As the third most densely populated state, Massachusetts provides numerous possibilities for many types of small businesses including agriculture, textiles, tourism, and art-related industries. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is one of the 13 colonies, the sixth state and home to four of the previous U.S. Presidents including John Adams; this historical significance provides optimum business opportunities for individuals who want to get into tourism, including the restaurant or hotel business. The “Bay State” is also home to the notable rivers Merrimack and Charles River, as well as the reputable Cape Cod beaches and Provincetown, which is home to many artisans. Massachusetts was ranked second, third, and fourth for access to capital, technology and innovation, and education, respectively in CNBC’s 2011 rankings of America’s best states for businesses. Along with the many benefits of owning a small business in the state, Massachusetts business owners have a variety of business insurance policies to choose from for advantageous protection.
Standard Business Insurance Coverages in Massachusetts
A business owner’s insurance policy, otherwise known as BOP, is a complete package for small organizations that combines different types of liability coverages in one group, or package. A BOP includes two main coverages in one policy: property insurance and general liability. The BOP covers a number of areas of liability, which include buildings, materials, and legal liabilities, business owners in Massachusetts insurance transfers risk away from the Bay State employer to the insurance company. Typical claims that business owners insurance in Massachusetts coverage protects the business from include: legal liability claims, individual harm, dedicated liability claims, financial burden, breakdown of equipment, fire, worker deceitfulness, money and securities, important papers, and property claims. Depending on the types of risks a Massachusetts establishment intends to face, other components may be added to the original BOP policy.
General liability insurance in Massachusetts is provided to offer companies protection from financial burden that may arise from careless business practices, omissions, or both, caused by the employer or employees that results in physical harm or damage to property. Some of the exposures that might be covered under general liability insurance include: goods sold, accidents on the premises of the insured, and contractual liabilities. The damage or injury may be from negligence or involuntary. General liability insurance in Boston or any other city in Massachusetts can either be a single policy or in combination with other business policies.
A package policy, also known as a bundle policy, is an insurance policy that benefits employers of Massachusetts and includes several types of insurance into one policy. Typically, the package policy in Massachusetts will combine general liability insurance and commercial property (expounded on above and below, respectively); depending on the unique needs of the business, a package policy may also include other types of coverage. A package policy is convenient for small business owners in the Greater Boston Area as it makes room for remarkable flexibility to adapt a policy primarily for the individual needs and risk exposures of the company.
Commercial Property Insurance in Massachusetts is helpful to a multitude of entities as it provides coverage for commercial property, and includes building supplies, equipment, provisions, furniture, important documents, and personal property. Commercial property insurance offers protection for professionals in Massachusetts against several alarming events, including vandalism, fire, explosion, windstorm, hail, lightening strikes, theft, and natural disasters. Commercial property insurance is recommended for many different small businesses, like manufacturers, retailers, not-for-profit entities, and businesses providing services.
Companies that have employees working for them are required by law in the state of Massachusetts to carry workers’ compensation insurance. This type of insurance offers protection against worker occupational illnesses and work-related injuries sustained through professional duties. Workers’ compensation insurance in Massachusetts is a no-fault, state-mandated insurance system designed to offer pay to employees who suffered injuries or an illness while on the job. Because it is required by law, any Massachusetts firm found without workers’ compensation insurance can face severe fines and civil penalties, as well as being responsible for the cost of injuries suffered by their employees. Through workers’ compensation insurance in the Old Line State, professionals receive medical care and lost wage coverage in exchange for the pledge that they will not sue their employer.
Whether your business owns a single vehicle or a fleet of vehicles, it’s necessary to receive commercial auto insurance in Massachusetts. Commercial auto insurance offers organizations in Massachusetts with financial protection to the business owners and their drivers by offering coverage for a company’s use of vehicles such as trucks, vans, cars, and other types of vehicles used for business purposes. Commercial auto insurance covers damages and medical costs that may result from accidents, vandalism and hail damage. Coverage for your Massachusetts company may include vehicles owned, rented, leased, or hired by the employer, as well as vehicles privately owned by the driver who uses it for his job. Because of this, it’s recommended that business establishments in this New England state purchase a commercial auto insurance policy if employees use their personal vehicle for work-related duties, also known as non-owned commercial auto insurance.
