A Business Owners Policy (generally referred to as a “BOP”) is often the ideal insurance coverage for small to mid-size businesses. The BOP includes both property and general liability, and provides many small businesses with the coverage they need at a bundled, cost-effective rate.

Mark Srygley

We caught up with Mark Srygley of C&F Digital Partners to learn more about the ins and outs of the BOP and how C&F Digital Partners is working to bridge the insurance gap in the ever-changing gig economy.

QUESTION: I understand your portal is up and running with a Business Owners Policy. Why start with a BOP?

ANSWER: A BOP is generally the most cost effective solution for a small to mid-size business owner as it combines general liability coverage with property insurance into a bundled offering. The cost of both coverages combined in the BOP is typically lower than the coverages individually. With a BOP from C&F Digital Partners, a small business owner with up to $2,000,000 in liability insurance with $1,000 in property insurance will pay around $250 annually for their policy. To put that in perspective, general liability policies typically start at around $500 per year and without property coverage included.

QUESTION: Do most small business owners need both property and liability coverage even if they’re working from a home-based office or renting a space?

ANSWER: Typically, both coverages make sense even to someone who is just providing consulting services. The liability coverage is usually a requirement for anyone renting office space or working at someone else’s business location, and covers bodily injury or property damage to someone else during the course of the insured’s business activities.

Property insurance covers owned or rented properties as well as business items ranging from laptops and phones to tools and other equipment – items owned and used during the course of business. So if you’re a sole proprietor and you own a computer and printer, or you have any other type of property you use for business, you can easily reach the minimum of $1,000 for your property.

QUESTION: The BOP also covers lost income, correct?

ANSWER: That’s right. The BOP includes Business Interruption coverage for up to 12 months. This means that if your business sustains a loss due to fire, wind or other physical damage, or was impacted by a theft or other covered loss, you are also covered for up to one year of lost revenue and additional expense needed to continue business as before. Having this safeguard in place can be the difference between getting back to full operations and having to shut down.

QUESTION: Is there anything that is not covered by a BOP that can surprise people?

ANSWER: A BOP does not include commercial auto coverage. So if you own a vehicle for business such as a landscaping truck or delivery vehicle, the BOP does not cover any losses related to that vehicle. Where this can get a bit murky is with some of the new businesses that are sprouting up, such as food trucks or portable barbeque caterers. Even though these vehicles are stationary during the course of business, if they are registered for road use they are not covered by a BOP policy and must be covered by a commercial auto policy.

QUESTION: That’s an interesting point about new types of businesses. With the rise of the gig economy are there other types of businesses that seem to be a fit for a BOP but are actually excluded?

ANSWER: Businesses that manufacture products, or alter products made by others, are excluded from a BOP. Often when we hear “manufacturing” we think factory and assembly line production. But any business that alters products is considered a manufacturer, including handicraft businesses that sell goods directly online, in stores, or on websites such as Etsy. So if you alter clothing by adding sequins, or ribbons, or other types of materials you are considered a manufacturer and therefore excluded due to the risks these products can cause, such as choking.

Also, if you are buying products outside of the US , and reselling them in the US, your business will not be eligible for a BOP policy. You need to buy the goods from a US-based provider to be eligible.

Also, businesses that are considered higher risk, such as children’s day camps and enrichment programs operated at someone’s home, or outdoor adventure and tour businesses are generally written through the non-admitted market and are not eligible for the BOP.

With this new economy, we’re seeing new types of small businesses launching every day. Many are a perfect candidates for the BOP but not everything is a crystal clear fit.

QUESTION: Is all BOP coverage the same?

ANSWER: Specific coverages vary by carrier, but property, business interruption and liability protection are at the core of every BOP. Carriers can also provide add-on coverage to supplement the BOP.

QUESTION: Does C&F Digital offer any additional coverage with the BOP?

ANSWER: C&F currently offers four additional coverage endorsements with our BOP. These include:

  • Miscellaneous Professional Liability, which covers small businesses with professional risks including accountants, PR and media consultants, software developers and others who need that extra layer of liability protection.
  • Cyber Risk, including data breach protection and risks associated with a cyber attack.
  • Scheduled Property Floater, which covers businesses that travel as part of their normal operations.
  • Blanket Additional Insured endorsement that provides insurance coverage to an organization or third party, such as a landlord or a client.
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