5 Types of Business Insurance and Why You Need Them

No matter the size or nature of your business, one thing that remains the same is the need for business insurance. There are many different aspects of your business that you’ll want to take into consideration when looking for new business insurance – or reviewing your current insurance coverage. Since every business is different, each one will have different insurance requirements. For example, a company that produces physical goods may need different insurance than a company which offers services. In either scenario, there are some similarities, and listed here are a few types of insurance that all businesses should consider.

Workers’ Compensation Insurance – for your employees

Workers’ Comp insurance is required by law in almost every state. It can provide coverage for medical costs and a portion of lost wages for an employee who becomes injured or ill on the job. Typically, this type of insurance only covers injuries or illness that occur on the job site – for example, if an employee slips and falls on a wet floor.

Since the laws regarding Workers’ Comp can be different depending on where your company is located, it’s important to work with an insurance professional to make sure you’re getting the coverage that’s required, as well as what you need for your particular business.

General Liability Insurance

General Liability Insurance is designed to protect you and your business from a variety of claims, including accidents, injuries, or claims of negligence. This type of insurance can help pay for things like property damage, medical expenses, libel, slander, legal costs, and faulty products. No one expects to get sued, but the reality is that it’s always a possibility. You don’t want to leave your business open to these types of situations, and the broader the protection, the better.

Professional Liability Insurance – “Errors and Omissions” coverage

Professional Liability Insurance can also be known as “Errors and Omissions Insurance,” or “Malpractice Insurance.” It protects you from lawsuits that allege negligence in providing professional services, providing shoddy work, or making mistakes or omissions. This type of insurance is particularly important if you have a service-based business, but can also be necessary for other types of businesses as well. Mistakes happen – so adequate Professional Liability Insurance can be helpful, even if you don’t think you’ll need it.

Property Insurance

The definition of “property” is broad, and can mean different things to different types of businesses. That’s why it’s important to make sure you carry adequate Commercial Property Insurance. Without this type of insurance, most small businesses wouldn’t be able to replace their equipment should something happen to cause damage or destruction. Property covered by this type of insurance can include buildings, computers, inventory, supplies and equipment. There are two types of Property Insurance: “all-risk” policies cover just about everything, and is a good way to avoid duplication or overlap of coverage, as well as gaps in trying to cover your liabilities. “Peril-specific” policies, or “named-peril” coverage applies only to particular perils that are specifically named in the policy. They’re usually needed when there is a high risk in a very particular area.

Life Insurance / Key Executive Insurance – protection and benefit

Offering life insurance for employees can be a valuable benefit when trying to attract high-quality employees. A business can even offer additional coverage for executives. These employees are deemed to be crucial to the running and success of the business, and may sometimes require additional insurance, above and beyond what the normal employee benefits provide. This can be another benefit in attracting top talent.

A business can also offer special “Key Person” policies for employees without whom the business could not function. Key Person Insurance protects against a key employee’s unexpected death – often times the benefit amount equals the expected revenue loss and costs required to find and train a suitable replacement. The business pays the premiums, and the insurance is considered a business asset.

It’s possible to combine some of these basic coverages as a package policy, often referred to as a Business Owner’s Policy, or BOP. Many insurance companies bundle certain coverages, and this can save you money, as long as you make sure you get the proper type of coverage.

Even if you feel you have adequate business insurance coverage that meets all your current needs, it’s still advisable to review all your coverage on an annual basis, to make sure that your coverage continues to provide everything that you need. This is particularly important if you or your business have experienced any major changes, such as change in family status, or a significant increase or decrease in business activity. Additionally, be sure to work with a reputable, licensed insurance agent or broker, who has knowledge regarding business like yours.

Types of Businesses – Definition of Business Types

A man is known by the company he organizes. – Ambrose Bierce

[Types of Businesses] – Owning your own business is a major part of having great economic success in a capitalistic society. There are many types of businesses to choose from so one of the first decisions you’ll make is the type of business to open. There are several options to explore for the structure of your business. This article will give you the definition of three of the most popular business types. These types of businesses are: (1) Sole Proprietorship, (2) Corporation, and (3) Limited Liability Company.

(1) Sole Proprietorship – individual ownership and operation of a business.

A sole proprietorship is not a separate organization and does not have any formal requirements for formation. The individual simply begins doing business. Most sole proprietorships are small businesses, and initially their business capital needs are small. Typically, the individual provides the funds. In order to get financing, a sole proprietor takes personal financial risk. The income of the business is the income of the sole proprietor and is reported on the individual’s income tax return. The proprietor is the manager of the business. The business can be transferred only if the owner allows it.

(2) Corporation – any entity formed by statue that has rights of a legal person along with limited liability for its shareholder owners.

Formal public filing is required to form a corporation. A corporation may use short-term financing or debt and equity financing. Limited liability for shareholders is one of the advantages of corporate organization. Corporations have the tax consequences of double taxation. Many shareholders may own a corporation but the board of directors controls the operations. Shareholders have the opportunity to express their views at the annual meeting by electing directors who represent their interests. A corporation can be dissolved voluntarily or involuntarily.

(3) Limited Liability Company – newer form of business organization in which liability is limited except for conduct that is illegal.

An LLC is formed by filing the articles of organization with a centralized state agency. Members of an LLC make capital contributions in much the same way as partners make capital contributions. Members of an LLC have limited liability; the most they can lose is their capital contributions. The LLC does not pay taxes; income and losses are passed through to the members to be reported on their individual returns. Members of an LLC adopt an operating agreement that specifies the voting rights, withdrawal rights and issues. A member’s LLC interest is personal property and is transferrable. Most LLC statues provide that the LLC dissolves upon the withdrawal, death, or expulsion of a member.

The definition of these business types is just the beginning of understanding how to fully utilize each structure. Because there are several types of businesses it is important to know the advantage and disadvantage of each. The type of business you organize will determine a lot about how you reduce liability, protect your assets and pay your taxes. Defining the business type for you is important in “Creating Your Own Lane” in business success.