First-time business owners have a lot to worry about. In addition to the imaginative idea and solid business plan to anchor your company, you face challenges that require a great deal of creativity and concrete logistics. You want to make sure that you’ve hired the right people to get your business off the ground, too. Manpower and enthusiasm are key. With all these things on your mind, you might not have even considered insurance yet. However, while it might not seem as important as hiring the right manager, insurance can make or break a new business.

Business or commercial insurance is crucial for an entrepreneur, and not having it in a shaky economy could be a serious financial mistake. If you’re launching a new enterprise, you must consider your liabilities. Even if you’re self-employed and working from home, your business could benefit from commercial insurance. Small ventures can carry just as much risk as large corporations. Consider the following scenarios:

  • You are opening a salon and you accidentally misprint an ad stating that haircuts are 4.22 euros instead of 42.2 euros.
  • You run a daycare in your home and a customer slips and falls on your icy front steps.
  • You’re a freelance writer and are sued for libel.
  • You open a catering business and, while delivering a load of cupcakes, cause a multi-car accident.

The personal liability coverage in your homeowners insurance policy won’t protect you in situations such as these. Since all of the above are business-related circumstances, your insurance provider won’t offer you protection under your home insurance policy. On the other hand, you would be covered by commercial insurance. Since all of these scenarios are plausible, business insurance is a worthwhile investment.

A standard commercial insurance policy

Like a homeowners policy, standard commercial insurance policies typically come with multiple types of coverage. For an affordable premium, you’ll receive several different kinds of protection that will protect your business after a worst-case scenario. When you call a licensed insurance agent to discuss your options, you’ll learn about the various kinds of coverages.

Bodily injury coverage helps pay medical bills for a customer injured on your premises. This kind of protection will help cover hospital expenses and other associated costs. Personal injury coverage also kicks in if you’re being sued for libel or slander. If you are launching your own publication or film political ads, this kind of protection will be especially helpful. Property damage coverage is straightforward; it helps pay for business property damaged by fire, smoke, wind, hail and other specified events. Advertising injury coverage is also beneficial as it will protect you if you falsely advertise your services.

Finding the right insurance policy for your business isn’t difficult. Collect multiple quotes from various insurance providers so you can make sure that you’re not overpaying on coverage. Once you’ve gathered several estimates, you can get a better idea as to which insurance carrier is right for you and your commercial enterprise. Don’t necessarily spring for the lowest rate. Choose a price and product that satisfy your needs. A good policy will protect your business and go easy on your budget.

Shannon Casey, based in Charlotte, NC, is a writer for In addition to insurance, she writes about dogs and feminist theory and is interested in improv comedy.