Business & Commercial Insurance Information
The most common commercial policies are explained below. If the insurance you are looking for is not listed below, please contact our office so we may assist you. These are not the only policies we carry and we would be happy to help you determine what type of insurance you need.
If you are new to business insurance or just want to review the common terms, see our Business Owner's Checklist for a guide designed to help you choose what insurance is right for your business. Time for renewal? We have a Renewal Checklist you should follow!
A Business Owner's Policy or BOP combines protection from all of the main property and liability risks into a single package. A typical BOP includes commercial property insurance, general liability insurance, and business interruption insurance for up to a year. BOPs are designed to give you broad coverage at a reasonable cost. By packaging these items, you pay less for each coverage than you would if you purchased them separately.
BOPs can be customized to meet your needs by adding endorsements and riders. For example, you can add flood insurance if you're in an area prone to flooding or commercial auto insurance if your employees travel for work.
See our blog post, "Why your small business shouldn't overlook a business owner's policy" for more information on which types of businesses would benefit from a BOP and which may not.
Business Interruption Insurance
This is an endorsement added to many commercial policies that protects against loss of income that is a direct result of loss of or damage to your property due to a covered event, such as a fire or a natural disaster. This type of insurance is not purchased separately but is added on to or included with existing policies. With business interruption insurance, you will be covered for income lost based on income earned in the previous months. Depending on the policy, you may also have coverage for moving to a temporary location, employee wages, and extra expenses during this time.
See our blog post on business interruption insurance for more information.
As a business owner, you need the same kinds of insurance coverages for the car you use in your business as you do for a car used for personal travel -- liability, collision and comprehensive, medical payments (known as personal injury protection in some states) and coverage for uninsured motorists. In fact, many business people use the same vehicle for both business and pleasure. If the vehicle is owned by the business, make sure the name of the business appears on the policy as the "principal insured" rather than your name. This will avoid possible confusion in the event that you need to file a claim or a claim is filed against you.
Whether you need to buy a business auto insurance policy will depend on the kind of driving you do. A good insurance agent will ask you many details about how you use vehicles in your business, who will be driving them and whether employees, if you have them, are likely to be driving their own cars for your business.
While the major coverages are the same, a business auto policy differs from a personal auto policy in many technical respects. Ask your insurance agent to explain all the differences and options.
Commercial Property Insurance
If you own your building or if you have business personal property, such as computers, office equipment, furniture, inventory, and/or tools, this type of insurance offers protection. It covers the costs of damage to your business property and the contents of the building due to events such as fires, hurricanes, theft, and natural disasters. According to FEMA, almost 40% of small businesses don't reopen after a natural disaster. Examples of scenarios that would require commercial property insurance include if a pipe bursts in the building and damages your inventory or if someone breaks in and steals your computers.
Earthquakes and floods are not covered in standard policies so be sure to check with your agent if you think this type of coverage is worth including.
The right policy can even cover income lost while your business is closed or equipment when it is away from the office.
Unfortunately for every business owner the chances of getting sued have dramatically increased in the last decade. General liability insurance can prevent a legal suit from turning into a financial disaster by providing financial protection in case your business is ever sued or held legally responsible for some injury or damage.
General liability pays losses arising from real or alleged bodily injury, property damage, or personal injury on your business premises or arising from your operations.
A broad range of general liability protection exists including:
- Bodily Injury, including the cost of care, the loss of services, and the restitution for any death that results from injury
- Property Damage coverage for the physical damage to property of others or the loss of use of that property
- Products-Completed Operations provides liability protection (damages and legal expenses up to your policy's limit) if an injury ever resulted from something your company made or service your company provided
- Products Liability is a more specialized product liability insurance that protects your company against lawsuits from product-related injury or accidents
- Contractual Liability extends to any liability you may assume by entering into a variety of contracts
- Other coverage includes: Reasonable Use of Force; Borrowed Equipment; Liquor Liability; Non-Owned Vehicles (such as aircraft and watercraft); Fire, Lightning or Explosion Damage; Water Damage Liability Protection; Legal Defense Costs; Medical Payments; Personal Injury; Advertising Injury; and specialized liability protection for specific business types
Also known as errors and omission, this type of coverage ensures you're safe if your services or products cause financial harm. If a client claims they suffered losses due to a mistake you made or because you failed to deliver a product or service, you want to have a professional liability policy. Your general liability policy will not cover the costs of defending yourself and damages the client may be awarded.
Professional liability covers financial damages a client incurred as a result of a mistake you made. General liability covers the costs of physical damages, such as a person being injured or a property being damaged.
Professional liability does not cover criminal prosecution.
Workers' compensation laws were created to ensure that employees who are injured on the job are provided with fixed monetary awards. This eliminates the need for litigation and creates an easier process for the employee. It also helps control the financial risks for employers since many states limit the amount an injured employee can recover from an employer.
Workers' compensation insurance covers workers injured on the job, whether they're hurt on the workplace premises or elsewhere, or in auto accidents while on business. It also covers work-related illnesses and provides payments to injured workers, without regard to who was at fault in the accident, for time lost from work and for medical and rehabilitation services. Death benefits to surviving spouses and dependents are included.
Workers' compensation insurance is not health insurance.
Do I need workers' compensation insurance?
Employers have a legal responsibility to their employees to make the workplace safe. However, accidents happen even when every reasonable safety measure has been taken.
To protect employers from lawsuits resulting from workplace accidents and to provide medical care and compensation for lost income to employees hurt in workplace accidents, in almost every state, businesses are required to buy workers' compensation insurance. Even in non-mandatory states, it can be a very good idea, particularly if you have many employees, or if they are engaged in hazardous activities.
Each state has different laws governing the amount and duration of lost income benefits, the provision of medical and rehabilitation services and how the system is administered. For example, in most states there are regulations that cover whether the worker or employer can choose the doctor who treats the injuries and how disputes about benefits are resolved.
Massachusetts laws about workers' compensation
New Hampshire's workers' compensation laws
Workers' compensation insurance must be bought as a separate policy. Although in-home business and business owners policies (BOPs) are sold as package policies, they don't include coverage for workers' injuries.
Business & Commercial Insurance Quote Forms
Looking for coverage? Get a free quote using our online forms no matter the day or time. Click any of the following links for quick, accurate, and affordable rates. Once you have entered the required information, our experienced agents will take it from there. We promise that there are no strings attached. If you have any questions about these forms or coverage in general, please get in touch with us. We are more than happy to help.
Unable to find the exact type of policy you are looking for below? Contact our office anyways! We will do our best to assist you and point you in the right direction.
Business & Commercial Insurance Customer Service Options
Self policy service any time of the day, directly from our website. To request a policy change on your account, click any of the following policy service options below.