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You invest a lot into your business. You’re willing to put in time, money, and effort to see it succeed. Just like any other investment, it deserves to be protected.
While some steps in starting or growing a business are obvious — like choosing a name — others can be unknown territory. Unless you’ve ever searched for insurance requirements and selected a policy, you may be unsure of where to start.
The entire process seems a lot more approachable when you break it down into manageable components.
The best place to start is understanding Indiana business insurance and why you might want it. While there are more obvious benefits, such as potentially using your policy to cover claims, there are some upsides you might not be aware of.
Indiana business insurance works similarly to other types of coverage:
Different Indiana business insurance policies cover varying scenarios, so you can choose the ones that align best with the risks and assets of your business. Many policies come with the following added benefits you may not be aware of:
An insurance policy could potentially save you from bankruptcy. Using your Indiana business insurance up to the policy limit to cover accidents or lawsuits could spare your finances. The average claim for a customer injury or damage is $30,000, which you could be liable for without insurance. If you don’t have a large amount of money sitting around to pay for damages, then business insurance could be a business saver.
Having insurance could help you build trust with customers. It takes time to build a positive reputation and customer base. In the meantime, showing a Certificate of Insurance (COI) can build trust with potential customers, as it shows you’re committed to your business and customers.
Insurance sets you apart from competitors or scammers. If Indiana business insurance is optional for your occupation, you can differentiate yourself from competitors by getting insured.
Some business loans may require proof of insurance. You might come across insurance requirements when you begin looking for business funding. Some lenders want to see proof of insurance, and having a policy could help you weather storms and ensure you can face challenges without spending a chunk of your own money.
If you want an insurance policy that could cover various scenarios, look no further than general liability insurance. This type of policy could help you pay for physical accidents like damages to customer property.
The events that general liability insurance typically covers include:
Requirements for general liability insurance in Indiana can vary. One of the best ways to learn about which rules apply to your business is to investigate licensing and certification rules in your industry. Some professions are typically required to have insurance to operate legally in the state, including:
In addition to searching for insurance requirements based on your work, you need to check for county or city rules too. For example, the city of Indianapolis requires general contractors to show proof of general liability insurance of at least $500,000 per occurrence.
If you want to start a contracting business, check out our guide to getting a contractor’s license in Indiana.
Even businesses without general liability insurance requirements should consider business insurance. Simply Business works with more than 80 types of businesses, because accidents can happen anywhere.
Here are a few scenarios where general liability insurance in Indiana could help:
What’s a business owner to do? If the nail tech doesn’t have insurance, they likely need to find a way to pay the bills on their own. A general liability policy might be able to cover the costs - up to the policy limit, sparing the business owner’s bank account.
If the installer had insurance, they may be able to use it to help pay for damages and satisfy the homeowner. Without coverage, they have to deal with the angry customer and the large bill on their own.
The parent is so upset about the hairdresser leaving the scissors that they sue them for their child’s injury and medical bills. Without insurance, the hairdresser might have to use the money they were saving for a new van to pay for the child’s medical bills, which insurance may have been able to cover.
Accidents are just that — injuries or damages that happen by chance. Even the most talented and experienced business owners aren’t immune from minor human errors that could spiral into something larger from an upset customer.
If you want to learn about how general liability insurance could impact your company, reach out to our licensed insurance agents at 855-563-0382. Or answer a few questions online to get free custom quotes in just minutes.
Perhaps you read about the kinds of accidents that general liability insurance could cover and thought, “I just don’t think those accidents are likely to happen to me.”
Understandably, some occupations may be less risk-prone, and say, your computer job might feel worlds away from a construction site.
Professional liability insurance in Indiana can help companies that provide professional services or some form of advice. The danger in these roles lies in the possibility of facing a negligence claim.
What does negligence mean for a small business owner? Imagine this:
Even though the social worker feels the end result was out of their hands, they now have to pay for a lawyer to defend them in court. The costly legal fees could be covered by professional liability insurance, which could save the social worker from having to shell out a lot of their own money.
The error causes the product to work incorrectly, which has led to financial problems for the client. As a result, the company is suing the draftsman. If the draftsman had professional liability insurance, they might be able to cover the legal fees and damages up to the policy limit.
