Small businesses in Georgia account for 99.6 percent of all firms according the US Small Business Administration, Office of Advocacy in 2021. Georgia's economic development is growing because the state is committed to small business growth. The Georgia Department of Economic Development has a variety of business incentive opportunities and is available to assist with licensing, export, suppliers, certification, federal grants, and more.
These Georgia small businesses employed 1.7 million people, or 42.8% of Georgia's private workforce in 2021. To protect their financial investment, savvy business owners in Georgia understand that investing in comprehensive small business insurance is essential.
Small businesses in Georgia operating in various industries can obtain an individualized insurance program that covers their specific risks. Professional services, construction, retail stores, restaurateurs, and all business owners must consider the proper insurance coverage.
Georgia mandates that businesses with three or more full-time employees carry workers' compensation insurance. Service providers can get insurance through a private insurance carrier or self-insure. Your business could be responsible for providing workers' compensation coverage to subcontractors and their employees if the subs don't have their own WC policy. It can be helpful to consult Georgia's State Board of Workers Compensation for employer requirements and rules on who qualifies as a subcontractor.
In Georgia, other business insurance, like General Liability, is not required by law but is generally compulsory before entering into a contract with a client. Before selecting coverage limits on General Liability, be sure that the limits will satisfy client requirements and sufficiently protect your assets.
Recommended Commercial Insurance in Georgia
Most businesses in Georgia have the following types of insurance coverage:
1. General Liability Insurance
General liability insurance covers generic enterprise risks, including third-party bodily injury and property damage. It shields your company from the high cost of defending liability lawsuits and paying out-of-pocket for liability settlements.
This business liability insurance policy covers costs associated with liability lawsuits if a visitor becomes injured at your business or if you damage a person's property. This policy also covers legal disputes arising from libel or copyright infringement.
General liability coverage is an affordable risk management tool for businesses. A small business’s median annual cost is around $42 per month.
2. Workers’ Compensation Insurance
Workers' compensation insurance covers the costs related to employee medical treatments and missed wages due to work-related injuries or occupational illnesses. This policy is required in nearly every state for companies with a certain number of staff.
Even if the Workers’ Compensation policy is not required by regulation, employers are still liable for payment of statutory benefits to employees injured on the job. Work-related injuries, such as a fall on the office premises, a vehicle accident, or getting hurt using a power tool, are compensable employee injuries in most states.
Most states have regulations and stiff fines, penalties, and possible jail time for not complying with Workers’ Compensation requirements when an employee is seriously hurt.
3. Commercial Auto Insurance
Business auto insurance protects a company against liability lawsuits for medical bills, legal fees, economic loss, and compensation for property damage if a business vehicle is involved in an at-fault crash. If your company owns an automobile, you will want Business Auto insurance. Virtually every state requires auto insurance for all vehicles used on public roads, and business-owned vehicles are no different. However, in states like New Hampshire and Virginia, where auto insurance is not required, motorists are still liable for any damages they cause. There are consequences if you can’t pay out of pocket for those amounts.
4. Business Owner’s Policy
A business owner's policy (BOP) bundles general liability insurance with commercial property insurance to make it more affordable than purchasing each policy individually.
Most local businesses need general liability and commercial property insurance when renting or owning a building. There are business assets that need to be insured in that space as well. In addition to that, client contracts typically require substantial general liability coverage.
A BOP is a good choice for small companies dealing with the public and owning valuable property. BOP coverage protects you from financial losses from customer injuries and property losses like fire or burglary.
5. Professional Liability
Professional liability insurance, also called errors and omissions insurance, protects professionals and organizations against liability lawsuits alleging professional malpractice that caused a client to lose money. It does not cover physical bodily injury or property damage liability like General Liability.
Professional liability insurance protects professional service businesses like accountants, architects, engineers, real estate agents, inspectors, lawyers, and, yes, even insurance agents. Even the most conscientious and seasoned professional can make mistakes from time to time. Unfortunately, knowledge, experience, and education can sometimes make you a target, even if you did nothing wrong. Having this coverage, even to cover legal defense for client lawsuits claiming your negligence, is worthwhile.
6. Cyber Insurance
Cyber insurance protects small businesses against damages caused by attacks on their computer systems or data. These criminal acts against your business can result in the theft, damage, or misuse of sensitive information. If other people’s information is compromised, this policy will defend your business from the liability lawsuits that follow.
Incident response costs, first-party losses (your own), and third-party losses (those experienced by others for which you're responsible) can all be covered under a customizable Cyber policy.
This form of insurance is also called cyber security insurance or cyber-risk insurance.
Georgia Small Business Insurance Requirements
State laws in Georgia can impact which business insurance coverage your company needs. These policies are required all over Georgia, from Atlanta to Macon.
1. Workers' Compensation Insurance
Georgia law requires all companies with three or more employees to carry workers' compensation coverage or to be qualified self-insured entities. If you’re thinking about self-insuring, unless you’re a millionaire, your business will likely not qualify.
