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If you’re a small business owner in Connecticut, you’re certainly not alone. In fact, over 99% of the state’s businesses are small businesses!
Just because you’re in good company, though, doesn’t mean it’s easy to find resources, especially regarding topics like Connecticut business insurance.
Fortunately, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve put together a quick guide to help you learn about getting business insurance in Connecticut. And because we’re an online business insurance platform, it’s safe to say we know our stuff.
In this article, you’ll learn about the most common types of Connecticut business insurance — general liability insurance, professional liability insurance, workers compensation, and more. Plus, we’ll explain how to get an affordable policy in no time.
Ready to get started? Then let’s go!
Chances are, you’ve heard of Connecticut general liability insurance. Maybe you’ve even purchased a general liability insurance (GL) policy in the past.
That’s because general liability insurance is one of the most common (and, depending on your profession, the most important) policies for small business owners to buy. It may be able to protect your business financially if you face:
Unfortunately, general liability claims happen often and can be expensive, with one of the most common claims being reputational harm of those surveyed, where the average claim is a whopping $50,000!
Just imagine — without general liability insurance, you would likely have to pay that amount on your own. For most small business owners, this could be financially devastating.
Fortunately, general liability insurance can help protect you and your business. The amount you would have to pay is up to the deductible (some policies even offer no deductibles). Then your policy would usually cover the remaining costs up to a certain amount.
Here are a few examples of general liability insurance in action:
You’re a financial advisor who is working with a client. During your meeting, you stand up and accidentally knock over your client’s new (and very expensive) laptop. Oops! Fortunately, your general liability insurance can potentially help cover the cost of replacing the client’s laptop.
You’re a general contractor working at a customer’s home, and the homeowner walks outside and trips over equipment you left in the driveway. The fall is serious, and your customer goes to the hospital. Your general liability insurance can help pay for the medical bills and legal fees.
An unhappy customer accuses you of slander. Even if you’ve done nothing wrong, you need to hire a lawyer to defend you. This can be costly, but fortunately, your general liability insurance can cover reputational harm claims.
If you work in Connecticut, you’re typically not required by law to carry general liability insurance. But it’s a good idea to get insured anyway.
General liability insurance can protect your business if you face a costly accident, injury, or loss. Plus, if you’re a general contractor, you may be required to get general liability insurance — especially if you want to get a contractor’s license in Connecticut.
Even though GL insurance isn’t required by the state of Connecticut, it may be required in your industry. To find out, call one of Simply Business’s licensed insurance agents at 855-559-0279. They can help you understand what insurance your type of trade typically may need.
If your business involves offering consulting or advisory services, you may need to get professional liability insurance too. That’s likely you…marketing professionals, accountants, and financial advisors.
A Connecticut professional liability insurance policy, sometimes also known as errors and omissions insurance, can protect your business if someone accuses you of negligence while working.
Think it can’t happen to you? Unfortunately, small business lawsuits are more common than you might think. In fact, nearly 43% of small business owners surveyed in the United States have faced lawsuits or have been threatened with one.
For example, let’s say you’re an accountant and you make a mistake on a client’s tax return. Later, your client is audited and has to pay several thousand dollars to resolve the issue. Suddenly, you could have an expensive lawsuit on your hands.
But if you have professional liability insurance in Connecticut, your policy can help cover the lawyer’s and other legal fees.
Professional liability insurance is more important for some professionals than others because of their risk. For example, it’s a good idea to get a policy if you are a:
Connecticut law doesn’t require small business owners to get professional liability insurance. But, it’s a good idea to have the coverage anyway.
That’s because mistakes and accusations can happen at any time. Let’s face it, we’re all human. And if you get caught in a lawsuit, you want to have financial protection.
Do you have employees? Even just one? Then by law, you likely need to purchase Connecticut workers compensation insurance. The Connecticut Workers’ Compensation Act requires that all businesses with at least one employee working at least 26 hours per week must carry workers compensation insurance.
If an employee works less than 26 hours a week, you’re typically not required to have insurance. But you may want it anyway. After all, workers compensation insurance can help protect you financially if your employee gets injured or sick on the job. Otherwise, you could be on the hook to pay for their medical bills and missed wages.
We’ll talk more in-depth about Connecticut workers compensation later in this article. But for now, check out this information packet or call the State of Connecticut Workers’ Compensation Commission at 1-800-223-9675 to learn more about this type of insurance.
Do you drive a vehicle for work, even just occasionally? Maybe you have a business van that you drive to job sites. Or maybe you use your personal car for business. If that’s the case, you probably need to buy commercial auto insurance, as your personal auto policy won’t cover business-related claims.
Unfortunately, motor vehicle accident claims are fairly common — and expensive! On average, of those surveyed, an auto accident claim costs an average of $45,000, which is why commercial vehicle insurance is so critical.
In Connecticut, commercial auto insurance is required for many business owners. For example, you’re usually required to have coverage if:
You drive only within Connecticut (intrastate travel) and your vehicle has a gross weight of 18,001 pounds or more.
You drive outside of Connecticut (interstate travel) and your vehicle has a gross weight of 10,001 pounds or more.
Your vehicle can transport more than 15 occupants, including the driver.
You transport hazardous materials and are required to do HAZMAT “placarding” under the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act.
Sound like you? Then you need to carry minimum levels of commercial auto insurance and report your coverage to the Connecticut DMV once a year.
Here’s the minimum amount of coverage you’ll likely need:
If you don’t need commercial auto insurance, no problem. But you will need to fill out a compliance affidavit form for the DMV. This document essentially acknowledges that you understand the form and agree that your vehicle doesn’t apply and isn’t used for commercial purposes.
