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Commercial Insurance – What Type do you need for your Business?

Updated on October 26, 2010

Commercial Insurance is an absolute necessity for any business owner. It limits your own personal liability and that of your company by protecting you against any unforeseen circumstances and accidents. 

To go without commercial insurance would be unnecessarily exposing your business to risk. This article will make sure you know exactly what kind of cover you should have and help you find it.

There are several types of commercial business insurance available depending on what type of business that you are in. The main things that business owners will want to protect themselves against are things like property damage, employee accidents and injuries and also any accidents to third parties.The more specific types of commercial insurance that fall under these banners will be defined below. As a general rule commercial insurance can be protection against almost anything that will interrupt your normal business.

Insurance for your Property

This type of insurance will cover against damages to your property including personal items that may have been damaged. General property insurance will cover damage against fire though there are other more specialized types of property insurance that you may need to purchase.

Business Interruption Insurance

Business interruption insurance will cover for any income that is lost due to loss or damage of your property. Should an accident like flooding or a fire force you to stop doing business for several months business interruption insurance will cover all of your running costs such as wages and taxes including profit that would earn through that period.

Tenant's Insurance

If you do not own the property that your business is in you may be required to take out insurance that will cover for employee negligence and any damage that is caused by making changes to the property like renovations. 

Crime Insurance

This type of insurance for your commercial property covers burglary or theft from both employees and thieves. This covers the loss of cash, stocks, fixtures etc.

Commercial Insurance
Commercial Insurance

Ordinance Insurance

Also known as Law insurance will cover the cost incurred through having to re-build your property when part of it has been destroyed. It is important to note that these policies will not cover any extended renovations but only for your property to be re-built up to standard. This is usually triggered when over half of the building has been destroyed.

Equipment Breakdown Insurance

Commonly referred to as Boiler and Machinery Insurance, this covers the losses that come from your machines accidentally breaking down. This would cover something like the losses occurred for not meeting a printing deadline if your printer broke down or your computer being damaged.

Debris Removal Insurance

This insurance will pay for removal of any debris from your property that is getting in the way of future construction. Your building may have been damaged by a fire or flood and though the cost to re- build will be covered by your building insurance, the cost of cleaning the property and preparing it for new construction will only be covered if you have a debris removal policy in place

Builder's Risk Insurance

While a property is being rebuilt it may be more vulnerable to the elements.  If minor flooding or high winds bring down the building framework during construction then the builders risk insurance will protect against the losses. 

Glass Insurance

Glass insurance will pay to replace store windows plate glass windows and some display cases in the event they are broken. 

Inland Marine Insurance

This insurance is intended to cover property that is in transit and other people's property on your grounds or in your care. For example, this insurance would cover fire-damage your clients items in your repairs business or customers cars at your workshop for maintenance.

Fidelity Bonds

A company that issues these will covers losses resulting from an employee's theft of business property and money. Some of these will also extend to data and other intellectual property. 

Different Types of Liability Insurance

Taking out liability insurance will protect your company against any injuries that are caused to thirs parties.  Should somebody sue your company for negligence then you will be covered for any injury that occurred on your property. More specific versions of this insurance include some of the following;

commercial insurance
commercial insurance

Malpractice Insurance

This is one of the most common types of liability insurance. This insurance will cover for injuries that are caused by a professional or service provider doing something that is below standard for the guidelines stipulated in that profession. A popular example is a Doctor who incorrectly performs a surgical procedure that his other peers would not have done. Malpractice can also include real estate agents, architects and other professionals who have accreditation and are expected to perform standardized tasks across their profession. In this case the insurance would cover all the legal costs in defending against a lawsuit and the final settlement amount.

Automobile Insurance

Commercial automobile insurance will protect against damage to company vehicles that are used by employees. Should any of the cars be stolen or an employee injures someone in an accident and has to sort out whiplash claims from the injured party then this type of cover would pay for the associated costs. Depending on the type of car your company buys the premiums for this can vary significantly. Exotic and import car insurance for company promotional and client hospitality purposes will attract higher premiums

Errors and Omissions Insurance

Also abbreviated as E & O insurance, this will protect against unintentional errors that lead to damages incurred by a third party. This will include such cases as a file not being notarized or missing a signature on one page of a contract due to a clerical error. The policy will only be activated for inadvertent errors and not those resulting from bad judgement.

Directors' and Officers' Liability Insurance

This type of insurance will cover the costs of lawsuits against senior members of the company like directors and officers. It is most commonly taken out by non-profit organizations.

Insurance for your employees

Workers compensation insurance covers you for injuries to your employees while they are at work. Specific insurance for workers compensation is almost mandatory when you are getting your business licence in many countries though there are many regulations that the employer must abide by to ensure a safe working environment for their employees. This insurance is primarily taken out to protect against your own employees taking legal action over injuries caused by negligence in the workplace.

commercial insurance
commercial insurance

Getting The Right Insurance For Your Business

For the most part finding the right commercial insurance for your business is a simple matter of sitting down with a good insurance agent and going over what types of cover your specific business may require. Often a small business insurance quote are very quick and simple. An insurance agent will be able to provide you with a commercial insurance quote after looking at your specific needs.Of course it is always a good idea to do a simple search over the internet for agents in your area and also compare some of their prices online. Most agents will offer some form of discount should you require a number of policies from them and depending on the length of your insurance term.

Even with all the options available some people may still have trouble getting insured. This may be because of the type of business that they are running of you may have a history of making claims. If either of these is the case with you then there are plenty of alternatives to the big insurance firms. You may have to settle for paying a higher premium or you can look to other providers and different insurance alternatives for cheap commercial insurance.

Running your business without the proper Insurance is a certain way to get yourself into trouble down the line. As anyone in business knows, something unexpected is always happening so there is no harm in being adequately prepared.


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    • profile image

      Mark 6 years ago

      Having your business insured can give you a peace of mind.

    • AllSuretyBonds profile image

      AllSuretyBonds 6 years ago

      Great Hub. Another type of insurance to consider is Business Interruption insurance just in case of a disaster. This provides protection for the loss of any profits as a result of damage or loss of business property.

    • MythiliK profile image

      MythiliK 7 years ago from India --> Switzerland

      Good to know that there are so many types of insurances available in market. Everyone need to read the fine prints before going for any options, because the real check would be placed in those small fine prints only.