There's a lot to love about owning a business in Florida, whether you value proximity to the beach or to major cities. And in our Best Places to Live for IT Professionals report, we found that Jacksonville is a particularly good place to be an IT business owner. Why? Its cost of living is among the most reasonable of major US cities, and its community of tech pros is growing daily.
Cost-Saving Tips for Florida IT Firms
- Tip #1: See if your IT business qualifies for a Business Owner's Policy. Carrying General Liability and Property Insurance separately will increase the amount you pay in monthly premiums, but with a BOP in place, you can cut down on that cost. Not to mention each of these policies may save you thousands – if not hundreds of thousands – of dollars if you're taken to court by a non-employee.
Also take into consideration that a BOP offers Business Interruption Insurance, which protects your income from taking a hit if you need to shut down shop because of a covered property event.
- Tip #2: Make sure you properly calculate your Workers' Compensation needs. Knowing how many employees you plan to take on in a given year can save you from having to pay for an audit at the end of the fiscal year. This is especially important for small firms looking to grow, when in the moment of expanding you get caught up in the excitement that new opportunities bring. You can also speak with a TechInsurance agent about possible money-saving options (like Workers' Compensation pools ), if you are required by Florida's laws to carry Workers' Compensation Insurance.
- Tip #3: Consider carrying Commercial Auto Insurance or Hired and Non-Owned Auto Liability if you and your workers travel to see clients. There are few things more financially devastating than a car wreck with an uninsured employee. Even if you don't have a vehicle yet as part of your IT business, but rather have rental vehicles or employee-owned vehicles in use, you're covered with Hired and Non-Owned Auto Liability. Don't delay – we can help point you in the right direction no matter what your needs are.
Business Insurance for Florida-Based IT Firms
Operating a business in Florida has its pros and cons – on the upside, you're living and operating in a beautiful climate with plenty of sun, palm trees, and beaches. On the downside, you're going to run into plenty of potential hazards – hurricanes being the number one concern for most Florida-based IT firms. You're also at odds with an economy that might not be growing as fast other states', which means when it comes to financial planning for your IT business, there's very little room for error.
Must-Have Business Insurance Policies for IT firms in Tallahassee, Miami, Tampa Bay, and Other Florida Cities
The good news is that there are essential insurance policies that will help protect your IT firm from the hazards most likely to strike your Florida-based business. Whether it be protection for damaged property, Workman's Comp claims, or lawsuits filed due to sexual harassment suits or wrongful termination, you can rest easy knowing your IT firm won't be going under because of risks that could easily be managed by carrying the proper insurance.
Read on to find out more about how our certified agents can provide you with top-rated insurance policies.
Business Owner's Policies for Florida IT Firms
A core policy for your IT firm is a Business Owner's Policy (or BOP). Say your business, based in Miami, is right in the path of a windstorm. You worry that your office space could be damaged by knocked-over tree limbs. With a BOP in place, you'll be protected by Property Insurance. A BOP includes both General Liability Insurance and Property Insurance, combining the two into a cost-effective package.
This means that you're also protected from potential third-party lawsuits. If you have a customer in Tampa Bay who has asked you to consult on security for their business, and in the process of working at the CEO's workstation, a member of your client's staff trips over a dismantled desktop computer, you may find yourself staring at a costly lawsuit should their injury be severe. It may sound unlikely, but it happens. General Liability protects you from having to pay out of pocket for lawsuits involving non-employees. Potential expenses include...
- Court fees.
- Docket fees.
- Lawyer's fees.
Another beneficial package included in a BOP is Business Interruption Insurance, which offers to compensate IT firms that are forced to shut down because of a covered property event. Business Interruption Insurance provides funds for lost profits, taxes, employee salaries, and loans that need to be paid, and, in some cases, relocation expenses.
Without the proper insurance in place, you could end up losing your IT business. Get in touch with a certified TechInsurance rep today to see if your firm qualifies for a BOP.
Errors and Omissions Insurance for Florida IT Firms
Perhaps a more common scenario your IT business may face is one involving Errors and Omissions Insurance. Your business revolves around completing contracted services with clients – from setting up a company's Wi-Fi to administrating their database, the jobs you take on affect your clients' ability to conduct business. And that means client standards and expectations can be high. So if a computer equipment seller out of Tallahassee asks you to provide adequate Wi-Fi access for their sales reps, but your work is not to their liking, they may take you to court for any lost profits they feel they incurred as a result of the oversight.
Errors and Omissions Insurance protects you from having to pay out of pocket for expenses associated with combating litigation. This policy is known as Errors and Omissions because it covers any mistakes or oversights you or an employee may have made while doing business with a client. It's an essential policy for IT business owners, in part because many of their clients don't understand the work they do, and may have unrealistic expectations for a project. When these expectations aren't met, clients may turn to legal recourse.
Workers' Compensation Insurance for Florida IT Firms
Because your IT firm is considered less risky than most businesses, you're only required by Florida law to carry Workers' Compensation Insurance if you have four or more employees – however, that doesn't mean you should neglect carrying the policy if it's just you and two highly skilled workers. Workers' Compensation Insurance can save you a ton of money one day, because the costs associated with a claim can be astronomical, and might include...
- Hospital bills.
- An employee's wages while they recover from an incident.
- Additional wages and overtime pay to employees filling in for the injured party.
Any given day can bring with it potential injuries, like repetitive motion injuries, slips, trips, falls, knee injuries, back injuries, and sudden accidents. If you're currently out of compliance with Florida state laws, contact a TechInsurance agent. We can set you right and make sure you're saving money in the process.
Employment Practices Liability Insurance for Florida IT Firms
You never know what might happen when your IT business grows and you start taking on more employees. For situations in which an employee takes legal action because he or she feels discriminated against, harassed, or stressed out because of your work environment, there's Employment Practices Liability Insurance, or EPLI.
EPLI protects your firm from lawsuits filed by employees alleging the previously mentioned offenses. Employment Practices Liability also covers...
- Wrongful termination suits.
- Breach of contract suits.
- Sexual harassment suits.
- Privacy invasion suits.
You can never be too careful. Make sure your IT firm is protected from the hazards that may rear their head at any time. Get in touch with a certified rep today.
STATE INSURANCE LINKS
- What Isn't Covered: E&O Insurance Policy Exclusions
Errors and omissions insurance, also known as professional liability or E&O insurance , is designed to protect you against a client's claim of negligent acts, omissions or errors you make while performing professional services.
- What Is an Insurable Risk?
Business insurance is designed to protect your IT company against risk, or the likelihood of a loss. But it's important to understand that even the most comprehensive insurance policies don't cover every type of risk, and don't offer unlimited compensation in the event of a claim.