Small businesses are important to every state’s economic well-being, but they are particularly crucial in Montana. These companies employ more than a quarter-million people in the Treasure State, or nearly two-thirds of the workforce. 1
No matter your industry or location, you’ll need small business insurance in Montana to protect you when things don’t go as planned. Coverage can help pay for unexpected business expenses after situations related to:
NEXT 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.
Insurance carriers offer coverage in customized packages that you can build around your business insurance needs. Based on your profession and employment practices, your insurance package may include different types of coverage, which insurance companies call policies.
For example, a Butte fast-casual restaurant with delivery service will probably need Montana general liability insurance to help cover damages if it’s accused of injuring someone or destroying property, and commercial auto insurance to help pay for a potential accident in the company van.
While a small real estate agency in Bozeman 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 workers’ compensation insurance to help cover medical costs and lost wages when employees are injured on the job.
Montana insurance laws require most small businesses with employees to have workers’ compensation insurance.
Commercial auto insurance is also required for business driving. Minimum requirements are:
Continue reading for more details on different types of Montana business insurance.
General liability is one of the most essential types of business insurance in Montana and often the first type of coverage purchased by small businesses.
This kind of insurance, also known as commercial liability insurance, can help companies pay for damages if someone other than an employee blames them for causing injury or damaging property. General liability coverage also can help pay legal fees if you’re sued over such claims.
For instance, a self-employed house painter in Billings accidentally spills paint on a sofa and carpet during a job. The painter’s general liability coverage could help cover the costs of replacing the damaged items.
Tools and equipment insurance is a general liability add-on that owners of construction and cleaning companies might need. If business gear is damaged, lost or stolen, this type of coverage can help pay to repair or replace it.
Small businesses with employees in Montana almost always need to carry workers’ compensation coverage. When employees are injured on the job, this type of insurance can help pay for medical bills and lost wages as the employee recovers.
Workers’ comp insurance would apply in a scenario like this:
An employee at a fine dining restaurant in Great Falls gets a serious cut prepping ingredients and needs stitches and a few weeks off to recover. Workers’ comp can help the injured employee cover their medical expenses and provide lost wages until they are well enough to return to work.
Because personal auto insurance doesn’t cover accident damages that happen when driving for business reasons, Montana businesses that own vehicles will want to purchase commercial auto insurance.
Commercial auto coverage can help pay for damages if a person at your company injures someone or destroys property in a business-related accident.
For instance, an employee of a Bozeman-based construction company totals the work van in a collision, sending another driver and passenger to the hospital. Commercial auto coverage can help cover the injured parties’ medical expenses and help pay for damages to vehicles and other property.
Montana commercial property coverage can help protect the essential things you need to run your business. It can help cover the cost to repair or replace your business property, equipment and physical premises, in the case of covered events like fire, water or wind damage.
Here’s an example of when commercial property coverage would come in handy:
A clothing store in Helena experiences an electrical fire that causes smoke and heat damage, ruining fixtures and its inventory. Commercial property insurance could help pay to clean up the damage and cover replacing damaged items.
Keep in mind that commercial property insurance can have exclusions, such as for flooding or hurricane damage. Be sure to read your policy documents carefully so you know exactly what your coverage includes.
If someone accuses your business of making a work mistake that causes them financial losses, you could be held responsible for paying damages. They could also sue your company for negligence.
For these reasons, business insurance packages in Montana might include professional liability insurance. Also known as E&O or errors and omissions insurance, this type of coverage can help pay for damages associated with work mistakes, missed deadlines and incomplete projects.
Here’s an example of when professional liability insurance would come in handy:
An employee of a Missoula-based architecture firm misses a deadline for submitting building plans, which causes a delay in the project. The client says that the oversight caused a substantial financial loss.
The architecture company’s professional liability insurance could help reimburse the client for the losses. If the client filed a lawsuit for additional damages, E&O insurance could help pay the firm’s attorney fees, court costs and any additional damages for which the business is found liable.
Your business insurance cost will depend on your industry and business operations. That means the cost of coverage can vary widely based on the unique characteristics of each small business.
Here are some of the factors that will influence the cost of Montana business insurance:
Small companies that have greater risks of causing injury or property damage will likely pay more for business insurance than those that have fewer chances of such accidents. For example, construction firms usually spend more than professional service providers.
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.
Workers’ compensation insurance costs are partially based on how many people you employ, and businesses with more staff members will pay more for coverage. To get the most accurate quote, be sure to provide an exact number of employees, including positions for which you plan to hire.
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 Montana:
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.
Learn more about insurance options in the states where you work.