You’ve invested an enormous amount of time and money to build your business. Unfortunately, a natural disaster, lawsuit, injury to an employee, or even death of a partner can be financially devastating for a company. The purpose of business insurance is to protect your personal and company assets from these risks. By insuring your business, you transfer these risks so that you remain free to focus your attention on day-to-day company operations.
Your insurance commissioner determines which types of businesses must be insured and the minimum standards for coverage. As a general rule, any business with employees must carry unemployment insurance. Even if you aren’t an employer, it’s still common practice to carry enough insurance to cover the value of your assets.
There are a variety of coverage options available depending on your particular business needs and practices, including:
• General liability insurance—This type of coverage protects your business in the event of a lawsuit for negligence, accidents, and injuries. Policies usually cover such items as medical expenses, property damage, bodily injury, slander, and libel.
• Product liability insurance—Coverage protects companies involved in the manufacture, distribution, or sale of a product from losses due to defects that result in bodily injury or harm.
• Professional liability insurance—This protects a business or individual involved in providing a service against claims for errors, negligence, or malpractice. Many states require professionals such as doctors, attorneys, and accountants to carry this type of coverage.
• Business property insurance—This type of policy protects the business owner from losses related to fire, theft, or other types of damage to the property.
Properly insuring your business can mean the difference between keeping the doors open and filing bankruptcy. Depending on your coverage, a business policy can restore damaged property, protect you against a lawsuit, and even replace lost income.
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