Small Business Insurance North Carolina

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North Carolina’s small business community includes more than 950,000 million companies and is steadily growing.1 All of its members need small business insurance to protect their livelihoods and their employees.

Having the right coverage for your business insurance needs can help when accidents happen and give you the peace of mind to focus on your profession.

Business insurance in North Carolina can help cover costs after unexpected events, such as:

  • Injuries to non-employees
  • Property damage
  • Accusations of professional negligence
  • Employees getting hurt on the job
  • Accidents while driving for business

NEXT is 100% dedicated to small businesses 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 North Carolina. Or get a free instant quote to see customized coverage options for your business.

Small business insurance in North Carolina – because insurance isn’t one size fits all

Whether you run a construction firm in Wilmington or you’re a self-employed professional services worker in Raleigh, purchasing the right small business insurance matters. That’s why insurance companies offer customized packages that include different types of insurance coverage, also called policies.

For example, a four-person trucking company in Asheville may need general liability insurance in case they cause property damage or injury, commercial auto insurance to protect their vehicles and workers’ compensation coverage for when the team is hurt on the job.

While an architect in Chapel Hill is likely to need professional liability coverage in case they’re accused of making a professional error that causes financial losses, and commercial property insurance to protect their business property and the building they own.

Your North Carolina business insurance package will be built around your profession and your business operations.

What are the North Carolina minimum business insurance requirements?

North Carolina workers’ compensation and commercial auto insurance are required by state law under certain circumstances. Continue ready for more details.

You might also be asked to have other types of insurance by your clients, licensing agencies or commercial landlords. For example, a new client might ask for a certificate of liability insurance before they’ll work with you.

Workers’ Comp insurance requirements

If you own a business in North Carolina, there are minimum business insurance requirements in the state. According to the North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act, all businesses with three or more employees must have workers’ comp insurance or qualify as self-insured. There are some exceptions to this rule that you can read about here.

You may not have to cover yourself if you are the sole proprietor, LLC member or partner of your business. But you must cover your employees, even if they are labeled as subcontractors or independent contractors.

It’s important to make sure you comply with North Carolina insurance law. If you don’t carry workers’ comp insurance, you can face financial penalties, criminal charges or imprisonment in extreme cases.

Read more about workers’ compensation insurance from NEXT.

Commercial Auto insurance requirements

North Carolina requires commercial auto insurance if vehicles are used commercially, according to state laws. In North Carolina, you need the following levels of commercial auto insurance:

  • Personal injury protection (PIP): this coverage helps pay for the medical expenses of drivers and passengers in your commercial vehicles.
  • Commercial auto policies must have a minimum liability of $30,000 per person injured in an accident, $60,000 for all injured people, and $25,000 for all property damage. In some industries, this requirement is higher.
  • Uninsured motorist insurance: this helps cover uninsured drivers, and is common in hit-and-run situations.

Read more about commercial auto insurance from NEXT.

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Types of business insurance in North Carolina

Most small businesses in North Carolina need more than one type of coverage to meet their insurance requirements. Below you’ll learn how different kinds of policies can provide protection to keep you safe.
General Liability insurance
North Carolina General Liability insurance

General liability insurance, also known as business liability insurance, is one of the most important forms of small business coverage in North Carolina.

If someone claims that your business caused injuries or property damage, general liability can help pay medical bills or to repair or replace damaged items.

For example, an employee at a Charlotte-based cleaning company forgets to place wet floor warning signs and someone has a slip-and-fall injury. The cleaning company’s general liability coverage could help cover medical bills for the injured person and could help pay legal defense costs if the person sued.

Construction and cleaning companies in North Carolina often add tools and equipment insurance to their general liability coverage. This optional upgrade can help pay to replace business gear that’s stolen, lost or damaged outside of wear and tear.

Workers' comp insurance
North Carolina Workers’ Compensation insurance

North Carolina requires most businesses with three or more employees to carry workers’ compensation coverage.

But any business with employees can benefit from workers’ comp. This kind of coverage is designed to come into play after workplace injuries. It can help pay for medical expenses, physical rehabilitation costs and lost wages after employees are hurt on the job.

For instance, a worker at a Greensboro landscaping firm cuts a hand while pruning bushes. If the employee needs medical attention and cannot work, workers’ comp could assist with hospital bills and lost wages during their recovery.

Commercial auto insurance
North Carolina Commercial Auto insurance

If your business involves driving or owns vehicles, commercial auto insurance is an important type of coverage.

Commercial auto insurance in North Carolina can help pay for vehicle repair, medical costs and property damage related to accidents that you or your employees have while behind the wheel for business. Personal auto insurance policies don’t cover business driving situations.

For example, employees of a clothing boutique in Durham backed the company van into a moving car after a delivery, damaging both vehicles and injuring the other driver. Commercial auto coverage could help pay to repair both autos and for the driver’s emergency room visit.

Commercial Property
North Carolina Commercial Property insurance

North Carolina commercial property insurance can help pay for damaged or destroyed business property after a covered event, such as water, fire or wind damage.

For example, a grease fire at a Jacksonville fast-casual restaurant damages the cooking station. Commercial property coverage could help pay to repair the grill and replace frying pans that got fried.

It’s important to read your policy documents carefully to make sure there aren’t exclusions for your business. Some locations prone to flooding or hurricane damage might have limited coverage.

Errors & Omissions
North Carolina Professional Liability (E&O) insurance

Many businesses in North Carolina choose professional liability insurance, which is also called errors and omissions insurance.

If someone claims that your company made a professional mistake, missed a deadline or failed to deliver work, this type of coverage can help pay attorney fees, lawsuit costs and damages.

Professional liability insurance would apply in the following situation:

A client says that an accountant in Raleigh made a tax error that caused significant IRS fines and files a lawsuit to recoup damages. Professional liability could help the accounting firm cover their legal defense costs and pay settlements.

How much does North Carolina business insurance cost?

How much does North Carolina business insurance cost?

Business insurance in North Carolina is priced based on your profession, business operations and size. Here are some factors that will influence the cost you’ll pay:

Your company’s exposure to risk

If you’re in an industry that’s more likely to experience injuries and accidents, you’ll probably pay more for your business insurance. For example, auto body repair shops are places where bodily injury and property damage can happen. Their coverage often costs more than desk workers like real estate agents and graphic designers.

The policies you choose

Business insurance will cost more as you add policies to your coverage package. However, you can sometimes bundle more than one policy and receive discounts. Most businesses need more than one type of policy to protect them in different situations.

The number of employees you have

Companies with larger headcounts will spend more on workers’ compensation coverage each month than those with fewer employees. To get the most accurate insurance quote, be sure to use your exact employee count.

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 North Carolina:

How NEXT can help you with business insurance in North Carolina

How NEXT can help you with business insurance in North Carolina

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.

Resources for North Carolina small businesses and self-employed workers

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* To the extent permitted by law, applicants are individually underwritten, not all applicants may qualify. Individual rates and savings vary and are subject to change. Discounts and savings are available where state laws and regulations allow, and may vary by state. Certain discounts apply to specific coverages only.
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Issuance of coverage is subject to underwriting. Not available in all states. Please see the policy for full terms, conditions and exclusions. Coverage examples are for illustrative purposes only. Your policy documents govern, terms and exclusions apply. Coverage is dependent on actual facts and circumstances giving rise to a claim. Next Insurance, Inc. and/or its affiliates is an insurance agency licensed to sell certain insurance products and may receive compensation from insurance companies for such sales. Policy obligations are the sole responsibility of the issuing insurance company. Refer to Legal Notices section for additional information.

Any starting prices or premiums represented before an actual customer quote are not guaranteed and are representations of existing premiums of active policies as of December 6, 2023. To the extent permitted by law, applicants are individually underwritten, not all applicants may qualify. Individual rates and savings vary and are subject to change. Discounts and savings are available where state laws and regulations allow, and may vary by state. Certain discounts apply to specific coverages only.