First and most importantly you need General Liability Insurance. Every business, even if home-based, needs to have liability insurance. The policy provides both legal defense costs and damages if you, your employees or your products or services cause or are alleged to have caused Bodily Injury or Property Damage to a third party. If your company primarily is engaged in business-to-business transactions, you will probably be asked for proof of general liability insurance. And if your business is a tenant in building, the build owner may require proof of a general liability policy.
Next you need to consider Property Insurance, If you own your building or have business personal property, including office equipment, computers, and inventory or tools you should consider purchasing a policy that will protect you if you have a fire, vandalism, theft, smoke damage etc. You may also want to consider business interruption/loss of earning insurance as part of the policy (especially if you own a restaurant) to protect your earnings if the business is unable to operate.
There is a single policy that combines both general liability and property insurance. It is a Business owner’s policy or (BOP). A business owner policy packages all required coverage a business owner would need. Often, BOP’s will include business interruption insurance, property insurance, vehicle coverage, liability insurance, and crime insurance . Based on your company’s specific needs, you can alter what is included in a BOP. Typically, a business owner will save money by choosing a BOP because the bundle of services often costs less than the total cost of all the individual coverage’s.
You may also need Commercial Auto Insurance. Commercial auto insurance protects a company’s vehicles. You can protect vehicles that carry employees, products or equipment. With commercial auto insurance you can insure your work cars, SUVs, vans and trucks from damage and collisions. If you do not have company vehicles, but employees drive their own cars on company business you should have non-owned auto liability to protect the company in case the employee does not have insurance or has inadequate coverage. Many times the non-owned can be added to the BOP policy.
Another coverage that has become essential for businesses is Cyber Liability Insurance. Cyber insurance generally covers your business' liability for a data breach involving sensitive customer information, such as Social Security numbers, credit card numbers, account numbers, driver's license numbers and health records. Remember this type of loss is not covered under a company’s general liability policy.
If you are a lawyer, accountant, consultant, notary, real estate agent, printer, own a hair salon, therapist, or a technology provider you will need Professional Liability Insurance. This type of insurance is also known as Errors and Omissions Insurance. The policy provides defense and damages for failure to or improperly rendering professional services. Your general liability policy does not provide this protection, so it is important to understand the difference.
These may be the only coverage needs your business has, or you may have others. As an independent insurance agency Emerge Insurance Agency will work with you to assess all the risks that may impact your business. We will then work on your behalf to mitigate those risks with insurance policies the cover your risk at the lowest premiums we can find.
Call us and let us get to work earning you as a client.
Consultants are hired to help companies be the best they can be, and if you don’t show that you’re making your business the best it can be, what does that say?
If it’s a business and not a hobby, there’s no way around it the company needs professional liability insurance. Your business, future, and personal assets aren’t protected without it. It’s one of the most important business investments a consultant can make, and although you may see it as an extra expense, it’s a small expense compared to what it could cost you without it.
What Is Professional Liability Insurance, and What Does It Cover?
Professional liability insurance, sometimes called errors and omissions insurance (E&O), provides protection for businesses from risks not usually covered under general commercial liability insurance, which are two different kinds of policies.
Getting errors and omissions insurance as a consultant is much like doctors obtaining malpractice insurance. Like malpractice insurance, professional liability insurance should be a standard insurance product any business owner and/or consultant has.
Basically, E&O insurance covers anything you or your employees do that causes losses or damage. Some covered acts include:
Risks Consultants Face
Consultants face a variety of risks purely because of the wide variety of services they offer. The risks largely depend on your specialty. For example, PR consultants may face risks of defamation and slander lawsuits, while human resource consultants could face risks of hiring someone who shouldn’t have been hired for obvious reasons. Any consultant can face the risks of being sued for tiny errors like those made in data entry.
