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Hey, Bay State business owners, do you have Massachusetts business insurance yet? If not, it may be time to get a policy.
Here’s why: Business insurance is designed to protect you, your business, and even your employees if there’s an accident, injury, or other costly incident.
And, unfortunately, these types of accidents and injuries can happen to anyone at any time. That’s where business insurance comes in - to help financially protect you in case these accidents or injuries do happen.
At Simply Business, we’ve put together a guide for getting business insurance in Massachusetts. And, because we’re an online business insurance platform, you can trust us to give you a helpful overview.
Ready to have peace of mind about your business? Then let’s get started!
Commercial general liability is a type of insurance that most small business owners need, especially if they have a brick-and-mortar location or work in an industry that’s high risk for accidents and injuries (i.e. construction).
But how much do you know about general liability insurance in Massachusetts? Whether it’s a brand new term, or you’ve purchased a policy in the past, we have the basics right here.
General liability insurance is designed to protect your business from potentially financially devastating incidents, such as:
There’s a good reason most business owners purchase general liability (GL) insurance first. That’s because, for most businesses, GL insurance protects against the most common and costly incidents.
Just imagine if a customer or vendor got injured at your business and needed medical treatment. The average cost of a customer injury is a whopping $30,000! Are you able to cover that amount out of your own pocket?
Most business owners can’t, which is why general liability insurance is so important. It can help pay for a customer’s medical bills and legal fees if there’s a lawsuit.
Here’s how it works. First, you pay up to your deductible amount. Then, your policy helps cover the rest (up to a certain amount, called a policy limit).
Are you wondering how an accident might happen? Here are a few examples:
Your client brings in a brand new (and pretty expensive) laptop. As your employee hurries by, he accidentally knocks it over. Now you’re on the hook to pay a couple of thousand dollars for a new computer. Fortunately, if you have general liability insurance, your policy can help cover the damage.
You’re a general contractor and working on a home addition. Suddenly, a customer trips over your company’s equipment in the driveway. If the customer is injured and needs to go to the hospital, your general liability insurance can help cover the bills—and some of the legal fees resulting from a lawsuit.
You’ve done nothing wrong, but one of your vendors accuses you of slander. If you face a lawsuit and need to hire a lawyer to defend yourself, general liability insurance can also cover financial losses from claims of reputational harm (i.e. slander cases).
Massachusetts doesn’t require general liability insurance by law. However, it’s a good idea to purchase a policy.
Plus, some business owners, like general contractors, may need to present a Certificate of Insurance (COI) when bidding on new projects. A COI is a document that says you’ve purchased Massachusetts business insurance. If you have a COI, it can give you a competitive edge over business owners without policies.
After all, it shows you’re serious about protecting your customers and your work.
If you have questions about general liability insurance, call Simply Business at (855) 514-1669 and talk to one of our licensed insurance agents. They’re here to help.
Do you offer advice to clients (that’s you—marketing consultants, financial advisors, accountants, and lawyers)? Then you probably need to consider professional liability insurance too.
If someone accuses you of negligence in your work, Massachusetts professional liability (PL) insurance can help cover the costs of a lawsuit (up to your policy limit). After all, even if you’re 100% confident you didn’t do anything wrong, you might still need to pay for a lawyer to defend yourself.
And, regardless, we’re all human. Anyone can make a mistake.
For example, imagine you’re a financial advisor who is managing a large portfolio for a client. Along the way, you recommend an investment approach that costs your client a lot of money. In anger, your client sues you for the loss.
If you have Massachusetts professional liability insurance, your policy can help cover some or all of the costs of an errors and omissions (E&O) lawsuit.
If you’re one of these types of professionals, it’s generally recommended you get a professional liability insurance policy before you start working with clients:
Keep in mind, Massachusetts doesn’t legally require you to have professional liability insurance. But it’s highly recommended.
Even if you’re at the top of your field, you can still make a mistake. Plus, a customer can accuse you of negligence, even if you’re not at fault. It’s incredibly common, and unfortunately, a survey from the SBA showed 36% to 53% of small businesses face lawsuits each year.
Protect yourself from the financial consequences by getting a Massachusetts professional liability insurance policy ahead of time.
Do you have employees? Even just one person who works for you? Then you probably need to get Massachusetts workers compensation insurance.
Massachusetts generally requires that businesses with employees carry workers compensation insurance. This type of insurance can help pay for medical bills, lost wages, and even job training if an employee gets injured or sick while working.
For the most part, if you’re a business owner in Massachusetts, you probably need to get workers compensation insurance. But here are the exceptions:
You don’t need workers compensation insurance if:
There’s a lot more to workers compensation. We plan to cover it later in this article, too. But for now, if you have questions, contact:
Massachusetts Department of Industry Accidents Lafayette City Center 2 Avenue de Lafayette Boston, MA 02111-1750 Phone: 617-727-4900 (8 a.m. to 5 p.m., M-F)
Many business owners use a vehicle for work, whether they’re hauling supplies to and from job sites or transporting goods to stores. Sound like you? If you drive a car, van, truck, or tractor for business, then you may need to purchase commercial auto insurance. Massachusetts requires all vehicles on the road to be insured, including business vehicles.
Plus, if you drive a personal vehicle for work, then you may need to get commercial auto insurance in addition to your personal coverage. For example, a contractor who drives a family car to job sites may need personal and commercial auto policies.
Fortunately, it’s easy to add commercial auto insurance to a general liability insurance policy. Your insurance agent should be able to put together a package for you.
According to Mass.gov, here’s the minimum required coverage in Massachusetts:
Talk with a Simply Business insurance agent about how much auto coverage is best for your business. Call 855-514-1669.
Now you have general liability insurance, professional liability insurance, or both, you can explore additional coverage. Usually you can customize a package, so it truly meets the needs of your business. Here are some coverage options to explore:
Fire and extended coverage: You never know when a fire might happen. If your business is susceptible to a fire, ask an agent about purchasing fire and extended coverage. This insurance might be particularly useful if you own a restaurant, for example.
Business interruption: Unfortunately, any business can close for a period of time. Let’s say your business gets damaged from a fire, and you need to rebuild. Business interruption insurance can offer financial protection to pay for taxes, utilities, and even employees’ salaries while you’re getting back on your feet.
Excess and umbrella: A general liability insurance policy offers strong base coverage, but it’s possible you may need more. If you ever face a major lawsuit, for example, excess and umbrella coverage can help pay for gaps in your insurance and extend the limit on what’s covered.
Flood and earthquake: Even if you don’t live in a flood zone or on a fault line, you should ask about flood and earthquake coverage. The truth is, a flood can happen anywhere. Same for an earthquake. Flood and earthquake insurance can provide financial protection if you face one of these natural disasters.
Inland marine: Bay State business owners, this one isn’t for boaters. Inland marine insurance actually covers property that’s damaged in transit. Just imagine if your business’s property was damaged on the way to your location. Without inland marine insurance, you could lose thousands of dollars.
Cyber liability/data breach: Today, cyber-attacks are more common than ever before. If your business collects personally identifiable information (email addresses or financial details) or personal health information (medical records), then cyber liability insurance is a must. It can help protect your business financially if there’s a cyber-attack, and you’re dealing with the consequences.
Do you want to learn more about Massachusetts business insurance?
Head to our free online quote tool. In just 10 minutes or less you can compare quotes from leading insurers nationwide. If you have questions, call one of Simply Business’s licensed insurance agents at 855-514-1669.
In Massachusetts, generally business owners with at least one employee need to carry workers compensation insurance. As we mentioned above, there are a few exceptions to this rule, but for the most part, if you have employees, you need a policy.
Workers compensation is designed to protect your business—and your workers too. If an employee gets injured or sick on the job, your policy can help cover their medical bills and a portion of lost wages. Otherwise, you’d be on the hook to pay for these costs, and they can really add up.
To review, Massachusetts workers compensation insurance is required to partially or fully cover:
Medical bills: If your employee gets injured and needs treatment, workers compensation can cover the cost of hospital visits, prescriptions, and surgeries.
Lost wages: Often an injured or sick employee can’t work. Normally, workers compensation insurance steps in to help cover a portion of their wages.
Job rehabilitation: Some workers will never be able to return to their previous duties. If this happens, workers compensation can cover the cost of job training so they can learn new vocational skills.
Death benefits: Lastly, if one of your workers passes away due to workplace activities, workers compensation can help cover death benefits, like burial expenses and more.
To learn more about Massachusetts workers compensation insurance, check out the Massachusetts Division of Insurance website.
Truthfully, the cost of business insurance in Massachusetts can vary. It really depends on the size of your business, your type of work, and if you have employees. Your premium can also increase if you choose to add insurance to your package, like a commercial auto policy and umbrella coverage.
Here’s the bottom line: You don’t want to overpay for insurance, but you also want enough coverage so that your business is truly protected. A good insurance agent can build an insurance package that meets your budget—and offers real financial protection.
Simply Business can help you compare affordable quotes from the nation’s top business insurers. For example, some of our general liability insurance policies cost as low as $19.58/month*. Talk to one of our licensed insurance agents to get an idea about what insurance may cost you. Or use our online quote tool to find out in 10 minutes or less.
Congratulations, you’ve done your homework! Now you’re finally ready to buy Massachusetts business insurance.
Here’s the good news—it’s incredibly easy to buy a business insurance policy in Massachusetts. Online insurance platforms, like the one Simply Business offers, let you quickly compare and purchase policies.
If you’re ready to get your policy today, here are a few tips that can make shopping for insurance easier than ever:
Brainstorm the biggest risks that your business may face. Whether it’s a fire, flood, accident, or lawsuit, write down your ideas.
Reach out to local competitors to ask what type of insurance policies they recommend. Plus, it’s a great opportunity to stay connected to local business owners.
Do your own research by contacting the Massachusetts Division of Insurance. We gave you a brief overview here, but you may want to dig deeper to find out the insurance requirements for your industry.
Explore a few business insurance policies on an online marketplace. Compare quotes and coverage levels to see what’s available.
Call a licensed insurance agent at any point in the process. Professionals are available and can help you bounce ideas and answer your questions.
Review your business’s budget and decide if you prefer a monthly or annual premium. There are pros and cons to both.
Ask to obtain a Certificate of Insurance (COI) once you purchase your policy. This document proves that you have insurance and is essential if you face a claim.
Looking for even more tips? We have them! Check out our quick guide on buying business insurance.
Okay, excuse the New England vernacular. We couldn’t help ourselves.
In all seriousness, if you followed these steps, getting business insurance in Massachusetts is actually really easy. It’s not supposed to be hard or confusing. And Simply Business is on a mission to make it easier than ever.
*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 - March 2023 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.