One of the biggest startup costs to businesses whether they’re home-based, operate on commercial real estate, or even online only businesses is having insurance policies that cover unexpected situations. One of the tricky parts to buying insurance policies is knowing exactly what is covered in them and making sure you have every aspect of your business accounted for in your insurance contracts. You still should have a legal expert such as a personal injury or auto accident lawyer on your side just in case you find yourself having trouble with insurance claims or the situation is more complex than just filing a claim. Generally, you want to have general liability insurance and then any other insurance depending on what your business does.
Why Every Business Needs General Liability Insurance And Sometimes Professional Liability Insurance
General liability is the bare minimum every business owner should have for their business because it protects them against most general harm done to customers, clients or outside contractors who are not employees who suffer damages from your business. Situations such as customers slipping and falling on your property, getting food poisoning, or having one of their belongings mishandled by one of your employees are among some of the most common coverages. Also usually included in general liability is product liability which can cover you whether you manufacture products or just sell them. Sometimes you may need a specific product liability policy if you manufacture on a large scale.
Often confused and in some cases overlapping a little with general liability areas is professional liability insurance, or errors and omissions as it’s also known as. But usually the main difference between general liability or product liability and this insurance is that this usually covers losses that come with professional services you offer as opposed to just general products and services. It’s usually closely affiliated with high level professions like doctors, lawyers, accountants and marketing specialists, but it can also apply to small businesses who do contractor services like construction or plumbing. The bottom line is general and product liability is usually coverage for damage done by a product itself, whereas professional liability covers your work specifically, though where it may be a little blurred is if you’re in manufacturing and your work is finishing products.
Getting Business Property Insurance Or Regular Home Insurance For Home-Based Businesses
One thing you’ll need if your business has any high value assets is property insurance, especially if you’ve taken out a loan or are leasing any of them. For businesses operating out of regular commercial buildings general commercial property insurance will do, but you might wonder what to do if you’re running a home-based business. Typically, even if your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance protects your home and personal property, it may not protect business property even if it’s kept on your home property. More likely than not, you’ll need to get commercial property insurance even if you’re running a business on residential property. There are some insurance companies who may give you a business endorsement in your homeowner’s policy that cover your operation, but this does largely depend on the kind of business you run. You’ll ultimately need to consult with an insurance professional on this if you’re uncertain which property insurance covers your business.
Business Vehicle Insurance And It’s Coverages
The one other area you should be aware of if your business involves using vehicles is having business auto insurance policies for them. Now one thing that Entrepreneur magazine states is that if employees are using their own vehicles for business but simply just doing business commutes, their vehicles will be covered under their personal auto policy. But they will need a business auto insurance policy if they’re using them to perform services or making deliveries.