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Have you been thinking about getting small business insurance in South Carolina, but you’re not sure how to go about it?
You’ve come to the right place.
At Simply Business, we’ve put together a helpful guide that covers the different types of small business insurance you may need in South Carolina, as well as the steps to get a policy.
So if you’re feeling a little overwhelmed by the idea of getting insurance, don’t be. We can help make it easy so you can get coverage in no time.
Most insured small business owners typically have general liability insurance in SC, as it is designed to protect you and your business from some of the most common (and costly) incidents.
Specifically, your general liability insurance policy will cover third-party:
These can be extremely expensive incidents. For example, if a customer slips and falls, it can cost about $20,000 in medical bills and other damages. A reputational harm claim can cost even more — about $50,000!
Without South Carolina business insurance, could you pay for these damages out of pocket? For most small business owners, the answer is probably no. Instead, an incident could possibly close their business down.
But if you secure general liability coverage, your policy may be able to protect you and everything you’ve worked so hard to build. In most cases, all you’d have to do is pay up to your deductible amount, then your insurance would kick in to pay the rest (up to your policy limit).
Next, let’s take a look at a few examples of how general liability insurance in SC can work:
You’re meeting with a client who brought in their new laptop. Suddenly, you spill your hot coffee on the keyboard. If you’re on the hook to replace your client’s computer, your general liability insurance may help.
You’re a general contractor working on a customer’s home. The homeowner steps outside and trips over your equipment in the driveway, resulting in a major head injury. Fortunately, your general liability insurance could help cover the medical bills, including the ER visit and more.
A client is suing you for reputational harm — all stemming from an innocent social media post. Even though you did nothing wrong, you still need to hire a lawyer to defend your case. Your general liability insurance can step in to cover any costs of the lawsuit.
In South Carolina, general liability insurance isn’t required by law. But this isn’t a reason to skip out on coverage. In fact, we highly recommend purchasing liability insurance, especially if you work in a higher-risk industry, such as construction. It may even be required for your industry in order to get a general contractor’s license or another business license.
Here’s the truth: If there’s any risk that a customer or vendor could get injured at your workplace, then you probably need general liability insurance. It’s also a good idea if property damage or other incidents could dramatically impact your business.
You don’t want to be left without protection when you could be exposed to an accident or other major incident.
If you’re a consultant or you offer services to clients, you should probably consider professional liability insurance in South Carolina too. We’re talking about you — marketing consultants, photographers, financial advisors, accountants, and others. This type of coverage can help protect your business if you’re accused of negligence in performing your work.
Mistakes? Never, you say?
The truth is, we’re all human. It’s too easy to miss a number, misplace a client’s photos, or offer bad advice, even with the best of intentions. Say you’ve been in your industry for decades, you could still make an error that would cost your business a great deal of money.
Plus, you can be sued by a client even if you’ve done nothing wrong. In fact, a staggering 100 million-plus lawsuits are filed in U.S. state courts every year!
Bottom line: Don’t get caught in a lawsuit without professional liability insurance. It could be devastating for your business.
Some professionals may have a higher risk of getting sued than others. For example, we highly recommend business insurance for:
The state of South Carolina doesn’t require business owners to carry professional liability insurance in order to work with clients. Just as with general liability insurance, though, we highly recommend purchasing a policy.
Otherwise, you could face an unexpected lawsuit, and the average case costs a whopping $54,000.
Do you have four or more employees? Then you may need to consider South Carolina workers compensation insurance too. This type of coverage can help protect you and your employees if a worker gets sick or injured on the job. Workers comp can help pay for lost wages, medical bills, and even new job training.
Want more information on this topic? Here’s a link to the South Carolina Code of Laws on Workers Compensation, but heads up, there’s a lot of information to read. If you’d rather get a high-level overview, stick with us. We’ll cover it all a bit later in this article.
In South Carolina, the state generally requires you to purchase workers compensation insurance if you are:
A business owner with four or more employees. When you add a fourth employee, be prepared to get workers compensation coverage. Employees can include full- and part-time workers and even family members. Otherwise, you may risk having to pay a fine.
