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A Beginner’s Guide to Business Insurance

Although most people have dealt with auto or home insurance at some point in their lives, those interested in starting a business often have no idea where to start when it comes to commercial business insurance.

As with all types of insurance, there are different liabilities to take into consideration and various types of coverage to choose between. But, when you’re starting out, you might not have considered every asset you need to insure or taken into account each potential situation that could arise.

If you’re not sure where to start, this beginner’s guide to business insurance is for you! Read on to familiarize yourself with commercial and small business insurance.

An Overview of Business Insurance

Business insurance protects your business against losses caused by common incidents such as fire, theft, lawsuits, and other liabilities.

At Bethany Insurance, we offer customized business insurance specifically tailored to the liability requirements of your business. This kind of strategy is increasing in popularity as many individuals notice the benefits and savings that can result from using a customized insurance policy.

Common types of insurance your business may require include general liability, commercial property, professional liability, workers’ compensation, and commercial auto insurance. Your industry and business type, your loss history, and your location are all key factors in determining which business insurance plan suits you best.

Owners of small businesses or startups may initially overlook insurance, thinking that their business is small enough to not require coverage when they have a limited scale and budget. But that’s actually the exact reason why small businesses need insurance. A larger company may be able to absorb some financial losses if disaster strikes. But for a new company, uninsured liabilities can kill your company before it gets the chance to grow.

General Liability

Also known as business liability insurance, this type of policy is needed by most businesses. It covers general claims involving bodily injuries and property damage and can also help to cover medical expenses and the cost of defending against a lawsuit.

General liability insurance does not cover employee injuries, auto accidents, or professional mistakes. It exists to protect a business from claims made against it and to protect its premises from criminal or accidental damage.

If you’re a business with a physical location where customers and clients can visit, it’s advisable to get general liability coverage as soon as you open.

Commercial Property

You will need this type of coverage if you own your own building, lease an office, or potentially even if you work from home.

This insurance protects your place of work in a number of ways. The building itself is insured against damage or loss, as are the contents. The outside of the building is also covered—this can include signage and fencing.

For businesses that are especially susceptible to a certain type of natural disaster or damage, such as earthquakes and floods, these can be added to a commercial property policy.

Additionally, Bethany Insurance bundles commercial property, general liability, crime insurance, and any other specific coverages you require into one business owner’s policy as an easy solution for startups and small businesses.

Professional Liability

Professional liability insurance differs from general liability insurance because it covers professionals for claims of negligence or malpractice.

This is a specialist insurance especially needed by professionals such as doctors, lawyers, and accountants to protect against claims initiated by their clients. Professionals in this at-risk category should take out professional liability coverage, as it is not included in any other policy.

Workers’ Compensation

Workers’ compensation insurance exists to protect both employers and employees from accidents and illness as a result of working for a company. It provides medical and wage benefits to employees should the need arise.

This coverage is considered a social insurance and is required by companies with employees in all states.

Commercial Auto

Commercial auto insurance covers cars, trucks, vans, and other vehicles related to your business. Every policy will include coverage for physical damage, liability, and other aspects such medical payments, towing, and rental reimbursements.

Commercial auto insurance differs from domestic in that it covers multiple vehicles on the same policy, and depending on your requirements, you can choose between collision, liability, or comprehensive commercial auto insurance.

Before You Buy

If you’ve just started a business or have realized you need insurance for one you’re already running, it’s time to do some research. Think about the type of business you run and what the main risk factors are.

If you don’t know where to start, one of our skilled agents at Bethany Insurance can talk you through your business’s assets and liabilities to help you decide which types of business insurance coverage you need.