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What It Is

It’s broad coverage for small business.

A Business Owner’s Policy (BOP) protects small businesses in much the same way that a Homeowner’s insurance policy protects your home and personal possessions. By combining two of the most critical coverages for small business — Business Liability and Property — a BOP can save you money while safeguarding everything you’ve worked so hard to build.

Did you know?

Not every small business qualifies for a BOP. Things like the type of business, the size of the premises, the number of employees, and annual revenue can also determine eligibility.

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Property Coverage

While every business is unique, many businesses own or lease property that is vital to their day-to-day operations. In the event of a loss, property insurance not only provides coverage for damage to your buildings and furniture, but also your inventory, computers, tools and other property you need to keep your business running.

Business Liability Coverage

Business Liability coverage typically protects your business from claims for damages caused by your employees, products and services. It also helps cover the cost of your defense. And it’s important to keep in mind that the type and amount of liability coverage you need may vary based on the type of business you own.

Having the right coverage could make all the difference when a broken air compressor threatens to shut down Jeff᾿s dry cleaning business. Watch the video to see how things turn out.

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Why You Need It

It’s your business and you want to keep it safe.

Your business is an extension of who you are and a reflection of all you’ve accomplished – so don’t let things like injury to others, or damage to the property of others, harm it. A BOP combines essential insurance coverages. And it also offers the flexibility to purchase optional, additional coverage, helping to protect your assets so you can concentrate on what matters most – running your business.

Did you know?

Many lenders require businesses to purchase insurance before entering into financial agreements.

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Be prepared for the future

It’s hard to know what’ll happen in the long run. That’s why it’s important to protect your business with a policy designed to meet its unique needs.

Property Coverage

No matter how careful you are – you can’t control everything. Unexpected events – such as fire or vandalism – can and do happen. Adequate property coverage could mean the difference between complete catastrophe and a minor blip.

Business Liability

Even careful business owners can have their businesses become the subject of a lawsuit. And, even if the outcome is in your favor, the legal costs of a suit can be staggering. That’s why it’s important to have business liability coverage. It protects your assets if your business is sued for causing bodily injury to others or damage to the property of others. It even helps cover the cost of your defense.

The Most Common Insurance Claims

Here’s a simple breakdown of claims by the most common insurance coverages purchased by small businesses. The BOP represents over half of the claims a small business is likely to have when you add Liability and Property together.

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What It Covers

Don’t let the unknown destroy what you’ve built.

A typical BOP provides liability insurance and protection for your business’ property. But businesses are different. An insurance program tailored to your specific needs could be the difference between a dream-come-true and a nightmare.

Did you know?

A BOP does NOT provide coverage for injuries to your employees that occur while they’re on the job or for damage caused by commercial vehicles owned by and used in your business.

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Understanding the basics of standard coverage

A BOP generally provides three types of coverage for your business:

  • Property insurance – covers buildings and contents owned or leased by your business.
  • Liability protection – covers your business in the event it’s found responsible for causing harm to a person and/or property, and helps to cover the cost of your defense.
  • Business interruption insurance – covers the loss of income when your business is not operational due to unexpected damage or events so you can continue to meet your financial obligations such as rent and payroll.

It’s all about options

A basic BOP covers the most common property and liability threats your business faces, but don’t forget to consider coverage options that can help tailor an insurance program that meets the unique needs of your business. Often times, these additional coverages can be purchased separately or bundled as part of a cost-effective package.

Data Breach Incidents on the Rise

If your business handles or stores any customer, patient and/or employee data, you’re at risk of a data breach and should consider purchasing Data Breach coverage. Look for coverage that includes access to resources to help reduce the likelihood of a breach, and offers expert assistance if one were to occur.

 
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What It Costs

How much your coverage costs depends on your business and your needs.

Several factors are used to determine how much you‘ll need to pay for your BOP. These include, for example, the type of business you have, where it’s located, the square footage you occupy, annual sales/payroll and the coverage and coverage limits you select.

Did you know?

Plenty of optional coverages that are available separately are also available in cost-effective packages, which could save you money.

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Managing the cost of your business insurance

Keep these valuable tips in mind when discussing insurance costs with your insurance representative.

  • Higher deductibles reduce your premiums.
  • Combining Property and Business Liability offers greater value and may be less expensive than purchasing these policies separately.
  • Multi-Policy Credits might be available if you purchase a Workers’ Compensation or Commercial Auto policy through the same insurance company that’s providing your BOP coverage.
  • Talk to your insurance representative and keep him or her informed of any changes to your business. Opening a new location? Changing your service offerings? Making a new equipment purchase? Keep your insurance representative up to date as changes occur so your coverage can evolve along with your business.

A small business with a passion for animal care experiences the theft of all their electronic equipment. How will they recover?

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About Claims

What to do when the unexpected happens.

If faced with a property or liability claim, contact your insurance company immediately to report the incident. The sooner a claim is reported, the sooner it can be resolved, so you can get back to business. Keep in mind that most insurance companies offer 24/7 claim-reporting service.

Did you know?

Backing up data and software daily can help speed recovery from data loss or hardware failure.

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Being prepared can make all the difference

No business expects to make an insurance claim. By being prepared — both before and after a loss — you can help protect your business and get back on your feet more quickly while making the claim process as easy and hassle-free as possible.

Be prepared for the unexpected

While insurance provides protection for covered losses, being prepared helps ensure a speedy resolution. Rollover a helpful tip to find out more.

Identifying your property and its value is key to resolving many claims. So before a loss occurs, take a full inventory of all your stock and business property. In addition, keep records, receipts and bills of all items purchased for your business. Take photos or videos to support your written records.

In the event of an incident, contact your insurance representative immediately to report your loss.

Make a list of damaged or stolen property and its value. If possible, also locate supporting documentation and original purchase invoices. Be sure to keep all expense receipts for emergency repairs made prior to the inspection of your business by a claims adjuster, and for additional expenses incurred during the claims process.

Notify the police immediately. And make sure to obtain the case number or an incident report number.

An unexpected snowstorm ravages the Northeast leaving millions without power for days. For the owners of Harvest Bakery, this meant lost income and the loss of dollars invested to make their bakery items. Or so they thought…

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About Coverage Options

Your business needs are unique.

A BOP gives you the peace of mind of having key coverage that helps protect you from typical property losses and liability claims. But that may not be enough. Be sure to speak with your insurance representative about any additional coverage you may need based on your unique business needs.

Did you know?

Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI) protects you from employment-related claims resulting from acts like wrongful employment-related discrimination and termination.

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Don’t get caught unprotected

Every business is different. For example, a healthcare provider requires insurance coverage that is entirely different from a florist. Both of these businesses have specific needs that are not covered under a typical BOP. The right insurance could save you from financial disaster. That’s why optional coverages are important. They allow you to tailor an insurance program specifically for your business — helping to make sure you’re protected — no matter what happens.

Don’t be a statistic. Take control.

There are many reasons why some small businesses fail — don’t let inadequate insurance coverage be one of them. Talk to your insurance representative about coverages and limits that can help protect your business.

Roll over the hotspots for examples of extra coverages that you might want to consider for your business:

Employee Dishonesty

Covers financial loss due to employee dishonesty or fraudulent act.

Computers & Media

Provides coverage for computer hardware and software, and extends to loss caused by viruses, blackouts, etc.

Accounts Receivable

Covers costs to replace destroyed accounts receivable records.

Employment Practices Liability

Protects you from the financial impact of employment-related lawsuits.

Listen to Buck’s story to find out what happened when a broken freezer threatened to damage his small business and reputation.

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How to Buy It

Choose your coverage carefully and feel confident if you need it.

