Running a business in Maryland seems like a never-ending series of expenses. Your overhead includes the obvious — payroll, inventory, assets, marketing, and of course taxes — alongside less-obvious expenses like licensure, and intangibles like time and sweat equity. It doesn’t take a detailed P&L to understand how much you’ve invested, and how quickly it can turn to dust if it’s not insured. Thankfully, Smallwood Insurance Agencies is here to help with your Maryland business insurance needs.
Business Insurance in Maryland
The Maryland Insurance Administration has compiled a handy and concise business insurance guide in PDF form for business owners operating in the state. Among the salient points:
You are required to carry a Commercial General Liability policy and workman’s compensation at a bare minimum. Your profession or type of business will typically make other types of business insurance coverage either mandatory or advisable as well. The Administration also suggests — and we concur — that you should speak to a Maryland insurance agent when making your choices.
Types of Business Insurance
There are several types of insurance available to businesses, and it’s a good idea to speak to an experienced insurance agent. With that being said, the list below is not comprehensive; other products exist besides the ones listed, and we will provide you with more information on each as we tailor your policy.
Commercial General Liability
While a Commercial General Liability (CGL) policy is required under state law, it comes with a caveat: it will not cover all forms of liability faced by your business. Employment practices liability, professional liability, E&O, data breach, and umbrella policies are among the products designed to fill the gaps left by your CGL insurance.
Worker’s compensation insurance provides medical benefits and wage replacement to employees injured on the job. Generally speaking, most workers comp policies preclude the employee suing their employee for those injuries and their related expenses.
Commercial Auto Insurance
If your business owns and operates vehicles — whether it’s one vehicle or a fleet of them — you need commercial auto insurance. The type and degree of coverage will vary depending on how the vehicle will be used, who’s driving, how far, and how often.
Property insurance is designed to reimburse the business for the loss of real property or business personal property (the latter typically includes assets like tools, office equipment, and inventory) in the event of theft, vandalism, or damage due to fire, water, or natural disaster.
Professional / Errors and Omissions (E&O) Insurance
A wide range of professional insurance exists, covering a more diverse set of professions than most business owners realize. Malpractice insurance is probably the best-known type of professional insurance, but other types — often falling under the aegis of Errors and Omissions insurance — protect professions ranging from accountants to account managers from damages caused by simple human error.
This is not one type of insurance, but several. Employee benefits like group life and disability insurance, employee health insurance, and even key person life insurance (for owners, board members, or your C Suite) cover a wide range of needs.
Even if you’re fully covered under the policies listed above, there’s one more consideration: the events that necessitate insurance can often mean lost business, whether it’s a warehouse fire, the loss of a key employee, or a natural disaster. Business interruption insurance helps businesses that operate from a physical location make up for the income lost during a catastrophic event or a lawsuit.
One further thought: If you’re running a home-based business, don’t assume that your personal auto insurance, homeowners insurance, and health insurance constitute adequate business coverage. If you work from home, we will help you with the right policies for your needs.
Benefits of Business Insurance
For all the different types of insurance that exist, and the varying kinds and degrees of coverage they offer, their benefits can easily be summed up in three main areas.
- Employee Protection: Your people are your most valuable asset. That’s why health insurance, workers’ comp, and disability insurance are so important; your investment in your employees should be protected just like your other investments.
- Property Protection: Fire, theft, shrink, and flooding are just a few of the ways in which your real estate property, assets, inventory, and data can be compromised. Having coverage for those losses is a valuable form of protection.
- Continuity: Ask yourself an honest question: if a catastrophe struck tomorrow, would your business weather the storm, or are you one event away from closure? Insurance aids in resilience, ensuring that you continue operations with minimal interruptions.
- Personal Liability: Business insurance, along with your corporate structure, helps to erect a wall between business and personal liability. If someone sues for damages or injury, lacking business insurance could leave your personal assets exposed.
- Tax Deductions: You may be looking at insurance as just one more business expense, but it’s also worth remembering that in many cases, that expense can be written off at the end of the fiscal year.
Business Insurance from Smallwood Insurance Agencies
Insurance protects your business, your assets, and even your employees’ well-being. Given the complexity and number of products involved in insuring the average small business, building the right policy is something that ought not to be left to chance. With that in mind, get in touch with the expert insurance agents at Smallwood Insurance Agencies. We will provide you with insurance quotes based on coverage that’s as unique as your business.