Frequently Asked Questions About Business Insurance
Get straight and simple answers to all your business insurance frequently asked questions.
These FAQs were gathered from Canadian business owners like you.
- Accountant Insurance
- Architect Insurance
- Beauty Insurance
- Builders risk insurance
- Business Insurance
- Consultant Insurance
- Contractors Insurance
- Counsellor Insurance
- Cyber Liability
- Directors and Officers (D&O) Liability
- Ecommerce Insurance
- Entertainment Insurance
- Equipment breakdown insurance
- Errors and Omissions Insurance
- Fitness Insurance
- General Questions
- Hair Stylist Insurance
- Health and Wellness
- Home based business insurance
- Hotel Insurance
- Liability Insurance
- Malpractice Insurance
- Media and Marketing Insurance
- Product liability insurance
- Professional Indemnity Insurance
- Professional Liability Insurance
- Public Liability Insurance
- Restaurant Insurance
- Retail Insurance
- Technology Insurance
- Tenant Insurance
The term ‘business insurance’ is often used as an umbrella term to describe a variety of insurance policies that come together to form a comprehensive business insurance policy package. These policies typically include:
- Commercial General Liability Insurance (CGL)
- Professional Liability Insurance
- Business Property Insurance
- Business Interruption Insurance
- Cyber Liability Insurance
- Directors & Officers Liability Insurance
No insurance policy is one size fits all, and no one knows your business risks better than you do. We recommend speaking with your broker about customizing your insurance policy to suit your unique business needs.
For a small- to medium-sized business, you can anticipate spending $450.00 annually on a basic CGL policy with a $2,000,000.00 limit.
When you fill out our online application, we will ask some questions about your business to help better understand your needs. The following factors are taken into consideration when determining the best policy options for you:
- Years of Experience
- Annual and Projected Gross Revenue
- Number of Employees
- Previous Insurance Claims
We know you’re busy, so let us do the shopping around. Complete our online application for an accurate estimate of your insurance premium.
Generally speaking, business insurance does not cover personal use, meaning you cannot replace home insurance with business insurance. However, there are exceptions. If you operate your business from home, you can protect this space with business property insurance. If you use your vehicle for business purposes, it may be covered under your commercial auto insurance policy. However, home insurance does not typically cover the physical assets associated with your business, such as stock or inventory, or liability issues that occur in your homes, such as a slip and fall injury. It can be confusing, which is why we recommend speaking with a broker to understand the limitations and restrictions of your business insurance policy.
To protect both your home and business, consider keeping business separate from your personal life by protecting your assets with a business insurance policy and home insurance policy.
- Air Conditioning and Refrigeration
- Boiler and Pressure Vessel
- Computer and Communications
- Renewable and Alternative Energy
- Production Systems
No, Public Liability Insurance is designed to protect you in claims from third-party injuries or property damage. Your own property is not covered under this policy. If you own expensive property and equipment and require coverage, discuss with your broker to get Contents Coverage or Equipment Breakdown Coverage.
No, Public Liability Insurance only provides coverage for accidental injuries and property damage to third-parties. Errors and omissions in service are covered under a separate policy called Professional Liability Insurance, also often referred to as Errors and Omissions Insurance. If a client were to be injured due to a service you provided, you would require Professional Liability Insurance to cover you in such a scenario.
There is no difference between the two in Canada. Public Liability Insurance is a term that is more popular overseas, especially in the UK and US. In Canada, the same coverage is provided by Commercial General Liability, often simply referred to as General Liability Insurance, CGL, or even just Liability Insurance.
You may need it because it’s possible that the salon where you are renting your chair doesn’t cover independent contractors under its policy. Check in with the salon owner to understand what coverages you are provided under their insurance policy. You can also discuss with your broker what amendments should be made to your policy to fit your specific insurance needs.
Professional liability insurance is a type of insurance policy designed to protect professionals who provide a service, in the event of errors or omissions in their service that harm their clients. Hair salon liability insurance (hairdresser insurance in short) is an insurance package designed to protect hair salons and hair stylists against common risks they face, and bundled in that package will be professional liability coverage, general liability coverage, contents coverage, if these are all requested by the salon owner/hair stylist. Amendments can be made if required by simply contacting your assigned broker.
