There are more than 78K small businesses in Washington DC, employing 250K employees or 47.5% Washington DC workforce. Washington DC has created a favorable environment to support the growth of small businesses in the state. However, all businesses have risks, so if you own a small business in Washington DC, you’ll need business insurance to protect your assets.
- What does Washington Dc business insurance cover?
- Washington Dc general liability insurance
- Washington Dc Business Owners Policy (BOP)
- Washington Dc workers comp insurance
- Washington Dc commercial auto insurance
- How much does Washington Dc business insurance cost?
- How to find cheap Washington Dc business insurance quotes online?
- Best business insurance companies in Washington Dc
What does Washington Dc business insurance cover?
Like any business, Washington Dc business owners face risks. Business insurance helps protect you from financial losses if someone sues you. Accidents happen, and just one lawsuit can easily bankrupt a small-to-midsize business. In general, business insurance covers your business when someone sues your business. That someone can be your customers/clients, your business partners, your vendors, or even your employees.
There are many different types of business insurance. What kind you need depends on the nature of your business, what you do, and if you have employees. Some insurance coverage is required by Washington Dc state law, some are not. We discuss the details below.
Washington Dc general liability insurance
General liability insurance is the most common type of business insurance. It protects you from losses in the event of third party bodily injury or property damage. It also covers copyright infringement, reputational harm, and advertising injury.
Third party bodily injury and property damage are very common reasons for someone to sue. Customers who come into your place of business and trip over an extension cord may sue you for the costs of their medical bills, wages lost while they recover, and pain and suffering. Just hiring a lawyer to defend you is expensive: lawyers in Washington DC charge between $239 and $498 an hour.
If you have a business where you visit someone in their home or office, property damage is always a risk. It only takes a second for you to accidentally damage someone’s sheetrock or newly laid tile floor.
Copyright infringement is when someone claims you are using their intellectual property in your business or marketing without their permission. This happens more easily than you might think. Say you’re setting up your brand new website and you come across a lovely photograph somewhere that you think is perfect. You put the photo front and center on your website and wait for the profits to roll in. However, you didn’t get permission from the photographer that took the photo and now they are suing you.
Advertising injury is when someone representing you or your company slanders another person or company. This is similar to reputational harm, which is when you say something that hurts another person’s business. There is a lot of overlap between advertising injury and reputational harm, since one often causes the other.
Washington Dc Business Owners Policy (BOP)
Business Owners Policy (BOP) is a popular bundled insurance policy for small businesses of less than $10 Million in revenue and/or 100 employees. It combines general liability, commercial property, and business interruption in one single policy, helping small businesses save money on their insurance needs.
If your business operates out of a storefront where our customers come by often such as a retail store, a cafe, a restaurant, or petcare store, etc. you may want to consider a BOP instead of buying at least 2 policies separately: general liability and commercial property insurance.
Washington Dc professional liability insurance
Sometimes called Errors & Omissions (or E&O) insurance, this protects people who provide professional services and/or advice to the public. It protects you from both mistakes you may have made (errors) or things that you neglected to do (omissions). It doesn’t cover you at all if you did something with intent. Accountants, insurance agents, financial advisors, doctors and lawyers (called malpractice insurance) all need this type of coverage.
Washington Dc cyber liability coverage
Cyber liability insurance protects you in case of a data breach or a hacking event. Malware, ransomware, email compromises all fall under potential cyber security breaches. These days, anyone who handles digital information should look into cyber liability coverage. If you have customers’ credit card information, social security information or banking information online somewhere, the potential for someone to steal that information is quite high. The average cost of a data breach in 2020 was $8.64 million dollars.
Washington Dc workers comp insurance
General liability insurance only applies to customers, vendors, and independent contractors. If one of your employees is injured on the job, workers compensation insurance will cover their medical bills, lost wages, and other related costs. In the worst case scenario, workers compensation covers funeral costs.
All businesses in Washington DC with 1 employee or more are required by law to have workers comp insurance. This applies for full-time, part-time, seasonal, and occasional employees.
Construction companies in Washington Dc need workers compensation insurance if they have even one employee. Since construction is a high-risk industry, the chances of an employee getting injured on the job are pretty high, so workers compensation is required to protect both the employee and the business owner. In addition, independent contractors are not allowed in the construction field in Washington Dc: everyone who works in construction is either a business owner or an employee. You can use subcontractors, but they need to have their own insurance.
Other types of insurance to consider in Washington Dc:
Small businesses in Washington Dc often consider other types of insurance below as well:
Washington Dc commercial property insurance:
Commercial property coverage protects your business’s physical locations, offices, warehouses, and contents inside them. If you rent a building for your business, it is likely that your landlord requires you to have this coverage.
Washington Dc product liability insurance
Product liability insurance protects you if you are sued because a product your business produces is defective. This is different from product recall coverage.
Washington Dc liquor liability insurance
If your business sells or serves alcohol, you may want to obtain liquor liability insurance. If a customer of yours is involved in an accident after consuming alcohol that you sell, he may decide to sue you. Liquor liability insurance will protect you in such cases.
Washington Dc business interruption insurance
If your business has to close due to a covered peril, you lose income as a result. Business interruption insurance will cover you from the income loss. That is the reason why it is also called business income insurance.
Washington Dc Directors and Officers insurance
Directors and officers insurance, or D&O, covers your company if a board member or an officer is sued due to an action or a decision they make on the company’s behalf. It covers all legal fees and settlement expenses, if any.
Washington Dc commercial auto insurance
If you use a car or any type of vehicle for business purposes, you need commercial auto insurance in Washington Dc. The only exception is commuting back and forth to your job.
