Did you know that small businesses make up nearly all Hawaii companies and employ about half of the state’s workforce?1 That is a significant part of the Aloha State’s economy.
All small businesses in Hawaii need the protection of business insurance. It can keep your company going when unexpected events occur, such as:
NEXT is 100% dedicated to small business and insures more than 1,300 types of small businesses and self-employed workers. We make it easy for you to get the right coverage at the right price and purchase your policy online in less than 10 minutes.*
Continue reading to learn about important types of business insurance in Hawaii. Or get a free instant quote to see customized coverage options for your business.
You can purchase commercial insurance in customized packages built around your business insurance requirements.
Based on your profession and your employment practices, your Hawaii insurance package may include different types of coverage, also known as policies or insurance products.
For example, an Oahu gourmet shop with delivery service will probably need Hawaii general liability insurance, to help cover damages if they’re accused of injuring someone or destroying property, as well as a commercial auto policy, to help pay for accidents in the company van.
While a small real estate agency in Honolulu might purchase professional liability insurance, to protect against claims of professional negligence that cause financial losses, and commercial property coverage, to help pay for repair and damage to their business in case of fire, wind or water damage.
Both of these businesses will also likely need a Hawaii workers’ compensation policy to help cover medical costs and lost wages when employees are injured on the job.
General liability coverage is one of the most important types of insurance for small businesses. Sometimes called commercial general liability, it can help your business if a non-employee accuses you of causing injury or property damage or sues you.
In such situations, a liability policy can help pay for medical bills, the repair or replacement of damaged items and legal fees to defend your business.
For example, an apartment complex owner accuses a Hilo dog walker of allowing a canine to destroy a flower bed, causing several hundred dollars worth of damage. General liability coverage could help the dog walker pay for the property damage.
Cleaning businesses and contractors can add optional tools and equipment insurance to their Hawaii general liability policy. This coverage can help replace important business gear that is lost, stolen or damaged.
State law requires most businesses with employees to carry Hawaii workers’ comp insurance. This kind of coverage can help cover costs associated with job-related injuries, such as medical bills, rehabilitation fees and lost wages.
For instance, an employee of a Maui event planning firm sprains a wrist while staging a conference at the Lahaina Civic Center and requires several doctor visits. Medical professionals recommend that the employee take two weeks off work to recover from the injury.
Workers’ comp insurance could help pay for the injured employee’s medical bills and cover a portion of lost wages while they’re unable to report to work.
If you or your employees drive for business, you’ll need commercial auto coverage. That’s because personal car insurance won’t pay for accidents that happen while driving for business.
Commercial auto insurance could help a small company in the following situation:
An employee of an air conditioning installation firm in Kailua has an accident in a company truck while returning from a job, injuring another driver. The company’s commercial auto insurance could help pay for the other person’s medical bills and damage to both vehicles.
Hired and non-owned auto insurance is a common commercial auto coverage add-on. This optional upgrade is designed to provide coverage if employees drive their own vehicles or rent cars for business purposes.
Hawaii commercial property insurance can protect your business property, including inventory and your physical premises. It can help pay to repair or replace damaged items after a covered event, such as a vandalism, water, fire or wind incident.
For example, a grease fire at a Pearl City diner-style restaurant damages the cooking station. Commercial property coverage could help pay to repair the grill and replace kitchen gear that was destroyed.
It’s important to read your policy documents carefully to make sure there aren’t exclusions for your business. It’s common for insurance providers not to cover flood or hurricane damage.
Professional liability insurance, sometimes known as E&O or errors & omissions coverage, is a type of business insurance that is often purchased by professional services companies. It can help pay for damages if someone claims they incurred financial losses because you made a professional mistake, missed a deadline or failed to complete work.
For example, a hotel owner in Wailea says that an accounting firm made a property tax error that resulted in significant fines. The accountants’ professional liability insurance could help pay for the financial damages and, if the hotelier sued, for attorney fees, court costs and settlements.
The cost you’ll pay for business insurance depends on your profession, your employment practices and other factors. That means your premiums may be different than those of the Hawaii business right next door to you.
Here are some of the things insurance companies look at when preparing your estimate:
If you work in an industry that has greater chances of injuring someone or damaging property, you’ll spend more on small business insurance in Hawaii. For example, a landscaper will often pay more than a graphic designer.
Business insurance will cost more as you add policies to your coverage package. Most businesses need more than one type of policy to protect them in different situations.
A business with 10 employees will pay more for workers’ compensation insurance than one with five staffers. Having your actual employee numbers, including full-time and part-time workers, will enable you to get a quote that’s accurate.
The best way to explore coverage options and find out how much you’ll pay for a business insurance policy is to get a free instant quote from NEXT.
You can also use our insurance calculators for a general estimate of insurance costs in Hawaii:
We offer a fast and easy way for small business owners to get a business insurance quote online, purchase coverage and instantly share a certificate of insurance. The entire process usually takes less than 10 minutes.
You can also chat with our U.S.–based NEXT licensed insurance agents if you need help or have questions.
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