The cost of your hairstylist insurance policy will depend on a few different factors, such as whether you own a hair salon or only rent a chair, whether you travel to clients’ houses, how much revenue you made in the previous year, how much revenue you expect to make this year, security measures in place, and a few other simple questions related to your business.
Although you are not legally required to obtain Tenant Liability Insurance, it is very common practice for landlords to require their tenants to have insurance coverage before leasing to them. Rental properties are expensive assets and damages can be extremely costly to fix. In fact, at Zensurance, in the majority of cases where a client requests a quote for Tenant Liability Insurance, it is because they have been asked to get insured before signing a lease.
Coverage for your company’s assets and equipment is not provided under a Tenant Insurance policy. The policy is designed to cover a tenant’s legal liability towards the landlord in cases of property damage or bodily injury. For example, if your employees damage the walls of the rented space, or someone injures themselves while on the rental property. Your own assets and equipment do not fall under this criteria and hence will not be covered by your Tenant Insurance policy. To protect your property and equipment, add commercial property coverage to your insurance policy.
Commercial General Liability Insurance is a general policy that applies to all sorts of businesses as it provides coverage for bodily injuries or property damage to third parties for which the business can be held liable. Tenant Liability Insurance provides similar coverage, but it is specifically designed to cover a tenant’s legal liability towards the landlord in cases of injury or property damage.
Technology Insurance is a specialized policy for technology companies (e.g. Software Developers, IT Staffing, SaaS providers, E-commerce) that includes coverages especially curated to protect Technology companies from the unique risks they face. Tech E&O insurance provides protection in case of errors and omissions in a technology company’s services and is usually included under the broader Technology Insurance policy along with other coverages required by tech companies.
You may choose to add Legal Expense coverage to your Technology Insurance policy (and we recommend that you do). Legal Expense coverage provides access to a lawyer for immediate legal advice on any business related matter, and coverage for legal expenses for the following: Contract Disputes, Employment Disputes, Criminal Defence, Property Disputes, Personal Injury, and Tax Disputes.
Technology Insurance could broadly include several different insurance policies that are required by tech companies to protect themselves against the usual risks they face. Cyber Liability insurance provides coverage for damages due to cyber attacks, so it is one of the coverages usually included in a Technology Insurance policy, along with other coverages such as general liability, errors and omissions, legal expense insurance etc.
Architect Insurance is not required by law, but it is difficult to land any sizeable project without having an insurance policy in place. If there is an error in a project designed by you, it can become extremely costly if the error is discovered once construction is underway. For this reason, project managers and builders are usually very careful about only working with architects who already have Architect Insurance.
Yes. Design errors in a project can be discovered years after the project is completed, and if you are the architect who designed the project, approved the design, or agreed to the substitution of products that turned out to be faulty, you will be held liable for damages, even if you have retired or changed professions.
The most basic policy recommended for any business is General Liability. It protects a business from claims of bodily injury or property damage to a third-party. For Architects, it is also recommended to add Errors and Omissions coverage to their insurance policy. Errors and Omissions Insurance, also known as Professional Liability Insurance, covers errors and omissions in your services to clients that lead to financial losses for them. If you own a lot of expensive property, also add Commercial Property Insurance to your policy to protect your contents and assets.
No, General Liability Insurance is a coverage designed to protect you from the consequences that result from bodily injuries and property damages to third-parties. Damage to your own property is not covered by General Liability Insurance. If you wish to protect your own stock and inventory from damages, add commercial property coverage to your insurance policy.
Yes, Crime Insurance is a coverage that may protect your business from employee theft including stolen cash and credit card forgery as well as loss of money and securities inside and outside of the premises. Regular theft is included under the property portion of a policy.
Yes, this is a very standard requirement. Please provide us with the legal name and mailing address and we can have this added to your formal policy documents.
Yes. This is an extremely important coverage for restaurant owners. It protects your business from cases of mechanical and electrical breakdown of major pieces of equipment (e.g., boilers, coolers, refrigerators, air conditioners). The policy covers the repair or replacement of the equipment, and there is also a limit associated with food/drink spoilage. Note that equipment breakdown is not included under property coverage.
Crime Insurance protects your business from employee theft including stolen cash and credit card forgery as well as loss of money and securities inside and outside of the premises. Regular theft, however, is included under the property portion of a policy. Ensure that you have both added to your Restaurant Insurance policy.
If you serve alcohol at your restaurant, you may consider adding liquor liability to your insurance policy. You may be held liable if you serve alcohol to a customer who causes an accident and the alcohol is deemed to be a contributing factor in the incident. Restaurant employees are also required to ensure that they do not serve alcohol beyond the point of intoxication, which is an extremely difficult requirement to keep track of.
If you are concerned about advertising injury (libel, slander, etc) caused by your own company’s marketing and promotional material, request to add General Liability coverage to your Media and Marketing Insurance policy. But General Liability does not cover the work you do for your clients. If you are concerned about advertising injury caused by the work you do for your clients, add Errors & Omissions coverage to your insurance policy. Errors & Omissions Insurance provides coverage for damages caused by errors and omissions in your services.
You can request to add Legal Expense Insurance to your Media and Marketing Insurance policy. Legal Expense Insurance enables you to consult a lawyer for advice related to your business. Standalone Legal Expense policies start at $200 a year, but you may be able to get a discount if you bundle it with other policies (such as general liability, errors & omissions, crime etc) in your Media and Marketing Insurance.
The most common risks that professionals in the media and marketing industry face are lawsuits that arise from copyright infringement, plagiarism, defamation, and invasion of privacy. As media and marketing professionals frequently work with media assets (often created by other professionals), it is common for such types of problems to arise.
Cyber liability may not necessarily apply to all hotels, but many hotels and lodging establishments do utilize electronic data that makes them susceptible to cyber attacks. For example, a hotel may have a website where clients make reservations online. The website may also accept electronic payments from customers, and customers’ financial and personal data may be stored in the hotel’s systems. A cybersecurity breach for such an establishment could lead to severe problems if the establishment is not protected by Cyber Liability Insurance.
If you serve alcohol, you should consider protecting your business with liquor liability coverage. According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada, if you serve alcohol you could be held liable for injuries or damages to third parties if alcohol is deemed as a contributing factor in the incidents. Any business that serves alcohol is also responsible for ensuring that customers are not served past the point of intoxication, which is extremely difficult to keep track of, especially in a busy environment.
Yes, hotels may require Property Insurance. General liability insurance covers injuries and property damage to third parties. General liability will protect you in incidents such as slips and falls and damage to guests’ property by your employees, but damage to your own property is not covered. Hotels have a high residential property value and own many expensive contents. If you wish to protect your assets, you may consider adding Commercial Property Insurance to your insurance policy.
Confirm with your supplier if they are responsible for insuring inventory. However, it never hurts to carry this coverage in the event that you get dragged into a claims scenario. If you have multiple suppliers, it can be difficult to keep track of which suppliers have insurance and which don’t. It is highly recommended that you add Property Insurance to your insurance policy to manage your risks.
It is recommended that you protect your business operations with Cyber Liability Insurance if you are selling products online as online transactions usually require an exchange of financial information over the internet. Many online retailers also store customer data to complete and ship out orders. If any third party data on your systems are stolen or damaged in a cyber attack, you may need Cyber Liability Insurance to cover the damages. Cyber attacks are becoming increasingly common. According to StatCan, one-fifth of all Canadian small businesses were targets of cyber attacks in 2017, and the number has only gone up since.
Yes, it is possible that you can be held liable for products you have sold even if you did not manufacture the products. Make sure that products liability coverage is present in your insurance policy. Take a thorough look at your inventory to determine if you sell products that are highly likely to cause injuries, such as products for babies and toddlers. Whenever possible, do business with manufacturers that already carry an insurance policy.
No, employee theft is covered under Crime Insurance coverage. Although Commercial Property Insurance may protect businesses from property damage by third-parties, it does not cover stolen money or securities. About 1 in 3 Canadian companies are concerned about employee theft. To protect your business from theft of money and securities, forgery, and computer fraud, by a third party, add Crime Insurance to your insurance policy.
Entertainment businesses (bowling alleys, billiards clubs, arcades) own a lot of expensive machines and equipment that are central to business operations. These assets are also likely to be damaged through use and misuse. It is highly recommended that all assets are insured with commercial property coverage. There is also a high risk of injury to third parties on the entertainment business’ premises, so it is also recommended that entertainment businesses add General Liability Insurance to their insurance policy.
