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Did you know that nearly half of Missouri’s employees work for small businesses? That’s right, small businesses are the backbone of Missouri’s economy.
If you’re launching a business in the “Show-Me State,” good for you! At Simply Business, we’re here to support you along the way. So we wrote an easy guide to help you learn all about Missouri business insurance. After all, a good insurance policy can help protect everything you’ve built — and your employees, too.
As you read through this article, keep in mind that we’re more than a helpful business blog. We also offer an online business insurance marketplace.
We have a team on-hand to answer your toughest questions about insurance. Whether you’re wondering about Missouri workers compensation requirements or how general liability policies work, we have your answers right here.
Chances are, you’ve heard of Missouri general liability insurance. After all, it’s one of the first policies business owners purchase. But just in case, let’s start from the beginning and talk about what this coverage does.
General liability insurance is a business insurance policy that can help protect you financially from:
There’s a reason most business owners in Missouri purchase general liability insurance first. It can help protect against many common — but costly — incidents.
For example, did you know that a reputational harm claim can cost $50,000? This claim happens when someone accuses you of harming their reputation, either by something you said, wrote, or did.
Fortunately, general liability insurance can protect your business financially against these all-too-common claims. Here’s how it works: You pay up to your deductible, then your insurance kicks in and pays the rest of the claim up to a certain amount.
Sounds a lot better than paying $50K out-of-pocket, right?
Let’s take a closer look at how general liability insurance might work for a small business owner:
You’re meeting with a client when you inadvertently knock over their new (and very expensive) laptop. The computer breaks, and you’re on the hook to pay for a new one. General liability insurance can help cover a replacement laptop.
You’re a general contractor working on a customer’s home. Suddenly, the homeowner trips over your equipment in the driveway and is rushed to the hospital.
Fortunately, your Missouri general liability insurance could help cover the cost of medical bills and follow-up care.
Here’s something to keep in mind: Some industry licenses, like the Missouri contractor’s license and commercial leases require proof of general liability insurance.
For the most part, though, general liability insurance isn’t required by law in Missouri. Don’t let that fool you, though. General liability insurance is highly recommended for most business owners. It can ensure that your business survives the worst circumstances.
Do you provide professional advice to clients? That’s you, accountants, marketing consultants, and financial advisors.
If so, you probably want to look into professional liability insurance too. A professional liability insurance policy can help protect you if you make an error in your work, resulting in a lawsuit.
As much as we don’t like to admit it, we’re all human; and anyone can make a mistake. But even if you do nothing wrong, in today’s world, accusations are common. That’s why it’s important to protect your business with insurance.
Imagine being an accountant who makes a small error on a client’s tax return. Suddenly, your mistake results in an expensive audit for the client and a lawsuit for you.
Or what if you’re a marketing consultant who provides advice with the best of intentions, but your client loses money? You could face a lawsuit too.
Professional liability insurance is especially important for these types of professionals:
You’re not legally required to get professional liability insurance in Missouri. But it’s a good idea to get insurance if you work in high-risk professions like the ones listed above.
Look, no one is perfect, even if you have decades of experience in your profession. Mistakes can happen, so it’s important to have financial protection in place.
Here’s a business insurance policy most employers in Missouri need to have — workers compensation insurance. Businesses with five or more employees, and contractors with at least one employee (either part-time or full-time) are required to have coverage. It’s the law.
Just like with any rules, there are a few exceptions, though. We’ll cover Missouri workers compensation policies in more detail later in this article. But for now, just know it’s a good idea to get this coverage if you have employees. Workers compensation can help protect your business financially if one of your workers gets injured or sick on the job.
Do you drive a car, truck, or van for your business? Maybe you make deliveries, carry equipment, or drive to and from job sites. Sound like you? Then you may need to get Missouri commercial auto insurance.
This type of policy is different from personal auto coverage. It can help cover accidents, injuries, or property damage that happens while you’re using a business vehicle.
And even if you use your personal vehicle for work, you may need commercial coverage too. That’s because most personal auto policies don’t cover incidents that happen on the job. This means if you drive your family car to a worksite and have an accident, your personal coverage may not pay for the damage.
