Pennsylvania’s 1.1 million small businesses are key to driving the state’s economy. They employ nearly half of the state’s workforce and include workers across most industries.1
All of these companies need business insurance to protect their bottom line and their employees, whether they’re professional services firms in Harrisburg or construction workers in Scranton.
Small business insurance in Pennsylvania can help provide a financial safety net after unforeseen events, such as:
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Pennsylvania insurance companies offer coverage in customized packages that you can build around your business insurance needs. Based on your profession and employment practices, your coverage package may include different types of insurance to help in different kinds of situations.
For example, a State College plumbing company might need commercial Pennsylvania 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 architecture firm in Lancaster 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.
General liability insurance, which insurance companies refer to as commercial liability or business liability insurance, is often the first type of coverage small businesses in Pennsylvania purchase. That’s because it can provide broad financial protection for some of the most common types of accidents.
Pennsylvania general liability coverage can help pay for damages, including lawsuit costs, if someone other than an employee accuses your business of causing physical injury or property damage.
For example, a construction company in Pittsburgh is working on a new building and hits a water main, causing the site to flood and delaying the project. If the building owner asks the excavation company to pay for the property damage, general liability insurance could help cover the expenses. It could also help pay for legal costs if the client sued.
Pennsylvania law requires most businesses with employees to carry workers’ comp insurance.
This kind of coverage is designed to provide a financial safety net when workers are hurt on the job. It can help pay for an injured employee’s medical expenses and lost wages while they recover and legal costs if the worker files a lawsuit.
For example, an employee of an Allentown-based auto repair shop drops a piece of heavy equipment, breaks a foot and needs six weeks to get better. Workers’ compensation insurance could help pay the worker’s medical bills and help provide lost wages during recovery.
If the injured employee files a negligence lawsuit against the auto repair company, Pennsylvania workers’ comp insurance could also help the business cover legal costs, such as attorney fees, court costs and settlements.
Businesses in Pennsylvania that own vehicles will need commercial auto coverage. That’s because personal auto insurance won’t cover damages for accidents that happen while driving for business.
For instance, a delivery worker employed by an Erie-based pizza restaurant has a serious collision on the way to a customer’s home. First responders order an ambulance to take the employee to the hospital for a checkup.
Commercial auto insurance could help the restaurant pay for the employee’s medical bills and lost wages. It could also help cover the costs to repair or replace damaged vehicles.
Hired and non-owned auto insurance is an optional add-on to commercial auto policies. It is designed to provide coverage for businesses that ask employees to drive personal vehicles for work or rent vehicles.
Pennsylvania 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 after 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 Chadds Fort 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 merchandise.
It’s important to read your policy documents carefully to make sure there aren’t exclusions for your business. Some locations might not cover flood or hurricane damage.
Professional liability coverage is also known as E&O or errors and omissions insurance. It can help protect small businesses that are accused of professional mistakes, missed deadlines or incomplete work.
For instance, a real estate agent in Philadelphia accidentally sends prospective buyers to the wrong address for an open house, and the seller later files a lawsuit for professional negligence. Professional liability insurance could help the agent’s company cover legal costs and pay for damages.
Business insurance costs in Pennsylvania can be very different for each small business. That’s because pricing is based on factors that depend on the company’s industry and business practices.
Here are some of the considerations that go into the price you’ll pay for Pennsylvania business insurance:
Insurance costs are influenced by your industry and associated risks. For example, a landscaper, who is more likely to be injured or cause property damage, will probably pay a higher premium than an accountant who spends all day at a desk.
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 across different situations.
Insurers will look at your company’s payroll when determining workers’ compensation coverage costs. Generally, you’ll pay more if you have ten employees than two.
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 Pennsylvania:
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.