From uptown to upstate and Buffalo to the boroughs, the New York state of mind is all about the hustle. If the Empire State was its own country, it would have an economy comparable to South Korea.1 It’s not just big businesses striking rich in New York. Small businesses make up 99.8% of all companies in the state.2
As a small business owner, there are certain bases you need to have covered before you can safely (or legally) operate. One of those bases is business insurance. In this guide, you’ll learn about the types of insurance you’re required to have, and some other coverage options to help you protect your business from potentially expensive claims.
What business insurance am I required to get in New York?
New York workers’ compensation insurance
The state of New York requires employers to have workers’ compensation coverage for all their employees. Workers’ compensation insurance exists to safeguard employees from financial impact related to injuries or illnesses sustained on the job. As a business owner, it also protects you from liability related to employee injuries. Workers’ compensation covers expenses and lost wages caused by the following:
Work-related accidents and injuries, such as repetitive stress injury, and resulting disability Illnesses caused by or related to employment
New York auto liability insurance
If you drive a car, truck or van as part of your business operation, you’re required to have auto liability insurance or qualify as a self-insurer. Auto liability insurance can protect you and your business from the following types of third-party claims resulting from auto accidents involving your vehicle:
Property damage – If you get into an accident in which you are at fault, your auto policy’s Property Damage Liability coverage insures the cost to repair or replace the other party’s vehicle.
Bodily injury – If you get into an accident in which you are at fault and the driver or a passenger of the other vehicle is injured, your auto liability insurance will cover the additional costs arising out of bodily injury, including medical expenses and death benefits once the injured party has exceeded all PIP benefits available under their policy. In addition to standard bodily injury liability coverage, New York also requires you to have uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage.
In New York, your auto liability insurance also provides coverage for:
Personal injury protection (PIP) – Personal Injury Protection covers 80 percent of all necessary and reasonable medical expenses up to $50,000 resulting from a covered injury, no matter who caused the crash.
Also, depending on the use of your vehicle, the kind of vehicle or if your vehicle is registered or titled under your business name, you may need a commercial auto insurance policy to secure the appropriate coverage and vehicle registration, and avoid penalties.
What other types of business insurance are recommended for New York?
New York general liability insurance
General liability insurance (also known as CGL—for commercial general liability) is one of the most essential and effective ways to safeguard your business. It protects your business from the financial consequences resulting from liability related to third-party non-employee bodily injury or third party property damage that arises from your business operations. It also provides coverage for personal and advertising injury. Without general liability insurance coverage, you could be in financial trouble in the event of an unfortunate accident involving a customer or other third party.
New York professional liability insurance
If you provide professional services and your advice is alleged to have led to one of your clients suffering a financial loss, professional liability insurance can help. When a former customer or client claims—rightly or wrongly—that a mistake in your work led them to suffer a financial loss, professional liability insurance provides you with investigation and defense of the claim as well as making payments of any settlements or judgments.
Inland marine insurance
Inland marine insurance is designed to protect that vital equipment you use to make your business run smoothly. It protects your business by covering costs associated with accidentally damaged, lost or stolen equipment that is on the go with you. Whether you have an expensive tool collection, pricey construction materials, or other equipment you transport to a job site, having inland marine insurance is a no-brainer.
Commercial property insurance
Commercial property insurance protects your company’s building and the contents inside it from all kinds of risks of physical loss or damage, including theft, vandalism, fires and natural disasters such as floods, storms or earthquakes. Commercial property insurance is often included as part of a Business Owners’ Insurance Policy, or BOP.
Professions covered in New York
No matter what your business is, if you’re in New York, you’ll benefit from being insured. If a non-employee slips and falls due to a workplace hazard or you accidentally damage a client’s property while working in their home, the last thing you need is to pay out-of-pocket for damages.
Cost of business insurance in New York
At Thimble, we don’t currently offer insurance in the state of New York. With other providers, the cost of your business insurance likely depends on a variety of factors. The amount of risk involved in your business, the industry you’re in, and the amount of business you do all play a part in determining your policy premium.
Another important factor is your location. New York City might have higher premiums than smaller cities or towns in Western New York.
Top cities for businesses in New York
- New York
- Saratoga Springs
Bottom line: New York business insurance
The Empire State boasts one of the largest economies not just in America, but the entire world. If you’re serious about starting your business in New York, take some time to consider what kinds of insurance coverage you’ll need. Being covered means you can focus on growing your company without worrying about expensive insurance claims.
Unfortunately, Thimble isn’t currently available in the state of New York, but we’re working on it! Sign up for email updates and we’ll let you know as soon as we’re able to offer coverage in the Empire State.
- American Enterprise Institute. Putting America’s enormous $19.4T economy into perspective by comparing US state GDPs to entire countries.
- U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy. New York Small Business Economic Profile.