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We love helping small business owners on their journeys to start and grow their businesses, which is why we're here to help guide you through the process of getting your Florida business insurance.
Whether you have questions about the basic liability insurance requirements or the Florida workers compensation coverage process, we've got you covered.
By the end of this article, you'll have a better understanding of how business insurance can potentially benefit you and how to get it.
There are a few different types of insurance that small business owners may choose to protect themselves and their companies. We'll review general liability insurance, professional liability insurance, workers compensation insurance, and other types of insurance that may be of interest to small business owners in Florida.
General liability insurance is a type of business insurance policy that helps protect you and your business in the event of:
Here are some examples of general liability coverage in action:
While pressure washing a garage at a client's house, you accidentally lose your footing and aim the hose toward their house. In doing so, you break a few windows.
Your liability policy could help to cover the cost of the window repairs.
You're doing a makeup test run for a bride at her home when her child picks up a product while you're focusing on your client. After putting the makeup on her face, the child has an allergic reaction and needs to see a doctor for treatment.
Your general liability coverage could help to pay medical costs associated with the accident.
You love the photography work you did for a local brand and hope they'd be a long-term client. Unfortunately, they claim that you slandered their reputation. Despite not having said anything bad about them, you'll still need legal representation.
Your general liability policy would typically help to cover the costs of hiring a lawyer to help defend your business.
Despite how cautious you think you are with your business operations, you truly never know what could happen. The situations listed above are some of the most common claims filed against small businesses.
And unfortunately, along with being the most common, they're also the costliest.
According to the article above, claims regarding a customer slip-and-fall can amount to $20,000, while claims of reputational harm (meaning that someone's reputation was harmed by something you said or did) could cost $50,000.
Claims on either end of that cost spectrum could potentially cause trouble for your business. But with a general liability policy, you could help protect your small business from an untimely fate.
Not only does general liability insurance in Florida help to protect your small business in case of some unforeseen accidents, it also can help you:
Gain the trust of your customers
While evaluating which business to work with on a project, customers want to know that their money is being well-invested. Having liability insurance coverage is one way to show them that you're serious about the work you do and that you protect yourself, and them, against any risk.
Get access to a shop location
If your business needs a physical location to operate, you'll need to rent space. There are landlords who may request to see proof of insurance before entering into a lease agreement with you.
For example, whether or not they require you to have a general liability policy, if you're competing for space with another company that doesn't have coverage, it could potentially help sway the landlord in your favor.
Apply for a loan, grant, or other financial assistance
Financial organizations know that lending money to a small business can be risky. So when they're considering lending you money, it'll help to show them that you're doing what you can to mitigate any risk you may encounter in your business.
Having general liability insurance in Florida can help put their minds at ease, showing that you take your business, and the risks that come along with your work, seriously.
General liability insurance isn't usually a requirement for businesses in certain industries in Florida (though you can understand how it comes in handy!), but if you're a contractor, the state requires you to have coverage.
Professional liability insurance can help to protect you if a client sues your business for negligence, even if you're 100% certain that you weren’t negligent in performing your work.
If you're sued for a mistake that your client claims you made on the job, professional liability coverage can help cover the costs of legal defense, as well as any claims you may be ordered to pay out.
Here are a couple examples of professional liability insurance in action:
Say you're a marketing consultant and the advice you gave a client helps raise their revenue, but not as much as their target goal.
They were convinced that working with you meant they'd hit a certain number and believe you did something wrong. Despite being completely transparent with them about the marketing process and predictions, you need to defend yourself against the claim.
Professional liability coverage could help pay for a lawyer to defend your case.
You're a freelance accountant and at the end of tax season, one of your clients sues you. They thought they were all set with taxes, but ended up being audited by the IRS and are convinced you missed important details.
The cost of the suit could have a big financial impact on your business.
With a professional liability policy, the cost of your legal fees could potentially be covered, saving you money and giving you peace of mind.
Below is a short list of businesses that may benefit from Florida professional business insurance:
While not all occupations in Florida may be required to invest in professional liability insurance in order to operate legally, there are additional benefits to having coverage.
It helps you stand out to potential customers. If a customer is deciding whether to work with you, or another small business that does similar work, then it could sway the decision in your favor if that’s important to the potential customer.
If you have a professional liability policy to help protect the work you do for them and others, that could set you apart from the competition.
And remember, competition doesn't disappear once you land a customer. If you'd like to retain a customer and continue working with them long term, having proof of insurance is a great way to maintain their trust.
Once you have professional liability insurance in Florida, you'll be able to get a Certificate of Insurance (COI). If you have a brick-and-mortar store, you'll have the option of displaying the COI where passersby can see that you're protected.
If you don't have a physical shop location, you can show proof of insurance on your business's website.
