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Regardless of the size of your business, having California business insurance is the only way to protect it against unforeseen circumstances that could destroy your livelihood and drive you into bankruptcy. At IIS we are committed to helping business owners find affordable quotes that will serve each business’s specific requirements. Our experienced business agents will help you to find the best, most affordable insurance for you situation.
Having coverage is not just a safeguard against disaster. In some cases it is a legal requirement. Here are the three main kinds of business insurance you are required to have:
- Worker’s Compensation: From the moment you hire anyone, you must provide them with workers compensation insurance. This is basically a form of California business liability coverage that protects your business in case one of your workers should be injured on the job. When buying this, it is important to make sure that it also covers the legal costs of defending your case and not just the cost of a possible settlement. (Often the legal costs are the most damaging.)
- Disability: Similar to worker’s compensation, disability is another kind of business insurance California requires by law. This kind of coverage covers workers if they should become injured or disabled in non-job related activities.
- Vehicle: If you own a vehicle that is part of your business, special coverage is the third kind of commercial insurance California requires in order for you to operate company vehicles.
Necessary Forms of coverage
There are also some forms of coverage California does not require by law but that it is simply foolish to ignore. No matter how small you are, certain kinds of small business plans California doesn’t require are still a must if you don’t want to tempt fate.
Here are these key forms of commercial insurance California business owners must have:
- Property: Even if you do not intend on rebuilding your property in case of a natural disaster or fire, property coverage is one kind of California small business insurance that you might find a necessity because other businesses will demand it. Many equipment vendors, for example, will not allow you to rent equipment if you do not have it.
- Commercial Liability: California doesn’t require, but you are well advised to get the forms of liability coverage that are appropriate to your business. If you own a restaurant or bar, for example, getting liquor liability coverage is highly recommended since it covers aspects of your business that a regular plan is likely to omit, such as coverage for what happens to your clientele after they leave your premises (for example, should they be involved in a drunken driving incident).
Figuring out what kind of coverage is right for You
Sorting through your choices of business coverage in California can be a mind boggling experience. In the first place, you have to figure out what kinds are required for you in your city and at what levels. But then, your individual industry may have a special set of requirements as well. Bars and restaurants, for example, will sometimes require liquor liability, while construction businesses may require special liability coverage in order to bid on certain government jobs.
Further complicating matters is the fact that many kinds of policies partially overlap. Thus, some kinds of property coverage will also have a certain degree of liability coverage as well. On the other hand, some policies which are designated as “umbrella” policies (such as business owner’s coverage) turn out to have far more leaks than you would expect.
This is why it helps to have a specialist with which to discuss all the ins and outs of a particular policy. It is not just about finding the cheapest quotes—though we are certainly dedicated to finding you the most affordable policy for your particular circumstance.
It is also about finding you the quotes which offer you the best coverage for your business. A cheap policy that doesn’t actually protect you from the most likely threats to your business will leave you vulnerable to forces beyond your control.
How Much Insurance Do You Require?
The other question that requires careful thought, is the question of how much coverage do you require; or to put it another way, for how much should you be covered? Like all kinds of policies, thinking this through requires a careful consideration of how much you have at stake in your business and to what extent you want to go to protect yourself.
In some cases, it may be simply too expensive to cover yourself against a particular threat. In some cases, for example, you may not be able to afford Business Income Insurance ( covers your salaries and similar business expenses while you’re rebuilding after a disaster or fire).
We will help you sort through these considerations and decide what kind of plan is right for you.
We will also inform you about actions that you can take to lower your premiums. In many cases, for example, providers offer you the opportunity to lower your premiums by taking certain precautions. Liquor liability rates, for example, might be lowered for bars that require their bartenders to attend special training for how to deal with drunk patrons. Property rates might be lowered if you install security cameras or renovate your fire detection equipment as well.
Some insurance providers might even subsidize some of these opportunities themselves since this allows them to better monitor the effectiveness of their efforts.
As you can see, trying to sort through the plethora of business policies can require a great deal of time and effort. Our agents will help walk you through the process so that you can make a clearer decision and save money while you’re at it.