Do you need a Business Owners policy?
The contractors general liability coverages can often be bundled with a few other coverages to create a business owners policy, or BOP.
This serves two purposes. It expands the policy to cover risks that small business owners face, and also typically results in a discount on the cost of your insurance.
Normally, this coverage will make sense for you if you have employees. A small business is basically defined as a business that has up to 100 employees and generates about $5 million or less in annual revenues.
Some of the additional coverages that can typically be bundled with a BOP include:
- Property damage: This insurance covers your owned or rented property if it is damaged. This includes office buildings, storage facilities, warehouses, workshops, or garages. It does not cover commercial vehicles.
- Business income: This protects you from loss of income if your business is interrupted due to a covered loss. It usually covers income and operating expenses for up to 12 months.
- Commercial auto: Insures your cars, trucks, vans, specialized trucks or any vehicles used for business purposes.
Do You Need Workers Compensation Insurance?
As an independent contractor, you may or may not need to have workers compensation insurance Workers Compensation Insurance. Workers Compensation regulations are mandated state by state. If you are in business for yourself, and you do not have employees, you are most likely not required to buy workers comp. However, in some states you need to purchase workers comp even if you don’t employ others.
If you are a contractor who employs other workers, your state will most likely require you to carry this insurance. This policy protects workers from job-related illness, injury or death. It will also reimburse workers for lost wages if they cannot go back to work.
The benefit to you, as the employer, is that this coverage can help to prevent losses from employee lawsuits.
Should You Consider Professional Liability Coverage?
When you are looking for the right contractors insurance for your business, you will have many choices, including whether to buy professional liability insurance, also known as “errors and omission” insurance or “E & O.”
E & O is a liability policy that protects you if you make a mistake that causes a financial loss to a client. Similar to general liability, it will provide legal defense and claims settlements, if necessary.
You may want or need this coverage under the following circumstances:
- You provide professional advice in your line of work. This can include everything from recommending a particular type of plumbing or wiring to providing interior design services.
- You hire employees or subcontractors who provide any sort of advice or consulting services.
- Your state requires you to have E & O insurance due to the work you perform.
If you utilize subcontractors, it is a good idea to make certain they are insured with professional liability as well, as they may not be covered by your policy.