Begin by making sure your insurance representative understands your business. This will make all the difference when selecting coverage and coverage limits for your business. And let him or her know as changes in your business occur (e.g.: adding/eliminating a location, purchase of new equipment). This will help ensure that your coverage and business evolve together.

Did you know?

Business trade associations can offer insight on insurance programs designed specifically for your type of business.

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Trusting your insurance company

Equally as important as the coverage you purchase, is the insurance company you select to help protect your business. Make sure to look for an insurance company with a proven track record of stability and trust. And they should also offer you easy service solutions that demonstrate a respect for your time, such as 24/7-claim service and online service options, like online bill pay.

Expertise and Value

A BOP is a cost-effective way to protect your business with the convenience of one policy. Look for an insurance company that offers a BOP with broad property and liability coverage and includes value-added coverages at no additional cost. They should also offer flexible options that address your unique needs — allowing you to purchase optional coverages separately or in cost-effective packages — so that you’re receiving the best value for your insurance dollar.

Specialized coverage that’s tailored to your small business

Your business insurance program should be designed to meet your unique needs and to help safeguard you, your business and your employees, while ensuring the overall security of your business.

Roll over a policy to see how specific coverages are used in different businesses.

Basic Property & Business Liability Coverage

Matt’s Lawn Service relies on this coverage in the event there is damage or loss to their mowers and tractors.

This coverage is great for Holly and her internal medicine practice. It provides peace of mind for potential loss of perishable medications due to power and refrigeration outages or breakdowns.

The perfect coverage for Don and Dave’s online produce company, since they trust that their product will arrive fresh to all their loyal customers.

The right policy for Elizabeth’s gift shop to ensure her employees are covered in the event of an accident when using their personal vehicles for business.

Ideal for Trisha’s coffee shop so she can continue to meet her financial obligations when she can’t open after a windstorm causes a power outage.

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10 good things to ask about Business Owner’s Policies

Talk to your agent or The Hartford

1.Is a BOP right for my business?
Not every small business qualifies for a BOP. Factors such as the type of business and annual revenue affect eligibility. If your business is not eligible, your insurance representative will assist you with alternatives.
2.In addition to the basic BOP, what other coverages do I need?
A basic BOP provides coverage for threats common to most small businesses. Ask about additional coverages available that can meet the unique needs of your business.
3.How do I purchase any additional coverages I need?
In most cases, additional coverages are added to the BOP through a process known as “endorsing” the policy. Look for an insurance company that gives you the flexibility to purchase optional coverages separately or in cost-effective packages.
4.What types of things are not covered by a BOP?
It’s important to know what your policy doesn’t cover. For example, a BOP does not cover your employees for work-related accidents or illnesses. Ask your insurance representative to explain what’s not covered and to suggest additional coverages you may need.
5.How can I be sure I have insurance that helps protect me from new threats to my business?
Look for an insurance company that offers you coverage solutions to help proactively minimize risk to your business like Data Breach coverage.
6.How can I be sure my policy will change as my business needs change?
Your insurance company should offer coverage options that are flexible enough to meet your evolving business needs. Keep your insurance representative up to date on changes to your business (e.g.: adding/eliminating a location, new equipment purchase, change in the type of services, products you offer) as they occur, but at a minimum, annually. This will help ensure your business stays fully protected.
7.What factors determine how much I pay for my BOP?
Everything from square footage to coverage limits can affect your rates. Your insurance representative will help you select an insurance program that’s just right for you.
8.What can I expect if I have a claim?
Find out how the insurance carrier handles claims and what’s expected of you. Knowing process details can help you recover more quickly and aid the claims process.
9.What online service options are available?
Look for an insurance company that demonstrates respect for your time by offering convenient online services solutions like online bill pay.
10.What is the reputation of the insurance company?
Do they have a long history? Do they know your business? Are they A-rated? Ask your insurance representative, or go online to research for yourself. Look for a reputable, financially secure company with a demonstrated track record of stability and trust.
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