While both general liability coverage and professional liability coverage are recommended for small business owners, Florida workers compensation insurance is a different story.
This type of coverage exists to protect employees if they get sick or injured while working for your business.
While Florida workers compensation insurance is generally mandatory, though your industry may have specific additional requirements. We'll review that later in this article when we discuss what you need to know about Florida workers compensation insurance.
Depending on what your small business specializes in, there may be other types of insurance you'll want to consider. They are:
Commercial auto insurance
If you use a vehicle for any work-related purpose, you may need Florida commercial auto insurance. Don't simply rely on your personal auto insurance policy to cover you if you're using a personal vehicle for work-related tasks.
You can typically apply for commercial auto insurance at the Florida Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles.
Keep in mind that your specific county or city could have further requirements surrounding commercial auto insurance. Check with your local municipality to make sure that you're following the requirements at both the state and local levels.
Business income or interruption insurance
This type of coverage could come in handy if you were to lose any expected earnings due to a loss on insured property.
If you have to close your business because of damage due to a hurricane, for example, business income insurance could help cover your estimated losses.
Depending on where you live in Florida, your business may be in jeopardy due to potential flooding. If you suspect this to be the case, we recommend looking into getting a flood insurance policy.
Home-based business insurance
Just like your personal car isn't covered for work-related incidents, the same goes for your home-based office.
If you run your business out of your home, there's a chance your homeowner's insurance policy doesn't cover any potential liabilities you face. You may want to purchase insurance specific to your home office.
Business owner's policy (BOP)
If you have a physical store location, you may want to invest in a business owner's policy, often referred to as a BOP.
A BOP combines general liability insurance with your property insurance, providing you comprehensive coverage for both at the same time.Get your quote
If you have one or more employees working at your business, you likely will need Florida workers compensation coverage. The need for coverage depends on your specific occupation.
For those in the construction industry, for example, you'll need workers compensation if you have one or more employees, though non-construction companies aren't required to carry workers compensation insurance until they employ four or more employees.
If you work in the agricultural industry and have seasonal employees, your workers compensation requirements will differ.
For questions on how workers compensation requirements may differ for your occupation and your specific business, you may refer to the Division of Workers Compensation for assistance.
You may not have employees to consider at this point. If that's the case, keep in mind that when you're ready to hire your first employee, having workers compensation coverage can help potential employees feel more secure about working for you.
When it comes to the cost of Florida business insurance, it depends.
We know — that's not the most popular answer. But there's a reason it's not so cut and dried!
How much your business insurance premiums will cost depends on a variety of factors, including:
A lot of different variables go into deciding how much risk you may need protection from in your day-to-day business.
The price of your business insurance will vary, but we can give you an idea of what to expect.
For example, with Simply Business, our quote options for general liability coverage can start at $29.95/month* depending on your needs and business type.
We know that especially when you're growing your business, every cost matters, so we understand if you want to compare your options. Use our free quote comparison tool to see what your monthly premiums may cost with coverage options through Simply Business.Get your quote
That was a lot of information. Feel free to take a moment to pause!
If you're ready to start your journey to get Florida business insurance, then you're in luck. With the internet at our fingertips, business owners are more empowered than ever before to invest in a policy that's customized to their needs.
Here are a few things to consider when shopping for the business insurance coverage that's right for you:
Learn what type of insurance you're legally obligated to have. We're happy to get you started on the right foot, but it's up to you to do your due diligence and carefully research what your business needs.
Identify your small business's biggest risks. Maybe it's having a home office or maybe it's that you hire seasonal contractors to help when work ramps up. Whatever it is, account for any risk you can think of.
Ask seasoned business owners for their advice. The Small Business Administration (SBA) also has business counselors that you can talk to for advice in your local area.
Shop around. You wouldn't buy the first car you put your eye on, and buying business insurance isn't any different. Take time to compare quotes to see what your options for coverage may be.
Ask for help. In addition to asking other business owners to learn about their experience with insurance, you also can call and talk to our licensed insurance agents. They're available to talk about what options may be available to you and answer any questions. Call 844-654-7658 if you have any questions.
Speaking of advice, this guide to getting business insurance could be helpful in your research.
Maybe you're reading this article because you're just starting out on your journey as a business owner in Florida. Or maybe you've been in business for some time and finally had the time set aside to look into getting Florida business insurance.
Whatever the case, taking the time to research, shop for, and get business insurance is a huge step for any business owner. Like we said earlier, as cautious as we can be, there are precautions that can't prepare us for the unexpected.
But your hard work deserves protection against those situations so you can carry on working with customers, doing what you love.
When you're ready to take the next step with Florida business insurance, we're ready to help you protect your business's future!Get your quote
*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.