According to the Missouri Department of Commerce and Insurance, you’re required to have minimum auto coverage of:
Bodily injury coverage helps pay medical bills for injuries caused by an accident. Meanwhile, property damage liability helps pay for the damage to your or another person’s vehicle. Finally, the uninsured motorist option covers damage and injuries if you’re involved in an accident with an uninsured driver.
If you have a car, truck, van, or another vehicle that you use for work, talk to a licensed insurance agent about adding commercial auto coverage to your general liability insurance policy. Sometimes, you can even combine coverage and get a better deal.
As you can see, you can customize insurance to meet the needs of your business. Here are a few types of policies you may want to consider adding to a general liability policy:
Business interruption insurance: If your business closes down, how will you pay utility bills and other expenses? This is where business interruption insurance can help. It can cover your income plus extra expenses if your business is closed and you need to rebuild. It also can help landlords recover their rental income if their property has been damaged.
Property insurance: If a storm, fire, or other disaster destroys your property, you need financial support. Property damage insurance can cover the cost of repairing the building, as well as replacing equipment, machinery, furniture, and other valuables.
Home-based business insurance: Today many business owners, including freelancers, work from their homes. But just because you have a home office, don’t expect your homeowners insurance policy to cover damage to this space.
It’s best to talk to a licensed insurance agent about your coverage and possibly get home-based business insurance too.
Ready to find Missouri business insurance today?
Check out Simply Business’s quote comparison tool. It takes just 10 minutes or less to get free business insurance quotes from leading insurers across the nation. Our quote tool can give you a good idea about the cost of business insurance — and what coverage can work for you.
Prefer talking on the phone? No problem. Just call 855-559-0334 and one of our licensed insurance agents will be happy to help you compare policies.
Rule of thumb: If you have employees, you likely need to get Missouri workers compensation insurance. It can help protect your business if an employee gets hurt or sick while working for you.
Businesses with at least five employees and contractors with at least one employee must have coverage — it’s the law.
There are a few exceptions to this rule. For example, farm laborers, domestic workers, real estate agents, direct sellers, and commercial motor-carrier owner-operators may not be required to carry workers compensation insurance.
If you’re a sole proprietor or in a partnership, you don’t necessarily have to have workers compensation insurance, either — it’s up to you. But remember, if you get sick or injured while working, you’ll have to pay for your medical expenses and make up for lost wages on your own.
If you have fewer than five employees, you also can opt out of workers compensation insurance. But before doing so, take time to evaluate if you’re ready to take that risk.
If one of your workers gets sick or injured on the job, you’re leaving yourself open and liable for a lawsuit. This could be financially devastating for your business.
The state of Missouri has a ton of information online about workers compensation insurance. If you have questions, check out their website here. You also can call the Division of Workers’ Compensation at 573-751-4231 to get answers to your questions.
There really isn’t a straightforward answer to this question. The cost of business insurance depends on the type of work you do, where you work, and how many employees you have. It also depends on how much coverage you think you need.
But, to help you get a better idea, at Simply Business, some of our general liability insurance quotes are as low as $22.50/month.*
Remember, a licensed insurance agent can help you find coverage that protects your business and is within your budget. Plus, our quote comparison tool can help you compare coverage from several different insurance agents. It’s our goal to help you find coverage that gives you peace of mind and doesn’t feel like a financial burden.
We just gave you a lot of information! If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the idea of getting business insurance, hang in there. If you come to us, we won’t let it get complicated.
We also have a few tips to help you find Missouri general liability, professional liability, and workers compensation insurance:
Looking for more tips? Check out Simply Business’s easy guide on how to get business insurance.
If you’ve gotten this far, we want to take a moment to say, “Great job!”
We know business insurance can get complicated, and shopping for policies can take time. But at Simply Business, we’re here to make it easier. After all, you have enough on your plate; you shouldn’t have to sift through information or look up confusing jargon.
We’re also here to help you with other parts of your business. Whether you’re just starting out or growing your business, our Simply U blog has tips to support your success. Come back to us for more. We’re sharing new content all the time.
*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.