North Carolina is home to the most popular self-employed workers in America, with almost 900,000 small businesses in the area. Starting and running a business is challenging, so securing it with the right insurance coverage is a good idea.
Insurance in North Carolina helps pay for commercial incidents such as:
- Damage to another person's property.
- Accusations of injury.
- Employees who get hurt on the job.
- Alleged professional negligence.
- Business auto accidents
The types of business insurance you'll need to cover your business and the policy limits required depend on a few factors, such as:
- Risks your business encounters
- Your industry
- Your company's revenue
- Business-owned assets to insure
North Carolina laws mandate statutory workers' compensation insurance for all companies with three or more employees, including full-time and part-time employees. Workers' compensation covers medical bills for work-related injuries and provides disability benefits to injured North Carolina workers. The Employers Liability included with the Workers' Compensation policy protects employers from employee lawsuits alleging that the employer's negligence played a part in causing their injury.
All businesses in North Carolina that own vehicles are required by state law to carry auto insurance as are individuals
Types of Commercial Business Insurance Offered in North Carolina
North Carolina business owners may need several types of commercial insurance. Businesses should protect their company against customer lawsuits caused by third-party injuries or property damage and the potential liability for data breaches when clients' private information is stored. Recommended business insurance policies for North Carolina businesses are:
General Liability Insurance
General liability insurance (GL), also known as commercial general liability insurance, is the most common business insurance, and every North Carolina business owner should consider it. This policy protects against various scenarios that could stem from your company's operations, including third-party bodily injury, property damage, and personal and advertising injury. General liability insurance quotes usually consist of the following:
- Personal and advertising injury liability
- Medical payments
- Bodily injury and property damage liability
- Products completed operations
- Damage to premises rented to you.
General liability insurance is often bundled with property insurance in a business owner's policy (BOP) but is also available to many entrepreneurs as a stand-alone policy. A single accident could result in a lawsuit you might have to defend. An excellent way to protect yourself from this is to have insurance coverage that matches your degree of exposure.
Commercial Auto Insurance
Commercial auto insurance is fundamentally liability insurance and physical damage coverage created for vehicles, such as automobiles, light trucks, and vans, used for business. Heavy trucks and commercial use vehicles also require commercial auto insurance but usually available through a different group of insurance companies because the susceptibility to claims is higher than with smaller vehicles. Businesses with vehicles that transport freight, such as semi-trucks and delivery trucks, also fall into this higher-risk category.
Workers' Compensation Insurance
Businesses in North Carolina that employ three or more people must hold workers' compensation insurance. Work comp insurance protects your firm financially against expenses from employee injuries and wage loss.
Workers' comp is insurance that provides compensation for medical expenses and lost wages for workers who become injured on the job. Coverage also extends to employee rehabilitation and death benefits. This insurance is mandated in most states when a certain number of employees is reached. Some exemptions for workers exist; therefore, you will want to check with your state to determine whether your business requires coverage.
Under Workers' Comp, an injured employee can receive benefits for injuries only if they are caused by employment or job-related tasks. For example, workers' comp insurance covers injuries caused by:
- Lifting heavy equipment
- Falling objects
- Slipping on a wet or oily surface
- Repetitive movement
Business Owners Policy (BOP)
A BOP combines property and liability insurance coverage into a single, affordable policy. It is a good choice for small to medium-sized companies that own or rent commercial properties, such as office, warehouse, and storefront spaces.
Every BOP contains two primary coverages:
General Liability - The protection provided by BOP insurance is the same as that of a general liability policy. The coverage includes protection against third-party bodily injury and property damage arising from business operations. Whether you provide a service or a product, if someone is injured or has their property damaged by your business, this is the policy to respond. Limited coverage for personal and advertising injury is included as long as you are not in the business of advertising. A BOP does not cover injuries to your employees. Your company must have a separate workers' compensation policy.
Property - Provides basic coverage for brick-and-mortar buildings and business-owned assets while at your business location. Unless endorsed, any business asset not at your site is not covered under the commercial property policy. A company would need inland marine coverage if you wanted to insure a company laptop that an employee takes home. The property policy also is where you insure loss of business income.
Like all other insurance policies, a BOP policy has certain exclusions to coverage that you should be aware. Flood and earthquake coverage is typically unavailable on a BOP. If you require protection for something that's not covered, endorsements or a different policy may be needed to get certain types of coverage.
