Founder and Executive Director Matt Alcobia gives motivated talent a leg up in the music industry with his San Diego label.
No matter what state you live in, running a business means the owner is taking on serious potential liabilities. It’s always a gamble, which is why success is so rewarding. However, you minimize your risks by obtaining the right insurance coverage.
If you’re a business owner in Arizona, you’re legally required to carry two types of insurance, but the smartest business owners don’t stop there. In fact, there are several policies that could protect you in the long run. Curious what those are? Keep reading to find out what you need to know about business insurance in Arizona.
Liability insurance laws in Arizona
Like a lot of other states in the country, Arizona requires businesses to have two types of insurance policies. Both are meant to protect the workers and the business itself from liability claims. These mandated policies are:
Commercial Auto Insurance Policy
A commercial liability insurance policy for vehicles in Arizona is mandatory for businesses that own vehicles and use them to chauffeur clients or employees, carry equipment or products, or drive to and from work. The liability policy helps to pay for:
- Medical bills
- Accident-related property damage
- Vehicle theft
- Vehicle damages
Arizona state law mandates that a commercial auto policy have the following minimum coverage:
- $15,000 bodily injury liability per person
- $30,000 bodily injury liability per accident
- $10,000 property damage liability per accident
While it may not be required, if you or employees drive personal vehicles for work purposes, it would be wise to obtain a non-owned car insurance policy. You must do this because the vast majority of personal auto policies won’t encompass claims if an accident happens while you’re driving for business purposes.
49 of the 50 states require a business to have workers’ compensation in some shape or form. Typically, for the mandate to kick in, you must have a certain number of employees (ranging from 1 to 5). This protects the business and covers employees who experience personal injury on the job and can help cover costs, including:
- Medical bills and treatment
- Lost wages
In Arizona, there are some exceptions to the workers’ compensation insurance mandate. Examples include independent contractors, occasional workers, and domestic workers who work from home. That said, failure to abide by the state’s laws and provide proof of insurance can result in stiff monetary penalties starting at $1,000 and going as high as $10,000.
Optional liability coverage
Although there are only two types of liability insurance in Arizona that are mandated, we suggest you strongly consider purchasing the following plans:
Do you own or rent a building? Does the business hold expensive inventory or equipment? If so, property insurance protects your tools, equipment, furniture and documents from:
- Vandalism Smoke damage
That said, if you fear other large natural disasters like floods or earthquakes, you’ll have to purchase an additional policy to take care of those.
Cyber Liability Insurance
These days, the lifeblood of any business is its cyber presence. From data storage to communication, everything runs through the company’s computers and servers. As a result, such items are extremely vulnerable to cyber-attacks. And, if a hacker is successful, that could result in costly data breaches, viruses, and reputational damage, or even cause the business to temporarily shut down. A cyber liability insurance policy would safeguard your business by covering the following possibilities:
- Legal fees
- Fraud monitoring costs
- Alerting clients to breaches and fraud
- Hiring a PR team
- Ransomware payments
- Business interruptions
Home-Based Business Insurance Policy
Many small businesses are first launched from a home or garage. Unfortunately, many owners don’t realize until too late that their homeowners’ policy doesn’t include the business. As a result, if a fire or some other disaster happens, all of their inventory and equipment could be lost without any financial recourse. A home-based business insurance policy acts quite similarly to a commercial property insurance policy, because if an accident happened as a result of your business operations in your home, it likely wouldn’t be covered under your homeowners insurance.
General Liability Insurance
General liability insurance is a must-have for any business owner in Arizona. This liability policy protects you from various liability claims tied to negligence allegations resulting from defective products or third-party damages such as property or bodily injury. This type of claim would pay for the following:
- Property damage
- Bodily injury
- Medical bills
- Reputational harm
- Hiring a legal team
But why does it matter? Picture this situation.
A plumber is called in by a client to fix a leak. During the course of his work, a pipe bursts, causing the entire home to flood. Now, the client wants to take you to court for property damages. A general liability insurance policy would be able to cover both the cost of the damages as well as your general counsel’s legal fees. Without it, you’d be handed the financial responsibility of paying tens of thousands of dollars to fix the problem.
Professional Liability Insurance
Professional liability insurance, also known as errors and omissions (E&O) insurance, covers defense and damages “caused by” bad advice or expertise. Far too many Arizona businesses make the grave error of thinking their general liability insurance policy covers these issues. However, if you’re considered a professional, you’ll need (E&O). But which jobs are classified as professional and require a business owner’s policy? These include but aren’t limited to:
- Graphic Designers
- Beauticians Writers
- Aerobics Instructors
Consider what would happen if an aerobics instructor led a class to perform a type of movement, only for one of the students to break their foot in the process. Now this student can no longer go to her shifts as a production assistant, which means she’s losing money. She then decides to sue the aerobics instructor for negligence, claiming that she should’ve never recommended such a move to a novice. A professional liability insurance policy could help protect the aerobics instructor from the fees that come with this claim, even if it was a total accident.
Thimble: liability insurance In Arizona
Are you interested in purchasing coverage? Click “Get a quote” or download the Thimble app, input a few details about your business, enter your ZIP code, and choose your desired coverage length. From there, we’ll generate a quote instantly. Click purchase and you’ll have a Certificate of Insurance delivered to your email inbox. You’ll also have this proof of insurance on-hand, with the ability to access our COI from theThimble app. That’s radically simple—that’s Thimble.
Our editorial content is intended for informational purposes only and is not written by a licensed insurance agent. Terms and conditions for rate and coverage may vary by class of business and state.
Driven by a desire to be their own bosses, Sarasota couple Jose Aguilar and Maite Montagut get their feet wet in the pressure washing business.