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.
Interior Design Insurance
Interior Design Insurance. Interior decorators and designers work with residential or commercial clients to plan the design of an interior space, room, group of rooms, or an entire building. The design may focus on aesthetics, functionality or both. It may be purely decorative or include practical elements such as ergonomics.
The interior decorator may determine the color, style, and location of furnishings, floor coverings, lighting, walls, wallpaper, window treatments and woodwork. Some assist clients with selecting paintings or other decorative artwork. Interior decorators may arrange the purchase of furnishings, materials, and accessories needed to complete the project.
Some may have significant values in storage in commercial or industrial buildings, while others function as sales representatives for suppliers. Interior decorators often need to know about construction techniques and be able to work with engineers and architects to meet local, state, and federal codes and regulations, such as those needed to properly locate stairways and exits.
You work hard as an interior designer to revamp the look of your clients' spaces, but with each interaction you have with your clientele, you put yourself at risk of financial disaster. Today's society is nothing if not litigious, and having the right interior design insurance in place is paramount to running a successful interior design business. Whether you work out of a retail space, design studio, office or your own home, you need to have the right coverage in the right amount in place at all times. A trusted agent can help you determine how much and what types of coverage you need, but the tips below can also help.
Interior design insurance protects your business from lawsuits with rates as low as $27/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
Risks Faced by Interior Designers
No matter where you conduct your business, you face a variety of different perils that can lead to harm for your business' future. Interior design insurance help protect against the following:
- Injuries at your workplace such as slips, falls, and trips
- Employee or vendor injuries
- Damage to property belonging to another
- Professional mistakes
- Weather events
- Breach in cyber security
- Work-related motor vehicle accidents
Business Owners' Policies (BOPs) For Interior Designers
The BOP is a bundle of insurance products (often at a discount) that provides essential coverage without buying multiple policies. This convenient type of policy is designed especially for the small interior design businesses, but not all are eligible. When deciding whether to write a BOP policy for you, insurers look at an array of factors, such as:
- Liability limits needed
- Business type
- Business property size
- Off-site activity of the business and its owners
If your business qualifies for a BOP policy, the premium you will pay for coverage is based on your business' location, the financial prowess and stability of your business, the security features your business has in place, the type of construction that houses your business, and any apparent hazards, such as fire or falling hazards.
Property coverage provides valuable protection for your business, including the structure where you do business and any contents inside the business, such as office furniture, computers, design samples and material, fixtures, furnishings, office equipment and drafting tables. This includes both leased and owned items, and the interior design insurance policy reimburses the business for any lost or damaged property when the loss results from a covered peril, such as storms, lightning and other weather-related events, vandalism, theft, and more.
BOP policies may also include business interruption coverage. This important coverage repays the business for any income loss that arises from a covered event under your policy. This includes income for operating expenses or for relocating the business after an event such as a tornado or fire.
Liability coverage is a type of interior design insurance that pays out money for claims of property damage or bodily injury during covered accidents or other events. For instance, if a client falls on your premises and becomes injured or an employee damages property belonging to your client, then the policy has you covered. If you face a lawsuit, the liability coverage will also usually pay the cost of hiring an attorney to represent you in court as well as any judgement or settlement rendered against you or your business. Depending on the policy, it may also pay claims resulting from purported slander or libel or advertising liability claims against your business.
Professional Liability CoverageGeneral liability coverage is not enough for the interior designer. You should also take out professional liability coverage. This type of coverage protects you in the event that you do not provide the type of professional service expected of you, such as when you make a mistake in your duties, fail to finish a project to specifications, measure inaccurately when fitting a home with expensive carpeting or drapes, or other potential errors.
Interior Decorater's And Designer's Risks & Exposures
Premises liability exposures are generally limited at the interior decorator's office due to lack of public access. If there is a showroom or retail sales, customers may slip and fall over displays. If the decorator acts as a general contractor and hires subcontractors on behalf of the client, the liability exposure increases. Poorly written contracts can result in liability hazards not anticipated for this classification.
