When starting a business, there are many different things you have to prepare.
From employing workers to stocking up inventory, a lot goes into building a business. The process of getting it all together does not happen overnight.
Despite all our planning, sometimes things are out of our control. One day you could walk into your store and find out the sprinkler broke overnight, leaking onto all the products. You could leave one night and immediately after, someone breaks in and steals from your business.
Insurance is a way to have protection for these instances when life takes a turn for the worse. But how much is business insurance? What kind do I need?
Learn More: Why small businesses need general liability, property
How much is business insurance?
There is not an exact amount that all business insurance costs. There are several factors which determine the cost of business insurance, such as the type of industry you work in and the specific job you do, according to Andrew Hellman, Allstate business insurance strategic integration and field effectiveness leader.
For example, those who interact with the public more, such as retail businesses, tend have higher costs of business insurance when it comes to liability coverage, Hellman explained in an email. On the flip side, a business professional who interacts less will not pay as much for liability since they have lower risks in comparison to customer-facing industries.
Business insurance cost is also impacted by state availability as qualifications may vary by state, Hellman wrote. According to Next Insurance, small business insurance in New Jersey generally costs around $64 per month. An estimate by Next Insurance for small business insurance in California is approximately $37 per month.
But these estimates are not concrete, either, since they do not account for the different costs and the amount of risk each business and industry faces, says Next Insurance.
“In general, the cost of your business insurance depends on the specific type of policy you need,” Hellman said via email.
What are the types of business insurance available?
In general, business insurance helps cover the costs related to property damage, lawsuits, lost business income and other covered losses, Hellman said.
“Without business insurance, you may have to pay out-of-pocket for costly damages and any legal claims made against your business,” he added.
Common types of commercial business insurance include general liability coverage, commercial property insurance, professional liability coverage, workers’ compensation insurance and commercial auto insurance, according to The Hartford Financial Services Group.
General liability insurance covers your business from claims of bodily injury to someone else, property damage to another person’s belongings or personal injury, such as libel or slander, says The Hartford. Meanwhile, commercial property insurance protects your business from damage loss, such as from fires, burglary, theft, wind or lightning, according to The Hartford.
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Do I need business insurance?
The short answer is yes, you need business insurance. Even if you are the only owner of a business, insurance protects from a a variety of risks, said Hellman.
Commonly covered risks business insurance protects from, Hellman explained, include:
- Fire and smoke
- Car crash into your business
- Windstorm or hail
- Sprinkler leakage
- Falling objects
“As a rule of thumb, general liability insurance is a basic policy to have as a business owner because it helps cover bodily injury, property damage and various legal and medical expenses,” he said.
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Based in New York, Stephen Freeman is a Senior Editor at Trending Insurance News. Previously he has worked for Forbes and The Huffington Post. Steven is a graduate of Risk Management at the University of New York.