There are many reasons to be proud of owning and operating a small business. You have become a staple name in your community. Your customers appreciate the services and goods you provide. But like anything else, it requires hard work to own and manage a business. It is equally important to protect your storefront from damage to your property, shield from liability claims, and cover the tools and equipment you use to operate. A BOP (also known as a Businessowner's policy) combines comprehensive coverages for these risks in one convenient package.
Property - If you own the building you operate in, you will want protection against physical damage. Building coverage covers against the common perils like fire, wind, water, etc. but a BOP adds in many additional coverages without having to purchase a bunch of ancillary items on your policy. Items like glass, signage, and unexpected costs after a loss are typically included.
Liability - Your BOP policy combines general liability insurance along with your property coverage on the same policy. The common slip and fall claims will be covered here is one of your patrons is injured on your property. Also, your general liability covers products and completed operations. If you are selling specific products that in some way, shape, or form cause harm or damage to somebody the general liability on a BOP will help cover these exposures as well. Cyber liability is also a coverage that is growing much more important in the digital age. If a hacker happens to steal your customer's sensitive information you may end up responsible.
Contents - There are so many different types of businesses out there. Yet, they all need the tools and equipment specific to their business to function on a daily basis. What happens if those items are lost, damaged, or stolen? It may cripple your business. Whether you are a restaurant covering ovens and ranges or an automotive shop insuring lifts and chests filled with tools, a BOP policy can protect you.
Other coverages worth mentioning on a BOP policy that are important are as follows:
Loss of Income - reimbursement for the inability to operate normally or occupy your space after a loss
Hired & Non Owned Auto Liability - your employees may do errands in their own vehicles on the job. What happens when they exceed their own liability in a crash? The injured party may come after you, the businessowner.
Employment Practice Liability - protection against wrongful termination claims, discrimination, workplace indecencies, and so on.
Your business insurance will be rated on the exposure being covered. For common business classifications preferred carriers will be able to easily insure you and you will fit their appetite like a puzzle piece. For specialized industries that are maybe less common you might have to try obtaining quotes through the excess and surplus market. The reason being is that in the commercial world, if there isn't a specific classification code for what you do, a company can't put a rate on the insurance! We have multiple marketplaces to obtain both property & liability coverage for your business, whatever it is you may do.
Liability is generally rated based on the exposure rate and gross sales. The larger your gross sales the larger the premium.
One of the obstacles you may have if your business is along the coast is that commercial companies generally do not like the potential for weather related claims. You may be rejected for property & contents coverage in the preferred market if you are a mile or less from the coast line. We have access to marketplaces that will consider writing your insurance in this instance.