If you work with a licensed insurance agent, usually you can customize your coverage. This is great news because you can add coverage and boost your protection.
Here are a few examples of additional business insurance coverage:
Fire and extended coverage: Unfortunately, fires are common and can be devastating. If you add fire and extended coverage to your business insurance policy, you can potentially help cover the costs of damage to a building and possibly rebuild.
Business income: If your business gets damaged, you may have to close down for a while. When you’re shut down, you’ll typically still need to pay utilities, taxes, and other expenses. Business income insurance can usually help cover these costs so you can get back on your feet.
Excess and umbrella: Sometimes you need more insurance than your policy can offer. That’s where excess and umbrella insurance comes in. This type of policy can cover a gap in your insurance or extend it to cover an even bigger claim.
Flood and earthquake: The truth is, natural disasters like floods and earthquakes can happen no matter where you live. Ask your insurance agent about adding coverage for floods or earthquakes, especially if you think you’re at a higher risk.
Inland marine: We’re not talking about boating insurance here. Inland marine policies cover goods and property that are damaged while in transit. For example, if your products get damaged on the way to your store, an inland marine policy may be able to help replace them, so you don’t lose income.
Want to learn more about getting a Connecticut business insurance policy?
Simply Business has a free quote comparison tool to check out. You can compare quotes from leading insurers nationwide. If you have questions about what coverage you may want to consider, call one of Simply Business’s licensed insurance agents at 855-559-0279. They’re here to help.
If you have employees who work at least 26 hours a week, you need to get Connecticut workers compensation insurance too.
Workers compensation insurance is designed to protect your employees if they have an accident or injury on the job. It also can help protect business owners. Workers compensation can help cover an employee’s medical bills and lost wages. Without insurance, you’d have to cover these costs on your own.
If you work solo, or if you have an employee who works fewer than 26 hours a week, you’re typically not required to have a policy, but you might want one anyway. Remember, workers compensation can really help if you face a costly injury.
Specifically, workers compensation covers:
Medical bills: If an employee gets injured or sick at work, you’re obligated to pay for doctor bills, hospital visits, medications, and even physical therapy appointments.
Lost wages: When employees get sick or injured, they usually need time off work. When this happens, employers are required to pay a portion of the lost wages. Your workers compensation insurance can help cover this cost.
Job rehabilitation: If an employee is severely injured and unable to return to their original work, workers compensation insurance can help cover the cost of job rehabilitation.
Death benefits: If an employee passes away, workers compensation can cover the cost of death benefits. This money is paid to the surviving spouse and children to help pay for burial expenses and more.
If you’re unsure if you need workers compensation insurance in Connecticut, talk to a licensed insurance agent. You can also reach out to the State of Connecticut Workers’ Compensation Commission at 1-800-223-9675 or visit their website.
The cost of insurance can vary. It depends on your line of work, how many employees you have, and the type of coverage you need. For example, if you add umbrella coverage, your premium will probably be higher.
If you’re just launching your business, we know paying for insurance can be hard. But Connecticut business insurance is worth the added cost. It can help protect your business from devastating financial losses. Plus, if you find a policy through Simply Business, our licensed insurance agents can help you find coverage that also fits your budget. For example, some of our general liability insurance policies are as low as $22.50/month.*
Not bad, huh?
If you’re on a budget, check out our free quote tool. It can help you compare quote options from several insurers and get a good idea of the cost of business insurance for your type of work.
Now that we’ve covered the nuts and bolts of Connecticut business insurance, are you ready to buy a policy? You won’t regret it.
Today it’s easier than ever to get business insurance quotes. Simply Business’s online platform, and other similar platforms, let you compare policies and even buy insurance in just a few clicks. Pretty easy, huh?
If you’re ready to start shopping, here are a few tips:
Think about the biggest risks that might impact your business. Write them down. As you’re shopping for insurance, you’ll want to make sure to cover those areas.
Talk to competitors to ask about their coverage. Chances are, they have business insurance. Plus, you might get a few business tips.
Research what policies you’re required to carry. We’ve given you an overview of general liability and professional liability insurance, but you might have other requirements for your profession. Make sure you know them.
Use a free quote comparison tool, like the one Simply Business offers, to find several different business insurance policies. It’ll give you a good idea of what’s available.
If you have questions, don’t hesitate to call a licensed insurance agent. After all, insurance jargon can get confusing. Our team is here to help make it more clear.
Decide if you’d rather pay monthly or annual insurance premiums. There are pros and cons to both payment options.
Once you get a policy, request a Certificate of Insurance (COI). This document states that you’re officially insured in Connecticut. You never know when you may need proof of your policy.
Looking for more tips? We have them! Check out the ultimate guide to finding a small business insurance policy.
As you can see, it’s actually fairly easy to get Connecticut business insurance. You just need to take a few minutes and compare policies online. Then decide what coverage makes sense — and meets your budget. As we mentioned, Simply Business offers licensed insurance agents to help answer any questions you have.
We hope this article helped you out. Next up? Check out Simply U for more resources. We have articles for business owners who are just starting out, as well as entrepreneurs who are taking their businesses to the next level.
*Monthly payment calculations (i) do not include initial premium down payment and (ii) may vary by state, insurance provider, and nature of your business. Averages based on January - December 2020 data of 10% of our total policies sold.
This content is intended to be used for informational purposes only. It is not intended to provide legal, tax, accounting, investment, or any other form of professional advice.
*Harborway Insurance policies are underwritten by Spinnaker Insurance Company and reinsured by Munich Re, an A+ (Superior) rated insurance carrier by AM Best. Harborway Insurance is a brand name of Harborway Insurance Agency, LLC, a licensed insurance producer in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. California license #6004217.