Rhode Island is well known for its sandy shores, seaside Colonial towns, and thriving small business community. In 2019, Rhode Island small businesses employed 229,974 people, accounting for 52.8% of the private workforce.<sup>1</sup>

Are you interested in starting a business in Rhode Island and joining the league of ventures that drive the state forward? Then one of the first tasks ahead of you is making sure that you have the right type of insurance coverage. This guide will explain the legally required insurance coverages for Rhode Island businesses, and the types of insurance that are highly recommended to adopt.

What business insurance am I required to get in Rhode Island?

Rhode Island workers’ compensation insurance

All employers in Rhode Island with one or more employees are legally required to have workers’ compensation insurance. 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

Rhode Island 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 financial consequences of the following types of third-party claims resulting from auto accidents involving your vehicle:

Bodily injury – If you get into an accident and the driver or a passenger of the other vehicle is injured, your auto bodily injury liability insurance covers the costs arising out of bodily injury, including medical expenses and death benefits.

Property damage – In the above scenario, it’s extremely likely the other car sustained some damage as well. Your auto policy’s property damage liability coverage insures the cost to repair or replace the other party’s vehicle.

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 Rhode Island?

Rhode Island 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.

Rhode Island 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. At Thimble, we offer inland marine insurance, or Business Equipment Protection as we call it, with coverage for up to $5,000 worth of business property and equipment.

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 Rhode Island

No matter what your business is, if you’re in Rhode Island, 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. In Rhode Island, Thimble’s business insurance covers:

Cost of business insurance in Rhode Island

At Thimble, the cost of your business insurance 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. A more populated area like Providence might have higher premiums on average than less populated locations like Narragansett or Warwick.

Finally, Thimble will look at factors such as your crew size, coverage amount and the number of years you’ve been in business before determining how much your premium will be.

Median Rhode Island insurance costs

Coverage Period

By the hour

By the day

By the Week

By the month

Median Cost

$7.09

$14.37

$32.89

$72.28

Top cities for businesses in Rhode Island

  • Block Island
  • Cranston
  • Kingston
  • Narragansett
  • Newport
  • Pawtucket
  • Providence
  • Smithfield
  • Warwick
  • Woonsocket

Bottom line: Rhode Island business insurance

Rhode Island might be a tiny state, but it’s full of big opportunities for small business owners. Over half of the Ocean State’s private labor force works for small companies. As a new Rhode Island business owner, taking time to familiarize yourself with the various insurance coverages you’ll need will help you hit the ground running in your new venture.

Even if you’re just starting up, you can find Rhode Island business insurance coverage that’s right for you. Through Thimble, you can get a quote for your general liability insurance, professional liability insurance or Business Equipment Protection in less than a minute and if you decide to buy, you’ll be able to access your policy and Certificates of Insurance (COIs) in your inbox instantly.

Source:

  1. Small Business Administration. 2019 Small Business Profile Rhode Island.

Written on August 12, 2021

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.