If you own a small business in Idaho, then you know that operating a company comes with risks and challenges. Often, success or failure comes down to how successfully you mitigate those risks and plan for the future. One of the best ways you can reduce the liability your business faces is with small business insurance. When it comes to Idaho, some types of policies are legally required to operate a business and others are optional (but wise to have, just in case!). Every business is different. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. That said, there are a few types of insurance coverages most every business can benefit from. What are they? Let’s discuss.

Mandatory insurance for Idaho businesses

The requirements to run a business in Idaho are similar to other states in the country. There are two types of business insurance that all business owners are mandated to purchase:

  • Auto Insurance
  • Workers’ Compensation

In addition to this, there are optional liability insurance coverages worth considering, including general liability, professional liability, cyber liability, and commercial property insurance.

Commercial auto insurance

Does your business own vehicles that you use for work purposes? If you use a vehicle to carry equipment, employees, or clients to and from work, then you’re legally obligated by the state of Idaho to have commercial auto coverage. In some cases, your personal automobile policy may cover some of your exposure, but not always. It is important that you speak with your agent or broker to determine if you need a commercial automobile policy. Although it depends on the business insurance policy, most commercial auto insurance policies cover:

  • Liability coverage for bodily injury and property damage
  • Collision coverage
  • Uninsured motorists liability coverage
  • Comprehensive coverage

Idaho state laws require the following minimum insurance coverage limits1:

  • Bodily injury liability – $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident
  • Property damage liability – $15,000 per accident

Workers’ compensation insurance

If you have one or more full-time, part-time, seasonal, or occasional employees, then you’re legally mandated to have and maintain a worker’s compensation policy. The only exceptions to the rule are2:

  • Household domestic services
  • Employed family members
  • Pilots of agricultural spraying planes
  • Associate real estate brokers who are paid by commission
  • Volunteer ski patrollers
  • Officials of secondary school athletics

Workers’ compensation is meant to safeguard your business from employee claims that result in a workplace injury or illness. It helps cover:

  • Medical bills and treatment
  • Rehab
  • Disability
  • Lost wages

Penalties for noncompliance can be stiff. Per Idaho Code sec. 72-2103:

If an employer fails to secure payment of compensation as required by this act, an injured employee, or one contracting an occupational disease, or his dependents or legal representative in case death results from the injury or disease, may claim compensation under this law and shall be awarded, in addition to compensation, an amount equal to ten per cent (10%) of the total amount of his compensation together with costs, if any, and reasonable attorney’s fees if he has retained counsel.

Recommended liability insurance for Idaho business owners

Although there may only be two types of business liability insurance mandated to run a business in Idaho, there are other forms of insurance that make for smart investments. They include:

  • General liability insurance
  • Professional liability insurance

Other coverages Depending on the work you do, where you do it, who you do it for, and many other factors can expose you to risks outside of what those baseline plans above can cover. As such, additional insurance plans could be of value, such as:

General liability insurance

Every business owner should obtain general liability insurance coverage, because it significantly reduces the costs associated with various liabilities you face on a day-to-day basis. Such as? There are all sorts of risks general liability insurance covers, including third-party:

  • Bodily injury
  • Property damage
  • Personal and advertising injury

For example, if you’re a real estate photographer, you may have to work in some expensive homes. Should your equipment damage the home or property you’ve been contracted to shoot, you could be held liable.

Professional liability insurance

Another coverage that’s well worth considering is professional liability insurance. Also known as errors and omissions (E&O) insurance, this business insurance coverage was created to help experts and professionals cover financial losses resulting from their services. Should a client claim that your professional services caused them financial loss, then you could be potentially sued and held liable for your alleged negligence resulting from those services. Whether it’s a failure to perform services or simply providing “bad advice,” professional liability can provide the following:

  • Payment of damages for actual or alleged negligence
  • Legal defense

For instance, if you’re a computer programmer, a company may ask you to design an application. Should you fail to finish the app or if it has bugs at launch, the company could claim you are responsible for its lost revenue due to pushing back the application’s launch date.

Commercial property insurance

Do you own or lease the building you run your business out of? How about your property you keep in that building? Commercial property insurance was made to safeguard your business’s building, inventory, and work equipment from many perils, including the following:

  • Vandalism
  • Explosions
  • Fire
  • Smoke
  • Theft

Whether you own a building, lease, or work from home, it’s critical that your company’s physical assets are protected.

Cyber liability insurance

To operate a business in the modern business climate, a dedicated web presence is now a necessity. However, when you run your business online and store, process, or transmit client data, you run the risk of a cyberattack. Should a hacker successfully target your company and steal client data, it could have severe ramifications on your business and it’s reputation. How do you mitigate this threat? By purchasing cyber liability insurance. It can help you cover costs arising out of both first-party and third-party losses: First-party losses

  • Cost of notification of breach
  • Repairing your damaged software/hardware
  • PR and marketing response
  • Your business interruption costs
  • Extortion costs
  • Paying for client credit monitoring

Third-party losses

  • Liability for privacy breaches
  • Regulatory fines
  • Defense against lawsuits

The risk of cyberattack grows more significant with each passing year. It’s vital that you take the steps necessary to shield your company from that ever-present danger.

How to get your business insured in Idaho

When your business and employees are on the line, it’s critical that you take all proper precautions to mitigate your risk profile. At Thimble, our goal is to make business insurance that’s easy and works for you. Whether it’s general liability or professional liability, our policies are designed with your business in mind (no matter how big or small). We’re committed to connecting you to the tailor-made insurance coverage you need. We make insurance simple. Flexible policies can be purchased by the hour, day, or month. It’s up to you! Want to get started? It takes less than 60 seconds to get covered. Simply download the Thimble mobile app or click “Get a Quote.” Answer a few quick questions to receive a free quote. Purchase the insurance policy and your Certificate of Insurance (COI) will be waiting in your inbox in moments. Ready to protect your business? We are too. Get a quote from Thimble now.

Although you’re only obligated by statute to obtain two types of insurance—workers’ compensation insurance and auto insurance—that doesn’t mean you should stop there.

There are other areas of risk you must protect your business from. This is why it’s also wise to take out general liability insurance, professional liability insurance, and cyber insurance coverages as well.

By covering all your bases, you can make sure that an unexpected event doesn’t hinder your business. Good luck out there! Sources: