An LLC is a Limited Liability Company — a way to set up a business to limit the liability of the owner. Many people form LLC’s for tax reasons, but most do it to limit their liability. While these business entities are generally effective at doing just that – they are not always able to give the level of protection needed.
As with most things here in the U.S. there are many exceptions to the rule. There are certain instances where having an LLC will NOT protect you from liability. Two instances specifically are when you or your company have acted in a neglectful or illegal manner, whether you’re ignorant of the law or not, or when you’ve mixed company funds with personal funds meaning you have not been treating your LLC as a separate entity.
What if you think you can avoid both of those instances? Should you still consider paying the nominal cost of business liability insurance? Well, that all depends on your risk the lawsuits associate with your particluar profession. Before you decide you don’t need insurance, remember that your entire business can be at risk from one single lawsuit, no matter how frivolous you may consider the suit. Also remember that if you get sued you will lose a lot of time defending yourself and your business.
All this can be avoided if you buy commercial liability insurance. When you are covered by the right business insurance policy or policies, your insurance company will pay for your legal defense and handle everything behind the scenes for you. This can save you from spending long hours on the case in court and in meetings. It also saves you from having to pay the high hourly rates that many lawyers charge. Even if it simply saves you from having to worry about a lawsuit then it is worth buying liability coverage.
If you think that your LLC has even a small risk of liability, you may want to consider getting a commercial liability policy anyway. A good policy to shop for initially, is a general liability policy, which pays for injuries and for property damage. It also covers the cost of your legal defense.
If your LLC offers professional services or even advice to clients and customers, you’re likely set up as a PLLC (Professional Limited Liability Company) depending on the state your business resides. If this is the case then you may also want to take a close look at professional liability coverage. This will provide liability protection when a client claims damages or loss of income as a result of your advice or mistakes. A few examples of professionals who can benefit from this type of policy include chiropractors, lawyers, landscapers, and anyone offering services for a fee.
LLC’s are a solid business entity but the added peace of mind that a business liability policy offers can be worth it for most small businesses. There are enough things to worry about when trying to start and run your own business, from paperwork to permits, licenses and taxes. The last thing you need to worry about is liability. Find a cheap policy from a reliable insurer and you can focus on growing your business instead of protecting it.