A general contractor who employs subcontractors. If you’re a general contractor, you likely need to provide coverage for the employees you hire as subcontractors. It’s a matter of safety, folks.
There are a few exceptions to this rule, which we’ll cover in depth a little later. But generally speaking, most employers in South Carolina need to purchase workers compensation. It’s the law — and for a good reason. A costly injury could cause major financial damage to your business.
Having South Carolina business insurance is extremely important. If you’re ready to shop for a policy today, head over to Simply Business’s quote comparison tool. You can also call one of our licensed insurance agents at 855-560-1443. They can help answer any of your questions about customizing insurance coverage.
Every business is different, which is why it’s so important to learn about the different types of insurance policies out there. These policies include:
Commercial automobile insurance: If you drive a vehicle for work, whether it’s a company van, truck, or car, you most likely need to purchase commercial automobile insurance, as your personal auto policy likely won’t cover you in an accident. In South Carolina, the minimum auto coverage that’s legally required is:
Business interruption insurance: What if your business had to shut down for a period of time? Chances are, you’d still have to pay utilities, rent, and maybe even salaries. Business interruption insurance can help bridge the financial gap until you’re up and running again.
Data breach insurance: Unfortunately, data breaches are all too common. If you have to hire a company to help clean up a data breach or pay for damages, insurance can help cover those costs.
Equipment coverage: If you’re a landscaper, general contractor, or own a business with expensive machinery, you may want to add coverage for your tools and equipment. This is especially important if your equipment is vital to keeping your business running.
If you’re a business owner with four or more employees, you may need to get workers compensation coverage. As we mentioned earlier, this type of insurance can help protect your business if a worker gets injured on the job. It can help pay for medical bills, ongoing care, lost wages, and even job rehabilitation, if needed.
There are a few instances when workers compensation isn’t necessarily required in South Carolina. For example, you may not necessarily need to get a policy if you fall into one of these categories:
When in doubt, it’s best to check with the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission regarding whether you need to purchase insurance or not. You can contact them at:
Workers' Compensation Commission PO Box 1715 1333 Main Street, Suite 500 Columbia, SC 29202-1715 803-737-5700
We know the law can be a little confusing, which is why a phone call can be especially helpful. It’s worth taking the time to ensure you’re fully compliant.
If you have more questions or want to learn more about workers compensation in South Carolina, check out the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Educational Association. This organization offers educational resources and programs to help you get up-to-speed on the topic.
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer to this question. Actually, the cost of business insurance can vary greatly. It really depends on your line of work, how many employees you have, and how much risk you may be exposed to.
With our online quote tool, it’s easy to find out how much South Carolina business insurance may cost you. Check it out to get prices from leading insurers throughout South Carolina. Best of all, it takes just 10 minutes or less. And if you have questions along the way, reach out to our licensed insurance agents. They’re there to help.
Hooray! By now, you’ve learned quite a bit about South Carolina business insurance.
At Simply Business, we’re here to make buying insurance hassle-free and fast. After all, you have a business to run. That should be your priority. To help you get a policy in no time, we have a few tips:
Spend a few minutes considering the biggest risks that your business may face. Are you located in a crime-ridden area? Do you work with expensive tools and machinery? Do you have employees? Write down your ideas and situations, as they can help you decide what coverage is best.
Call or visit other business owners in your area. Yep, including your competitors. Ask them what they like about their policies or what they wish they had done differently.
Research regulations specific to your industry. For example, if you’re a general contractor, you may need a certain level of coverage. Our insurance agents also can help answer those questions.
Check out Simply Business’s online quote tool. It’ll give you a good idea of what coverage is available and the premium amount.
Consider your budget for business insurance, and whether you’d rather pay annual or monthly premiums.
Want to learn more helpful tips for buying business insurance? Check out our ultimate guide to finding a small business policy.
Hopefully, by now, you may feel confident about buying South Carolina business insurance. Almost all business owners can benefit from coverage. You don’t want to face a costly incident and wind up paying thousands of dollars in damages.
If you’re ready to check business insurance off your to-do list, we can help out. Head over to our quote tool to get started or call 855-560-1443. Our licensed insurance agents are friendly, knowledgeable, and can help you find a policy in no time.
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.