What office insurance does your small business need?
Buying or renting an office is a big step for a small company – so you’ll want to make sure to protect your investment with office insurance. While commercial property insurance pays for damage to your building and belongings, you’ll likely need other policies as well.
There’s no single office insurance policy
When you work out of an office, you’re exposed to numerous risks. A fire could spread through your complex, or someone could break in and steal computer equipment and other valuables. Once more, you should look at commercial property insurance to protect against these risks.
However, property insurance won’t cover lawsuits. That’s why business liability insurance is equally important – and sometimes even required.
You might need a certificate of liability insurance to fulfill the terms of a lease, client contract, or other commercial insurance policies to comply with state law. Here are other types of policies your company may need.
Top types of business office insurance
- Commercial property insurance covers your office building and its contents.
- Business interruption insurance helps your office recover from temporary closure.
- General liability insurance pays your legal costs if someone sues over property damage or bodily injury at your office.
- Business owner’s policies combine property insurance and general liability insurance.
- Errors and omissions insurance covers lawsuits over the quality of your work.
- Workers’ compensation insurance pays medical bills from office injuries.
- Cyber liability insurance covers costs related to cyberattacks and data breaches.
Office insurance usually means commercial property coverage
Small business owners probably think of commercial property insurance when they think of office insurance. This policy covers your building and the items you rely on to run your business.
Property insurance is top of mind for a reason: the most common business insurance claims include theft, water damage, and fire. This policy will pay for repair or replacement costs of business property, up to your coverage limits.
Check the fine print on your policy. You may need a rider to cover some risks like earthquakes and floods.
Make sure your property policy includes business interruption insurance
If an unforeseen circumstance forces you to close your office, you could find yourself paying rent, wages in hopes of keeping employees on, and other overhead.
Business interruption insurance kicks in when a claim covered by your commercial property insurance forces closure. This policy will pay your day-to-day expenses, lost profits, and even relocation costs if you can’t move back to your office space.
Check with an insurance agent to make sure your commercial property policy includes this coverage.
General liability insurance covers unexpected events
People can slip and hurt themselves, drop items, or trip over loose cables at your place of business. Office accidents are no joke: medical bills are expensive, and if someone sues, legal costs can quickly add up.
That’s where general liability insurance comes in. Your landlord, lender, or clients may require you to buy this coverage for their own peace of mind. This policy covers your legal costs when someone outside your business sues over an injury or damaged property.
For example, say a client slips on an icy patch on the front step of your IT consulting office and has to visit the ER. The hospital sends them a huge bill, so they decide to sue your business. General liability insurance would cover the cost of hiring an attorney and a potential settlement with the client.
This policy also covers defamation or copyright infringement lawsuits. In fact because general liability insurance covers the most common lawsuits, it’s often the first policy that small business owners buy.
Save money with a business owner’s policy
If you own an office or other valuable property, it’s worth checking with an insurance agent to find out if you’re eligible for a business owner’s policy (BOP). This policy combines general liability insurance with commercial property insurance at a discount.
A BOP is the ideal package for small businesses that need both property and liability coverage. Insurance companies only sell it to companies that don’t have a lot of risk – basically, it costs less because there’s less likelihood of a claim. But you do need a smaller office to qualify.
Errors and omissions insurance is a key component of tech office insurance
If your company provides professional services or advice, then you should examine errors and omissions insurance (E&O). Also called professional liability insurance, this policy covers your legal costs if a client sues over the quality of your work.
Tech businesses almost always need this policy – especially when an error on your part could cause a client to lose money. E&O is often required in client contracts, so you might buy this insurance even before you move into an office.
Keep in mind that you don’t need to make a mistake to benefit from E&O. A simple miscommunication could lead to a lawsuit, as could a client trying to recover from a loss that wasn’t your fault.
Workers’ compensation insurance protects your employees
If your company has employees on the payroll, it would be wise to consider workers’ compensation insurance. In almost every state, this policy is required as soon as you make your first hire.
Workers’ comp covers medical bills when an employee is injured on the job. Also, if the employee sues you over the injury, it’ll cover your legal costs.
Even if this coverage isn’t required in your state, consider this coverage. Injuries can happen in any office, and medical bills add up quickly.
Cyber liability insurance covers your cyber risks
Your most valuable assets might be in the cloud or on a private server. If a hacker accesses sensitive data, it can bring your operations to a halt. Recovering from a cyberattack is serious business, with costs racking up from:
- Notifying affected clients
- Data recovery
- Fines from regulatory agencies
- Security investigations
- Extortion demands
- Business downtime
That’s why you need cyber liability insurance for your virtual property. It can help you recover from a cyberattack or data breach. And it also covers your legal costs if a client blames you for failing to prevent a breach on their system.
Our small business insurance experts are here to help
Commercial insurance is complicated. Perhaps you need help choosing the right policies or appropriate limits. Or maybe you need to extend the insurance coverage you already have with riders or commercial umbrella insurance.
If you have questions about insurance for your tech company, don't hesitate to contact an agent. Or if you’re ready to apply, fill out our free online application to get office insurance quotes from top insurance providers today.