What is Business Insurance?
Operating a business requires investment and comes with risk. Business insurance can help California business owners protect their investments from many of the risks that they face.
“Business insurance” doesn’t refer to a specific insurance policy, but rather delineates the insurance policies that businesses purchase from those that individuals purchase. The policies that individuals purchase are “personal insurance.”
What California businesses should have Commercial Insurance?
There isn’t one insurance policy that’s right for every business, but almost every California business should have some policy. Few businesses aren’t exposed to any risk, and even a single claim can have devastating consequences. No business wants to face a major property loss or long liability lawsuit without coverage in place.
In many cases, nonprofits and government agencies can also benefit from the protections that commercial insurance provides. Commercial insurance isn’t limited to only for-profit enterprises.
What kinds of Commercial Insurance can businesses purchase?
Because businesses face varied risks, insurance companies offer a wide variety of commercial insurance policies.
Two of the most common commercial policies are business owners policies and commercial package policies. Business owners policies tend to be for small businesses that need a few basic protections. Commercial package policies usually can provide more specialized and more expansive coverage.
There are more specific insurance policies that might be purchased within one of these package policies or on their own. These more specific policies include both property and liability coverages.
Some common property insurance policies that businesses might want are:
- Commercial Property Insurance: May protect buildings, equipment, supplies and inventory
- Inland Marine Insurance: May protect equipment, supplies and inventory as it’s moved between locations
- Commercial Auto Insurance: May protect company-owned vehicles against damage in accidents or other incidents
Some common liability insurance policies that businesses might need include:
- General Liability Insurance: May guard against common accidents resulting in third-party injuries and defamation claims
- Cyber Liability Insurance: May guard against data breaches, website attacks and other digital threats
- Commercial Auto Insurance: May also provide liability protection against injuries and property damage that occur during accidents
In many cases, businesses can also get package policies that are designed for their particular industry. Policies for businesses in cannabis, construction, healthcare, hospitality private equity, real estate, technology, transportation and even wine are available. Niche policies for film crews, dry cleaners, franchisors/franchisees, janitorial services, pharmacies, portable sanitation services and professionals are also available.
How can businesses get Surety Bonds?
Some businesses are required to carry surety bonds, which provide insurance-like protection for others but are distinct from traditional insurance policies. These are readily available from insurance companies, and an insurance agent who specializes in business policies will be able to also assist with any surety bond needs.
Businesses that are required to carry surety bonds typically must meet state regulations or stipulations set forth in the terms of a major contract.
How can businesses save on Insurance?
Many insurance companies offer discounts for packaging policies, remaining claims-free, installing security systems and other qualifying criteria. Some of these discounts can be quite substantial.
Along with pursuing any available discounts, businesses can also compare policy options with an independent insurance agent. Independent agents aren’t connected to any one insurance company, and can thus compare policy options from multiple insurers.
How can California businesses get Business Insurance?
For help insuring a business that has operations in California, contact the independent insurance agents at Heffernan Walton Insurance. Our agents are well-versed in business insurance policies, and they’ll help you find a policy solution that provides the protections your business needs.