It is highly recommended that you add Commercial Property Insurance to your policy as well. General Liability Insurance provides coverage for third-party injuries and property damage, so your entertainment business may be protected when injuries happen on your premises or third party property is damaged at your place of business. However, your own property will not be covered. To protect your contents and equipment, you must add Commercial Property Insurance to your insurance policy as well.
A counsellor or therapist is not protected by her Home Insurance if she conducts counselling or therapy sessions at home. At the minimum, counsellors and therapists may consider purchasing General Liability Insurance to protect themselves from being held liable for bodily injuries and property damage to third parties, and Commercial Property Insurance to protect the space and contents of their home being used for commercial purposes.
The terms are broadly interchangeable and may refer to the same practitioner. Generally, counsellor refers to a practitioner who is treating a client over a short period of time (for e.g. to treat negative behavior patterns). Therapist, on the other hand, can be used to refer to the same practitioner when she is treating a client over a long time period (for e.g. therapy sessions for deep-seated or complex psychological issues). Regardless of what the professional designation is, Counsellor Insurance is important to protect the practice.
Malpractice coverage is a type of Professional Liability coverage that applies to counsellors and therapists. Medical health practitioners such as therapists and counsellors deal with patients that may have a complex history of mental health. As with other medical services, mental health treatment and consultation are highly susceptible to negative outcomes due to negligence. Your Counsellor Insurance policy will usually include malpractice coverage in addition to other important coverages.
No, if you conduct fitness lessons or treatment sessions at your home, any damages resulting from your commercial activities will not be covered by your Home Insurance. It is highly recommended that you purchase General Liability Insurance at the least to cover the most common risks in your profession, which are damages to a third-party (mostly your clients). If you want to protect your own property from damages, talk to your broker about adding Commercial Property Insurance to your policy.
Malpractice Insurance is a type of Professional Liability Insurance that applies to health practitioners. Due to the nature of your work, your treatment or advice to a client may lead to bodily injuries, in which case, the client will usually file a malpractice lawsuit against you, accusing you of negligence in your professional service. Malpractice related lawsuits are more common in the health and wellness industry than most other service-based industries.
Health and Wellness Insurance provides coverage for employees of a business, but independent instructors who are simply renting space are not covered by the facility’s insurance policy. If you are an independent instructor, you may consider purchasing General Liability Insurance to protect yourself from being held liable for injuries or property damage that may happen during your lessons.
Although Consultant Insurance is not mandatory by law, it may be important to protect your business with a consultant insurance policy because clients have the legal right to file claims for mistakes caused by the negligence of consultants and independent contractors. Most clients will require you to have Consultant Insurance before hiring you because small mistakes on your part could lead to huge financial losses for them.
Errors and Omissions policies don’t cover damages to third parties from cybersecurity breaches. If you store electronic data related to clients, whether personal or financial, it may be a good idea to ensure that your Consultant Insurance policy includes coverage for cyber liability because you may be held liable for third-party damages caused by cyber attacks on your servers.
Errors & Omissions (E&O) Insurance is a popular alternative name for Professional Liability Insurance, but the latter is the official name in the insurance industry. Regardless of what you call the policy, it is recommended for protecting any consulting practice because It provides protection from errors and missed deadlines (due to negligence) that lead to a financial loss for clients.
Contractor Insurance provides coverage for full-time employees of a business. This policy does not typically include subcontractors; however, if needed, they can be added. Regardless, it is important to ensure you are meeting all insurance requirements in a contract.
Important note for contractors, your policy coverage limit applies to all employees of your business, not each employee. One option to accommodate all of your employees is to increase your limit. However, hiring subcontractors that carry their own liability insurance ensures all parties have adequate coverage.
For subcontractors, consider purchasing liability insurance to ensure you always have coverage, even when an employer can’t cover you. Having liability insurance will also allow you to work on multiple sites.
Contractors do not require Professional Liability Insurance. However, if you offer advice as part of your service, consider adding it to your policy to protect against claims alleging you gave incorrect information or failed to deliver a service as promised.
