When you’re running a small business, it can feel like there are always a million things to do. You have to drive sales, balance the books and keep a close eye on your employees. (Don’t forget about your company’s Facebook page, either.)
Sometimes, getting insurance for your business can get lost in the shuffle. But experts say that could be a critical mistake. “It is risky for any business to go without some basic coverage,” says Jacquelyn Bishop in GEICO’s commercial insurance department.
A small slipup could cost you everything, and with premiums starting as low as $500 a year, getting coverage makes good sense, she says. But where do you start?
What insurance do you need for a small business?
For most small businesses, general liability insurance is recommended. Beyond that, it depends on your unique situation, but you may also need workers’ compensation, commercial auto, and/or professional liability insurance as well.
The first step is lining up general liability insurance. This will cover any property damage or personal injuries connected to your business, including the notorious “slip-and-fall.” Among other things, it will pay for legal fees and medical bills related to injuries, while covering any havoc you accidentally wreak on a rental property.
From there, the type of coverage you need depends on the size and nature of your business, says Bishop. Firms with employees will need workers’ compensation insurance, which is usually mandated by the government.
Keep in mind that hackers are getting more strategic, and cyber incidents are growing in frequency each year. To keep your business protected, cyber liability insurance provides the coverage you need to keep your business’s data safe.
If you have a fleet of company vehicles, commercial auto insurance is a must. It could also be necessary if you’re using your own car to ferry around people or products.
Finally, professionals should have specialized professional liability insurance that covers negligence and legal fees. This kind of coverage isn’t only for doctors and lawyers; everyone from personal trainers to beauticians to IT consultants can end up on the wrong side of a lawsuit.
Can individual small business insurance coverages be bundled?
Often, many types of insurance can be bundled together into what’s known as a business owners policy, at a fraction of the cost of individual plans. The GEICO Insurance Agency, for example, offers “one-and-done” policies that make it easy for business owners to get the coverage they need.
Bishop says that above all, it’s important for business owners to speak with an insurance agent and get a customized quote. “They need to understand that one size does not fit all,” she says. “Just because their colleagues may have one type of policy does not mean it fits their needs.”
It’s also important to do some research into the financial health of your insurance company. Nothing would be worse than signing up with an insurer only to realize they can’t pay out in the event of a calamity. Bishop suggests visiting the website of AM Best, a global credit ratings agency that specializes in insurance, to get the lowdown on potential providers.
There’s no such thing as being too careful, so make sure your business is well protected.
Not sure about the kind of coverage you need? GEICO’s insurance agents are just a phone call away. Call 1-800-841-1621 to speak with a licensed agent available Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET.
Next article: Is your small business prepared for a winter storm?
By Andrew Raven
Shannon Flynn says,
We are existing customers. We would like a quote for general and professional liability insurances for our small business. Please utilize e-mail to communicate information. Thank you so much!
Hello! You can get a quote at geico.com/business-insurance/
ethan aranov says,
My BOP insurance for my small office building and dental practice is getting more expensive. Would there be an easy way to see if geico would be less $?
Hi! You can get a quick quote at geico.com/business-insurance/
Carrie Garcia says,
Hello. I’m looking for insurance for our small family window washing business. It’s just my husband and I that are the employees. What are your rates?
Hi! You can get a quote at geico.com/business-insurance/
nadire karaj says,
hello i am a business owner and lookin for a business insurance llc, this is a coffee shop ,
Hello! You can get a business insurance quote over at geico.com/business-insurance.
Rob Foster says,
Need a quote for 2 million dollar general contracting liability policy with roofing included
Hi! You can start a quote here: https://www.geico.com/business-insurance/#all-products-container
Francisco Pinelo says,
Very convenient app but I like to know if I can add a driver to my policy and how much for a 19 years old
This YouTube video will walk you through the process: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6KtU84DTLuk
Whe rin kim says,
Hello, I have Geico automobile insurance and I’m looking for small business liability insurance now.
Please go to geico.com/business-insurance/ for information on our business products.
Deborah Braddy says,
Need general liability for drywall business
Please go to geico.com/business-insurance/ for more information.
Joe O says,
Hi, I am using GEICO for my auto and renter’s insurance. I am starting up a small tour company: walking tours, tours via golf carts, and tours in small buses. I’d like to understand more about how much coverage I truly need, and how much that would cost. (A discount for a long-time customer would be thoroughly appreciated!) Initially, I will be a one-person shop, but within the first six months I may begin hiring 2-3 people. Thanks in advance for any information you can provide. Joe
Hi Joe! We’d be happy to discuss your coverage options. Please give us a ring at 1-800-841-1621, and a licensed agent will be available to assist you. Thanks!
Alonzo Junior Sims says,
Do you cover newly firmed Temporary Service for General libilty and workman compensation insurance
Eria Thomas says,
Do you sell insurance for Rental Properties?
Yes, we do, for both the landlord and the renter:
Geico camel commercial is the best. that is the one i choose
B erry Veney says,
I am running a one man engineering company. I have professional liability insurance through Geico. Do I need workers comp as well?