Business owners need insurance, but different operations can take different routes to wind up with the appropriate coverage. For small business owners, part of their insurance solutions might be achievable by investing in a business owners policy. Also called a BOP, this policy is actually a package of coverage that offers several critical policy options to the policyholder. However, the BOP is not automatically all-inclusive, which is why you might need to add extra coverage into or alongside of the policy. Consider the benefits of some of these additions.
BOPs are very malleable. However, to make yours the right fit, don’t stop with just the included coverage. Ask your agent how you can expand your coverage in beneficial ways.
Standard Coverage Within BOPs
Business owners policies make it easier for small businesses to get essential pieces of coverage within one package. This offers both convenience and cost perks, because policyholders only have to pay one premium for numerous types of protection. Within most BOPs, you’ll find:
- Property insurance that covers the business’s buildings and certain attached features.
- Possessions insurance for machinery, furnishings, products and other assets.
- Bodily injury liability insurance to pay when your mistakes or negligence harm someone, such as a client who falls in the store.
- Property damage liability insurance for property damage you cause to others.
- Products/Completed-Operations insurance, which is liability coverage when products you make, or projects you complete for someone, cause them harm.
- Advertising injury coverage that pays when you make a promotional mistake that unfairly targets someone else. It’s liability coverage for their losses.
- Business interruption insurance which pays when a covered peril forces the business to close temporarily, and allows you to recover some of the lost costs in the closure.
These policies will include numerous limits, exclusions and deductibles, which you can work alongside your agent to structure to your satisfaction.
However, no policy provides unlimited coverage, which is why you might need to add extra protection to your business insurance portfolios.
Expanding on Your BOP
Because of their limitations, the standard BOP usually isn’t quite the only coverage your business might need. However, you might be able to take a couple of routes to get additional coverage:
- In some cases, you can add extra coverage directly to the BOP through certain endorsement. Confirm with your insurance agent what the policy automatically includes, and where you need to buy extra protection.
- With other policies, it is not possible to add them into the BOP. Instead, you will have to buy separate coverage. However, your agent can work with you to make these policies work cohesively alongside the BOP.
So, when expanding on your coverage, consider getting the following:
- Cyber liability insurance pays when computer network failures or data theft puts third parties, like customers at risk. Coverage can pay for recovery for both the business and affected clients.
- Errors & omissions insurance is liability coverage that applies when professional services cause harm to others. Those who need this coverage might be lawyers or CPAs who give critical advice, which if wrong might backfire.
- Workers’ compensation insurance that pays when employees get hurt or sick on the job.
- Commercial auto insurance is coverage that applies to vehicles owned or used by the business. It’s a lot like private car insurance, but with limits for commercial drivers.
A perfect example of how different policies can work is workers’ compensation insurance. You usually cannot add this coverage into a BOP, and you must buy it as separate coverage. That’s because workers’ compensation insurance is a tightly-regulated type of coverage that most states require most business owners to carry if they have employees. Therefore, you’ll still have to get it, often even if you decide to forego a BOP, or any other type of commercial insurance.