2. Commercial Auto Insurance
Commercial auto insurance is required for all vehicles in Georgia. This policy covers the liability ensuing from being negligent in motor vehicle accidents. Georgia requires minimum auto liability limits of $25,000 for bodily injury per person, $50,000 for bodily injury per accident, and $25,000 for property damage liability. If you have business autos on the road, you need more than these limits.
Cost of Business Insurance in Georgia
The expense of a Georgia business insurance policy may vary depending on what type of work you do. Each business faces different risks, resulting in rates varying. For instance, high-risk companies such as tree trimmers and armed security guards may only be able to get insurance through excess and surplus (E&S) lines insurers which cost more VS standard insurance companies. Though they can be authorized to write business in a state, the E&S carrier’s rates do not have to be filed ahead of time with the Insurance Commissioner, so this policy cost more.
Other factors like coverage, business size, and location can affect your rate. For example, a business in Atlanta might have a different rate than one in Macon. In contrast, a business with employees may have a more substantial premium than a company without employees.
Get a Quote for Georgia Business Insurance
Georgia businesses of any size are invited to request a quote for commercial insurance at InsuranceAdvisor.com. Choose General Liability, Commercial Property, Business Auto, Workers’ Compensation, and Georgia, then answer the application questions. Once we receive your request, we will provide you with a quote as quickly as possible.
Why Choose Insurance Advisor for Commercial Insurance in Georgia?
Instead of making an appointment to meet with an agent in person to request a business insurance quote, go to InsuranceAdvisor.com from the comfort of your home when convenient. Once you create an account, your entered business information is stored safely on our site. You can come back anytime to request quotes for other types of insurance or at your next renewal so that you can compare your options. You can keep your current and past business insurance records at your fingertips.
We also make it easy to get your certificates of insurance for clients. You can enter certificate detail in your account and get instant certificates when no coverage changes are needed. We want to make managing your business insurance easy!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about Georgia
1. How much is business insurance in Georgia?
Insurance for businesses can be affordable in Georgia, depending on industry and risk. The median costs in Georgia are:
- General liability- $42 per month
- Workers' comp- $42 per month
- Professional liability/E&O- $59 per month
However, the cost of insurance coverage will vary, depending on numerous variables, such as:
- Risk level of your operations
- Annual revenue (the more sales, the more likely a loss)
- Annual payroll
- Policy limits and deductibles
- Number of vehicles, if any
- Values of assets insured
2. Where can I get inexpensive business insurance in Georgia?
The cheapest insurance in Georgia is never the best insurance. If you want broader coverage, meaning more losses are covered, that translates to paying more for insurance.
Shopping insurance in Georgia by getting more than one quote from the same or different agents is recommended to see how one insurance company’s rates compare to another’s. Insurance carriers have different rates because each insurance company’s experience (premium vs. losses) in a particular industry for a line of coverage will differ. That means the premiums charged will also vary among various insurers.
Always read the exclusions in the policy. If the main thing that keeps you up at night is excluded, how happy will you be with that inexpensive policy? Get an affordable option with the most likely occurrences to happen to your business insured and not listed under exclusions. The old saying, “You get what you pay for,” is true with all types of insurance.
3. What types of insurance are best for businesses in Georgia?
Business insurance is typically offered in a package deal with different types of protection. Most businesses in Georgia buy several of these policies together:
- General liability insurance
- Workers’ compensation insurance
- Commercial property insurance
- Business auto insurance
- Professional liability/E&O insurance
- Cyber Insurance
4. Which insurance companies are best in Georgia?
An experienced Georgia commercial insurance agent determines the best insurance company for your business. Insurance companies often specialize in specific business industries, varying from state to state. An independent insurance agent licensed in Georgia matches your business with carriers that know your industry and company's insurance needs. Visit us at InsuranceAdvisor.com to request a quote for General Liability, Workers’ Compensation, Business Property, Business Auto, or Umbrella insurance.
5. How to find out if a business has liability insurance in Georgia?
Just ask your vendor or product supplier for a copy of their general liability insurance certificate to be sent to your company. Your business should keep certificates of insurance on file for all service providers and product distributors.
The Certificate of Insurance will show the policy number and the insurance company and usually lists their agency’s contact information. If still in doubt, you can call the agency to verify the coverage shown on the certificate.
Remember, a certificate is only a snapshot of the insurance carried at that moment. For instance, if your vendor doesn’t make the next installment, the vendor’s insurance may be canceled for non-payment or not renewed.
It is advisable to get certificates updated at every renewal of your vendor’s coverage. If their insurance renews in January, request a renewal certificate a month before.
6. What is the cost of essential general liability insurance in Georgia?
The median cost in Georgia for a small business’s general liability insurance is around $42 per month.
The Certificate of Insurance will show the policy number and the insurance company and usually lists their agency’s contact information. If still in doubt, you can call the agency to verify the coverage