Understanding Commercial Insurance

While some of the smallest businesses, like one-person operations, can go without commercial insurance, for most businesses it’s a must. Most small and medium-size business can forgo the complexity of purchasing multiple policies by getting a business owner’s policy (BOP), which is basically a bundle of essential coverage types.

The options packaged in a BOP vary, but almost every plan at least contains some level of business property insurance to cover the office building itself. Other common options are commercial liability insurance, business contents insurance, business interruption insurance and commercial vehicle insurance. Unlike business property insurance, business contents insurance covers the items inside the office, such as computers, uniforms and inventory.

The level of commercial liability coverage included in a business owner’s policy may not be sufficient for large businesses, and in some cases, not even for small businesses. Liability insurance is designed to protect firms from lawsuits for personal injury, advertising injury and property damage. “Advertising injury” refers to claims that have to have to do with defamation or intellectual property: i.e. copyright and trademark infringement, libel or slander.

Imagine a case where a self-employed designer, who wouldn’t ordinarily seem like a candidate for liability coverage, created a logo for a client, only to be sued for trademark infringement by a company with a similar logo. Most business owners associate commercial liability insurance with manufacturing and construction firms that are more accident prone by nature, but the possibility of any company being sued shouldn’t be underestimated. In today’s litigious society, even the smallest businesses are vulnerable to frivolous lawsuits.