Insuring your business: 5 questions and answers about business insurance

Prepare for the worst with business insurance. It's an important way to protect your business against accidents, lawsuits, liability, and more.

by Michelle Kaminsky, Esq.
updated May 11, 2023 ·  3min read

Fires and car accidents happen; people slip, fall, get sick, and even die. And all of these things can occur in your business. This is why most businesses, whether they are one-person operations or multimillion-dollar corporations, need business insurance.

Here are answers to five of the most frequently asked questions about business insurance to help you choose the best coverage and policies for you and your enterprise.

1. What is business insurance?

The term "business insurance" encompasses all the different types of coverage available to protect business owners from losses after an accident or lawsuit.

Through business insurance, you can cover your property and business vehicles, if they are damaged or destroyed. You can also protect yourself from financial losses if you are involved in a lawsuit or held responsible for injury or property damage.

2. Why do I need business insurance?

Even if you don't think your business has enough assets to be sued, or if you believe because your business is incorporated, you're shielded from personal liability through the so-called "corporate veil," you still need business insurance. Why?

The smaller your business is, the more likely that you can be held personally liable for debts through your personal assets.

Your business needs business insurance because of the many risks and potential threats to its successful and continued operation; good, tailored business insurance policies can help protect you and your venture as much as possible.

3. What types of business insurance are available?

The main types of business insurance many business owners consider include:

  • General liability insurance.  This is one of the most common types of business insurance because it can provide financial help for many of the risks and common lawsuits that businesses face. It can help if you or your business is accused of causing an injury to someone other than an employee or damaging property that doesn’t belong to you.

  • Commercial property insurance.  This coverage can help pay for your damaged or destroyed business equipment, furnishing, inventory, and structures after a covered event—water damage, fire, and other risks.

  • Commercial auto insurance.  Commercial auto insurance can cover your business for losses or damage to vehicles used for business purposes. Vehicles used for business often are not covered under personal auto insurance even if a vehicle is used for both business and personal purposes.
  • Professional liability insurance. Professional liability insurance can provide financial help for legal costs and judgments if someone sues you for negligence or a work mistake.
  • Product liability insurance.  Product liability insurance can cover your business for damages caused by a product designed, supplied, or manufactured by your business.
  • Business interruption insurance.  Business interruption insurance can make up for lost cash flow and profits incurred because of an event that has interrupted your normal business operations. This coverage is sometimes included with commercial property insurance.
  • Workers' Compensation insurance. Most states require this coverage by law if you have employees.  Workers' compensation insurance covers employees if they are injured on the job.

4. Can I get a policy that combines different types of insurance?

Yes. A business owner's policy (BOP), often appropriate for small to medium-sized businesses, usually includes commercial property and general liability coverage. You can often pay less by bundling insurance in a package deal instead of buying the policies separately.

5. How do I buy business insurance?

You have several options when considering how to buy business insurance, including shopping online or working with a licensed agent.

We know this is an important business decision. That’s why we partner with trusted insurance providers to help you get the coverage you need.

When you get a free quote online, you’ll be asked a few basics about your business including:

  • Name
  • Location
  • The type of work you do
  • Payroll
  • Value of business assets

Once you submit your information, you’ll get recommendations for business insurance that can provide financial help for specific business risks. You can choose the options and limits that are right for you and your budget before you make your purchase.

Need help building your business? Check out these special offers on small business solutions from LegalZoom’s trusted partners. From bank accounts and point of sale systems to business insurance and licensing, LegalZoom’s partners can help you turn your big idea into big business.

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Michelle Kaminsky, Esq.

About the Author

Michelle Kaminsky, Esq.

Freelance writer and editor Michelle Kaminsky, Esq. has been working with LegalZoom since 2004. She earned a Juris Docto… Read more

This portion of the site is for informational purposes only. The content is not legal advice. The statements and opinions are the expression of the author, not LegalZoom, and have not been evaluated by LegalZoom for accuracy, completeness, or changes in the law.