Running a business can be exciting and rewarding, but also comes with risks. A natural consequence of doing business is the potential for many types of loss and liability, including the destruction of business assets, theft or vandalism, or the injury of a worker on the job. To protect yourself against these events, it's important to carry adequate and appropriate business insurance.
Types of Business Insurance
To be fully protected from a variety of different possibilites, a business owner should be sure to have appropriate levels of several types of insurance, including property insurance, liability insurance, and worker's compensation insurance.
Property damage is an unfortunate reality for business owners. Different types of insurance policies can reimburse business owners for damage to business assets and property, including total loss due to fire. There are also more specialized types of business property insurance, including coverage for boilers, machinery, and other equipment. Business owners can also purchase insurance policies to cover glass, so that they are reimbursed for any broken store windows. It's also a good idea for business owners to maintain a crime insurance policy to recover in the event of theft, burglary, or robbery.
It is also critical for businesses to carry an adequate level of liability insurance to protect the business from liability to third parties. For example, if you own a store and a customer is injured by falling while shopping, you could be faced with a personal injury lawsuit. If you are not adequately insured, the cost of defending yourself could be devastating for your business.
Workers' Compensation Insurance
Employers purchase workers' compensation insurance so that they are protected against illnesses and injuries that their employees suffer while on the job. Workers' compensation insurance is state-mandated, and each state has its own workers compensation insurance program. Workers' compensation insurance covers the injured worker's expenses, including:
- Medical care
- Replacement income
- Costs for retraining
- Compensation for permanent injury
- Benefits to survivors of a worker killed on the job
Notably, workers' compensation benefits do not include pain and suffering. Also, by accepting workers' compensation benefits, a worker cannot sue the employer for the injury or illness.
Other Types of Business Insurance
Depending on the nature of your business, there are other available types of business insurance that you may want to purchase. These include:
- Errors and Omissions: This type of policy covers inadvertent mistakes or failures that cause injury to a third party.
- Malpractice Insurance: If your business is of a professional, medical, or legal nature, malpractice insurance will protect you if an employee's conduct falls below your profession's standard of care.
- Automobile Insurance: If your business has company cars, trucks, or vans, you'll want to be sure to have adequate car insurance policies to protect yourself and the business from accidents, theft, and damage.
Get Legal Help with Business Insurance Issues
Finding the appropriate level of insurance coverage for your business may involve legal planning and strategy. If you need legal help related to business insurance, a good first step is speaking with a lawyer. Find an experienced insurance law attorney in your area today.