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Building a business is tough. You hardly have enough time each day to keep it going, let alone learn the ins and outs of Maryland business insurance.
Insurance is an important piece. In some cases, you may be required to carry a specific type of insurance. In other cases, your business may be at risk for certain claims. And figuring everything out can be downright exhausting.
Fortunately, the process isn’t so daunting when you break it up into bite-sized pieces. And that’s what we’ve done below, where you’ll find answers to all sorts of business insurance questions in Maryland — including the big ones.
General liability insurance is a good place to start. What is general liability insurance, and how can it help your company?
Think of general liability insurance as a business policy that may protect against some of the more common risks. These include:
Although general liability insurance in Maryland isn’t required, it’s something every business owner should consider.
Why? Because if your business is determined to be at fault for any of the claims listed above, you could owe a lot of money.
Consequently, general liability insurance can help with some of those costs.
If your business is sued, having that insurance in place can be a major relief. Consider these possibilities:
You’re a professional carpenter, and while you’re helping renovate a home office, a piece of your equipment falls on a customer’s computer. You don’t think you’re at fault. Suddenly, you find yourself in a legal entanglement, which means legal fees.
If you don’t have good coverage, those legal fees could come out of your own pocket. General liability insurance may help protect against property damage claims like these.
While you perform landscaping work for a customer, a tree branch falls on and injures the homeowner. Without insurance coverage, you could be on the hook to pay their medical bills and other damages.
Many businesses simply don’t have the money to handle unexpected costs like these, which could amount to hundreds, if not thousands of dollars. General liability insurance can offer some protection against third-party medical expenses.
A former client misinterprets something you posted online, accusing you of libel. Even if you win the case, you may still have to pay the legal fees necessary to work through it.
This is a good example of why insurance is so important. Even if you know you’re not at fault, there are risks that you could still have to pay for the legal fees to settle the case. General liability insurance may be able to help with this situation.
You’re painting a house for a customer, and one mistake creates extensive property damage to the home’s siding. Your client threatens to sue.
You may not be at fault — or your company may be at fault, in which case the client expects you to make things right. If you’re required to pay for the home’s siding damage, having general liability insurance could pay for it and any associated legal fees.
You don’t have to buy general liability insurance to do business in Maryland.
But it’s still a good idea to consider it.
As the state itself says, “If your business is found responsible, the insurer will pay at least part of, and maybe even all of, the damages owed.”
That provides peace of mind you can carry with you every day.
Think of general liability insurance as one of the most important ways to protect yourself from the unknown. You don’t always know the risks your business faces. One slip, one misstep, and your business may be liable.
That's why it's better to make sure you’re covered with the right insurance, whether you’re required to carry it or not.
Let’s say your business plays more of an advisory role. In this case, your risks change.
The risk of property damage may be low, for example, if you aren’t a carpenter, but an accountant. However, you may still have risks that need coverage.
Enter: professional liability insurance.
This type of insurance can potentially cover you for claims of negligence or from damages due to the services your business provides.
For example, if you are a marketing consultant and you inadvertently advise your client to violate a third-party trademark, the client may sue you for your faulty advice.
That means you may have created damages from your professional work. Hence: professional liability insurance.
This type of insurance is relevant for all sorts of service-based businesses, including:
You do not have to carry professional liability insurance in Maryland just to conduct business. But as the state itself states, it may be a good idea.
When it comes to insurance premiums, there are a lot of factors affecting them, including:
It’s good to mention this here, because many businesses figure that their risks for professional errors are low.
Is that the case? Not necessarily. If you don’t carry professional liability insurance, you’re essentially placing a bet against problems like human error and the possibility that a client or customer may have a gripe.
Are those really two issues you want to bet against? If not, carrying professional liability insurance can provide peace of mind — often at a low premium relative to your risks.
Like most other states, Maryland does require you to have workers compensation insurance if you have employees, with few exceptions. That includes part-time employees.
Having workers compensation insurance in place is key. It means that if a worker has an accident at work and gets injured, or becomes sick, they can file a workers compensation claim.
For your part, workers compensation insurance helps protect against those claims. It also may help your business weather the storm if multiple claims occur at once. Additionally, because it helps protect employees, it's a great way to attract new employees to your business.
In short, it’s a good idea to think of workers compensation insurance as part of the cost of doing business and having employees in Maryland.
Anything short of that isn’t just a bad idea —it’s against state regulations.
General liability and professional liability insurance may not be required in Maryland, but they’re still important for your peace of mind.
There are plenty of different types of insurance to consider in Maryland, including:
Commercial auto insurance. You’re required to have commercial auto insurance in Maryland if you have a vehicle you use for business. It’s the same for any personal vehicle: if it’s not insured, you can’t drive it in Maryland. You can find more on page 4 of the Maryland guide to commercial insurance. Keep in mind that your personal auto policy may not cover you for commercial use.
