There are more than 650,000 small businesses in the state of Tennessee. They employ 1.2 million workers and span diverse industries, from retail and construction to restaurants.1
All of these companies need the protection of small business insurance. It can provide a financial safety net after unexpected events, 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 Tennessee. Or get a free instant quote to see customized coverage options for your business.
Insurance carriers offer coverage in customized packages that you can build around your business insurance requirements. Based on your profession and employment practices, your insurance package may include different types of coverage, which insurance companies call policies.
For example, a Knoxville fast-casual restaurant with delivery service will probably need 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 potential accidents in company vehicles.
While a small real estate agency in Maryville 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 Tennessee workers’ compensation insurance to help cover medical costs and lost wages when employees are injured on the job.
Every small business is unique. Your business operations, employment practices and other factors will determine the types of insurance policies you’ll want.
Tennessee general liability coverage is one of the most frequently purchased types of business insurance in Tennessee. It can help protect your business if a non-employee claims that you caused an injury or damaged property.
Also known as commercial general liability, this kind of coverage can help cover medical expenses, bills to repair or replace damaged items and legal fees if you’re sued.
For instance a self-employed Memphis carpenter breaks a light fixture while making repairs at a client’s home. General liability insurance could help the carpenter pay to replace the damaged item.
Small businesses with employees in Tennessee almost always need to carry Tennessee workers’ compensation coverage. When workers 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 of a Chattanooga retail store falls from a stockroom ladder, breaks an arm and is temporarily unable to work. Workers’ compensation insurance could help the business pay for the injured employee’s medical bills and physical therapy costs. It could also cover a portion of the employee’s wages while they get better.
If your business involves driving, you’ll need commercial auto insurance as part of your insurance package. It’s critical because personal auto policies won’t pay for accidents or bodily injury caused when you’re behind the wheel on business.
Here’s a scenario where commercial auto coverage could help a small employer:
Two workers at a dry cleaning business in Murfreesboro hit a guardrail while returning from a delivery, resulting in major damages to a company-owned van. Commercial auto insurance could help pay to repair the van and for medical bills if the workers were injured.
Hired and non-owned auto coverage is an optional add-on to commercial auto coverage. It’s designed to cover damage from accidents that happen when employees drive their own cars or rent vehicles for business reasons.
Tennessee commercial property insurance, sometimes called business property insurance, can help pay for business property that’s damaged or destroyed after a covered event, such as water, fire or wind incidents.
For example, a kitchen fire at a Gatlinburg casual dining restaurant damages the cooking station. Commercial property coverage could help pay to repair the grill and replace cookware that was ruined.
It’s important to read your policy documents carefully to make sure there aren’t exclusions for your business. Many carriers don’t cover flood and hurricane damage.
No matter how carefully you run your business, there’s always a chance that a client could blame you for a mistake that resulted in financial losses. If this happened, professional liability coverage, also called E&O or errors and omissions insurance, could benefit your business.
This type of business insurance coverage can help pay damages and legal defense fees if you’re accused of professional negligence, which could include missed deadlines or incomplete jobs.
For example, a commercial office building developer claims that a Nashville architecture firm didn’t deliver a building plan on time, which caused several clients to pull out of the project. The developer sues the architect for damages.
Professional liability coverage could help the architect pay for legal costs and court fees and to help settle the case.
Business insurance packages in Tennessee will be priced based on your company’s business insurance needs. Some of the factors that will affect your cost include:
Industries that have greater risk of injury and property damage can expect to pay more each month for coverage. For example, construction companies in Tennessee will likely have larger business insurance premiums to pay than professional services firms.
Your business insurance cost will increase 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 quote from NEXT.
You can also use our insurance calculators for a general estimate of insurance costs in Tennessee:
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.