Frequently Asked Questions About
Commercial General Liability Insurance
How much does commercial insurance cost?
Costs can vary widely based on industry and are also determined by zip code and often payroll and/or gross sales. Request a free quote to get an exact number.
What kind of business insurance do I need?
Most business owners need General Liability Insurance at the very least. If you have any non-owner employees, you will need workers compensation insurance too.
What is a Certificate of Insurance?
A Certificate of Insurance is proof of coverage. It lists the type and amount of liability coverage you have and other policy information when a third party requests it.
Is business insurance tax deductible?
Yes. you can deduct the cost of commercial insurance premiums. The IRS considers insurance a cost of doing business as long it benefits the business & serves a business purpose.
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.
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.
Small Business Economic Data & Insurance Regulations
Perhaps you have the next great idea for a product or service that you know will appeal to your local area. Maybe you want to contribute to the economic growth of your community. Whatever the reason is, if you're thinking about starting a small business, it's important to understand pertinent information relating to small businesses in the United States; namely economic information and insurance regulations. After all, if you want your small business to succeed, you have to understand the economic trends organizations of a similar size in your area.
Likewise, you want to ensure that your small business is well protected with the right business insurance and that you are in compliance with the rules and regulations that pertain to commercial insurance in your region.
Read up on economic statistics and insurance information that relates to small business owners in the United States.
Small Business Economic Data In The United States
Here's a look at some information that was compiled by the Small Business Association (SBA) regarding the economic data that pertains to small businesses in the United States:
- In 2015, small businesses in the United States employed an estimated 58.9 million American workers, or 47.5 percent of the nation's private workforce.
- Largest shares = fewer than 100 employees. The small businesses that employed 100 people or less had the largest share of employment amount small businesses.
- Employment increased by nearly 2 percent. In 2018, employment amongst small businesses increased by 1.8 percent, which is an increase of 1 percent from the prior year.
- Increase in proprietors. In 2016, the number of small business proprietors increased by 2.3 percent.
- In 2015, small businesses were responsible for creating 1.9 million net jobs. Organizations that employed 20 people or less had the largest gains, as they added an estimated 1.1 million net jobs.
- There were 5.7 million loans that were value less than $100,000 issued by lenders in the United States in 2016. These loans were issued under the Community Reinvestment Act.
- Small business owners that were self-employed at the incorporated businesses that they owned reported a median income of $50,347 in 2016.
- Small business owners that were self-employed at the unincorporated businesses that they owned reported a median income of $23,060 in 2016.
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. The SBA recommends the following insurance plans for small business owners:
- Commercial Property Insurance: In the case of an unplanned disaster - fire, flood, vandalism, theft, etc. - this type of coverage will help you avoid paying for the damage out of your own pocket. Even if you rent the property, you should still carry commercial property insurance.
- Commercial Liability Insurance: In the event that a legal situation arises - a negligence lawsuit, for example - commercial liability coverage will provide financial protection. It will cover the cost of legal defense fees, court fees, and even moneys that may be awarded.
- Commercial Auto Insurance: If you operate a vehicle for any activities that are related to your business - transporting and/or delivering goods, or meeting with clients - commercial auto insurance is legally required for businesses of all sizes, including small businesses.
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.
Quotes from leading small business insurance carriers including: ACE, AmTrust, Chubb, Cincinnati, CNA, Colony, Employers, Evanston, Fireman's, Foremost, Guard, Hanover, Hiscox, Liberty Mutual, LLoyd's of London, Markel, MSA, Nationwide, Penn America, Philadelphia, Prime, Progressive, Scottsdale, The Hartford, Travelers, USLI, Utica First, Western World, Zurich & others.