Crime insurance. This type of insurance can help protect you against financial damages from business-related crime, including theft by employees, forgery, robbery and electronic crime.
Home-based business insurance. Did you know that a homeowner’s policy often doesn’t protect your home from the risks of running a business? If you’re operating a business out of your house and you don’t have this type of insurance, there may be a gap in coverage that you’re not aware of. Check to see if home-based business insurance may benefit you.
Flood or earthquake insurance. Although the likelihood that a flood or earthquake may wipe out a Maryland business is relatively low, it doesn’t mean the risk is nil. And for that reason, premiums may be affordable to help ensure that a natural disaster won’t be a disaster for your business.
Business Personal Property insurance. To offer their unique services, some businesses rely on expensive equipment and property. Failing to insure those items puts you at substantial risk. What if you’re a tree-removal business without the tools and equipment to cut trees? It’s best to get your business property covered.
Cyber liability insurance. If your company has highly sensitive information — such as banking information — it makes sense to protect it with insurance. Cyber liability insurance can help protect against damages due to security breaches. It may even cover a business interruption caused by hackers.
Business interruption/continuance insurance. Below, you’ll learn about what happens if an employee can’t work. But what if your entire company can’t work? It’s important to insure against the unpredictable. That’s especially true if you’re unsure if an unexpected situation may affect your business’s ability to stay open for an unknown amount of time.
Starting off, you must have workers compensation insurance if your business has any employees, with few exceptions.
Businesses have workers compensation insurance in place for a number of reasons.
Reason number 1: it protects workers who may have medical expenses and time off as the result of an on-the-job injury.
But workers compensation can go beyond that. It may help cover employees who can’t work due to illness or disease too.
Workers compensation insurance may provide help with an employee’s claims, including:
Reason number 2: Workers compensation also protects your business with the resources to handle an unexpected workers compensation insurance claim.
In most states, workers compensation insurance is part of the cost of doing business and having full- or part-time employees.
As the state itself says, it’s a bit difficult to predict.
What will business insurance cost you? There’s no one-size-fits-all approach here.
But you can get the business insurance costs that fit your budget if you approach it the right way.
Costs will also depend on your specific coverage.
Let’s say you’re a credit consultancy firm. You have access to clients’ credit information. In that case, you may be a target for hackers looking to steal your clients’ identities and financial information.
In your case, it's all about choosing what’s right for your business, within state regulations, of course.
Unfortunately, because insurance varies on a case-by-case basis, we can’t tell you exactly how much Maryland business insurance may cost you.
The risks that determine the cost of your general liability insurance in Maryland will vary, based on your location, company size, how long you've been in business, and more.
We can tell you that here at Simply Business, we’ve quoted prices as low as $25.95 per month* for general liability insurance.
Prices will vary, depending on your business's specific needs.
Shopping for coverage can seem large and daunting, especially if you haven’t done it before. So we’ve separated the process into easy steps for you to follow.
That’s why we’ve separated the process into some easy steps you can follow:
Go through your list of potential risks. If you have a largely offline business, for example, you may not need cyber liability insurance. But if you run a financial consultancy business? The possibility of a data breach should make you raise an eyebrow. Go down the list of insurance types, and check off any you think you may need.
Approach other people in the business community. Ask them what insurance they think every business in your industry should carry. What do they carry themselves? You may have to ask a few people to get a better sense of what the trends are.
Get quotes for your minimum responsibilities. If you have a car you use for business, you may likely need commercial auto insurance. You’ll also need workers compensation insurance if you have employees.
There’s no point in delaying the requirements. Start gathering quotes so you know what to expect.
Build an insurance budget. Start estimating your budget for Maryland business insurance payments. A key point is if you should pay annual or monthly premiums? Look at the costs to find out which choice makes sense for your company’s revenues.
Bring in some help! You don’t have to walk through this process alone. Having a point of contact can be a major confidence-booster. If you have a business in Maryland, reach out to one of Simply Business's licensed insurance agents by calling 855-946-1103.
Too many steps for you? Want to break it down even more?
It’s not easy to find the needle in the haystack and choose the policy that's best for you. With so many options, it may even feel like a chore.
Simplify it down to a single step by checking out our FREE business insurance quote tool. There, you’ll find prices specifically quoted to your needs, and it's free to compare which options are best for your business.
Hopefully, you’ve learned a lot about general liability insurance in Maryland, Maryland professional liability insurance, as well as the workers compensation requirements in the state.
What are the next steps? Here at Simply Business, we like to keep things actionable. That’s why we’ve created a guide for growing your business with the right insurance coverage, with helpful tips for ensuring that your business has the coverage that brings you peace of mind.
If your business is growing, so are your risks. But that doesn’t mean the risks have to keep you up at night. With the right insurance, you can do a lot to make sure your business — and employees — are covered.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.