Are you a small business owner in Colorado? If so, you know that running a small business poses many challenges. You also want to do the best job possible to make your clients and customers happy, rising to each day in stride.

To that end, the line between business success and failure often comes down to how well you manage and mitigate risk. One of your best defenses against life’s sneak-attacks? Insurance!

But how exactly do you get business insurance for your operations in Colorado? You first need to identify what types of policies fit your business type and risk profile; some policies are mandatory, others are just smart to have. Follow along to ensure that you’re adequately (and legally) protecting your venture!

Legally required insurance policies in Colorado

In Colorado, there are two forms of business insurance that you must obtain in order to legally operate. They are:

  • Auto liability insurance
  • Workers’ compensation insurance (if you have at least one employee)

Auto liability insurance

Driving a vehicle is risky, period. We all know that accidents can happen, no matter the reason you’re on the road.

If your business owns or rents vehicles for work purposes (i.e. delivering products or transporting employees or clients) then you are legally required to have commercial auto coverage.

If the vehicles are not titled in the name of the company and you only travel to and from job sites, chances are your personal auto policy will be sufficient. Work with your auto insurance broker to ensure you’re fully protected.

Whether you need a commercial auto policy or not, look for the following coverages in your policy:

  • Liability for third party bodily injury and property damage
  • Medical expenses
  • Uninsured motorists liability coverage
  • Comprehensive coverage
  • Collision coverage

In Colorado1, the state laws regarding auto insurance differ slightly from other states. The state’s standard minimum coverage looks like:

  • $25,000 bodily injury per person
  • $50,000 bodily injury or death liability per accident
  • $15,000 for property damage per accident

Workers’ compensation

Both public and private employers in the state of Colorado (with a few exceptions) are legally obligated to provide workers’ comp for employees, so long as they have one or more full- or part-time employees.

Workers’ comp protects your business in the event that an employee gets injured or sick while on the job. With this policy, you can help cover the cost to pay for the employee’s:

  • Medical expenses
  • Death benefits
  • Lost wages
  • Permanent disability (total or partial)
  • Rehabilitation and retraining

Businesses that fail to obtain a policy are subject to both shutdowns and fines. According to Colorado law2:

The fine for failure to carry workers’ compensation insurance when required is up to $250 for every day that the employer fails or has failed to keep the insurance for the first violation, with a maximum of $500 per day for subsequent violations.

Other types of insurance for Colorado business owners

Although they may not be legally required, there are several different types of insurance that act as essential safeguards for your business. These include:

  • General liability
  • Professional liability
  • Cyber insurance

General liability insurance

Every single business should have general liability insurance. Why?

Because it protects your business from the inherent risks of regularly interacting with third parties, like customers or contractors. There are a variety of third-party claims this policy can help cover, including:

  • Bodily injury
  • Property damage
  • Personal and advertising injury

For instance, if you’re a plumber, you frequently visit clients’ homes. Should you damage their property (like breaking the tile floor in their bathroom) or accidentally cause the client to incur a personal injury (if they trip over your tools, for example), you could be held liable.

Professional liability insurance

Another insurance policy that’s important for your business is professional liability insurance. Also known as errors and omissions (E&O) insurance, this type of policy was created to protect individuals who give advice or expertise that could result in a client’s financial losses.

Should a client claim that your professional expertise caused them to lose money, a professional liability policy could provide you with a defense and investigation of the claims and help cover the costs of damages arising out of the actual or alleged negligence.

Cyber insurance

These days, if you want to build your business and succeed in doing so, an online presence is practically mandatory. That said, when you conduct business online (particularly storing, processing, or transmitting client data) you are vulnerable to cyberattacks.

Should a malicious attacker breach your online defenses, it could result in significant harm to both your business operations and good standing with the public.

Cyber insurance coverage is one way you can mitigate that risk. It can help cover both the first-party and third-party costs related to a breach, including:

  • First Party
    • Notifying clients of the breach
    • Repairing and restoring damaged software/hardware
    • Business interruptions
    • Ransomware costs
    • Client credit monitoring
    • Public relations
  • Third Party
    • Regulatory fines
    • Privacy infringement claims
    • Breach of contract
    • Media liability

Seeing as this threat is only going to grow in the future, it’s critical that you’re just as protected against virtual threats as physical ones.

How to get your business insured in Colorado

Now that you know the types of insurance you should have, it’s time to discuss how to purchase the insurance policy. Traditionally this requires working with an insurance broker and purchasing an annual policy.

Fortunately, with Thimble, getting the small business insurance you need is fast, affordable, and easy. Our flexible, on-demand policies go by the hour, day, or month.

You can get covered in less than 60 seconds. Either use the Thimble mobile app or click “Get a Quote,” then provide a few brief details about your business and we’ll generate a free quote. Purchase your policy with one last click and your policy and any necessary Certificates of Insurance (COI) will be in your email inbox.

While Colorado may only legally require your small business to have auto liability insurance and workers’ compensation, there are several other types of insurance that are well worth considering.

When all it takes is one accident to jeopardize your business, covering all of your bases with other policies like general liability, cyber insurance and professional liability is a savvy decision. Deciding what type of insurance you need may be difficult, but getting it shouldn’t be. That’s where we come in.