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Starting or growing a business is an exciting process that comes with a long checklist. You have to juggle working on the business to keep it afloat while also finding time to work with clients.
We know how busy you are, so we want to make Delaware business insurance as simple as possible. Here’s what you need to know to get started.
Let’s start from the beginning — what is Delaware business insurance? The two key mechanics to a business insurance policy typically are paying a monthly premium and potentially using your policy to help cover unexpected incidents such as damages, injuries, and lawsuits.
It is fairly similar to car or health insurance, which most of us are familiar with. It’s just that instead of protecting your vehicle or getting help paying for medical care, you’re taking steps to help you weather the storms that may come your way as a business owner.
Given how much time, attention, and effort you put into your business, it makes sense that you’d want to safeguard it.
Now let’s get into the types of Delaware business insurance to consider.
Accidents can happen anytime and anywhere, including in your business. Delaware general liability insurance is useful in the moments that “oops” turns into “oh no.”
Typically, general liability insurance covers:
Businesses with Delaware general liability insurance have a leg up if something happens to a customer, such as a slip and fall, with an average claim of $20,000.
Rather than paying for the customer’s medical bills out of pocket, an insured business owner’s policy may be able to pay for the claims associated with the accident. Without insurance, you’d likely need to find the money in your business or personal finances. Otherwise, you might need to take out a loan.
Let’s look at a few more examples where your Delaware general liability insurance could potentially help cover the cost of accidents:
An electrician is working on an outdoor light fixture when they step away to get something from their truck. In the meantime, a gust of wind sends the electrician’s ladder crashing down onto the customer’s car, breaking the windshield. Without insurance, the electrician would have to pay out of pocket for the damage to the homeowner’s car.
A carpenter instructed a homeowner to not use the steps to the unfinished deck being repaired. However, the customer thought the deck stairs looked fine and used them anyway. One of the planks slid away, and the homeowner fell and broke their ankle.
If the customer sues and the carpenter is uninsured, they would either have to borrow hundreds of dollars to pay the homeowner’s medical bills or pay out-of-pocket. If they had insurance, their policy may have been able to cover the medical bills and attorney fees (up to the policy limits).
I know what you’re thinking — that sounds nice, but do I have to have the insurance? The answer is maybe.
Delaware general liability insurance requirements usually vary by occupation. While we can’t give a one-size-fits-all answer regarding insurance requirements, we can help you figure out what you need.
At the bottom of the page, we’ll link to resources to find the state requirements, or you can speak to a Simply Business licensed insurance agent at 855-560-1431.
Here are a few Delaware general liability insurance requirements to give you a sense of what to expect:
If you’re a contractor in Delaware, we have a complete guide to getting licensed and insured.
Most businesses can choose to get insurance coverage, even if it isn’t a state requirement. Simply Business works with more than 80 types of small businesses, including hairstylists, roofers, locksmiths, and more.
Before we move on to the next type of insurance, I want to talk about the positive side of insurance. Up until now, our talk of insurance has been about accidents, lawsuits, and general mishaps. There are benefits of having Delaware general liability insurance that have nothing to do with doom and gloom. These include:
You stand out on loan and rental applications. Having insurance isn’t always a requirement when applying for a business loan or renting a workspace, but it can show that you’re a reliable, conscientious business owner on the application.
You attract top-tier employees. Having insurance can help make your business more secure, since you’re less likely to go broke or out of business as the result of an accident. This security could potentially make you a more desirable employer than your competitors.
You set yourself apart from the competition. If there are no insurance requirements for your line of work, then having a policy can set you apart from the competition.
Professional liability insurance in Delaware could help when your work didn’t live up to your customer’s expectations. Professional liability insurance typically covers issues such as:
A business owner could be on the wrong end of a negligence claim if their client feels their work or advice harmed them.
Here are a couple examples: For a real estate agent, this could happen if they missed submitting an offer on time, which led to a family losing out on their dream home. Or a personal trainer pushes their client a little too hard and causes them to pass out, the client gets hurt and sues the trainer for the injuries and mental anguish.
Unfortunately, you don’t have to actually do anything wrong for a client to claim you were negligent. Even innocent business owners could face hefty legal bills if they have to defend their case in court.
As a result, we typically recommend this type of policy for businesses that offer professional services or provide advice. Rules regarding professional liability insurance in Delaware vary by occupation. That means that deciding whether or not to get coverage is often left up to the individual business owner or depends on your specific trade and location.
