As a business owner, it can be overwhelming to know what kind of business insurance coverage you need. How do you protect your business? Visitors, customers, clients, employees, stockholders, and many others could be a source of litigation. The following is a summary of the most essential insurance coverage options for businesses:
1. General Liability:
This is the most common type of commercial insurance. A bay area business needs this insurance if they do work for a governmental entity and to protect them in case their actions cause damage to someone or something. As the name suggests, it is very broad and you have to be mindful as each insurer’s policy has their own limitations.
2. Workers Compensation:
State law requires this insurance if you have any employees. This may sound simple but could be needed even if you just have someone working at your home for an extended period of time. As a business owner, you can be exempt from having this insurance for yourself but any employee must have coverage or you could be liable for each day you don’t have said coverage.
3. Automobile Insurance:
This is often misunderstood as people think that if they have personal auto insurance this isn’t needed. However, many personal auto policies exempt coverage if the vehicle is used for business. It’s important to obtain commercial automobile insurance, especially if you regularly utilize your vehicle for your business (i.e. a delivery service).
4. Property Insurance:
If you own your commercial space, this would be similar to your home insurance. If you rent your commercial space, this would resemble your typical rental policy. However, these coverages are for the potential liabilities that arise for a business property.
5. Umbrella Business Insurance Coverage:
Every insurance policy has limits. You should consider an umbrella policy if you have a lot of business assets and you don’t want to expose yourself to liability in a major catastrophe (i.e. major auto accident, slip and fall, or product liability). These policies are generally inexpensive and provide a basic layer of protection.
6. Professional Liability:
Certain professions like attorneys, doctors, etc. should carry this type of insurance. It protects against malpractice and other mistakes made in the business and related services.
7. Employment Practices Insurance:
Today litigation about harassment and discrimination are rampant. This business insurance coverage protects an East Bay company against such claims by providing a level of protection specific to these types of claims.
8. Directors & Officers Insurance:
A business’s board of directors or officers may not realize it but certain types of liability can impact them personally. In order to cover these liabilities and encourage these individuals to continue in their roles, it’s important to protect them from all the litigious individuals and companies that exist.
As you can see, this is just a sampling of how confusing and challenging insurance coverage can be for a business. Whether you are in San Ramon, Danville, Walnut Creek, San Francisco, or anywhere in California, you are welcome to contact me to answer your business insurance questions.