How Commercial Insurance Works in Florida 

Like all states, Florida has specific requirements and products for commercial insurance. The commercial insurance umbrella includes several types of business protections, including coverage for lawsuits, injuries and property damage, commercial vehicles, and more.

With dozens of insurance companies to choose from, there are plenty of options for commercial insurance in Florida, including bundled packages and portfolios that include all of the different protections that your business needs. 

If you are just getting started, you might want to work with an expert to review your options for Florida commercial insurance and see what kind of coverage you can get for your money. Be sure to check and see if your lender or landlord requires any special type of coverage in addition to what the state requires for businesses so you don’t miss anything. 

Read on to learn about the different types of commercial insurance and what they can offer your Florida business in terms of protection. 

Types of Commercial Insurance 

There are a variety of coverage options under the commercial insurance category, including the common Business Owner’s Policy, which combines three of the most important protections for commercial businesses. Other coverage and insurance options are available, too. What you need depends on your business and what you need to protect. To help you with that, here’s a breakdown of the types of commercial insurance available in Florida and what they offer.  

Business Owner’s Policy 

A BOP, or Business Owner’s Policy, is comprised of three individual types of coverage that protect a business from all potential risks and provide a solid foundation for commercial insurance in Florida. These include:

  • General Liability: Also called business liability or commercial general liability insurance, this protects your company from claims of injury or property damage to another person, business, or entity. 
  • Commercial Property Insurance: This covers owned or rented buildings, tools, equipment, and other business property used to operate your Florida business. 
  • Business Income Insurance: This replaces lost income if property damage causes loss of operation. It generally only applies to covered property damage, so it’s important to have enough protection there, too. 

In addition to these coverages, other options for commercial insurance can build up your foundation and provide even more protection. Some, like workers’ comp coverage, is required, while other coverage may be optional. Your insurance agent can help you determine the best portfolio of commercial insurance products for your business. 

Florida Workers’ Compensation Insurance 

In Florida, any business with more than four employees must have workers’ compensation insurance coverage available to full- and part-time employees. In the construction industry, any business with one employee or more needs to have this coverage. This protection is designed to help employees if they are hurt or become ill while at work. 

For example, if an employee hits their head on a truck on the loading dock and requires a trip to the ER for stitches, workers’ compensation coverage will cover the ER visit and any necessary time off work for the injured party. Perhaps someone is driving a company car back from a meeting and gets in an accident—workers’ comp can cover this, as well. 

Cyber Liability Insurance

Today, with the rise in technology use in business, protection for things like data breaches is essential. Countless companies, including major multinational chains and retailers, have been the subject of serious data breaches that cost them valuable customer information, including credit and debit card numbers and other account information. 

This coverage protects against the loss of personally identifiable information (PII) and is known as either cyber liability insurance or data breach insurance. It can cover the expenses related to identity protection and recovery, legal fees, liability claims, and PR, among other things. Any business that has a network of customer or patient records will want this coverage to protect it. 

Commercial Umbrella Insurance 

In addition to the insurance we’ve already covered, commercial umbrella insurance is available to Florida businesses. This extends the protection of most of the coverage that you already have, protecting against expensive claims that are beyond your existing coverage limits. For example, if someone gets hurt in your business and the medical expenses exceed the limits of the general liability policy, an umbrella policy will make up the difference. This coverage may have exclusions and limitations of its own, so be sure to check the fine print before you buy. 

Professional Liability Insurance 

Professional liability insurance is a protection that is offered to businesses that may make mistakes in their services or consultations. This is also called E&O, or errors and omissions insurance, and can be useful to consultants, accountants, financial planners, tech experts, photographers, and others. It will cover things like legal fees and attorney costs, settlements and judgments, and more. 

Commercial Auto Insurance in Florida

Commercial vehicle insurance is its own entity, usually sold and classified separately from business liability insurance and the other types of coverage discussed thus far. There are different types of commercial insurance to cover business vehicle use, including everything from liability coverage for a company car to fleet insurance for a fleet of delivery trucks. 

If a vehicle is being used for business purposes, it must have a commercial auto insurance policy. Personal auto insurance will not cover business-related liabilities and incidents. Commercial vehicle insurance in Florida is determined based on things like:

  • Injury protection and liability 
  • Property damage 
  • Industry-specific coverage (Taxis, semi-trucks, etc.)

The best thing to do is to work with a Florida commercial auto insurer that has experience in insuring commercial vehicles of all kinds so that you can be sure that you get the right coverage. This can become part of your larger commercial insurance portfolio, but it will be purchased separately from the other business insurance that you need. 

How Much Commercial Insurance Does My Florida Business Need?

As mentioned above, every business that meets the criteria based on industry and the number of employees will need to have Florida workers’ compensation coverage. In addition, companies will be required to carry a certain amount of general liability coverage, professional liability, commercial property insurance, and other coverages that have been discussed here. 

Trying to figure out exactly what your business needs can be tricky. Interestingly, Florida does not require business insurance by state law, with the exception of workers’ compensation coverage. Therefore, it will be up to you to determine what kind of insurance you want to buy and make sure that your business is protected. While it may not be legally required, business insurance is always a good idea because it protects you from any number of issues and things that could go wrong. 

When getting a quote from an insurance company, you’ll want to provide them with the following:

  • Business Information: Industry, name, location, owner information, business operation details, annual revenue, etc. 
  • Employee Information: Number of employees, subcontractors, and their costs, annual payroll, etc. 
  • Equipment and Tools: Materials used for business, including tools and equipment over $1,000 in value, computers and portable technology, and so forth. 
  • Property Details: For commercial property coverage, you’ll need to provide information on your physical business property, including the size and age of the building, construction type, safety features, mortgage or landlord information, other occupants, and so forth. 
  • Claims History: The insurance company will also want to check your claims history, typically for the past five years or so. This will allow them to assess how much of a risk your business will be based on recent history. 

If any additional information is required, your insurance company should let you know so that you can provide it to them. 

The Cost of Florida Commercial Insurance 

The next question everyone has is: how much will commercial insurance cost in Florida? The short answer is that it depends. There are several different insurance companies, types of coverage, and factors involved in determining rates and risk levels that need to be considered. That’s why it’s best to get a few quotes and compare your options when you are getting business insurance for the first time. It’s also why reviewing your policy and getting updated quotes every few years is a good idea. 

The cost of commercial insurance in Florida depends on how much coverage you buy, what types of coverage you choose, the level of risk your business presents, and other factors. You should get at least a few quotes to be sure that you’re getting a fair price for the coverage you seek. If you’re not sure about your commercial insurance rates or you want a second opinion, feel free to ask for a review of your commercial insurance policy from a trusted authority. 

The Bottom Line 

If you’re looking for a little guidance to navigate the insurance selection process for your commercial business in Florida, you don’t have to look far. Professionals are waiting to help you review your coverage and see what you may be missing, or make sure that you’ve got enough coverage for anything that may happen. Even if it’s not required by law, it just makes smart financial sense to protect your business with commercial insurance in Florida. 

If you want an independent opinion, the team at On Target Claims can assess your situation and make sure that you’re covered against anything that could come your way. Our team can also help maximize and expedite the claims process so that you get the settlement that you deserve if you’re already dealing with an insurance claim. To learn more, contact us or submit a claim review request today.

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