The Old Dominion State is teaming with history. Of the first five US presidents, four hailed from Virginia.1 The state’s close ties to the government have lasted to this day, with federal agencies and contractors employing a majority of Virginians.

Additionally, according to its 2020 Small Business Association Profile, 99.5% of businesses in the state are small, with fewer than 500 employees each.2 And these workers add up, totalling over 1.6 million, about 47% of the total workforce. To contribute to this vibrant business culture, you’ll likely need insurance like commercial auto coverage, workers’ compensation insurance, and more.

In this guide, we’ll cover the types of insurance that are legally required in Virginia and additional coverages you should have to safeguard your business.

What business insurance am I required to get in Virginia?

Virginia workers’ compensation insurance

All employers in Virginia with three 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

Virginia 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 Virginia?

Virginia 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.

Virginia 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 Virginia

No matter what your business is, if you’re in Virginia, 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 Virginia, Thimble’s business insurance covers:

Cost of business insurance in Virginia

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. More populated areas like Kansas City and St. Louis might have higher premiums on average than less populated locations like Rolla or Warrensburg.

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 Virginia insurance costs

Coverage Period

By the hour

By the day

By the Week

By the month

Median Cost

$8.50

$13.71

$42.45

$42.21

Top cities in Virginia

  • Annandale
  • Arlington
  • Chesapeake
  • Lynchburg
  • Newport News
  • Norfolk
  • Portsmouth
  • Richmond
  • Roanoke
  • Virginia Beach

Bottom line: Virginia business insurance

The federal government might be one of Virginia’s top employers, but there are still countless opportunities for entrepreneurship in the Old Dominion State. With over 99% of in-state businesses being classified as small business, you’ve made the right choice in Virginia for your latest venture. But before you open your doors to your first customers or clients, taking some time to learn about insurance will help you keep your business safe from financial disasters.

Even if you’re just starting up, you can find Virginia 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.

Sources:

  1. The History Channel. Virginia.
  2. U.S. Office of Small Business Administration. Virginia Small Business Economic Profile.

Written on August 11, 2021 | Modified 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.