eCommerce Insurance Policy Information
eCommerce Insurance. E-commerce business owners oftentimes feel immune from the litigious atmosphere of brick-and-mortar establishments, but this is far from true. E-commerce sites are just as prone to litigation as other types of businesses, even if precedents are slowly being set.
In one particular case, a woman with a hearing impairment sued eBay because she claimed that the company failed to follow the Americans With Disabilities Act when it required that she receive an automated phone call with a registration access code in order to register as a seller. Since she could not hear the registration code, she claimed eBay violated the mandated of the ADA.
The woman also alleged that eBay is a storefront and was required as such to accommodate people with disabilities. Ebay's legal counsel countered that the entity is not a storefront at all, and thus exempt from ADA regulations that brick-and-mortar businesses must adhere to. According to eBay, the web is not a place, but instead is a means for remote communication. Still, E-commerce lies in a gray area that is very much open to interpretation in the courts. New legislation is continually on the forefront to address e-commerce related claims such as this one. And that is why online stores need eCommerce insurance.
ECommerce insurance protects your online store from lawsuits with rates as low as $27/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
How Much Does eCommerce Insurance Cost?
The average price of a standard $1,000,000/$2,000,000 General Liability Insurance policy for small eCommerce businesses ranges from $27 to $49 per month based on location, size, payroll, sales and experience.
Three decades ago, E-commerce was nonexistent. In today's world, there are millions of different businesses selling products and offering services online. E-commerce businesses face different risks than traditional businesses, but the risks are still there, and mitigating them requires the purchase of eCommerce insurance that is specially designed for the unique needs of the E-commerce genre.
E-commerce is poised for growth. By 2017, spending online is estimated to top $370 billion, with an estimated 10 percent of all retail sales occurring on the web. With this growth comes additional litigation from customers who feel they were wronged in some way by E-commerce sites. As an operator, you face claims from customers, some of which are covered by a business owner's policy, or BOP. This type of policy covers general liability. However, a standard liability policy on its own is not enough. You must also safeguard your business against potential data security breaches and business interruption with eCommerce insurance.
When conducting business online, there is an exchange of sensitive data belonging to customers, and there is also valuable business information that is generally stored on secure databases. Regardless of safeguards in place, breaches do occur. While proper risk management can offset some breaches, some are inevitable. Being prepared for the fallout and claims against you is important, no matter what type of E-commerce business you operate. If your customer's information is compromised, you can be held liable.
Business interruption is another risk that E-commerce business owners face. If you are reliant on a third-party provider for shipping, internet service, or other services, then your business can be impacted by problems with that third party. For example, if they experience a business stoppage, their problem can lead to reduced profits for your business.
Coverage for E-Commerce Businesses
Speaking with a licensed and knowledgeable insurance agent about your inherent risks is a good start when shopping for the right type of level of protection for your particular business. Some of the eCommerce insurance coverage types you might consider, based on your business' unique structure include:
- Transportation coverage. Shipping errors that result in loss of money for your business are covered by transportation coverage.
- Contents coverage. If you have a warehouse or manufacture the products you sell, then contents coverage gives you comprehensive coverage for your tools and machinery.
- Worker's comp. Worker's compensation coverage is vital for E-commerce businesses with employees. This insurance provides protection for employees who are hurt or become ill due to a work-related peril and is mandatory in.
- Intellectual property insurance. You can be sued for the rights to software, gaming operations or data. Intellectual property insurance covers the cost of defending yourself in court.
- Directors and officers coverage. Liability of directors and officers for your business is mitigated with this type of coverage. It covers operational mistakes that end up costing your company money.
Liability Protection for E-Commerce Businesses
Regardless of the type of E-commerce business you own, you must have liability insurance in place. The limits you choose should take all potential scenarios into account. Analyze your business' worth and risk factors when making a buying decision, and then determine the right level of eCommerce insurance coverage based on the deductibles and limits you need to fully protect your business. Discuss your situation with a licensed agent who has dealt with E-Commerce clients in the past, and work with an agent who can compare rates for eCommerce insurance coverage with multiple companies to find a mix of affordability and protection.
