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Every business has its own unique liabilities. For instance, your ice cream shop has different insurance needs than a golf course or auto repair shop.

Luckily, you can minimize many of your risks with affordable coverage. The key is to assess your responsibilities and liabilities, and find the right mix of coverages for you.

Business Owner’s Policy (BOP)

A BOP is a bundle of business insurance coverages that help small businesses manage the most common risks with one policy. Generally, it includes general liability, commercial property and business interruption insurance. In addition, some insurers offer optional endorsements for specialized coverage such as crime insurance or vehicle coverage.

The property portion of a BOP helps cover the cost to repair or replace your business’s property from covered causes of loss such as fire or vandalism. The business interruption portion can cover lost income while your business is unable to operate due to a disaster. This is especially important for small businesses that rely on revenue from the physical location of their operations and those who lease or handle valuable inventory. Typically, office-based businesses (including law firms and real estate agencies), retail establishments and smaller restaurants and cafes may qualify for a BOP. However, businesses with a large inventory or that use contractors for service work will likely need to get business owners’ policies and/or commercial auto coverage separately.

General Liability

Many small businesses get general liability insurance to help pay for lawsuits and other financial obligations if someone is hurt or their property gets damaged at the business. This policy is often required by lenders or landlords before a business can lease space or have an office built. It’s also a good idea for contractors, food service providers and retail businesses. It can be added to a BOP or purchased separately.

Insurance agents can assess the needs of a business and provide relevant coverage recommendations. They can also explain the differences between business insurance policies and find the best ones to meet the unique goals of a company.

Insurance companies determine the risk level of a business by looking at past claims, industry standards and state regulations. A business owner may qualify for a lower premium by implementing safety measures or purchasing specialized coverage, such as liquor liability or pollution liability. For an extra layer of protection, consider purchasing an umbrella policy.

Commercial Auto

A commercial auto policy offers liability and physical damage protection for cars, trucks, vans and other vehicles your business owns, leases or rents. It’s an important add-on to any business insurance portfolio because personal auto policies exclude coverage when you or employees are on the job.

Liability protection helps pay for injury or death claims resulting from accidents that your company or its drivers cause. This coverage can also help pay for legal fees if you or your employees are sued over an accident. Collision coverage pays to repair your vehicles after an accident, less the deductible. Medical payments or personal injury protection (PIP) coverage may also be included.

NEXT Insurance is our top pick for small businesses that want a commercial auto policy. Its streamlined shopping experience, all-online capabilities and ability to customize a policy make it stand out from the competition. Its parent company, Berkshire Hathaway, has an excellent reputation for financial stability and customer satisfaction.

Business Interruption

Business Interruption (BI) coverage helps pay for lost income while your company’s operations are interrupted. It covers expenses such as rent or lease payments, utility costs, advertising to communicate your temporary location to customers, employee wages and loan payments. It also typically includes extra expense coverage that pays for expenses that exceed normal operating costs.

Unlike commercial property insurance, most BI policies require direct physical damage from a covered peril. This makes a BI policy unsuitable to cover COVID-19 related losses.

A BOP, GL and BI policy may provide the best coverage for your company’s assets. A comprehensive risk assessment can help you determine the exact coverage you need to protect your company against unexpected events and financial losses. We would be happy to discuss your business needs and recommend an appropriate solution. Contact us today to get started. assurance pro


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