Doing a job RIGHT the first time gets the job done. Doing the job WRONG fourteen times gives you job security.

7. Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines.

6. Artificial Intelligence is no match for Natural Stupidity.

5. A person who smiles in the face of adversity probably has a scapegoat.

4. Plagiarism saves time.

3. If at first you don't succeed, try management.

2. Never put off until tomorrow what you can avoid altogether.

1. TEAMWORK ... means never having to take all the blame yourself

Resources

SCORE
United States Small Business Administration
U.S. Business Advisor

More about Business Owners Package Policy (BOP)


Q: What’s excluded from a BOP?
A: In general, your BOP will not cover:
  • Workers compensation insurance
  • Earthquake insurance
  • Flood insurance
  • Group health, life and disability insurance
  • Auto insurance for company-owned vehicles
  • Employment Practices Liability insurance
  • Professional Liability insurance
  • Errors & Omissions insurance
  • Malpractice insurance and other specialty coverages
Q: How do insurance companies determine BOP premiums?
A: Pricing policies will vary according the carrier you choose. However some of the more common factors in determining your insurance rate will include:
  • Type of business
  • Location
  • Coverage amounts
  • Age and construction of your building(s)
  • Security devices such as alarms and sprinklers
  • Potential fire hazards in your immediate surroundings
  • Your business' claims history
  • Your years in business and management experience
  • Your financial stability and creditworthiness
Q: Can I deduct as expenses the equipment and supplies I purchased for product development, even though I haven’t sold the new product yet?
A: As a rule, if you are developing a product for sale with intention of eventually making a profit (as opposed to making something as a hobby), you will be able to deduct expenses even if you make no sales. As always, check with your tax advisor for details.

Q: If I have a small company, do I still need Business Owners insurance?
A: Absolutely. The size of your business isn’t the issue here; it’s about the risks you are inherently exposed to when you own a business. Commercial insurance is intended to protect you from many of the risks your business can face, including:
  • damage to the vehicles you use for your business
  • damage or destruction to your office equipment or inventory
  • loss of income if your business is temporarily closed because of a covered loss
  • certain business related liability exposures such as, wrongful entry or search, libel, slander and even certain offenses arising out of your business’ advertising
  • risks to your cargo while in transit or storage
  • theft or loss of tools and equipment
  • crime coverage including robbery, burglary, even employee theft
Q: I’m self-employed and work from home. Do I still need a Business Insurance policy?
A: It doesn't matter if you're desk is in the laundry room of your house or you work out of your car. The types of business insurance policies available span all size businesses and encompass issues from trivial to significant. What’s important to remember here is that even the most common and everyday practices can go wrong to a degree that can disable your business. Protect yourself and you won’t have to worry.

Q: What are some of the protections I can expect from a Business Owner's Policy?
A: In general, a Business Owner's Policy combines property insurance and general liability insurance into one package designed to suit the size of your operation. The property component covers the physical parts of your business, from the building itself to its contents. The liability component protects you from claims and lawsuits that result from another person being injured either at your place of business or as a result of your business’ operation or products. It also covers claims for personal injury, such as invasion of privacy, wrongful eviction, libel, slander, false advertising. Typically, the cost of legal defense and court fees as well as settlements or judgments against your business are covered.