Types Of Small Business Insurance - Requirements & Regulations
Perhaps you have the next great idea for a product or service that you know will appeal to your local area. If you've got a business, you've got risks. Unexpected events and lawsuits can wipe out a business quickly, wasting all the time and money you've invested.
Operating a business is challenging enough without having to worry about suffering a significant financial loss due to unforeseen and unplanned circumstances. Small business insurance can protect your company from some of the more common losses experienced by business owners, such as property damage, business interruption, theft, liability, and employee injury.
Purchasing the appropriate commercial insurance coverage can make the difference between going out of business after a loss or recovering with minimal business interruption and financial impairment to your company's operations.
Insurance is so important to proper business function that both federal governments and state governments require companies to carry certain types. Thus, being properly insured also helps you protect your company by protecting it from government fines and penalties.
Small Business Insurance Information
In the business world, there are many risks faced by company's every day. The best way that business owners can protect themselves from these perils is by carrying the right insurance coverage.
The The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) is the U.S. standard-setting and regulatory support organization. Through the NAIC, state insurance regulators establish standards and best practices, conduct peer review, and coordinate their regulatory oversight.
Commercial insurance is particularly important for small business owners, as they stand to lose a lot more. Should a situation arise - a lawsuit, property damage, theft, etc. - small business owners could end up facing serious financial turmoil.
According to the SBA, having the right insurance plan in place can help you avoid major pitfalls. Your business insurance should offer coverage for all of your assets. It should also include liability and casual coverage.
Types Of Small Business Insurance
Choosing the right type of coverage is absolutely vital. You've got plenty of options. Some you'll need. Some you won't. You should know what's available. Once you look over your options you'll need to conduct a thorough risk assessment. As you evaluate each type of insurance, ask yourself:
- What type of business am I running?
- What are common risks associated with this industry?
- Does this type of insurance cover a situation that could feasibly arise during the normal course of doing business?
- Does my state require me to carry this type of insurance?
- Does my lender or do any of my investors require me to carry this type of policy?
A licensed insurance agent or broker in your state can help you determine what kinds of coverages are prudent for your business types. If you find one licensed to sell multiple policies from multiple companies (independent agents) that person can often help you get the best insurance rates, too. Following is some information on some of the most common small business insurance policies:
|Business Insurance Policy Type||What Is Covered?|
|General Liability Insurance||What is covered under commercial general liability insurance? It steps in to pay claims when you lose a lawsuit with an injured customer, employee, or vendor. The injury could be physical, or it could be a financial loss based on advertising practices.|
|Workers Compensation Insurance||What is covered under workers compensation insurance? This type of insurance protects a business and its owner(s) from claims by employees who suffer a work-related injury, illness or disease. Workers comp typically provides the injured employee with benefits to cover medical expenses, a portion of his/her lost wages, rehabilitation costs if applicable, and permanent partial or permanent total disability.|
|Product Liability Insurance||What is covered under product liability insurance? I pays an injured party's settlement or lawsuit claim arising from a defective product. These are usually caused by design defects, manufacturing defects, or a failure to provide adequate warning or instructions as to how to safely use the product.|
|Commercial Property Insurance||What is covered under business property insurance? General liability policies don't cover damages to your business property. That's what commercial property insurance is for. It protects all of the physical parts of your business: your building, your inventory, and your equipment, giving you the funds you need to replace them in the event of a disaster. If you work from home, you might consider a Home Based Business Insurance policy instead.|
|Business Owners Policy (BOP)||What is covered under a business owners policy (BOP)? This is a policy designed for small, low-risk businesses. It simplifies the basic insurance purchase process by combining general liability policies with business income and commercial property insurance.|
|Commercial Auto Insurance||What is covered under business auto insurance? This type of insurance covers automobiles being used for business purposes. This could include a fleet of business-only vehicles or a single company car. In some cases it might cover your car or your employee's car while they're being used for business. These policies have much higher limits, ensuring you can cover your costs if one of these vehicles gets into an accident.|
|Commercial Umbrella Policies||What is covered under commercial umbrella insurance? This type of policy is a sort of "gap" insurance. It covers your liability in the event that a court verdict or settlement exceeds your general liability policy limits.|
|Liquor Liability Insurance||What is covered under liquor liability insurance? It covers bodily injury or property damage caused by an intoxicated person who was served liquor by the policy holder.|
|Professional Liability (Errors & Omissions)||What is covered under professional liability insurance? This type of business insurance is also known as malpractice oe E&O. It covers the damages that can arise from major mistakes, especially in high-stakes professions where mistakes can be devastating.|
|Surety Bond||What is covered under surety bonds? Bonding is a contract where one party, the SURETY (who assures the obligee that the principal can perform the task), guarantees the performance of certain obligations of a second party, the PRINCIPAL (the contractor or business who will perform the contractual obligation), to a third party, the OBLIGEE (the project owner who is the recipient of an obligation).|
Who Needs General Liability Insurance? - Virtually every business. A single lawsuit or settlement could bankrupt your business five times over. You might also need this policy to win business. Many companies and government agencies won't do business with your company until you can produce proof that you've obtained one of these policies.
