What Is Business Insurance?
Business insurance coverage protects businesses from losses due to events that may occur during the normal course of business. There are many types of insurance for businesses including coverage for property damage, legal liability and employee-related risks.
Companies evaluate their insurance needs based on potential risks, which can vary depending on the type of environment in which the company operates.
- Business insurance refers broadly to a class of insurance coverage intended for purchase by businesses rather than individuals.
- Businesses seek insurance to cover potential damage to property, to protect from lawsuit, or contract disputes.
- Business insurance accounts for about half of the U.S. property casualty insurance industry, and includes many insurance products known as “commercial lines”.
Types of Business Insurance
Professional Liability Insurance
Professional liability insurance insures against negligence claims that result from mistakes or failure to perform. There is no one-size-fits-all professional liability coverage. Each industry has its own unique concerns that should be addressed.
Property insurance covers equipment, signage, inventory, and furniture in the event of a fire, storm or theft. However, it doesn’t cover mass-destruction events like floods and earthquakes. If your area is at risk for these issues, you’ll need a separate policy. Another exception is personal property that is very high value and expensive—this is usually covered by purchasing an addition to the policy called a “rider.” If there’s a claim, the property insurance policy will either reimburse the policyholder for the actual value of the damage or the replacement cost to fix the problem.
Homeowner’s policies don’t cover home-based businesses like commercial property insurance covers businesses. If you’re operating a home-based business, inquire about additional coverage for equipment and inventory.
Product Liability Insurance
If your business manufactures products to sell, product liability insurance is very important. Any business can find itself named in a lawsuit due to damages caused by its products. Product liability insurance protects a business in such cases.
Any vehicles used for business should be fully insured. At the very least, businesses should insure against third-party injury, but comprehensive automobile insurance will cover the vehicle in an accident, as well. If employees are using their own cars for business, their own personal insurance will cover them in the event of an accident. One major exception is if a person is delivering goods or services for a fee, including delivery personnel.
Business Interruption Insurance
Business interruption (or continuation) policies are a type of insurance that is especially applicable to companies that require a physical location to do business, such as retail stores or manufacturing facilities. Business interruption insurance compensates a business for its lost income during events that cause a disruption to the normal course of business.