Protecting your business with insurance is an important part of small business ownership. The proper insurance minimizes the risks associated with unexpected events, liabilities, and losses.
However, as with any choice you face as a business owner, knowing and finding the best insurance for your needs is not an easy task.
No matter that you are starting a business, taking on employees for the first time, or evolving your business structure, there are many variables that determine the right insurance for your small business, including your business structure, business activities, location, whether or not you hire employees, and many other variables.
There are two fundamental types of insurance - commercial business insurance, which is not necessarily required by law, and employer insurance, which is.
Here is a summary of the types of insurance you may wish to consider to protect the assets and investments of the business, as well as the insurance requirements you must comply with as an employer. First, we’ll cover the types of insurance policies available to you as a small business owner. Although not necessarily required by law, you would be wise to purchase enough business insurance to protect your assets against events such as the death of a partner, a natural disaster, or lawsuit to name a few.
It’s a misconception to think that structuring your business as a corporation or LLC limits the need for business insurance. While these business structures do protect the personal assets of the owner from business liabilities, relying on business structure alone to protect your assets is not a substitute for liability insurance, which covers your business from losses. It’s also important to know that, in some instances, state law may require that your particular business activity is covered by some form of insurance.
For example, if you use a car or truck for business purposes, your state may require that you purchase commercial auto insurance for its use. You can consider a business owner’s policy, which covers both general liability and property insurance as one good example. It’s often cheaper than buying separate policies to cover each. You may also wish to purchase product liability insurance or professional liability insurance too.
Your state may require some form of employer insurance such as workers compensation insurance or disability insurance. Unemployment insurance is often required as well. Talk about your business needs with a licensed commercial insurance agent.