A vintage clothing store owner has much different insurance needs than a small pizzeria owner, who likewise has much different needs than a private music teacher. If you own a small business, it’s a good idea to talk to a licensed agent. Also browse the following insurance options to find the coverage you need to help protect your business.

Property and liability

If your business or office is destroyed in a fire or falls victim to vandalism, this type of coverage could help you get back on your feet. If you purchase property and liability coverage for your small business, you’d also be protected if a customer files a lawsuit against you or if your business records are lost, stolen or destroyed.

Recommended for: Retail, office, medical offices, restaurants/food shops, personal services, contractors and more.

Coverage options: Business property insurance to help protect the structure of your building as well as inventory; comprehensive general liability to help protect yourself against lawsuits; loss of income if you ever have to close your business because of a covered claim; equipment breakdown, money & securities to help protect you against losses including theft and more.

Commercial auto

Whether you use your personal car to pick up supplies and deliver products or you run a personal or delivery service that requires a fleet of vehicles, commercial auto insurance is a must-have for your small business. It will help protect you if you or one of your employees has a wreck and is found at fault.

Recommended for: Deliveries, sales visits, picking up supplies, travel, others.

Coverage options:  Bodily injury liability coverage could help cover

injuries incurred by others for which you are responsible, in addition to helping to cover court fees when applicable. Property damage liability coverage could help cover property damage incurred by others for which you are responsible. Personal injury/medical payments coverage can help cover medical expenses for insured drivers, while collision coverage helps cover property damage if you or an insured driver collides with an object on the roadway. Comprehensive coverage offers help for a wide variety of perils, and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage could help protect you if the at-fault driver doesn’t have any or enough insurance or if you’re the victim of a hit-and-run driver.

Workers compensation

Even if your small business offers the safest environment for employees, it’s always a good idea to protect yourself and your employees with workers compensation in case an accident happens on the job.

Recommended for: Any.

Coverage options: Workers compensation includes medical treatment, permanent and temporary disability and death benefits for employees who experience accidents on the job. Employers liability helps protect employers against lawsuits.

Professional/specialty products insurance

If you offer advice or sell a product to a client who later becomes disgruntled and decides to sue, you could find yourself facing expensive court fees if you’re not protected with professional/specialty products insurance.

Recommended for: Architects and engineers, accountants, medical professionals, technology services, others.

Types of coverage: Liability for errors or omissions, negligence or other grievances about the performance of your service or product.

Home-based business insurance

Here’s something to remember: Your home insurance policy likely won’t cover claims involving a business in your home.

Recommended for: Anyone who works from home, such as consultants, music teachers, graphic designers and others.

Types of coverage: Contents coverage helps protect your assets such as office equipment or other business supplies, and general liability helps protect you if a client or employee is injured on your property. All the coverage types above may also apply for home-based business owners.

Before you invest in an insurance policy for your small business, make sure you’ve got the coverage you need. A licensed agent can offer expert advice about the most effective coverage options.

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This article was contributed by Carrie Van Brunt-Wiley, Editor for the HomeInsurance.com blog.

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