New York business insurance requirements

New York skyline for business insurance in new york

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From uptown to upstate and Buffalo to the boroughs, the New York state of mind is all about the hustle. . New York is a state of incredible diverse industry, and you’re part of the Empire State’s workforce—and particularly if you own a business—do you know the ins and outs of New York business insurance law?

Chances are, no. Better yet, do you have a business owner’s policy in place to protect you should things go awry? While state insurance laws (and insurance in general) aren’t exactly the talk of the town, they’re undoubtedly more important. Let’s get started.

New York insurance laws

The mandated types of insurance enforced by New York law are threefold.

Workers’ Compensation

The state of New York requires that all businesses if they have employees (even if it’s just one), have a workers’ compensation policy in place. This type of policy protects your employees should they incur an injury in the workplace.

  • Exemptions – There are very few exemptions to this law. If you own a business but have no W2 employees to speak of, you don’t need to have a workers’ compensation policy in place. Additionally, if the company is owned by one or two people (structured as a corporation) and they have no subcontractors, borrowed or lease employees, part-time employees, or unpaid volunteers, then it does not require workers’ compensation.

Disability Coverage

New York also mandates that employers carry some form of disability coverage to ensure income for those that experience illness or injury outside of the workplace (for up to six months).

Commercial Auto Insurance

It should be no surprise that New York requires, by law, that drivers carry an automobile insurance policy. Should you have a business vehicle, you are not exempt. Thus, it’s wise to purchase a business automobile policy. Note: even if you use your personal vehicle for business purposes, you need a commercial auto insurance policy. If something goes wrong while you’re using your vehicle for work, it likely wouldn’t be covered under your existing auto insurance.

Penalties

Per the Workers’ Compensation Board of New York, failure to have a policy in place can mean:

“An employer is liable for a penalty of $2,000 per 10-day period of noncompliance, plus the actual award (including both compensation and medical costs), plus any other penalties the Board assesses for noncompliance. In cases involving severely injured employees, the medical costs alone could be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars per injury.”

However, if the business consists of only one person or if you’re a subcontractor, you don’t not need workers’ compensation or disability coverage. You do, however, need to have an auto insurance policy.

Other types of recommended New York insurance

As any business owner knows, there is always going to be some degree of risk involved with running a company. And, as if running a business isn’t already time-consuming in and of itself, thinking about insurance is probably one of the last things on your mind.

We get it.

Here at Thimble, we aim to simplify both your research and the process of purchasing a policy. Thus, if you’re running a company in New York, there are two primary types of insurance plans that you should consider for your business operations.

General Liability Insurance

Think of general liability insurance as ‘other people insurance’. Fundamentally, a general liability policy helps protect a business in the case of third-party property damage, bodily injury, and personal injury. Should something happen to a client or random third party on your premises or “within” the services you’re rendering, then it can help mitigate the consequences—particularly the financial burden.

For example:

  • Say you’re a New York painter that’s been hired to create a mural in a brand new estate in Brooklyn. While you’re there, you accidentally leave your easel right by the door. The client’s wife wants to check the progress and ends up tripping on it, busting her elbow in the process. Even if she was at fault, she wants compensation to pay for rehabilitation.
  • And if that’s not enough, while you’re up on a ladder applying paint to the zenith, your leg spasms and you go tumbling off onto the burgundy marble coffee table. It hurts like heck, but now you’re taking a bigger hit: they want compensation for the property damage.
  • Lastly, as you are trying to explain that you are just as injured as the coffee table, the client grabs one of your paintbrushes and cuts himself on the metal. You’ve never seen anyone cut themselves on a paintbrush before, but it doesn’t matter—he’s filing a claim for bodily injury.

In this great hat trick, a general liability policy could help protect you from the fallout you’d experience from accidents like these and more.

Professional Liability Insurance

Professional liability insurance, also referred to as an errors and omissions policy (E&O), is coverage for when a client says that you didn’t do the job you promised (or as laid out by the contract). Maybe you missed a deadline, maybe you made a mistake—or maybe your client is just making accusations. Either way, a professional liability insurance policy can help protect you if a claim of negligence arises.

Per the previous example:

  • Now you have a bodily injury, property damage, and personal injury claim, and the client is looking up at the mural. He thought you, the painter, were supposed to be painting a picture of him in Victorian garb, drinking a Mai Tai. Instead, you’ve painted him on a giraffe. You’re certain you were hired for the giraffe, but the client files a lawsuit for negligence, claiming you caused them financial losses, because they’ll have to have the work redone.

The reality is that—beyond painters—any New York-based business needs to have a professional liability insurance policy in place. In today’s litigious society, it is all too easy to fall victim to baseless claims. If only to avoid the costs of “lawyering up,” an E&O policy can help mitigate these risks.

How do I get New York business insurance?

With Thimble, you can have your own business insurance policy in less than 60 seconds. No confusion quote processes. No unexpected fees. No paying for coverage during times you don’t need it.

Click “Get a quote” or download the Thimble mobile app. Then, just input some basic information about your New York business, your specific location within the state, and the type of coverage you want (hourly, daily, monthly). From there, we’ll generate a quote immediately.

The whole process is fast. How fast? Less than 60 seconds— if you’re really fast, a New York minute.

As soon as you purchase, you’ll have your Certificate of Insurance in your email inbox and made available in the Thimble app. It’s a plan catered to you, helping to safeguard your business against liability.

That’s New York business insurance made easy. 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.

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