If you’re still not sure if Professional Liability Insurance is something you need, ask your broker about what types of coverage make the most sense for your business.
No, having Contractors Insurance is not mandatory, but here are some reasons why you should:
- There are many risks involved in a contracting project, e.g., on-site injury, equipment, and property damage, any of which could lead to financial loss if a client files a claim against you.
- For risk-management purposes, project managers and planners will often ask for proof of insurance before making a hiring decision. Having Contractor Insurance can be the difference between whether or not you secure a contract.
As determined by Chartered Professional Accountants (CPA) Canada, the minimum coverage amount per claim depends on the number of accountants in a firm. For one-member firms, the minimum limit is $1 million. For firms with two or three members, the minimum limit is $1.5 million. For firms with four members or more, the minimum limit is $2 million.
According to Chartered Professional Accountants (CPA) Canada, all accounting firms (whether a one-person operation or a group operation) that provide accounting services to the public should insure their business with Professional Liability Insurance. Check the CPA branch website of your province to find out about other mandatory laws that apply to accountants and bookkeepers in your province.
No, Errors and Omissions (E&O) Insurance for accountants may only cover mistakes and missed deadlines due to negligence in the accountant’s services that lead to financial loss for clients. If the accountant’s computer network is hacked, E&O will not cover the cost of damages that result from the personal and financial information of clients being compromised. To cover third-party damages due to a breach of cybersecurity, accountants may consider adding Cyber Liability coverage to their policy.
Bodily injury to your sports and fitness clients can be troublesome even if a claim is not made immediately, because they are allowed to make claims up to two years from the reported date of injury. This means you can be faced with a lawsuit related to a fitness claim years after going out of business or changing your profession.
The fitness industry is full of different techniques and different categories. It is important to know what types of clients you can and cannot train. Some common exclusions include professional athletes, minors and certain types of exercises that usually include aerial or aquatic components. Discuss thoroughly with your broker what your fitness insurance policy does not include.
Most fitness claims involve tripping over equipment. Another common cause is clients pushing themselves past their limit, believing they can do one more bench press or try new exercises without proper training after watching Youtube and Instagram videos. If you have come across these problems while working with fitness clients, you can quickly find yourself needing a fitness insurance policy.
Medical negligence (injuries from medical malpractice) is a form of personal injury. Personal injury claims deal with a wide variety of areas where the claimant suffers an injury through no fault of their own, for example, dog bites and slip and falls. Medical negligence (or malpractice) claims only concern mistakes or carelessness carried out by medical professionals. Medical malpractice claims tend to be a lot more complex and thoroughly analyzed too.
Medical negligence refers to a breach of duty by a health professional that results in harm and loss to a client or patient. Negligence can take several different forms, including but not limited to misdiagnosis, incorrect treatment, delay in providing treatment, mistakes in surgery, etc.
Insurance policies are created with the intent of covering a large number of business segments. Every business is unique as to what they offer and how they are operated, due to these individual complexities it is almost impossible for one single insurance policy to cover everything a business may offer. Your basic insurance policy, Commercial General Liability covers any claims of your business causing injury or loss whether it be to a customer, tenant, or landlord. These policies do not, however, cover your professional advice and services, management decisions, physical property, computer systems, data and other potential loss exposures that might exist within your business model.
Malpractice insurance is a type of professional liability insurance that protects medical practitioners from errors caused by negligence in their service. Most medical practitioners are sued at one point or another in their career. Malpractice insurance is curated to cover the common risks that most doctors and other medical practitioners are likely to face.
There are two main types of beauty liability insurance that apply to your profession and it important to have both. Professional liability insurance for the beauty space refers to lawsuits stemming from your actual services. Beauty commercial general liability insurance refers to accidents like a slip and fall. However, it is paramount to have both for a beauty practitioner because sometimes clients can get hurt during a treatment accidentally, like slipping during a pedicure or getting burned during a wax.
The rule here is as much as you can afford. You will feel much more confident in your practice knowing you have millions of dollars in coverage. Also if you experience a claim early in the year you may not have enough beauty insurance leftover to continue working because your insurance policy has been depleted!
No. Unfortunately, beauty insurance only covers your employees. Beauticians who rent a chair in your salon are considered to be contractors and are not covered by your insurance policy, they would have to get their own insurance policies.
