Tennessee Business Insurance

Did you know that 99% of Tennessee’s businesses are small businesses? That means, if you’re a small business owner in the Volunteer State, you help make up a major part of the state’s economy.

It also means you need to do everything possible to keep your business going long-term.

That’s why, at Simply Business, we’re here to help you be as successful as possible, so we put together a free guide to help you get Tennessee business insurance fast.

After all, there’s a ton of information out there, and it can get fairly overwhelming. You need someone who can walk you through the details as quickly as possible. And because Simply Business offers an online business insurance marketplace, we’re positioned to help you understand business insurance in Tennessee.

Ready to check business insurance off your to-do list?

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Tennessee Business Insurance: The Basics

General liability insurance in Tennessee

First up, let’s talk about general liability insurance in Tennessee.

General liability insurance can help protect you financially if there’s an accident or injury at your workplace. Specifically, it can cover incidents related to:

  • Third-party accidents
  • Property damage caused by you or your work
  • Bodily injuries to others
  • Reputational harm claims
  • And more

These incidents can be really costly — so costly that they’re enough to put a lot of businesses under water financially.

For example, the average reputational harm claim can cost a whopping $50,000! This claim happens when someone — say a customer or vendor — accuses you of harming their reputation. It can happen easily, even if you make an innocent comment online.

Plus, we live in a litigious society. Someone could accuse you of reputational harm, even if you’ve done nothing wrong. If this happens, you’d need to hire a lawyer to defend your case. Cha-ching!

The good news? If you have general liability insurance in Tennessee, your business is likely financially protected if you face this type of claim, as well as other covered claims.

You’d just have to pay up to your deductible, and then your policy can kick in to cover the rest of the costs, up to a certain amount (i.e. your policy limits).

Here are a few examples of how general liability insurance can protect you:

  • You’re meeting with a client, and you’re both working on laptops. All of a sudden, you knock your coffee over, and it seeps through your client’s keyboard, ruining the computer.

Fortunately, general liability insurance can help cover the cost of a replacement computer.

  • You own a construction company, and your team is renovating a home. The homeowner steps outside and trips over your company’s equipment.

If your customer is injured, your Tennessee general liability insurance can help cover the cost of medical bills and ongoing treatment.

  • You receive a letter in the mail saying a client is suing you for reputational harm. You’re shocked, because you didn’t think you did anything wrong. Tennessee general liability insurance can help cover the cost of hiring a lawyer and other legal fees along the way (up to your policy limit).

Quick tip. The state of Tennessee doesn’t require all business owners to carry general liability insurance. But some professionals, like contractors, need proof of insurance to get their industry licenses.

You also may need to provide proof of insurance to obtain a commercial lease for a brick-and-mortar store.

Overall, if you think someone could get injured at your workplace, or if property damage could happen, it’s a good idea to get general liability insurance. You don’t want to be without coverage when you need it the most.

Professional liability insurance in Tennessee

Next, here’s a policy to protect Tennessee’s consultants and industry advisors — professional liability insurance.

This type of insurance can help protect your business if you’re accused of negligence while performing your work. This type of policy may be especially important for business owners who offer professional services or financial advice to clients.

Remember, mistakes can happen to anyone, no matter how good you are at your job. It’s easy to miss a number on a tax return, misplace paperwork, or give advice that doesn’t pan out.

And if you do make a mistake, you need financial protection in the face of a lawsuit.

Unfortunately, lawsuits are common and expensive today. More than 100 million lawsuit cases are filed in the U.S. every year, with the average case costing $54,000.

You don’t want to make an innocent mistake, or be accused of one, and pay for damages out of pocket.

Some professionals are more at risk for these types of lawsuits than others. We recommend getting professional liability insurance if you’re a:

  • Bookkeeper
  • Business advisor
  • Marketing consultant
  • Photographer
  • Real estate agent
  • Tax preparation specialist
  • Or work in another, similar profession

In Tennessee, professional liability insurance isn’t required by law.

But we highly recommend buying this policy, especially if you’re one of the professionals listed above. It can help protect you against jaw-dropping claims and even offer your business financial protection if you face a lawsuit.

Tennessee workers compensation insurance

Have employees? Even just one? Depending on your industry, you may need to get Tennessee workers compensation insurance.

Here’s a quick overview of who must have a policy to protect their workers:

  • Businesses with five or more employees. As soon as you add your fifth employee to the team, you must have workers compensation insurance. It’s the law.

  • Construction or trade professionals. If you work in the construction industry or in one of the trades and have at least one employee, you need to have workers compensation insurance.

  • Coal mining industry professionals. If your business involves coal mining and you have at least one employee, you’re required to have workers compensation insurance.

Keep in mind that part-time employees, family members, and corporate officers can all be considered employees if they meet the State’s current definition of employee. Make sure you’re including everyone when evaluating insurance and the law.

Of course, there are a few exceptions. We’ll go more in-depth regarding Tennessee workers compensation insurance a little later. For now, just know that most businesses with employees need to get coverage. And it’s especially important if you work in an industry where injuries are common.

Commercial auto

If you drive a small business vehicle, you’re not alone. It’s fairly common for business owners to use a vehicle to carry equipment, materials, or to visit job sites and make deliveries.

If you have a business vehicle, whether it’s a car, truck, or van, you may need to get commercial auto insurance. This type of coverage can help protect you if you’re involved in an auto accident or if your vehicle gets damaged by another event — possibly hail, a storm, or vandalism.

Even if you don’t drive a company car, you may need to purchase commercial auto insurance. Let’s say you drive your family’s truck to and from work sites every day. If you are involved in an accident while working, your personal auto coverage might not provide coverage.

