Florida Business Insurance: What You Need To Know
By Charles Munyi—
Risk is a part of running a business. Property damage at a client site can leave you with repair costs. Or a fire might damage your business premises, cutting short operations and diminishing your business income.
Luckily, Florida business insurance covers these scenarios. Insurance protects against property damage, injuries, and equipment loss to maintain your business operations.
What is Florida Business Insurance?
Business insurance is a set of policies designed for enterprises to shield them from potential claims. These policies protect the business against financial losses due to accidents.
Your business assets are crucial to revenue generation. So, business insurance protects your premises, computers, tools and equipment, and documents. Business insurance also includes employee, commercial auto, errors and omission, cyber, and inland marine insurance.
Insurance helps your business survive accidents or catastrophic events by preventing substantial financial losses. For example, a fire happens at your business premises damaging property. If you are uninsured, your business will have to pay to replace assets and repair the building.
Securing the appropriate insurance can attract more business. Clients want protection from loss and suits, and therefore, they may require your business to have insurance before awarding contracts. In some cases, landlords may require you to have general liability insurance before signing a lease.
In Florida, workers' compensation and commercial auto insurance are compulsory. Having insurance helps you avoid fines and penalties.
Who Needs General Liability Insurance?
General liability insurance covers third-party injury and property damage claims against your business, and it may pay for the legal costs and settlements. It's an insurance solution for small business owners and contractors such as landscapers, plumbers, electricians, and roofers.
General liability insurance covers against common third party risks such as:
- Damage to others’ property: During work, you might inadvertently damage client property. For instance, your roofing employee stumbles and falls through the attic, damaging the client's ceiling. Liability insurance covers reimbursements for the damaged attic and ceiling.
- Third-party bodily injury: Working conditions might create hazards such as slippery floors and falling objects that might injure a third party on your premises or at a job site. Insurance may cover the medical expenses, lost income, and rehabilitation costs.
- Reputation harm: A competitor may accuse you of tarnishing their name through social media posts. Liability insurance covers libel, slander, and malicious prosecution.
- Damage on rented premises: In case of a fire on your rented premises, general liability insurance may cover the repairs.
Types of Florida Business Insurance
Some business risks require specific policies. For instance, general liability insurance doesn't cover medical bills and lost wages for injured employees; so, you will need to purchase workers' compensation insurance. Learn more about other types of Florida business insurance.
Commercial Property Insurance
It covers owned commercial space against theft, burglary, fires, and lightning strikes. You can add riders to protect against natural disasters, such as hurricanes, earthquakes, and tornadoes.
Business income insurance
Business income insurance compensates for the lost business income when your business is closed due to property damage.
Commercial Auto Insurance
Florida requires commercial auto insurance. Auto insurance covers accidents on company-owned cars used to transport staff and materials. It pays for injury and vehicle damage.
More businesses are hosting their operations online. Cyber insurance covers hacks and pays for investigations, public relations, and customer communications.
Workers' Compensation Insurance
If your Florida business has four or more part-time or full-time employees, you must have employee insurance. In construction, one employee requires worker’s compensation, which may pay for medical, legal, lost wages, and death benefit expenses.
Inland Marine insurance
This insurance covers business property during on-land transportation. During transit, accidents, floods, fires, or theft might damage business property and tools.
Professional Errors & Omission Insurance
Your actions, inaccurate advice, or omissions might create a defect that leads to a client incurring financial losses to fix the problem. Professional insurance may pay for legal costs and court settlements.
Florida Business Insurance Coverage and Requirements
In Florida, it's mandatory to cover your employees and business vehicles. Still, it's prudent to cover other risks.
Damage to client property: If your business or employee destroys client property, general liability insurance may pay for legal, repair, and settlement costs for any unintentional damage. For example, a cleaner might knock down a vase that shatters a window. Liability insurance may cover these damages to walls, windows, roofs, and fixtures.
Customer and third-party injury: General liability insurance can potentially cover medical payments and lost wages for third-party injuries. For instance, a visiting customer might fall due to a slippery floor at your restaurant. Their medical bills, rehabilitation expenses, lost wages, and court-awarded compensation may be paid by your insurance.
Business personal property/Contents coverage: Commercial property insurance protects your owned property and the assets on the premises against fires, lightning strikes, and burglary. A commercial property policy is vital for business property protection since general liability insurance only covers third-party property. Also, an inland marine policy may help cover goods and equipment in transit.
Business income/Business interruption: When a covered risk such as theft, fire, or storm halts your operations, business interruption insurance may cover the lost income. It also may pay expenses such as mortgage and lease payments, payroll, taxes, and loan payments until your business reopens.
Accidents by business vehicles: While driving the company vehicle, an employee may hit a pedestrian or collide with another vehicle. The insurer handles car damage expenses and compensation for the injured person. Commercial auto insurance may cover medical bills for the driver and passengers in your business vehicle during an accident.
Hired auto coverage insures when you or employees drive a rented, leased, or borrowed car for the business. Non-owned auto coverage applies to employees using their cars for your business.
Employee injury: Workers' compensation settles costs from an employee's work injury. It covers medical treatment and lost wages. Also, if your employee sues, it may pay for legal fees and compensation.
Cyber attack costs: Cyber insurance covers investigation, fraud monitoring, and public relations costs related to a hack.
Professional errors: Professional liability insurance covers negligence, wrong advice, incomplete work, and misrepresentations by your business.
Exclusions in General Liability Policies
Pollution/Environmental: No compensation is due for damage from discharge or cleanup of contaminants. This coverage can be purchased separately or added on to a general liability policy as an endorsement in some cases.
Intentional wrongdoing and criminal acts: Knowingly publishing false information, intentionally causing property damage or injury, and illegal actions are not covered.
How Much Does Florida Business Insurance Cost?
A typical general liability policy costs $42 a month. If you rent or own your business premises, you can purchase a business owner's policy (BOP) to reduce insurance costs. It combines business income insurance, general liability insurance, and commercial property insurance.
Costs will vary based on the type of insurance and the characteristics of the business. For instance, the cost of commercial auto insurance depends on the number of vehicles insured, the value of cars, employee driving records, and claims history. Overall, the price will depend on these main factors:
- Location: A business along the coast or in a large metro area like Miami will have different premiums than one inland. Location is specifically important when getting property coverage and wind coverage.
- Nature of business: Certain industries are high risk compared to others. For instance, construction workers pay higher premiums as they work on client property that they might damage.
- Deductible: You are responsible for paying toward an insured loss. The portion you pay out-of-pocket affects your premium. A higher deductible lowers the premium.
- Coverage needs: If you have higher limits or exposures or add additional coverages, your premiums will be higher.
For general liability insurance, the typical coverage is $1 Million for a single claim and an aggregate limit of $2 Million during a regular policy period of one year.
Get Florida Business Insurance
Obtaining insurance coverage helps in managing your business risks. Contact your insurance agent and ask them to get you a Pathpoint quote today.