One type of business owner that must have this coverage, though, is home inspectors. These businesses need at least $250,000 in general liability coverage and at least $50,000 of errors and omissions insurance. Errors and omissions is a subcategory of professional liability insurance.
Other types of trades that could benefit from professional liability insurance in Delaware include:
If you’re unsure if professional liability insurance could apply to your business, you can speak to a Simply Business licensed insurance agent at 855-560-1431.
If you have employees, you’ll likely need Delaware workers compensation insurance. Workers compensation insurance comes into play when an employee gets sick or injured on the job, and it typically covers:
Employers with one or more full- or part-time employees in Delaware generally need workers comp insurance. A few exceptions to this rule include farm workers or independent contractors, who typically aren’t classified as employees.
The three types of insurance reviewed above are applicable for a wide range of businesses. You should take a moment to think of any additional business assets you might want to have covered. Here are a few examples of extra business insurance policies to consider, depending on your business:
Home-based business insurance. Sometimes, home offices fall outside your homeowners insurance coverage or general liability policy. If you run your business from your home, you may need home-based business insurance to fill in the gaps.
Business personal property insurance. Use a lot of tools or equipment in your business? You might want to consider property insurance that could help protect your property from loss, damage or theft.
Commercial auto insurance. All Delaware vehicles have minimum insurance requirements. However, you may want to consider additional coverage if you’ll use your vehicle for work, such as driving to appointments or worksites. It’s best to talk to your auto insurance agent to see if your policy covers accidents that happen with your vehicle while you’re on the job.
When the demand for your business is too much for you to handle alone, it might be time to hire an employee. When that time comes, make sure you have Delaware workers compensation insurance, since most businesses with at least one employee need the coverage. Some of the factors your premiums usually depend on are your location, type of business, and how many employees you have.
There are ways to potentially lower your Delaware workers compensation premiums, though. The Workplace Safety Program allows businesses to earn insurance discounts if they follow safe workplace rules.
A safe workplace is less likely to cash in on its workers compensation insurance policy, and the cost savings can get passed on to employers. Since the program began in 1989, employers have saved millions of dollars.
Some of the criteria for eligibility in the program include:
As Delaware business insurance rules vary greatly among trades, it makes sense that prices can range too. Generally, the cost of your Delaware business insurance depends on:
That means we can’t give you a clear answer here about how much your premium will be.
Thankfully, it’s an easy process to find out exactly what you’ll pay. Calling our insurance agents at 855-560-1431 or filling out a few questions online will get you custom quotes in just a few minutes.
There also are ways to lower the cost of your insurance, including bundling policies and comparing month and annual premium payment plans.
You’ve learned the terms and pondered the rules. Now it’s time to take the next step and find insurance for your business. Before you go, let’s recap the basics.
Professional liability insurance in Delaware could help businesses handle negligence claims if a client thinks the business harmed them. Some occupations have legal requirements, while others can choose this coverage if they want to build trust with potential clients.
Delaware workers compensation insurance comes into play if an employee is injured or gets sick on the job. Nearly every business with one or more employees needs this type of policy.
To help you find the requirements that apply to you, we’ve rounded up a few tips about choosing Delaware business insurance coverage:
Visit the Delaware business services site to get resources tailored to your industry, needs, and location. The homepage has a section to choose statements that apply to you to find organizations that can help you.
Search for your occupation on the list of regulated industries. You can find your industry on the license application or links to applicable laws and regulations.
Think about how your business will grow in the next year and whether that could impact insurance requirements.
Talk to local lawyers and accountants for Delaware-specific questions you can’t find the answer to.
If you’re shopping for insurance on the Simply Business platform, feel free to reach out to our insurance agents to answer any questions you may have.
It’s understandable that the idea of adding another expense or “to-do” on your list is overwhelming. When there’s a state requirement to get coverage, your best bet is to compare multiple quotes through Simply Business so that you can get a policy and be on your way.
What if you’re in one of the industries that doesn’t have insurance rules, though?
You may want to put this decision off for another day and wait until you’re ready. Think back to when you decided to start your business. Were you 100% ready? Probably not. Despite the confidence in your abilities, there were perhaps a few fears lurking below the surface.
The moral of the story is that “ready” is a decision and not a feeling.
If you want to take the next step in your business, all you need to do is start by getting a free custom quote with Simply Business. You can cover a lot of ground by taking one step at a time.
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.