Business Insurance Required by Law
If you have any employees most states will require you to carry worker's compensation and unemployment insurance. Some states require you to insure yourself even if you are the only employee working in the business.
Your insurance agent can help you check applicable state laws so you can bring your business into compliance.
Other Types Of Small Business Insurance
There are dozens of other, more specialized forms of small business insurance capable of covering specific problems and risks. These forms of insurance include:
- Business Interruption Insurance
- Commercial Flood Insurance
- Contractor's Insurance
- Cyber Liability
- Data Breach
- Directors and Officers
- Employment Practices Liability
- Environmental or Pollution Liability
- Management Liability
- Sexual Misconduct Liability
Whether you need any or all of these policies will depend on the results of your risk assessment. For example, you probably don't need an environmental or pollution policy if you're running an IT company out of a leased office, but you would need data breach and cyber liability policies to fully protect your business.
Additional Resources For Information Technology & Internet Insurance
Learn about small business IT technology insurance policies that help protect IT businesses, consultants & subcontractors from the unique risks that small tech businesses face when they work.
- Application Development
- Computer Electronic Repair
- Computer Programming
- Computer System / Network Developer
- Cyber Liability
- Data Breach
- Internet Business
- IT Consultant
- Online Store
- Software Developer
- Technology Services
- Website Design
Some the more popular IT businesses do IT contracting or freelancing work. These businesses have specific risks they face, and can have huge exposures to uncommon risks. Even if the business is very careful, a small oversight or mistake can lead to a large and expensive lawsuit.
For information technology companies, like some of the more popular ones listed below, data security is paramount:
Application Development (Mobile & Web), Business Intelligence / Data Mining Businesses, Computer Installation & Repair, Computer Programming, Computer Retail Store, Data Analysts, Architects & Scientists, Database Administrators, Frontend Developers, Hosting, IT Business Consulting, IT Project Management, IT Staffing, IT Training, Information Technology Consulting, Life Sciences & R&D, Network Architects, Network Security Consultants, System & Network Design, Technical Writing and Web Site Development.
The IT business segment has a critical need for professional liability and errors and omissions coverage. If coverage applies, the insurer has several rights and duties such as providing a legal defense against claims and suits brought by parties claiming damages. The insurer is permitted to investigate all claims to determine whether they are covered by the policy and they may choose to litigate, deny or settle claims.
Most policies providing coverage for electronic data liability, computer professional liability, and computer errors and omissions are claims-made contracts.
Minimum recommended small business insurance coverage: Business Personal Property, Business Income with Extra Expense, Equipment Breakdown, Computer Fraud, Employee Dishonesty, Accounts Receivable, Computers, Valuable Papers and Records, General Liability, Employee Benefits Liability, Errors and Omissions Liability, Professional Liability, Umbrella Liability, Hired and Nonowned Auto Liability & Workers Compensation.
Other commercial insurance policies to consider: Building, Earthquake, Flood, Real Property Legal Liability, Forgery, Cyber Liability, Employment-related Practices Liability, Directors and Officers Liability, Business Auto Liability and Physical Damage and Stop Gap Liability.