Vermont, the “Green Mountain State,” has long been known for its scenic vistas and verdant forests. But what some people may not know is that, despite it being the second least-populous state in the country, Vermont is still home to a thriving small business community.1 According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, the 76,900 small businesses account for more than 96% of all businesses within the state and employ nearly 60% of the private workforce.2

In every state, there are certain types of insurance that are recommended and others that are legally required depending on the specifics of your business. In Vermont, the vast majority of small business owners will be required to take out:

  • Workers’ compensation insurance
  • Auto liability insurance

In addition to that, there are several types of insurance coverage that you should strongly consider.

Vermont workers’ compensation insurance

Does your small business have at least one full-time or part-time employee?

If so, Vermont state law requires you to carry workers’ comp insurance coverage. The purpose of which is to provide for employees “with a speedy, no-fault remedy and for employers liability which is limited and determinate.” 3

Workers’ compensation can help protect your business should an employee get injured on the job or come down with a job-related illness. Should such a workplace incident occur, this type of insurance ensures that you have coverage for the costs of:

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

Per Vermont legal codes, failure to obtain insurance can result in a daily civil penalty of $100 per day, up to a maximum of $5,000. 4 Additionally, continued noncompliance may expose you to additional liability or the complete shutdown of your business. When you carry workers’ compensation insurance, you have coverage that can protect you from the financial disaster as a result of lawsuits and accidents related to your employees.

Auto liability insurance

Any time you get behind the wheel of a vehicle, you expose yourself to risk. In many cases, you protect yourself from the financial consequences of these risks by purchasing personal auto liability insurance—however, in some cases, you may be legally required to carry commercial auto liability insurance.

Depending on the vehicle’s title, size, type, and its uses, it may not be eligible for coverage under your personal auto insurance. If your business owns a vehicle, you’ll almost always need commercial auto insurance. However, if you only use your small vehicle to drive to and from jobs, chances are your personal auto insurance is sufficient.

When it comes to auto liability insurance, it’s always best to talk with your insurance provider to ensure you’re adequately covered.

Other types of Vermont business insurance

In Vermont, only workers’ compensation and auto liability are required for a business to operate legally. With that said, there are other types of insurance that can protect your small business from work-related accidents and mishaps. They act as safeguards, allowing you to operate confidently.

For example, most business owners in Vermont should strongly consider the following types of insurance coverage:

  • General liability insurance
  • Equipment insurance
  • Professional liability insurance

General liability insurance in Vermont

General liability insurance can help protect your business from financial repercussions of claims related to non-employee physical injury, property damage, and personal and advertising injury caused by interactions with third parties (whether a customer, client, or stranger). It can provide the investigation, defense, and settlement for third-party claims relating to:

  • Non-employee bodily injury
  • Property damage
  • Personal and advertising injury

For instance, if you’re a handyman, you regularly visit clients’ homes. Should a client trip over your equipment, you could be held liable for their injuries. Or, if you accidently damage their property, they could hold you liable for the cost to repair or replace the damaged property.

Equipment insurance

While general liability insurance covers a wide range of third-party related risks, it doesn’t protect you from everything, particularly risk to your first-party property. To protect the gear and equipment you take with you to jobs you need equipment insurance. Known in the insurance world as inland marine coverage or more simply at Thimble as Business Equipment Protection. This coverage provides the tools you own and use for work from accidental loss, damage, or theft.

Professional liability insurance in Vermont

Professional liability insurance is designed for businesses who provide advice or professional services. Not just for consultants, most businesses can benefit from professional liability coverage as clients rely on your advice.

Also known as errors and omissions insurance, professional liability insurance can help cover the investigation, defense, and settlement of claims that your advice resulted in a financial loss for the client.

For instance, if you work as an IT consultant in Burlington, your clients may expect you to help them secure their network and system. Should a cyber attack occur, resulting in data loss and reputational harm, you might be held liable for the financial losses incurred by your client if they claim your work was inadequate.

How to get Vermont business insurance

Although Vermont may only legally mandate your small business to carry workers’ compensation insurance (if you have any employees) and commercial auto liability coverage (if the vehicle is owned by the business or used for integral business purposes), there are several types of insurance you should also consider.

With Thimble, getting liability insurance—like general liability insurance or professional liability insurance, —is a breeze. Our affordable on-demand coverages are available when you need them, by the hour, day, week or month. And it only takes 60 seconds to get covered.

To get covered, simply use the Thimble mobile app or click “Get a Quote,” enter a few brief details about your business, and we’ll generate a free quote instantly. Click to purchase and your policy, along with any Certificates of Insurance (COI), will be sent to your inbox.

Figuring out the type of insurance your business needs can be difficult. But getting it shouldn’t be. With Thimble, you can purchase the coverage you want and need in an instant.

Sources:

  1. United States Census. Quick Facts on Vermont.
  2. U.S. Small Business Association. Vermont Small Business Profile.
  3. Vermont.gov. Workers’ Comp Fact Sheet for Employers.
  4. Justia. 2012 Vermont Statutes Title 21 Labor.