The family was so stressed about the ordeal that they sued the travel agent for the entire cost of the expensive trip. Since the travel agent is new to the business, they don’t have much cash flow. The uninsured travel agent has to use their family’s vacation savings to pay the damages.
The decision to get professional liability insurance in Indiana is often left up to the business owner, but you should confirm with your licensing board and local government. While coverage might be optional for your business, we recommend that business owners consider it. Some business types that can benefit from professional liability include:
Rules about Indiana workers compensation insurance aren't tied to the type of work you do. If you have employees, you likely need to have a workers comp policy. So as soon as you hire even one part-time employee, you may be required to have workers comp insurance.
Workers compensation insurance typically covers:
This type of policy can help cover the costs associated with an employee who gets sick or injured on the job. Like many types of insurance, Indiana workers comp can benefit everyone involved. Employers get a financial safety net if there’s a workplace accident, and employees have assurance that they’ll be taken care of.
Note: There are a few exemptions to what the state considers an insurable employee, such as farm employees, household workers, and independent contractors.
Since each business is unique, even if they’re in the same industry, there are many Indiana business insurance types. While the three covered above are some of the most common ones, others to consider include:
Home-based business insurance. Did you know that your homeowners or renters insurance might not cover your home office? So damaged assets — like your computer — may not be insured. To fill in the gap, you can consider a home-based business insurance policy.
Business personal property insurance. If your business has a lot of tools or equipment, you might want to consider a business personal property plan. That way, you may be able to recoup losses or replace damaged items.
Errors and omissions insurance. You may see the term “errors and omissions” used interchangeably with professional liability insurance. While they are similar, E&O can cover several more specific scenarios that lead to negligence claims.
If you don’t have any employees (and aren’t planning on growing your team anytime soon), you likely don’t have to carry Indiana workers compensation. For businesses hiring an employee, it helps to know what to expect.
Here are some notes on workers comp prices and premiums:
Your cost for Indiana workers compensation insurance could depend on factors like the type of work you do, how many employees you have, and your safety history.
Fewer accidents can lead to lower insurance costs over time. You can schedule a free INSafe consultation to get tips on designing and implementing safety systems to prevent injuries.
The IRS considers your workers comp premium an expense, which means you can likely write it off on your business tax filings. We always recommend checking with an accountant or tax expert regarding your specific business, though.
Don’t forget to report all new hires to the state.
If you have any additional questions about insurance coverage for employees, check out the Worker’s Comp Board of Indiana website.
If the state requires you to have Indiana business insurance, you likely want to find a good deal. Business owners who consider insurance a “nice to have” also will be mindful of their budget.
Generally, factors like your location, industry, and the policies you choose will impact your cost. If you want to save money on your policy, compare prices when you bundle policies or pay premiums monthly versus annually.
There can be a lot of moving parts to insuring your business. If you start getting overwhelmed, refer to this list of the basic steps:
Check for general liability and professional liability requirements based on your occupation and location. The Indiana State Information Center at 317-233-0800 can point you in the right direction to find requirements, and we have more tips a bit later in this article.
You likely can opt into Indiana business insurance coverage, even if the state doesn’t require it. Having a Certificate of Insurance (COI) could help you build trust with customers, protect your finances if you face a lawsuit, secure funding, and more.
If you have employees, you’ll likely need Indiana workers comp insurance.
Once you know which policies you need or want to explore, compare free quotes. Simply Business licensed insurance agents at 855-563-0382 can help you explore coverage options from the nation’s top insurers.
Here are a few final tips, tricks, and useful links:
If your business will offer multiple services, be sure to check for requirements across all of the services.
Reach out to the Indiana Small Business Development Center to find coaching and resources in your area.
Create an INBiz account to manage state filing documents.
Connect with local business owners through trade associations to ask about which policies they have and like.
If you’re shopping for insurance on the Simply Business platform, feel free to reach out to our licensed insurance agents to answer any questions you may have.
You just took in a lot of information about Indiana business insurance. If you still have any questions, call 855-563-0382 to speak with one of our agents for one-on-one help. We also have more guides to protecting your business on the Simply U blog.
If you need to take a step back and learn about setting up your business, check out our guide to getting an Indiana business license.
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.