While a good business insurance package can often include coverage specific to doing certain kids of business, such as professional liability insurance, all businesses essentially have the same kinds of insurance needs as individuals and properties do — for the most part. The difference often lies in terms of degree and specific elements to be covered. However, just like with other entities, businesses have to worry about being robbed, damage due to bad weather, or any number of losses of assets resulting from countless types of risks.
Much of where the difference lies is directly related to the kinds of assets businesses own, and the kinds of coverage needed to protect those assets. So, instead of simply worrying about damage to a roof, or even money stolen from the safe, businesses have to worry about expensive office equipment and machinery, as well as even income losses associated with any of these events occurring unexpectedly. While your house has assets, it doesn’t have operations, employees, and many ongoing concerns of a business. That’s why commercial property insurance is so important.
What also separates basic business insurance from other kinds of insurance you’ve dealt with is liability. It’s why things like commercial liability insurance were invented and form part of a basic insurance package for commercial ventures.
Unlike your house or your car, for example, businesses and commercial interests interact with the public generally as a matter of routine. In essence, it’s why you’re in business. You offer some kind of product or service to the public. With that exchange comes an expectation of responsible conduct on behalf of the business owner and their operations. Any deviation from what might be considered responsible conduct can make you liable for that conduct. Even responsible conduct can make you liable as well.
What can result from this conduct is the lawsuit. And it’s not just conduct that’s a matter of routine for your business. You can devise all sorts of strategies to protect yourself from the possibility that nothing can go wrong with the business and service you provide for people. However, you’re human. You can make mistakes. It’s also the case that you can be sued for even the most trivial conduct you never could have imagined could get you sued. And, yes, you have to pay for expenses derived from even a frivolous lawsuit — unless you’re properly insured, of course.
While liability insurance in general is an important component of most modern day policies covering business, the most basic is commercial liability insurance, which covers specific areas related to commercial entities. Most commercial ventures carry this type of insurance as opposed to say, professional liability insurance, which might warrant additional costs or a separate package and is usually appropriate for those who provide professional services to the public. With commercial interests, there are certain kinds of liability that need to be covered and usually are with most good basic policy packages.
With a combination of property and liability coverage, the basics of an insurance policy for your business are covered. However, depending on your circumstances, even this may not be enough. Sometimes, it may be far from enough. In fact, the focus of your coverage might have to be shifted and altered to other forms of asset or liability protection because what you do for business just isn’t common enough, or is more specialized than what’s generally out there.
As mentioned earlier, professional services might be placed into this category. Unlike a more commercial venture, which generally employs people to deliver some kind of product or service to the general public, a professional essentially uses their expertise to deliver a certain kind of service that comes with a certain expectation of conduct. Whereas a commercial interest might be at risk for things like injury on or off property, or stolen machinery, a professional might be at risk for things like errors & omissions — or just mistakes — that the professional is not expected to make as a matter of normal business practice.
It’s why getting to know what kind of business insurance you need, or if you need commercial liability insurance versus errors & omissions insurance (yes, that’s what it’s called), is a very important part of the process of getting insurance for your business.
It’s also why getting into contact with the right insurance professional, who can get you the right insurance, is also so important. Things like commercial liability insurance are a field of expertise where knowledge and experience are crucial to getting the coverage your business needs. Including liability insurance as part of a commercial property package is something that the right people can do for you. They know your needs, know the policies available to you, and can match them together before you make the important decision.
Unless you talk to the right people, and get the right policies, you’re putting your business and livelihood at risk in a way you would not dream regarding any other component of your business. You wouldn’t negotiate the deal of the century only to rip up the contract the next day. You wouldn’t deliver a huge shipment only to take it back a week later. You wouldn’t design a new Web site for a client only to infect it with a virus after completion. Well, just as you wouldn’t do those kinds of things to jeopardize your business, you wouldn’t get the wrong business insurance or commercial liability insurance that could leave you vulnerable to unnecessary risk and unwanted headaches.