A small business is defined as any company with fewer than 500 employees. Small business is vital to Kansas’s economic well-being, accounting for nearly 97% of all state employers. Of Kansas’s 237,543 small businesses in 2008 (the latest data available), 59,010 were small employers, accounting for more than 53% of the state’s private-sector jobs. Another 178,533 were one-person operations with no employees.
Source: SBA Iowa Small Business Profile 2011.
About Commercial Liability Insurance for KS Businesses
Commercial liability insurance (also called business liability insurance and commercial general liability insurance) protects your Kansas business from financial loss resulting from claims of injury or damage cause to others by you or your employees. A policy typically covers:
Bodily Injury – physical damage to a person other than an employee at your place of business and injuries caused by you or an employee at a client’s home or work place.
Personal Injury – libel, slander, copyright infringement, invasion of property or privacy, wrongful eviction, false arrest and similar acts that cause damage to a person’s reputation or rights.
Property Damage – damage done to another person’s property by you or an employee in the course of conducting your business.
Advertising Injury – losses caused by your advertising
Legal Defense and Judgments – costs to defend against real and frivolous suits and judgments up to the limit of your coverage. Note this generally does not include punitive damages for negligence or willful misconduct.
Kansas Minimum Business Insurance Requirements
Commercial Liability Insurance is not mandatory for businesses operating in Kansas. Kansas is a modified comparative negligence no-fault state. The plaintiff can only recover if he or she is 49% or less at fault. Non-economic damages are limited to $250,000 per plaintiff in any personal injury action. The statute of limitations for general personal injury in 1 year for intentional conduct, 2 years for negligent conduct and never more than 10 years from discovery. Products liability is 2 years for negligence or strict liability. Accidents and lawsuits (legitimate and frivolous) do happen in Kansas. If you own property or other valuable assets you would be wise to invest in sufficient commercial general liability coverage for your Kansas small businesses.
How Much Kansas Commercial Liability Insurance Should You Carry?
Each situation is unique, but as a general guideline, the type of Kansas business you operate or products you manufacture should determine how much Kansas commercial general liability insurance you need. A good rule of thumb for most small businesses is between $500,000 and $1 million. However, if yours is a high-risk business such as the building trades or has a high volume of interaction with the public such as a restaurant or retail business, you should consider increasing your coverage. Note that if you operate out of your home, your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance has limited coverage for business liability and loss.
How Are Premium Costs Assessed
Kansas commercial liability insurance premiums are based on a number of factors including the types of service or products you provide, the number of people you employ, how long you’ve been in business, and your claims history. Coverage is typically capped at a specific dollar amount for your policy period.
Other Insurance to Consider for Your Kansas Small Business
Kansas requires that anyone who employs one or more persons, whether full or part time, carry workers compensation insurance. Sole proprietors with no employees are not required to carry workers compensation. Other exemptions may apply. Contact the Kansas Division of Workers’ Compensation for details.http://www.dol.ks.gov/workcomp/
Kansas requires that all drivers carry minimum automobile insurance. If you use your car or truck for business, it is recommended that you purchase a commercial vehicle policy.
Kansas Insurance Department
420 SW 9th Street, Topeka, KS 66612
Kansas Small Business Administration
The SBA is an independent agency of the federal government created to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business concerns. Get the link to the SBA at http://www.sba.gov/about-offices-list/2
National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC)
This is an organization of insurance regulators from the 50 states, District of Columbia and the five U.S. territories. NAIC provides a forum for the development of uniform policies when appropriate. It also offers an online form for filing complaints, reporting suspected insurance fraud and downloading key financial information about insurance carriers at http://www.naic.org/cis
Insurance Information Institute (III)
This organization’s mission is to improve public understanding of insurance – what it is and how it works. Visit III at http://www.iii.org/