Professional Liability Insurance
North Carolina establishments that provide professional services should look into Professional Liability coverage. Also known as Errors and Omissions insurance (E&O), professional liability helps businesses by defending the insured from legal actions if they are sued for professional negligence. Any company or firm offering professional services or advice should consider investing in professional liability insurance.
Some states legally demand that certain professionals, such as lawyers or medical practitioners have this coverage before they can do business. Some states require specific liability limits for professional firms before they can legally do business. Customers may also require minimum limits of professional liability as part of their contracts.
A professional liability insurance policy will protect your company from claims that stem from previous work completed in the past when the policy is written on a "Claims-Made Form." Keep in mind that professional liability doesn't cover claims for physical bodily injuries (except for the medical field) or property damage of another party.
Cyber insurance shields a business against losses caused by various digital threats. These crises may result in the theft of sensitive information, money transfer fraud, reputational harm, damage to your hardware, and loss of income. These policies are highly customizable so that businesses can include the amount and type of coverage they would need when hit with a cyber attack. Incident response services, first-party losses (yours), and third-party losses (those experienced by others for which you're responsible) are all covered under this policy.
This coverage is often called cybersecurity insurance or cyber risk insurance.
North Carolina Small Business Insurance Requirements
The North Carolina Workers Compensation Act requires that businesses that employ three or more employees obtain workers' compensation insurance or qualify as self-insured for purposes of paying compensation benefits to their employees. There can be different rules for different industries regarding th need to purchase a work comp policy.
Be aware that your business can be liable for the work-related injuries of your subcontractors when the sub doesn't carry work comp or let it lapse. If a company is required to carry workers' compensation insurance, and it doesn't, the business owner may have to pay steep penalties, be found guilty of a crime, be convicted of a felony, or be jailed.
Cost of Business Insurance in North Carolina
Commercial insurance can be affordable for North Carolina business owners. Aspects that influence its cost include:
- Type of business and its risks
- Business operations and location
- Annual revenue
- Types of insurance purchased
- Policy limits and other coverage options.
Every business is unique, and giving you a price here will have no relevance to your business's actual insurance costs. What type of insurance do you need, what limit, what is your revenue, and what is the value of your business assets? These variables are vital even to get an estimate of the cost.
Get a Quote For North Carolina Business Insurance
Visit us at InsuranceAdvisor.com to request a quote for your business.
Why Choose Insurance Advisor for Commercial Insurance in North Carolina?
We can provide quotes with many different insurance carriers, and you can request quotes from the comfort of your home, office, or anywhere by visiting us at InsuranceAdvisor.com. Once you create an account, your business information is stored, and you can come back at any time to request other lines of insurance, get a certificate of insurance, and update your information.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about North Carolina
1. How much is business insurance in North Carolina?
Businesses are rated by the risks unique to the industry in which it operates. Some industries are more likely to have losses (quantity), or the claims they experience are more costly (severity) and will pay higher premiums. For instance, with an elevator service company, if an employee makes a mistake when doing maintenance, there is a higher risk of loss of life when an elevator malfunctions
Your company's premium is affected by your business's size, location, assets, and operations. For example, a business in Charlotte may pay a different rate than a business in Winston-Salem.
2. Where can I get inexpensive business insurance in North Carolina?
If you are new in business, you may want to check with your agent who insures your home or car first to see if they can help you. If that doesn't work out, you can visit us at InsuranceAdvisor.com to request a quote.
3. What types of insurance are recommended for businesses in North Carolina?
Recommended insurance policies for small businesses in North Carolina are:
- General Liability
- Commercial Property or Inland Marine
- Workers' compensation
- Commercial auto insurance
- Cyber liability insurance
- Professional liability if in a professional field
4. Which insurance companies are best in North Carolina?
A licensed commercial insurance agent will determine the best insurance company for your business. Insurance companies often specialize in specific business industries. Your independent insurance agent knows which carriers fit your company's needs. Visit us at InsuranceAdvisor.com to request a quote.
5. How to find out if a business has liability insurance in North Carolina?
Request a certificate of liability insurance from all vendors and service providers your company uses. This standardized document shows the insurance company, the policy number, the limits carried, and the named insured. Make sure the named insured on the certificate matches the vendor used and paid. If you have doubts, you can call the insurance agent listed on the certificate to verify coverage.