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What is Commercial Insurance?

Updated: Jul 4, 2023

Commercial insurance is a protection for companies, usually designed to cover the company, its employees, and its property. Since there are so many types of companies with different needs and situations, trade insurance can come in many shapes, sizes, and colors.

As a small business owner, you may be wondering: What types of commercial insurance do I need?

While this response may vary depending on the type of business, there are several types of commercial insurance policies that most small business owners should consider.

Commercial property insurance is insurance used to hedge property and equipment against disaster risk. Various types of properties and materials are considered for commercial property insurance. Several factors, such as location and occupancy, are considered when determining the cost of insuring commercial property. Commercial insurance helps businesses continue to be protected from risks that could affect their success. Some types of commercial insurance protect the reputation and welfare of the organization, while others protect financial matters.

Typical types of commercial insurance.

In contrast to personal insurance, business insurance may cover multiple stakeholders and employees. Commercial insurance is also different from personal insurance because it tends to have much higher coverage limits, as there are usually more material assets involved. Furthermore, commercial insurers and insurance agents receive special training on the risks and threats faced by companies. Plans are often structured to meet the specific needs of the industry and the daily operations of the business. Personal insurance plans, such as automobile insurance or renters’ insurance, tend to have a more consistent purchasing process.

There are many kinds of business insurance that small business owners should consider.

Some of the more commonly used include:

General Liability

General coverage of potential medical expenses and related legal costs. This type of coverage may also cover "publicity damage," which may include offenses such as copyright infringement and defamation.

Property Insurance

Commercial property insurance covers your building and the contents, and any impact on your company's income in case of damage caused by fire, theft, or natural disaster. The property cover may be referred to as "peril", "open peril" or "special."

Business Interruption Insurance

Major storms, local power network issues, or even a hack incident can disrupt your company's flow. If business disruptions occur, you can rest assured that your business will be covered during the incident. This coverage is designed to protect your business at covered events and can replace any money you might have earned or provide funds to run temporarily in another location.

AmTrust's Standard Business Owner (BOP) policy includes the above three coverages: General Liability, Commercial Property Insurance, and Outage Protection. A BOP is a common insurance solution for small businesses because it has the potential to provide cost savings for some of the most common business liabilities. BOP coverage facilitates the maintenance of all common coverages for companies like yours without thinking twice. Instead of managing multiple policies with multiple carriers, a BOP means you have a policy, a carrier, and an easy process to get covered claims.

Workers’ Compensation

Small business owners can convince themselves that they do not need the extra expense of workers' compensation. They might think that an injury could never happen in their business, and even if that happened, they would pay out of their own pockets. But occupational injury insurance is necessary for any small business. Without an existing workers' compensation policy, workplace injuries can be more than thousands of dollars and millions of dollars. Without proper coverage, employers face punitive damages, pain and suffering suits, and potentially astronomical medical expenses. Workplace insurance is also generally mandatory for a business with more than one employee (see your local requirements). If you compare the cost of a worker's compensation policy with the potential cost of prosecution, it just makes sense to be proactive and provide adequate protection, because personal expenses are typically covered under a workers' compensation policy – from lost wages to medical loss – may result in significant losses to a business. Even in the safest and safest workplaces, accidents causing injury can happen, and it happens. It is always best to be covered and prepared for every accident, as improbable as it may seem.

Commercial Auto Insurance

Small businesses have large expenditures. It is expensive to hire people with fair wages, great benefits, and some stability. But ensuring that your workers and equipment are protected financially and medically is an intelligent activity. Although no one wants to experience one such incident, the truth is that the future can be unpredictable. Even the most cautious of us sometimes get into accidents. But help protect the business by minimizing risk with a commercial vehicle insurance policy. It is an affordable and cost-efficient way to keep employees working, vehicles working, and jobs on time.

Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI)

The reality is that any company is faced with employment claims as much as it is with property or general liability. If you work with people, your company is applying for Liability Insurance Coverage (LIC) from employment practices. Offered on a stand-alone basis or in combination with an existing policy, EPLI helps protect companies from the prosecution of employees alleging inappropriate or unjust acts. Even without knowing it, violating the rights of an employee (or entrepreneur) can be devastating. These may include claims and incidents. Most EPLI contracts are written based on claims, which means that coverage is triggered when a claim is first made against an insured person for the duration of the policy. EPLI typically covers statutory defenses and claims or damages, up to the policy's coverage limit. If the employer settles, earns, or loses the case, the coverage options and costs of EBITDA insurance policies vary widely. If you have employees, suppliers, or customers, you may want to consider being covered by EPLI. General liability insurance, unlike EPLI, does not usually protect your company from employment-related claims filed by your employees or suppliers. All employers, large or small, may be subject to prosecution by past, present, and prospective employees.

Cyber Insurance

Small businesses are often the prey of identity thieves because they are generally less secure than large businesses. That is why the implementation of a cyber liability insurance policy can be crucial, particularly for small businesses. Cyber insurance covers certain losses sustained because of data breaches. In the event of a data breach, customer data such as credit card numbers, names, telephone numbers, addresses, driving license numbers, medical records, and even social insurance numbers can get into the wrong hands. A cyber liability insurance plan will protect a business to cover a portion of the costs of a data breach, such as legal fees and notices to clients.

Management Liability Insurance (D&O)

Management liability insurance, also known as directors and officers (D&O) liability insurance, protects directors and officers if they are personally sued while running a business or not-for-profit organization. D&O covers costs and damages (awards and settlements) because of alleged wrongdoing and prosecution against members of the board of directors or an executive of a corporation. A D&O policy can assist in reimbursing a business for legal fees, settlements, and other costs associated with defending directors from prosecution. A director or officer may even be involved in legal action for a business if they no longer belong to the management team or if they no longer work for the organization.

Errors and Omissions Insurance (E&O)

E&O insurance is also referred to as professional responsibility insurance. It is designed to protect a company from the consequences of a mistake or omission made by the owner or an employee that results in legal action. Real estate professionals, lawyers, insurance professionals, investment dealers, and service firms such as architects, developers, and health care professionals should all consider purchasing errors and omissions insurance.

Crime Coverage

Protection from commercial crime protects companies from the theft of money, securities, and other property by employees and third parties. These include employee theft, electronic funds transfer fraud, fraudulent identity theft, and customer assets.

There are many different types of business insurance policies, and an agent can help you understand what policies are right for your business. Here are some things to understand regarding policy:


Premiums are how much a company pays for coverage. Many factors can affect the cost of your premium, such as the type of business, several employees, location, pay, years in business, and risks. Deductible amounts are the amount of money paid by the insured before the insurance covers a claim. Having a high deductible policy may mean that you are paying less for the policy every month, but more in the event of an accident.

The policy limits set a limit on the amount the insurance company will pay on a particular claim or the duration of the policy. Even when your franchise is respected, the police will only pay up to a certain limit. Depending on the police and the coverage, the limits can range from small to very large, up to hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars.

Exclusions are something that an insurance policy does not cover. Knowing what exclusions are included in your policy will help you understand if protection is appropriate for your business.


Buildings located in cities where fire protection is excellent typically cost less than those located outside a city or in areas where fire protection is limited.


Buildings made of potentially combustible materials will have higher premiums, while buildings made of flame-retardant materials may receive a reduction. Additions to an existing structure could have an impact on the fire rating, so it's a good idea to speak to an insurance agent or company before making renovations. Internal structural members may also modify the fire resistance rating. The use of wooden partitions, floors, and stairs in an otherwise flame-retardant building will likely offset any rate reductions. Interior walls and floor fire-resistant doors can assist in maintaining a good fire resistance rating.


The operation of a building also affects the degree of fire resistance. An office building will probably rank higher than a restaurant or automotive repair shop. In a multi-tenant building, a dangerous occupant will hurt unhurt fire resistance throughout the building. If an enterprise is in a building with a more dangerous tenant, the premiums will be higher.

Commercial property insurance can be an important expense for companies that use equipment worth millions or billions of dollars, like railways and manufacturers. This insurance offers the same type of protection as property insurance to consumers. However, businesses are generally able to deduct the cost of commercial property insurance premiums as expenses. Commercial property insurance does not usually cover losses resulting from tenants' use of the building.

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