- Workers’ comp insurance is required by the state of Florida, but it takes much more than that to protect your business.
- Before purchasing coverage, check with your city and county to see if they have additional insurance requirements.
- Business insurance falls under three main categories: liability, property, and income. Within each of these categories are several options.
- Speaking of options, you should talk to your agent about some important additional policies and endorsements.
- Cyber security insurance, which would once have been considered optional, has become important for all businesses, no matter the size, today.
You’ve worked hard to start and run your own successful company. Insurance policies for Florida businesses are designed to protect your investment, but knowing what business insurance you need can be confusing. The State of Florida requires workers’ compensation insurance for their employees, for example, but the coverage you choose beyond that is up to you. The type of business you have can make a difference, and you should always check with your city and county to find out their particular requirements. For example, Orange County requires two types of liability coverage.
Broadly, business insurance fits into three main categories: liability, property, and income. There are many policy options within these categories. In addition, there is optional coverage. As always, when considering your business insurance needs, you must review your potential risks. Let’s go over the coverages every Florida business should have and some options you might want to take a look at before you sit down with your agent.
1. Workers’ comp insurance
As we mentioned, workers’ compensation insurance is required by law for Florida businesses. It’s required for any non-construction business employing four or more workers, and for construction businesses that have at least one employee.
2. Commercial general liability insurance
Commercial general liability insurance is designed to protect you from general business risks. It protects your business against liability claims from things that happen on your premises, including bodily injury and property damage. This can be anything from a slip-and-fall incident to a customer getting caught in a piece of equipment, to having a possession damaged in some way. It can also provide coverage for claims concerning inaccurate or false advertising.
3. Commercial property insurance
A commercial property insurance policy compensates you if the property you use in your business is lost or damaged due to common perils such as theft or fire. It covers not just a building or structure, but also your business’s personal property such as furnishings, inventory, raw materials, computers, machinery, or any other items that are essential to run your business.
There are three main types of commercial property insurance. You can buy named perils coverage, comprehensive coverage that protects against all perils (unless excluded), and windstorm insurance –often called hurricane insurance – that pays for losses of buildings and contents in case of a hurricane or tornado.
4. Business auto insurance
Just like your personal auto insurance policy, a business policy pays third parties’ costs from bodily injury or property damage. If you use a vehicle for business, you should have a business auto policy. If you use your personal vehicle and something happens, that policy will likely not pay.
5. Professional liability insurance
Professional liability insurance, also known as errors and omissions insurance, helps cover your legal costs if a customer accuses your business of making errors. It also covers claims of late work or incomplete or inadequate work that can lead to expensive lawsuits.
6. Cyber security insurance
In the not-so-distant past, this would have been optional coverage, but the threats to business from cybercriminals loom too large to ignore now. Using tools like malware, phishing, and ransomware, bad actors are increasingly targeting small businesses for their customers’ information. Data breaches leave you liable to all sorts of lawsuits, and recovery from a cyber security incident can be expensive. Talk to your agent about your business and the coverage you need to protect your company and your customers from cyberthreats.
Now, let’s talk about some optional coverage you might want to consider
Your business has its own unique insurance needs, so ask your agent to help you choose what type of coverage suits your company best. Here are some optional coverages you may want to explore.
– Business interruption insurance
Also called business income insurance, this type of policy helps protect you against lost income after your business has been affected by a covered peril. These perils usually include fire, theft, wind, lightning, and falling objects, but it’s important to know which Florida perils your policy will cover, so talk to your agent.
– Extra expenses coverage
After the peril that interrupted your business, extra expense coverage can help reimburse you for additional expenses you incur during the restoration period.
– Flood insurance
Optional, but in Florida, you might consider it essential. None of your other business policies cover flooding. Flood insurance is available through your insurance company through the National Flood Insurance Program. It covers all types of floods, including storm surges and flash flooding. It’s important to note, though, that if you have a flood from broken pipes or leaks, your commercial property insurance has you covered.
– Umbrella insurance
Just like a physical umbrella, commercial umbrella insurance gives you an extra layer of liability protection. It covers costs that exceed your other liability coverage limits.
Wrapping it all up
And that’s a wrap! Now that you know the essential insurance policies for Florida businesses, as well as some thought-worthy options, you can partner with your Avante agent to create the absolute best coverage for your company. Contact us today, because at Avante, we’re always standing by to protect your business.
This blog and website are made available by the publisher for educational and informational purposes only. It is not to be used as a substitute for competent insurance, legal, or tax advice from a licensed professional in your state.