Commercial umbrella insurance begins where your commercial auto insurance, general liability, or other liability coverage ends. Due to existing liability policies having coverage limits, and not always covering expenses for unforeseen events, this type of insurance is ideal. Commercial umbrella insurance in Massachusetts is an essential source of protection that fills in the gaps and covers specific exclusions in your primary business liability coverage. Umbrella insurance is a wonderful way to have added protection against property damage, injury, or certain other liabilities.
Some Additional Business Insurance Coverages in Massachusetts to Consider
Errors and Omissions insurance policies provide added security to businesses in Massachusetts and their workers from lawsuits and claims made by clients or customers for poor work, negligent acts, mistakes, and oversights made through business operations that ended up causing a loss on the part of the client or customer. Errors and Omissions insurance in Massachusetts covers the cost of legal defense and court expenses, as well as with settlements as stated on the insurance contract. Just like physicians need malpractice insurance, owners of small businesses in Massachusetts who provide services or consulting advice, either directly or with subcontractors, need errors and omissions insurance.
Professional liability insurance helps owners of companies in Massachusetts, such as auditors, accountants, and lawyers if they are liable for the legal cost of defending against a claim of carelessness, errors, failure to perform, or omission made by a client as well as damages awarded in that claim. The coverage’s key focus is on financial burden on the part of the client from these types of implicit claims with respect to a service sold by the employee. Professional liability insurance in Massachusetts may offer claim coverage, even if the legal actions turn out to be groundless. Professional liability insurance is required by law in the state of Massachusetts in some types of professional practices, primarily legal and medical, but is also required by contract in other practices.
Employers in Massachusetts may receive additional securities against claims like wrongful termination, breach of contract discrimination, violations of wage laws, sexual harassment, counterfeit imprisonment, libel, slander, emotional pain, mental agony, careless hiring and promotion decisions, and claims of defamation with Employment Practices Liability Insurance, also known as EPLI. Employment practices liability insurance in Massachusetts focuses on laws, acts, and protection brought under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and Family and Medical Leave Act — all of which the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC) enforces.
Fidelity Bonds in Massachusetts
Fidelity bonds in Massachusetts are a type of insurance that may be purchased by an employer to have added security against losses, such as fraud, theft or embezzlement by one or more employees. Because reimbursement from worker fraudulent practices is probably unlikely due to the cash being unavailable, fidelity bonds represent an important safeguard for a Massachusetts business owner who would otherwise be liable for the financial loss. It is important to have security practices such as employee screening, internal controls, and close supervision, but it’s not always enough. Monetary losses suffered from employee fraud and thefts of money, property, or securities are all covered under fidelity bonds insurance. There are three primary types of fidelity bonds in Massachusetts: business service bonds, standard employee dishonesty bonds, and ERISA bonds.
Surety Bonds in Massachusetts
A surety bond is an enforced agreement or contract among three parties: the principal, obligee, and surety (insurance company). It represents the assurance to pay a defined amount if a party fails to meet an obligation, such as fulfilling the terms of the contract. A surety bond protects the beneficiary against loss if the contract isn’t fulfilled, while the surety company takes responsibility for nonperformance. A surety bond in Massachusetts is normally required to obtain financial settlement. Companies in Massachusetts may need a surety bond to make certain of payment of utility bills or state sales taxes, while a contractor may need to post a bond to protect work or qualify for licenses. While surety bonds are seen often in the construction industry, they are also used by automobile dealers, mortgage brokers, medical suppliers, notaries public, health clubs, and others. Because of the variety of small companies that need and make us of bonds, there are a number of types and features of surety bonds in the state of Massachusetts that provide guarantees.
Massachusetts-based small business owners have additional insurance coverage options available aside from the standard and traditional business insurance policies that most businesses in the state will have. In order to protect your New England business from risk exposures like natural disasters, accidents and fraudulent activity, choose from a range of important business insurance for optimum coverage. Whether you sell produce from a small grocery store in Springfield or own a shoe store in Boston, your business can get the highest amount of coverage and protection through various types of business insurance. Choose one or several types of insurance policies to give your business the best possible security.