Yes, beauty insurance is not just for beauticians who work at a salon, spa or any spot. Even if you travel to your clients, there is a risk that something may go wrong while you complete your beauty procedure. Insurance claims are very common in the beauty industry and that applies to mobile beauticians too.
Yes, beauty insurance claims are very frequent in the beauty space. From clients who do not follow post care procedures and experience bodily damage to instagram influencers who feel that your treatment caused them to lose sponsors. Whoever feels that your services caused bodily injury or damage to their exterior image can file a lawsuit with cause. That is why we offer broad beauty insurance.
Yes, D&O insurance policies usually protect former and present directors and officers. As long as the company continues to purchase D&O insurance, former directors and officers will be covered against future lawsuits that relate to their past board service.
Yes, D&O insurance protects the board of directors of nonprofits by covering defense costs, settlements, judgments arising from lawsuits and wrongful allegations. Nonprofit board members are not fully exempt from liability just by virtue of being volunteers.
Directors and Officers Insurance usually does not apply to sole traders or partnerships because they don’t employ the executive level staff that a Directors and Officers Insurance policy is designed to cover. However, any corporate business whose structure includes executive level staff should consider getting D&O Insurance.
D&O liability insurance is a type of professional liability insurance that is specifically designed to protect the liability of directors and officers and also the liability of the corporation to indemnify its directors and officers for expenses incurred from their alleged acts of harm or negligence.
Yes. According to StatCan, one-fifth of all Canadian businesses were targeted by hackers in 2017. Hackers especially prefer small businesses because they are considered ‘low-hanging fruits’. Cyber security measures are expensive, and small businesses usually don’t have the infrastructure and trained personnel in place to prevent these attacks.
No, it is a common misconception that Technology Errors and Omissions (Tech E&O) coverage provides protection against cybercrimes. Tech E&O covers losses resulting from technology services and technology products but it will not protect you in case of loss of private third party information.
Malware: malicious software that usually make their way through with link clicks and attachment downloads.
Phishing: fraudulent emails to steal information or encourage malware downloads.
DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service): bombarding a business’s server with multiple simultaneous requests to stop it from fulfilling legitimate requests.
Cyber extortion coverage is not included by default in all our cyber liability insurance packages. If you require cyber extortion coverage, discuss it with your assigned broker. It provides coverage for extortion related expenses such as hiring a consultant or negotiator and repair costs if the recovered data is locked or damaged.
Yes, as long as you provide a service to a client, regardless of your location, you can be sued for errors and omissions arising out of negligence. It is best practice to protect yourself with insurance as legal costs and settlement fees are devastating for small businesses and freelance professionals.
Yes. professional liability insurance covers errors and omissions in the service or advice provided by professionals. In fact, the terms ‘professional liability insurance’ and ‘errors and omissions insurance’ actually refer to the same type of policy.
The difference is that D&O (Directors and Officers) Insurance only applies to directors and officers of a company and E&O (Errors & Omissions) Insurance applies to any professional who provides a service. Both policies provide coverage for errors and omissions borne out of negligence.
It’s recommended for professionals who provide a service or advice, whether they work within a group of professionals or as solo entrepreneurs. For example: doctors, lawyers, accountants, management consultants, marketers, financial planners, engineers etc.
Errors and omissions (E&O) insurance covers legal costs and settlements that arise from claims of errors, omissions, negligence or inadequate service provided by professionals such as doctors, consultants, engineers, accountants, etc. It does not cover any damage done intentionally.
The most common professional liability coverage that business owners, consultants or practitioners opt for is the $1M/$2M coverage ($1M max pay out for a single claim during a year, $2M max pay out for all claims throughout a year). If you believe risks are higher in your industry or for your specific business, you should consult with your broker about getting a policy with higher limits.
Professional liability insurance covers financial loss or bodily injury caused to a third party due to a service you provided. It covers legal costs and settlements, usually hefty fees that can cripple a small business or individual practitioner if they had to pay it out of their own pocket.
Errors and omissions is a popular name for professional liability, they both refer to the same policy and provide coverage to professionals or consultants for errors and omissions in their services. In some industries, it’s also commonly known as malpractice insurance. Regardless of what you refer to it as, it may be important to protect your business practice with this policy.