Talk to your insurer about commercial auto insurance before you assume your personal policy will protect you.

According to the Tennessee Department of Revenue, if you drive without insurance (even commercial auto insurance), you may risk:

  • Paying a hefty penalty
  • Losing your license and your right to drive

It’s probably not worth the risk, especially when it’s easy to get commercial auto insurance in Tennessee. According to the Tennessee Department of Revenue, business owners with vehicles should carry minimum vehicle coverage:

  • $25,000 for each injury or death per accident
  • $50,000 for the total cost of injuries or deaths per accident
  • $15,000 for property damage per accident

Without minimum coverage, you may have to pay for an accident out of your own pocket. Just imagine — the average vehicle accident claim is $45,000! That’s not a bill you want to get stuck paying.

If you’re unsure if you need commercial auto insurance, talk to a licensed insurance agent. They can help you understand what coverage you need and help you combine policies (called bundling) to get a better deal.

Other types of Tennessee business insurance

Did you know you can add coverage to a general liability or professional liability policy? That’s right. A licensed insurance agent can help you customize a policy, so you’re fully covered for a variety of situations.

Here are a few coverage options you may want to consider adding:

  • Business interruption insurance: What would happen if your business had to close due to a fire or other incident? You’d probably still need to pay utility bills and other expenses, despite a loss of income. Fortunately, business interruption insurance can help pay your employees’ salaries, utilities, and other expenses while you get your business up and running again.
  • Property insurance: The truth is, disasters can happen to any business. Just imagine if a storm or fire damaged your property. If you have property damage insurance, you can get financial support to cover repairing the building and the valuable materials and equipment inside.
  • Home-based business insurance: Do you work out of a home office? If so, don’t assume your homeowners policy will cover an accident or injury. You may need to get home-based business insurance. Talk to a licensed insurance agent, like the ones at Simply Business, to find out what coverage you need.

Want to get a Tennessee business insurance policy today? We can help. Head over to Simply Business’s quote comparison tool or call one of our agents at 855-514-1802. In just 10 minutes, you can get free quotes on business insurance policies from the nation’s leading insurers.

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Tennessee Workers Compensation: What You Need to Know

If you have employees, here’s a policy you probably need to get — workers compensation insurance. In Tennessee, it’s the law for employers with five or more workers to carry this type of policy. Workers compensation helps protect employees who have gotten injured or sick while on the job.

As we mentioned, you must carry workers compensation if you:

  • Have five or more employees. This can include family members, corporate officers, and part-time employees.
  • Work in construction and have one employee. Because it’s a high-risk industry, all contractors with at least one employee need workers compensation insurance.
  • Work in coal mining and have one employee. Just like construction, coal mining is a high-risk job. Tennessee law requires coal mining employers to protect their workers with insurance.

You also can purchase workers compensation insurance if you have fewer than five employees. You may want to do this to protect your team and you want to avoid costly claims.

All you have to do is fill out a Notice of Acceptance of the Tennessee Workers Compensation Act By an Exempted Employer Form.

If you want to drop your insurance later, you can do so by filling out this form with the state.

If you’re a sole proprietor and you want to protect yourself with insurance (hey, it’s not a bad idea!), you can fill out this form to do so.

If you don’t want to purchase workers compensation insurance, you don’t have to, as long as you don’t meet the state’s requirements for coverage. Plus, if you’re a corporate officer of a company, you also can exclude yourself from being covered by filling out paperwork.

If you have questions about the state’s workers compensation insurance laws, including which workers are considered an ‘employee’ under the law, contact the Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development at 615-532-4812 or 800-332-2667, or by email at [email protected].

How Much Does Tennessee Business Insurance Cost?

Unfortunately, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer to this question. Tennessee business insurance costs can vary based on the size of your company, the number of employees you have, and your industry.

Businesses that carry more risk will have higher premiums than businesses that are low-risk for accidents, injuries, and lawsuits.

If you’re ready to find out how much Tennessee business insurance could cost you, check out our helpful quote comparison tool. It can help you compare costs and coverage on policies from leading insurers nationwide. At Simply Business, we’re here to make shopping for business insurance easier — and more affordable — than ever. Take a look and find the coverage that’s right for you.

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How Do I Get Tennessee Business Insurance?

If you’ve made it this far, great job! We know this is a lot to take in. Just remember, when you come to Simply Business to buy insurance, we’ll make it as easy as possible. We also have a few tips to help you find coverage fast:

  • Get pen and paper, and jot down the biggest risks your business may face. Try to think of every scenario possible. As you shop for coverage, you’ll want to have these notes on-hand.
  • Talk to other business owners in your area to find out what type of coverage they’ve purchased. Maybe they can even recommend an insurer.
  • Take time to do your own research too. We covered a lot here, but chances are that your industry has specific guidelines. Find out what they are.
  • Compare a few different insurers and policies using Simply Business’s quote tool. It’ll give you a good idea of what’s available.
  • If you need more help, call a licensed insurance agent. We have a team ready to answer any of your questions.
  • Review your budget and decide ahead of time if you prefer annual or monthly premiums.
  • After you get business insurance, request a copy of your Certificate of Insurance (COI). You’ll need this document to show proof of insurance.

Want more helpful tips? Head over to Simply Business’s easy guide for getting business insurance.

Tennessee Business Insurance? That’s a Wrap.

If you’ve purchased your Tennessee business insurance, give yourself a pat on the back. You’ve just taken major steps to protect your business financially. It’s an important investment — and one you won’t regret.

If you’re still not ready to buy a policy, or if you have more questions, reach out to our friendly insurance agents. They’re here for you and can help explain insurance jargon and recommend low-cost policies to protect your business. Call 855-514-1802 to speak with a licensed insurance agent today.

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.