Okay here’s a common example. Assume you have a technology consultant company and an employee suggests a certain billing system to a client, but this system fails to make an abundance of charges because your employee put some incorrect information into the system, costing the client a loss of hundreds of thousands. The client expects you to make up for that loss. Without E&O, hopefully you have several hundred thousand dollars (or more) and can immediately write a check. If you had E&O insurance, you’d be covered as long as there weren’t intentional acts to cause damages or losses. The insurance would help cover losses, court costs, or legal fees.
Regardless of how much experience you or your employees have, what awards you’ve won, your education, or size of your business, the bottom line is that you and your employees are human, and humans make mistakes, intentionally or not. Unfortunately, one tiny mistake can cost greatly.
The Risks of Not Having E&O Insurance
In addition to the regular risks consultants face, the mere absence of E&O insurance presents risks, including:
Furthermore, you probably won’t hear companies that initially asked for coverage proof say “When you bring me proof of coverage, I’ll choose you.” Usually they’ll just write you off completely when you say you don’t have it. Remember that word of mouth is the most powerful marketing tool. If word is that clients can’t trust what would happen if there’s an error, word of mouth can be your enemy. Worse yet, if you caused damages at one company and couldn’t cover the losses, how many clients do you think will be inviting you into their companies? There goes new business.
If word of mouth reaches current clients, there’s a chance they may release you. There goes present business. Past clients may not ever use you again after learning about such scenarios. There goes old business.
Do I Have to Have It and What Happens If I Don’t Get It?
If you don’t purchase this kind of insurance, you’re gambling not only with the business investments you’ve made, but with personal assets as well. If a judgment was made against you, and you couldn’t pay it, you could end up having personal assets seized, like your home, savings, or others.
Consultants are hired to relay their expertise and skills and help guide something to success. While it may not be state or federally mandated like auto insurance, you’ll likely have to show proof often, so having it helps establish you as a serious professional taking the right precautions. If you won’t invest in your own business, it looks like you doubt its value and as though you don’t take it seriously. Why would clients take you seriously if they think you don’t? Having E&O tells clients you’re dedicated to rectifying mistakes, responsible, and assures them they’re financially protected if your business causes them loss. The companies you’re working with most likely have protection, and they assume responsible businesses do also.
Prices vary according to the size of business, location, amount of coverage, and business specialties. If you’re concerned about cost, remember this: if a lawsuit is brought against you without E&O insurance, all personal and business assets can be seized to pay for judgments. That will certainly be more expensive than annual premiums on E&O policies.
EMERGE INSURANCE AGENCY
Most 1099 contractors carry insurance to protect their businesses. They find many times that the jobs they wish to bid on require a specific type and amount of insurance before the contractor is allowed to submit the bid. The kind of insurance the 1099 contractor needs depends on the type of work the contractor performs and the requirements of the entity doing the hiring.
General/Professional Liability Coverage
Liability insurance provides coverage in the event something goes wrong. Examples of issues covered by liability coverage include injuries on the job site and equipment breakage. It protects both the 1099 contractor and the hiring entity in many cases. For example, if the 1099 contractor causes a personal injury to someone at the job site, the liability insurance will step in and pay the medical bills.
Commercial Auto Coverage
Commercial auto coverage protects not only the 1099 contractor but also the hiring entity in the event an accident occurs while the contractor is driving as part of the job he was hired to do. For example, if a 1099 contract landscaper causes an injury accident on his way to pick up plants for a client's project, his commercial auto coverage will take care of the accident costs, rather than have the client held liable.
Disability insurance is not required by an entity in order to perform a job. But is a prudent insurance type for 1099 contractors to purchase. It is insurance that will pay a pre-stated weekly benefit to the contractor in the event the contractor is unable to work due to a disability. It is not only the contractor engaged in potentially dangerous work who needs disability insurance. A freelance writer, for example can become disabled by falling in a parking lot, getting hit by a car or requiring back surgery. Disability insurance typically requires a waiting period following the event that causes the disability before the policy begins to pay. The premiums fluctuate depending on the chosen waiting period length, the percentage of salary that will be paid each week and the general riskiness of the contractor's chosen occupation.
EMERGE INSURANCE AGENCY
Cecil Williams -