There’s “Small Business Saturday”. There is the “Small Business Administration” and “Small Business Week”. Small Businesses are the backbone of our economy. More than half of all Americans either work for or own a small business.

Commercial insurance coverage is required for many large or high-risk industries, but what do you need when running a small business? Business insurance might not be required if your business is freelance or low-risk, however you’re likely to end up needing it. It’s better to get covered before it’s too late.

Outside of medical insurance and any required insurance you may need if you have employees, there are several types of “property & casualty” coverage that you’ll either need or want to consider for your small business:

  • General Liability InsuranceAs the name states, general liability insurance provides you with coverage for a variety of situations. Because this is a bit of a “catch-all” policy, you can tailor it to your specific needs. These policies can cover you, your business, and employees against:
    • Bodily Injury
    • Property Damage
    • Medical Expenses
    • Libel/Slander
  • Property InsuranceProtecting the physical structure(s) necessary for your business is important. This form of coverage is typically part of general liability insurance, but check policies to be sure. If your business operates out of your home, be aware that your homeowners insurance may not cover losses in your small business.
  • Professional Liability InsuranceThis protects you and your business from malpractice, errors, or negligence towards clients. It is often recommended to those working with taxes or offering financial help. Physicians are often required by law to have this form of insurance.
  • Product Insurance If your business makes, distributes, and/or sells products, this form of insurance helps protect you from anything that could go wrong with them. If you make, sell, or distribute a product and the product ends up harming anybody, this coverage protects you against claims.

Business Owners Policies (or a “BOP“) are also available to small businesses and package general liability insurance together with commercial property insurance. This can be worthwhile for small businesses that don’t operate out of a home. While these are the primary insurance types you’ll want to look at when protecting your small business, there are some others to consider. These insurance types are more often used by larger businesses, but can still be very helpful.

  • Commercial Auto Insurance – This covers a business’s vehicles carrying employees, products, or equipment. If you don’t have company vehicles, non-owned liability policies are available. These protect you from any losses that could occur from an employee driving their own vehicle for business.
  • Workers’ Compensation – Any business who employs at least one person in Massachusetts is required, by law, to carry workers’ compensation coverage. This type of insurance provides wage replacement and medical benefits to employees injured on the job. In exchange for this, employees give up their right to sue the employer over the incident.
  • Cyber & Data Breach Insurance – If your business deals in the storage or transfer or sensitive or private information (like client addresses, payment information, etc), it’s wise to have this coverage. Data breach policies protect your business from any losses resulting from information on your computers, servers, or paper format leaking. In 2017, cyber attacks cost small and medium-sized businesses an average of $2,235,000. [1].

Looking for a bit more information about the types of coverage you should consider as a small business owner? Check out this handy coverage overview.

It can be tricky figuring out what type of insurance and how much coverage you need for your small business, and a lot of it will come down to exactly how your business runs. Take a look at your own liability, and be sure your agent sets up a policy that protects you from everything you’re worried about, with enough coverage.

Get started by contacting one of R&G’s small business specialists below!

Patrick Marshall

Consultant | Small Business Insurance

Patrick is a Business Insurance Consultant at Rogers & Gray Insurance. He specializes in small businesses and risk management. Prior to this role, Patrick held positions across the country in the Tech and Non-Profit fields. He lives on the Cape with his wife, two-and-a-half year old daughter, and their two dogs. On the weekends you might find him sailing, hiking, snowboarding, or at a Sox game. Connect with Patrick on LinkedIn or by email.

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