Commercial insurance is essentially protection coverage for your business. It’s important to note that it can also be referred to as general liability insurance or liability insurance (and can be used interchangeably).
Commercial insurance is the basic type of protection a business must own. It covers any costs associated with lawsuits brought to your company along with the payout of any losses. More specifically, commercial insurance (liability insurance) protects your business from the following:
- Third-party lawsuits
- bodily injury (e.g. an employee or a customer visiting your store falls and injures themselves)
- property damage (e.g. a customer walks into your store, falls and breaks their cellphone)
Third-party insurance may need additional coverage, especially if your business has an online presence
- Advertising injury lawsuits
- libel and slander (e.g. you write a negative review about a competitor with a login account that is associated with your company without realizing it)
- invasion of privacy (e.g. you take videos to promote your product inside of a store without getting their consent)
- copyright infringement (e.g. you use the content on another website and use it as your own)
Advertising injury lawsuits are especially common and important for businesses with an online presence.
What Typically Isn’t Covered By Commercial Insurance?
Commercial insurance is the fundamental business insurance your business should have. In addition, it is the most basic type of insurance that many other policies build on top of.
Most policies can come close to 100 pages, filled with jargon that is difficult to understand. So understanding
The most basic coverages provided by a Commercial General Liability (CGL) policy include:
- Injuries to customers, suppliers or visitors that happen at your workplace
- Injuries that occur off-site by your employees (e.g., while visiting a customer)
- Damage to someone else’s property caused by an employee in the course of doing business
- An injury caused by libel or slander (i.e., reputational “injury”)
Keep in mind that there are several types of insurance that a small business should have. Regardless of the type of business you own, several policies may be required in addition to commercial insurance. As an example, if business operations are stalled due to an unexpected hold on a project, commercial insurance alone does not cover the cost of lost income. In such a case, business interruption insurance would be necessary.
If you are looking to get a commercial insurance policy, be sure to check whether the following are included, as they are sometimes excluded:
How Much Does Commercial Insurance Cost?
The cost of a Commercial Insurance (CI) policy depends on a few key factors relating to your business such as:
- your company’s industry
- level of experience in the industry
- company revenue and cash-flow
- the number of employees
- where your company is located
What You Can Do To Avoid Overpayment For Your Commercial Insurance
While finding the appropriate coverage is necessary for your business, it’s equally important to make sure that you aren’t making overpaying for commercial insurance. Below are the 5 steps taken
1. Be Honest About Your Business Needs
The first thing you need to do is be honest about the needs that your business has. You may want to think about the company from different perspectives to best understand where it will require protection. For example, here are some questions you may want to ask yourself when thinking about your business:
- What is the nature of my business?
- How would I describe my company’s day-to-day operations?
- Could an employee, customer or client be harmed? What could happen if they are?
- What growth am I expecting in the next 6-12 months? Would that growth affect my business operations? Does this include hiring more staff?
- If an employee’s roles and responsibilities changes, how does that affect my commercial insurance for the company?
- Is there any special training that my employees will require to handle machinery?
2. Understand The Product—What is Covered and What Isn’t
In your research, it would be wise to ask in detail what exactly is covered and what isn’t. It helps to be prepared with possible liability scenarios that your company might face to better understand how the coverage would apply.
Inevitably, a business will require more than one type of policy as the more complex your business gets, the more liability it carries. Think about what you will need for the next 12 months so that you don’t overwhelm yourself.
Don’t be afraid to ask your broker as many questions as possible. Your inquiries will also help the broker package a policy based on your needs this way.
3. Shop Around and Get To Know What’s Available
We get it—you’re extremely busy. You’ve got a business to run so convenience is important to you. Shopping for insurance isn’t like purchasing office supplies. Simply looking for the most cost-effective option could do more harm later than good. You’ve heard the saying—you get what you pay for.
It would be a good idea to shop around for different quotes. Making a list of the coverage per policy will make it easy to compare. You can then use this list (make note of the insurance providers and the source of where you found this information) when speaking to a broker when requesting a quote.
Now, if you already have commercial insurance through a provider, there is still an opportunity for you to prevent overpayment on your premium. Insurance providers assume that customers are too busy (or not willing) to get details beyond a quote inquiry. You can also use a list of compared policies, again with the insurance providers and where you’ve sourced the information) when speaking to your provider.
If you get confused, you can reach out to us at Zensurance. We do the heavy lifting for you. You can request a quote online throughout online portal and get a quote in under 5 minutes. Then we’ll reach out to the 35+ leading trusted providers we work with to get you a policy that isn’t only the most cost-efficient. Our team will work to find the most appropriate coverage for your unique business. Contact us today toll-free at 1 888-654-6030 or easily request a quote online.
4. There’s Wiggle Room To Save – Just Ask!
Insurance brokers make a commission from the policies they sell. What you don’t know is that insurance brokers are not required by law to share their commission percentage with you, allowing them to charger steeper fees without you even knowing it. For perspective, a broker’s commission received from selling you a policy can range between 10-20%.
What you can do is speak to your broker and ask them for the lowest possible premium available to you is while ensuring the coverage gives you what you’re looking for.
5. Know That You Have More Than One Option
You should know that the policy or package that a broker shares with you shouldn’t be your absolute final option. If you provide for them a list of comparable options that have been quoted to you during your research, there may be an opportunity for them to match or possibly try to offer something in addition.
Still Overwhelmed With Commercial Insurance and What It Means For Your Business?
We get it. Finding the appropriate insurance protection can be overwhelming. If you’d like to get some help in understanding what options are available to you, our team at Zensurance is happy to help. Call us today toll free at 1 888-654-6030 or easily request a quote online.
Commercial Insurance – Let’s Recap!
- Commercial insurance covers your business from the following:
- bodily injury
- property damage and;
- advertising injury lawsuits (this is especially important if your business has an online presence)
- There are some liabilities that commercial insurance does not cover (some examples are cybersecurity liability, commercial property and non-owned vehicle insurance)
- The cost of commercial insurance will vary depending on your business and other factors (e.g. your company’s industry, level of experience in the industry, company revenue and cash-flow, the number of employees or where your company is located)
- There are many ways to avoid overpayment of your insurance. 5 things that you should think about are:
- Be honest about your business needs
- Understand the policy’s that you are research (what’s covered vs. what isn’t covered)
- Shop around and get to know what options are available to you
- Don’t be afraid to ask for a more affordable rate. A broker’s commission doesn’t need to be disclosed, so they price your premium accordingly.
- The first policy recommendation from your broker doesn’t have to be the final option.
- Finding the right insurance protection for your business can be overwhelming but it doesn’t have to be. Our team at Zensurance is available 24/7 to answer any questions you may have.
Need help looking for commercial insurance for your business? Call us toll-free at +1 888-654-6030 or visit us online to get your free quote.