The owners and employees of South Carolina’s more than 460,000 small businesses work hard to keep their livelihood going strong.1 But even one unexpected event could trigger financial strain that could derail their success.
That’s why business insurance in South Carolina is an essential purchase for many small business owners. It can provide a safety net by helping to pay for damages after accidents and situations such as:
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.
Continue reading to learn about important types of business insurance in South Carolina. Or get a free instant quote to see customized coverage options for your business.
Most small businesses in South Carolina need more than one type of business insurance, which insurance companies call policies. That’s why you can purchase customized coverage packages built to meet your business insurance needs.
The types of policies your company might need will depend on your industry, business operations, number of employees and other factors.
Different types of policies protect your company in different kinds of situations. For example:
If a customer experiences an injury on your business premises, says you’re responsible and comes after you for damages, you’d need South Carolina general liability insurance. It could help you cover medical costs related to the injury, as well as legal bills if they sue you.
But, if one of your employees gets injured in the workplace, you’d need workers’ compensation insurance. It could help pay for the employee’s medical bills and lost wages while they recover.
Other kinds of coverage purchased by South Carolina small businesses include professional liability insurance to protect against professional mistakes, commercial property insurance to help cover damage to business property and commercial auto insurance to help pay for accidents that happen when driving for business.
General liability insurance in South Carolina is one of the most common types of coverage. If your business is accused of injuring someone you don’t employ or destroying their property, general liability can help pay for damages, including medical expenses and the cost of repairing or replacing items.
For example, a worker at a cleaning business in Charleston accidentally spills bleach at a client’s house and ruins an expensive rug. The cleaning company’s general liability insurance could help cover the cost to purchase a new rug for the customer.
Many commercial landlords require proof of a general liability policy before they’ll offer you a lease. And clients may ask that you carry commercial general liability before they’ll hire your business.
Cleaning and construction firms can upgrade their general liability coverage with tools and equipment insurance. This optional add-on can help pay to replace or repair essential business gear that’s lost, damaged or stolen.
South Carolina law requires most businesses with employees to carry workers’ compensation coverage. It can help cover medical bills and lost wages when staff members are hurt on the job.
Here’s a situation where South Carolina workers’ comp insurance would come into play after an unexpected employee injury:
A kitchen worker at a Greenville-based restaurant suffers a serious cut and needs emergency care, stitches and three weeks to recover. Workers’ comp could help pay the employee’s hospital bill and lost wages while they recuperate.
Businesses that own vehicles will want to add commercial auto insurance to their business insurance package in South Carolina. That’s because personal auto insurance won’t cover accidents that happen while driving for business.
For example, a handyman in Beaufort has a collision with another driver in a company truck and damages both vehicles. Commercial auto insurance could help pay to repair the vehicles and help cover medical expenses related to the incident.
Some South Carolina businesses might also purchase an optional add-on called hired and non-owned coverage. This type of insurance can help pay for accident damages if you ask employees to drive their own vehicles or rent autos for business purposes.
Many South Carolina businesses purchase commercial property insurance to protect their business property, inventory and physical premises. This type of coverage can help pay for damages after a covered event, such as water, fire or wind damage.
For example, a sprinkler malfunction at a Myrtle Beach women’s boutique damages the clothing for sale and ruins store fixtures. Commercial property coverage could help pay to replace the inventory and replace the damaged fixtures.
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.
Claims of professional negligence can hurt both a small business’s finances and its reputation. If a client says that you delivered substandard work, failed to complete a job or missed a deadline, you could be sued.
Professional liability insurance, also known as E&O or errors and omissions coverage, can help cover costs associated with these types of claims, including court and attorney fees and any damages for which you’re found responsible.
For instance, a client accuses a Columbia accountant of making a critical error that led to a hefty fine. E&O coverage could help the accountant reimburse the client for the fine, as well as assist with attorney costs if the client files a lawsuit
The cost of business insurance in the Palmetto State can vary widely. That’s due to the specialized nature of business coverage, which depends on your profession, business size and other factors including:
Owners of higher-risk businesses should budget a bit more for insurance than those with fewer risks. For example, construction companies, which have a greater chance of injury and property damage, typically pay more than professional services companies.
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.
Companies with 10 employees will spend more on workers’ comp insurance than those with five. Be sure to provide actual employee numbers, including part-time workers, to get the most accurate quote.
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 South 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.
Learn more about insurance options in the states where you work.