Workers compensation exposure is generally limited to an office. Workstations should be ergonomically designed to prevent repetitive motion injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome. If there is delivery of goods or installation of furnishings or wallcoverings, workers can incur hernias, sprains and strains from lifting, be injured in automobile accidents, by falling objects, cuts, falls, and awkward positions. If the interior decorator hires subcontractors, the workers compensation exposure increases unless all subcontractors carry their own insurance.
Property exposures may be limited to an office, but some will have storage or sales of furniture, home furnishings, and wallpaper. Electrical wiring should meet current codes for the occupancy. Fire can occur from overheating or malfunctioning of equipment.
Property in storage facilities can be damaged by fire, smoke and water. Flammables kept on site should be properly labeled, separated and stored. Storage facilities can be targeted by thieves. Appropriate security controls should be taken including an alarm system that reports directly to a central station or the police department.
Crime exposures are from employee dishonesty. Background checks, including criminal history, should be performed on all employees handling money. All ordering, billing and disbursement should be handled as separate duties with reconciliations occurring regularly. Physical inventories and annual audits should be conducted.
Inland marine exposures may include accounts receivables if the interior decorator offers credit to clients, audio and visual equipment used for presentations, computers for office use, contractors' equipment and tools, fine arts, goods offsite, in transit or at exhibitions, salespersons' samples, and valuable papers and records for clients' and suppliers' information.
There may be a bailees' exposure if the interior decorator purchases items on behalf of a client and stores or transports goods until delivered and installed. Clear documentation of ownership is important. There may occasionally be an installation exposure. Decorative items and furnishings may be expensive and targets for theft. They may be highly susceptible to breakage, marring or scratching, smoke, temperature change, or water damage.
Appropriate security controls should be taken including an alarm system that reports directly to a central station or the police department. Professional packers may be used to reduce the potential for breakage and theft losses while the items are in transit.
Business auto exposure is generally limited to driving to and from clients' premises. If the interior decorator delivers goods, the exposure increases. MVRs for drivers must be run on a regular basis. Random drug and alcohol testing should be conducted. Vehicles must be well maintained with records kept in a central location.
Other Coverage Types to Consider
In addition, your interior design coverage should include cyber liability insurance, especially if much of your business is conducted online. This coverage protects the business if any of your customer's sensitive information becomes targeted by cyber attackers who retrieve things like credit cards numbers from your files.
Buying a commercial auto policy is important too when you use your vehicle in the course of doing business or if you own a business vehicle. Be sure to cover both owned and non-owned vehicles with an adequate amount of auto insurance.
Additional Interior Designer Insurance Coverage Types
- Commercial umbrella policies. These policies protect your business from claims in excess of your business insurance's declared limits.
- Flood insurance. This is an important policy if your business lies in a declared flood zone.
- Worker's compensation. Most states require that you maintain this coverage on any employees.
- Employment practices policies. Guard yourself against claims of discrimination or wrongful termination with this type of policy.
As you can see, interior design insurance is a complex insurance product. Work with your agent to determine the amounts and types of coverage that will work best with your particular business structure.
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 Arts & Recreation Insurance
Read up on small business arts and recreation commercial insurance.
Commercial insurance policies for arts, entertainment and recreation are specialized policies that protect against the unique risks that arts and recreation businesses face.
Performing artists and companies, entertainers including musical groups, theatre groups, comedians and more, writers, performers, photographers, videographers, DJ's and so many other types.
Professional liability coverage (errors and omissions) is needed in these cases to protect their financial interests due to mistakes, errors or omissions by these professionals in doing their jobs. Fr example - a bride and groom did not like the way their wedding photos turned out.
Or a wedding planner might plan a lavish wedding, but the bride's parents who are paying for it did not like the way it went. There is a lot of gray areas with arts, and you need to be protected if your clients don't agree with you that your work was what the agreed to.
If your business is involved with children, you need to review your coverages very carefully so certain important protections are not excluded. Abuse and molestation insurance might be needed to fully protect yourself in this instance.
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.