All commercial vehicle insurance in Washington Dc must have the following minimum coverage required by the state law:
- $25,000 in bodily injury liability coverage per person
- $50,000 in bodily injury liability coverage per accident
- $10,000 in property damage coverage per accident.
It is also known as 25/50/10 minimum requirements for commercial auto insurance
If you cross state lines as a truck driver, you’ll need to comply with FMCSA regulations.
Is business insurance required in Washington Dc?
The only types of business insurance required in Washington Dc are workers compensation (if you have four or more employees) and commercial auto (if you use a vehicle for business purposes). That said, you’ll want general liability insurance as well, or you could combine general liability insurance with business property insurance for a Business Owner’s Policy.
What types of businesses need to have insurance in Washington Dc?
Almost every small business would do well with general liability insurance. If customers come to your place of business or if you go to their homes or offices, general liability insurance can save you lots of headaches.
If you offer professional advice or services, you need professional liability insurance. People such as:
- Doctors – The best medical malpractice insurance companies
- Lawyers – The best legal malpractice insurance companies
- Accountants & CPAs – The best professional liability insurance companies for accountants and CPAs
- Insurance agents – The best E&O insurance companies for insurance agents
- Engineers & architects – The best professional liability insurance for engineers and architects
- Dentists – The best dental malpractice insurance companies
- Social workers – The best malpractice insurance companies for social workers
- Financial advisors – The best E&O insurance companies for financial advisors and investment advisors
Need insurance to protect them from lawsuit costs if people feel they lost money or suffered harm due to something you did (or neglected to do).
If you store or access customer’s sensitive data online, you should consider cyber liability insurance.
If you own/lease a property, you’ll want to look into commercial property insurance.
A few examples of small businesses in Washington Dc and the types of insurance you must have and should have:
|Small business types in Washington Dc||Insurance coverage they must have||Insurance coverage they should also have|
|A liquor store with 2 full-time and 2 part-time employees||-Workers comp insurance for all employees|
-Commercial auto insurance if they use a vehicle for the business
-Commercial property insurance if they rent the store
|– General liability insurance |
– Liquor liability insurance
– BOP if they want to combine general liability and commercial property in one bundled policy
|A law firm with 2 attorneys and 3 full time employees||– Workers comp insurance|
– Comercial auto insurance if they use a vehicle for the business
– Commercial property or BOP if they rent an office
|– Legal malpractice insurance|
– Cyber liability insurance
– General liability insurance
|A barber shop with 2 full-time employees||– Workers comp insurance for all employees|
– Commercial auto insurance if they use a vehicle for the business
– Commercial property insurance if they rent the shop
|– General liability insurance|
– E&O insurance
How much does Washington Dc business insurance cost?
The average cost of general liability insurance in Washington Dc is 61/month. If you can only afford one type of business insurance, it should probably be general liability because it provides protection for the most common reasons people sue.
Other types of business insurance are not required, but some might be necessary, depending on what you do and where you do it. Workers compensation insurance is required in Washington Dc if you have four employees or more. Commercial auto insurance is also required if you use a vehicle for business purposes.
Below are the average cost of different small business insurance type in Washington Dc for your reference:
|Washington Dc business insurance coverage||Average costs|
|General liability||$61 per month|
|Business Owners Policy (BOP)||$152 per month|
|Workers comp insurance||$0.59 per $100 payroll|
|Commercial auto insurance||$132 per month|
|Professional liability insurance||$69 per month|
|Cyber liability insurance||$133 per month|
|Commercial property insurance||$137 per month|
Keep in mind that these are just the average. Your rates will be higher or lower. Be sure to shop around with a few companies or work with a top broker such as Simply Business, InsurePro, or CoverWallet to compare several quotes before making your final decision.
What factors affect Washington Dc business insurance cost
Insurance costs can vary quite a lot, depending on several factors:
- Age of your property
- Value of your property
- Your age
- Experience in your industry
- Coverage limits
- Credit score
It’s difficult to guess how much you’ll pay for insurance because there are such a wide variety of factors.
How to find cheap Washington Dc business insurance quotes online?
The easiest way to save money on insurance is to shop around. For the investment of just a few hours, you could save hundreds to thousands of dollars. You can shop online, through agents, or through digital brokers.
Get cheap Washington Dc business insurance quotes online from carriers
It’s easy to get business insurance quotes online, especially for common coverage such as general liability insurance, BOP, professional liability, commercial auto, or workers comp insurance. Simply enter your information and usually you’ll get a quote in less than ten minutes.
- NEXT: best for general liability & professional liability insurance, especially for contractors
- Thimble: best for short-term general liability and BOP coverage
- Progressive and biBERK: best for commercial auto and commercial truck insurance
- biBERK and Pie: best for worker comp insurance
- biBERK and Hiscox: best for progressional liability insurance
Get cheap Washington Dc business insurance quotes online from brokers
Digital brokers are not insurance companies; they partner with insurance companies to bring you multiple quotes if you fill out one form. Brokers don’t underwrite their own insurance, but it’s an easy and efficient way to comparison shop. Sometimes you’ll be redirected to the insurance company once you have a quote to buy the policy. Sometimes you can buy the policy directly on the broker’s websites.
- Simply Business: best broker to find low-cost coverage
- CoverWallet: best for comparing several quotes online
- InsurePro: best for flexible pay-per-day coverage
Get cheap Washington Dc business insurance quotes through agents
Agents can get a bad rap, but if you have a good agent, you can save money. They know the industry, they know insurance, and they can help you get what you need.
These companies work through agents: The Hartford, Chubb, Liberty Mutual, Travelers, State Farm, and many more.
Best business insurance companies in Washington Dc
Hundreds of companies offer business insurance in Washington Dc which can make it time-consuming and confusing for you to find the best one for your business. We have done the research and here are the best business insurance companies in Washington Dc that we recommend: