Frequently Asked Question

We want you to make well-informed decisions about your insurance needs. Learn from answers to the questions most frequently asked by business owners.

General

  • Can I buy and manage my policies from biBERK online?
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Yes! We make it easy for you to get a quote, buy a policy, submit claims, and manage your policy on our website so that you can handle insurance-related tasks whenever and wherever it’s convenient for you. 

  • Am I required to have small business insurance?
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Certain types of coverage may be required in your state and for your type of business. Plus, some companies require that the businesses they work with have insurance and some landlords require that you have insurance coverage. Our business insurance experts can help you understand what kinds of policies you need. 

  • Does biBERK provide business insurance in my state?
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Most likely, yes. However, it depends on the state you’re in and the type of insurance you’re looking for. Check out our coverage maps for details. 

  • What kind of small business insurance do I need?
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Each business has unique insurance needs. Going through our online quote process or talking with one of our insurance experts are two great ways to better understand your needs.

  • How important is it to correctly identify industry type in determining Industry Classification?
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Really important! If the type of business is improperly classified, a business owner could pay significant additional premium at the end of the policy term. The workers’ compensation industry uses a standard set of three- or four-digit “classification codes” assigned by either a State Rating Bureau or the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) depending upon the state. Each code reflects the risk associated with the duties or “scope of work performed” for employees at a particular type of company. As a result, this classification is the basis for the workers’ compensation insurance rates assigned to that job. Incorrect industry identification generally means the premium charged is either higher or lower than appropriate, resulting in a large workers’ compensation premium payment, or credit due, when the policy’s mandatory premium audit is conducted.

  • Knowingly misclassifying workers is an act of fraud and can have serious consequences.
    keyboard_arrow_down

    If you are unsure of your class, we are glad to help get it figured out up front! Give us a call at 1-833-291-9699.

Managing Your Policy

  • How do I get a certificate of liability insurance?
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Certificates of insurance can be obtained online. Simply click Get Certificate under Policyholders, provide the required information, and follow the instructions.

  • Can I manage my own certificates of insurance?
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Yes, basic certificates of insurance can be obtained online. Click Get Certificate in the header navigation, follow the instructions and complete the required fields on the form.

  • How can I see the coverages and limits included in my policy?
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Your policy lists all your coverages and limits and premiums. The first few pages of the policy are called "declaration pages" and provide summary terms of your coverages and limits, and should serve as a useful overview of your coverage.

  • How can I make policy changes?
    keyboard_arrow_down

    We’re happy to assist you with changes. Simply call 1-844-653-0271.

  • Do you offer temporary coverage?
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Coverage is only offered in one-year policies.

  • Will my policy automatically renew?
    keyboard_arrow_down

    If your policy is eligible for renewal, you will receive a billing notice approximately 30-60 days in advance of the new policy’s effective date. You must make the required down payment in advance of the renewal policy’s effective date. Your renewal policy billing statement will provide details.

  • How do I file a claim?
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Filing a claim is easy. Visit our Claims page to get the process started.

  • How do I cancel my policy?
    keyboard_arrow_down

    We can assist you with canceling your policy. Simply call 1-833-291-9699 and speak with one of our insurance experts. Policies cannot be canceled by leaving a voicemail or sending an email.

Workers’ Compensation

  • What is workers’ compensation insurance?
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Workers’ compensation insurance (often called workers’ comp) protects your employees and your business in the event that an employee is injured or contracts an illness at work. It helps pay for medical care and lost wages associated with work-related injuries. 

  • Why do I need workers' comp insurance?
    keyboard_arrow_down

    In most states, the law requires most businesses having one or more employees to have workers’ compensation insurance. In fact, many states employers are required to post notice somewhere in the workplace advising employees of the identity of the insurer and how to report a claim. Employers can be fined for not carrying workers’ compensation insurance and stop orders can be issued, depending on state labor commissions, preventing employers from using employee labor until coverage is obtained.

  • What is covered in a workers' comp policy?
    keyboard_arrow_down

    It depends. The insurance benefits provided by a Workers’ Compensation policy are regulated by each state, thus, they may differ in each state in which you operate. A workers’ compensation policy provides coverage for lost wages, medical expenses, rehabilitation expenses, and death benefits resulting from an employee’s injury or illness that occurs due to the job. Incidents can range from sudden accidents to work-related illnesses/injuries that happen over time. Covered medical expenses can include hospital care, surgery, doctor visits, physical therapy, emergency room visits, prescription medication, etc. When an employee is unable to stay at (or return to) work, replacement income can be provided.

  • What does workers’ compensation insurance not cover?
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Although workers’ compensation insurance provides broad coverage for work-related injuries and illness, there are some exclusions. For example, injuries outside of work aren’t covered, and commuting to and from work generally isn’t covered, though there may be coverage in some states. Also, intentional injuries and those occurring as a result of substance abuse or intoxication aren’t covered.

  • What does workers’ compensation insurance cost?
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Per $100 in wages, the average cost of workers’ compensation insurance ranges from $.75 in Texas to $2.74 in Alaska. Premiums are calculated based on your company’s gross annual payroll. The higher your payroll, the higher your premiums.

  • Does biBERK provide workers’ comp insurance in my state?
    keyboard_arrow_down

    We offer workers’ comp insurance coverage in all states where we are allowed to do so. Four states require businesses to buy workers’ compensation insurance from a government entity, so we don’t sell policies there. Check out our coverage map for details.

  • Are all on-the-job injuries covered by workers' compensation coverage?
    keyboard_arrow_down

    In general, workers’ compensation policies cover most, but not all, on-the-job injuries – even when an injury is caused by employer or employee carelessness. However, injuries that happen because an employee is intoxicated or using illegal drugs are most likely not covered. Other examples of injuries that may not be covered are injuries suffered when an employee was not on the job or injuries suffered when an employee’s conduct violated company policy. The rules vary widely state by state, and rules can be changed from time to time.

  • If I use contractors instead of employees, do I still need workers' compensation insurance?
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Contracted workers, leased workers, and some other hiring situations may be exempt from workers’ compensation requirements. However, laws differ from state to state and some require companies to provide coverage for contractors. We'd be glad to discuss your current situation with you if you want to call us at 1-833-291-9699.

  • Do I need workers’ comp insurance coverage as a self-employed business owner?
    keyboard_arrow_down

    As a self-employed business owner with no employees, you typically aren’t required by law to have workers’ comp insurance coverage. However, you may want or need coverage to protect your income or to meet the requirements of a business contract.

  • How is the cost (the premium) of a workers’ compensation policy calculated?
    keyboard_arrow_down

    The price you pay is based on many different factors including your payroll, the kind of business you have, the job duties of your employees, and where your business is located. In a simple example, what typically happens is that your industry class is determined, your payroll is multiplied by the “base rate” approved by your state’s department of insurance, and then, the result may be adjusted for several factors, including prior claims experience, risk characteristics such as a safety program or training program, or in some states a factor could be where you are located in the state.

  • What is meant by Annual Employee Payroll?
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Annual Employee Payroll is a technical term which refers to the annual amount paid to all of your employees (both full and part time), including W-2, 1099, and cash wages. In other words, the amount does include wages, commissions, bonuses, overtime pay, and holiday/sick/vacation pay. Annual employee payroll does not include tips, severance pay, overtime pay above and beyond regular rate of pay (this may vary state to state), payroll limitations, and any salaries of Executives, Officers, Owners, and Partners who elect to be excluded from coverage.

  • Why is workers’ compensation an "auditable" policy?
    keyboard_arrow_down

    In short, these policies are auditable (meaning they are subject to confirmation of things like annual employee payroll) because changes happen within businesses throughout the year that can impact the cost of the insurance. A workers’ compensation premium audit will be performed after each policy period at an insurer’s discretion to verify payroll, class codes, and perhaps other factors (such as subcontractor exposure) depending upon the class and the laws of each state. A variety of methods can be used (phone calls, mailings, or in-person visits to your operation), though the goal is always the same – to find out whether the payroll and class codes used to determine your premium accurately reflect the payroll and scope of work performed during the policy period. For certain classes, audits also ensure that subcontractors had their own coverage in place. If not, you may be charged for their exposure on your policy as well.

  • What is an Experience Modification ("MOD")? How is a MOD determined?
    keyboard_arrow_down

    An Experience Mod (sometimes called a “MOD” or “X-MOD”) is an adjustment or modification to the pricing of your coverage that is specific to a particular business, and is based upon your previous claim experience as compared to other businesses of the same size and scope of operations. This factor helps determine your rate and your policy premium. Generally, a business must be in operation a minimum of three years and have generated sufficient premium in a single year for a MOD to be assigned. Since MODs are unique to each business, the organization that calculates the number (either NCCI or the state’s Workers’ Compensation Bureau) will associate the factor with the' + " Employer’s individual Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN). The MOD is determined by comparing your loss (claims) data to that of other employers with the same classification codes and is expressed as either a credit or debit on your policy. In general, a MOD that is less than 1 is better than average (and earns a credit); while a MOD that greater than 1 is worse than average (and earns a debit).

  • If my spouse and I are sole owners of our business and we do not have any employees, do we need workers’ compensation coverage?
    keyboard_arrow_down

    While the rules vary from state to state, coverage for sole owners is generally optional. However, you need to have workers’ compensation insurance for any employee you may hire — even when you have just one and/or that person is hired on a temporary basis.

  • What is a workers’ comp audit and how does it work?
    keyboard_arrow_down

    The amount you pay for workers’ compensation insurance is based on your total payroll. We charge you a percentage of your payroll for your workers' comp insurance. The percentage, also called your rate, is based on a variety of factors including your industry and the nature of work your employees perform. A workers’ comp audit is required by law and helps us ensure you’re paying the right amount for your coverage. It involves sending us documents that we request so that we can evaluate them and you pay based on your actual employee payroll during the policy period. If the actual payroll is higher than you estimated when you purchased the policy, we send you a bill for the difference. If the actual payroll is lower, we send you a refund for the difference.

  • What is a premium audit and why is this process necessary?
    keyboard_arrow_down

    When your original policy was written, the calculated premium (the amount you were charged) was based on estimated payroll exposures and employee classifications that need to be verified after your coverage has expired (or upon cancellation). Your participation in a premium audit is required by regulation and is a means of reviewing your records and operations to determine the actual risk exposure and make any necessary adjustments to the amount of premium charged.

  • What information and records will be needed to complete the audit?
    keyboard_arrow_down

    • Payroll journals listing individual employee payroll records and job duties/responsibilities for the period listed on the audit form.
    • Your general ledger, check register, and cash disbursements journal.
    • Federal Quarterly Tax Returns (IRS Form 941) for the previous four quarters. (State Unemployment Quarterly Forms are also acceptable as well as Schedule C of the Federal Income Tax Return for Sole Proprietors, Form 1065 for LLC's/Partnerships, or Form 1120 for Corporations.)
    • All Miscellaneous Income Forms (IRS Form 1099) for the most recently completed calendar year.
    • Workers' Compensation Certificates of Insurance (ACORD Form 25) for any subcontractors and owner-operators.
    • Any other records that may be requested by the auditor at the time of your audit.

  • If I do not cooperate with the premium audit requirements of my policy, what happens?
    keyboard_arrow_down

    If you do not cooperate, we will have no choice but to estimate your payrolls which will result in a substantial increase of 100% or more of your original premium.

  • What is considered payroll/remuneration?
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Premiums for Workers’ Compensation insurance are based on payroll, which is defined as total remuneration for services performed by an employee. In most states, remuneration means money or substitutes for money, including:
    • Wages/salaries
    • Bonuses
    • Commissions
    • Overtime
    • Vacation, sick, and/or holiday pay
    • Tax-deferred payments (cafeteria or 401K plans)
    • Rental value of an apartment or house furnished by the employer
    • Car or tool allowances
    • Any other substitutes for wages (such as store certificates, merchandise, etc.)

  • As a sole proprietor, officer, or partner, can I elect to be included or excluded from coverage on my policy?
    keyboard_arrow_down

    The answer to this question depends upon your state. When sole proprietors, officers, and partners are excluded from Workers’ Compensation coverage, the proper forms must be completed and filed prior to the inception date of your policy. When these individuals are included, the classification that most closely matches actual job duties will be assigned. As a result, you will be asked to provide a detailed description of each person’s responsibilities. To learn more about the rules governing your state, we suggest you contact your agent.

Business Owners (BOP) FAQs

  • What is liability insurance?
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Property and liability insurance can provide coverage for legal fees and settlements if your business is sued for a claim covered by the policy.

  • What’s covered by a business owners policy?
    keyboard_arrow_down

    A business owners policy protects commercial buildings and their contents, and also can cover liability associated with things like customer injuries and damage to property that your business doesn’t own. In addition, it can serve as “business interruption insurance” that helps with costs if your operations are disrupted by property damage.  

  • What types of businesses need BOP coverage?
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Just about any kind of small business can benefit from BOP coverage. In particular, if your business owns or leases property, a BOP policy can be especially important, as it combines commercial property insurance and general liability insurance. 

  • What type of coverage is provided under a Business Owners Policy (BOP)?
    keyboard_arrow_down

    A Business Owners Policy (BOP) provides both general liability and property coverage for your business. It protects against the loss of personal property, property damage to buildings, and liabilities faced in the course of business activities. Additional coverage is included in our basic BOP that provides additional security, including protection against loss of business income. Depending on your type of business, you may find that we suggest other possible coverage add-ons, along with explanations about what they provide, so that you can make an informed decision.

  • What’s the difference between a Business Owners Policy (BOP) and Package Policy?
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Both policies can provide similar coverages, but for businesses of different sizes. The BOP policy was designed for a simple purchasing process for small to mid-size businesses. It provides basic general liability and property coverage can be customized with other coverages to meet the needs of specific businesses. A package policy, on the other hand, is designed for larger or more complex businesses and requires that most coverages be individually selected based on the needs of the business.

  • What does liability insurance cost?
    keyboard_arrow_down

    biBERK’s policies start at $500 per year and most small businesses pay less than $2,000 per year. Your premium is calculated based on factors like your business activities, number of employees, and others.

  • How much liability insurance do I need?
    keyboard_arrow_down

    The amount of property and liability insurance needed varies. Our insurance experts can help you determine the right coverage for your business. 

  • What is the minimum amount of liability insurance required?
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Coverage minimums depend on your business type, location, and other factors. We’re happy to provide guidance regarding your BOP coverage needs. 

  • How do I know how much property coverage to purchase?
    keyboard_arrow_down

    If you own a building, we provide you with an estimate of the cost to rebuild the building in event of a loss. This is based on the size, type of building, and material and labor costs in your area so that you can feel confident about the amount of insurance you’re purchasing for your building. We also provide an estimate of the value of your other business property based on businesses similar to yours. If you have questions, you can always call us and a licensed insurance professional can guide you regarding your insurance amounts.

  • How are a BOP policy and general liability insurance different?
    keyboard_arrow_down

    A BOP policy has both general liability and business property coverage. Not only does this provide broad protection for your business, having both coverages in one policy makes it easy to manage. 

  • Why should I insure my building and business personal property to their replacement value?
    keyboard_arrow_down

    The most you can be paid for covered loss under the policy is the value for which you insure your property. If you insure your property for less than the replacement value, you may not recover your full damages in the event of a loss.

    Furthermore, your Business Owners policy requires that you insure your Business Personal Property (BPP) and Building (if covered by this policy) for at least 80% of the cost that would be incurred to replace the property.

    This requirement applies to any loss, full or partial. If your building is not insured to 80% of the full replacement value at the time of loss, your loss payment will be reduced to the greater of the actual cash value of the damaged property or a pro-rated portion based on how far below the 80% requirement you insured the building.

    To avoid problems like this, it is best to insure your building and business personal property for 100% of the replacement value.

    If you require building coverage, we provide you with an estimate of the full replacement cost value of the building during the quoting process. This is only an estimate, and the data may not be complete or sufficiently capture the unique nature of your property. Please call us at the number at the top of this page if you have any questions regarding the value of your property.

  • What if the building I own or occupy becomes vacant or partially vacant?
    keyboard_arrow_down

    A vacant building presents different insurance risks than an occupied building. Your Business Owners policy contains a provision which may limit the loss payment if your building becomes vacant.

    If you are a tenant rather than an owner of the building in the building in which your business operates, it will be considered vacant if it does not contain enough business personal property to conduct customary operations. If you are the owner of a building, at least 31% of the building must be rented and used by a lessee or sublessee to conduct their customary operations or used by you to conduct your customary operations, otherwise it will be considered vacant.

    If the building where loss or damage occurs has been vacant for more than 60 consecutive days before loss or damage occurs, the following causes of loss may be excluded: vandalism, sprinkler leakage, building glass breakage, water damage, theft, or attempted theft. In addition, all other causes of loss may have their payments reduced by 15%.

    Please call us to discuss your coverage options if you feel your building may be considered vacant.

  • How is my Business Owners Policy (BOP) premium determined?
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Our actuaries have determined our rates based on the type of business being insured, and the coverage being provided, as well as other factors which affect the risk. Examples of such additional factors for property coverage include whether the business property has a fire or burglar alarm system; the type of construction of the building insured; and the distance between the building insured and the nearest fire hydrant or fire station. Consideration of factors like these gets us to our final rates. We then apply the rates to limits being purchased to arrive at your property premium. A similar process is done to determine the rates for liability, which are applied to the square feet your business occupies, payroll, or gross sales depending on the class of business you operate to arrive at your liability premium. These property and liability premiums are then combined to determine the BOP premium quote.

  • What additional coverages are included in my Business Owners Policy (BOP)?
    keyboard_arrow_down

    The following are examples of the additional coverages that are frequently included at no further cost:
    • Accounts Receivable
      Replaces amounts due to you that cannot be collected because your accounts receivable records were lost or damaged during a covered event.
    • Appurtenant Structures
      Covers incidental structures located on the same premises as the main building such as storage buildings, carports, or garages.
    • Business Income and Extra Expense
      Covers the loss of net income as a result of damage or loss of business property. Reimbursement for salaries, taxes, rents, and other expenses incurred during the period of interruption is typically included.
    • Damage to Premises Rented to You
      Insures damage to property you rent if your business is responsible for damages.
    • Electronic Data
      Covers the cost to replace or restore data that’s been destroyed or damaged by a covered loss.
    • Employee Dishonesty
      Covers loss resulting from dishonest or fraudulent acts of your business' employee(s), including theft of your property.
    • Fire Department Service Charge
      Pays for charges from a fire department for their response to save or protect your business from a covered cause of loss at your business.
    • Fire Extinguisher Systems Recharge Expense
      Pays to have your fire extinguisher recharged or replaced after being discharged, except during installation or testing.
    • Forgery or Alteration
      Covers loss resulting from the forgery of payment issued by your business, someone on behalf of your business, or by someone impersonating you or someone from your business.
    • Interruption of Computer Operations
      Covers lost income and extra expenses sustained in a suspension of operations due to destruction or corruption of electronic data by a covered cause of loss.
    • Outdoor Property
      Covers property outside your building (e.g. trees, shrubs or plants, signs - though not attached signs) for losses due to fire, lightning, explosion, riot or civil commotion, or aircraft (but not theft).
    • Preservation of Property
      Covers loss or damage to your property if it must be moved in order to preserve it. Coverage is provided while the property is in transit and at the new location for up to 30 days after the move begins.
    • Valuable Papers and Records
      Covers the cost to research, replace, or restore lost information on valuable papers and records (e.g. documents, manuscripts, books, deeds, drawings, or mortgages).

  • If I have a loss and my business has to shut down for a period of time, how does my Business Owners Policy (BOP) help?
    keyboard_arrow_down

    In addition to basic property coverage for your building and business personal property, your policy protects you against a loss of "Business Income" for a predetermined number of days and / or maximum dollar value.

  • What is my TIV?
    keyboard_arrow_down

    The term TIV refers to Total Insured Value and represents the combined value of your Building and Business Personal Property.

  • Does a Business Owners Policy (BOP) include Auto coverage? Workers' Compensation coverage?
    keyboard_arrow_down

    No. Your Business Owners Policy can address your typical General Liability and Property insurance needs while offering a large number of extra coverages. However, you must obtain your Auto (outside of hired and non - owned automobile coverages) and Workers’ Compensation insurance separately.

  • If I purchase a Business Owners Policy (BOP), do I also need a General Liability policy?
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Typically the answer is no. A BOP provides liability coverage, and for most businesses, an additional General Liability policy would be unnecessary.

  • What if I do not need coverage for Business Personal Property (BPP)?
    keyboard_arrow_down

    You may still need other coverages, so we recommend that you call us to discuss your situation with one of our experienced, licensed insurance consultants.

  • Does biBERK offer business owners policies in my state?
    keyboard_arrow_down

    We provide BOP coverage in many states. Check out our coverage map for details. 

General Liability FAQs

  • What is general liability insurance?
    keyboard_arrow_down

    General liability insurance protects your business from claims related to risks like damage to the property of others, bodily injury to non-employees, product liability, libel, slander, and copyright infringement. 

  • How much does general liability insurance cost?
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Our policies start under $30 a month, but the actual amount you will pay depends on your industry, size, number of employees, location, and other factors.

  • Do I need general liability insurance for my business?
    keyboard_arrow_down

    General liability insurance requirements vary by state and industry. Landlords frequently require business tenants to have general liability insurance, and coverage may be required by clients in order for you to work on their premises. However, even if general liability insurance isn’t mandatory for you, the costs associated with an incident or lawsuit can quickly add up and threaten the financial stability of your company. General liability insurance provides protection and peace of mind. 

  • Is my business eligible for general liability insurance?
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Click “Start Free Quote” on our homepage to get started. Answer just a handful of questions and we’ll let you know if we offer general liability insurance for businesses like yours.

  • How do I prove I have general liability insurance?
    keyboard_arrow_down

    A Certificate of Insurance (COI), which you can obtain at any time from our website as a policyholder, proves that you have general liability insurance and lists the coverages and limits.

  • Is general liability insurance required by law?
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Unlike workers’ compensation insurance, general liability insurance is not legally required. However, general liability insurance typically is required by contract by people with whom you do business, including vendors, owners of buildings in which you operate, etc.

  • How much general liability insurance do I need?
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Insurance requirements vary based on the type of business, size, number of employees, etc. In many cases, if someone you are doing business with is requiring you to obtain general liability insurance, they will have minimum per-occurrence and aggregate limit requirements. Talk with one of our licensed advisors at 1-833-291-9699 if you would like help choosing the right limit for your business.

  • Does general liability insurance cover lawsuits?
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Yes, general liability insurance helps cover legal fees and settlements, but only if you’re sued for specific reasons as outlined in the policy. For example, you aren’t covered by your general liability policy if an employee sues you or if you’re sued over a professional error.

  • What is the difference between general liability and professional liability (E&O)?
    keyboard_arrow_down

    General liability insurance offers protection if someone outside of your business sues you for physical injury, property damage, or an advertising injury (libel/slander). Professional liability insurance (also called errors and omissions insurance) covers you if you are sued by a client who claims you made an error, omission, or other professional mistake that resulted in a financial loss. While general liability insurance is relevant to almost all businesses, not all need a professional liability policy. We have licensed advisors ready to assist if you need help in this area. Just call 1-833-291-9699.

  • Does general liability insurance cover professional liability (E&O)?
    keyboard_arrow_down

    No, it doesn’t. You’ll want professional liability (errors & omissions) coverage from biBERK if your business provides professional advice or services.

  • What is primary insurance versus excess insurance?
    keyboard_arrow_down

    A primary insurance policy, like a general liability policy, kicks in first to cover a claim or loss. Excess insurance, like an umbrella policy, provides additional coverage for the same claim once the limits of the primary policy have been reached. For example, if you are found liable for $125,000 and your primary insurance policy has a $100,000 limit, an umbrella policy may cover the remaining $25,000.

  • Does biBERK provide general liability insurance in my state?
    keyboard_arrow_down

    We offer general liability insurance in many states. Check out our coverage map for details.

Professional Liability (E&O) FAQs

  • Are professional liability and errors and omissions (E&O) insurance the same thing?
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Yes, the two terms tend to be used interchangeably.

  • What is professional liability (E&O) insurance?
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Professional liability insurance (also called errors and omissions insurance) can cover your small business if a client accuses you of making a mistake (an error) or failing to do something (an omission). The cost of defending a claim can be covered even if the claim proves to be baseless.

  • What does professional liability (E&O) insurance cost?
    keyboard_arrow_down

    The cost of professional liability insurance depends on factors like your industry, years in business, and number of employees, as well as the level of coverage you select. Our professional liability insurance policies start around $300 per year and can go up into the thousands. 

  • Who needs professional liability (E&O) insurance?
    keyboard_arrow_down

    If your business provides professional advice or services, you should have errors and omissions insurance. In some cases, coverage may be required by law.

  • How much liability insurance do I need?
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Like the cost of professional liability insurance, the amount you should have is based on many factors. Our insurance experts can help you assess and address your needs. 

  • What is the minimum amount of liability insurance required?
    keyboard_arrow_down

    The minimum requirement for professional liability insurance depends on your type of business and your location. Our insurance experts can provide guidance. In some cases, the minimum requirement may be specified in contracts you have with your clients.

  • How is professional liability (E&O) insurance different from general liability insurance?
    keyboard_arrow_down

    General liability insurance covers accidents that cause damages such as bodily injury or property damage. Professional liability insurance addresses claims from a client that you made a mistake or failed to do something you were obligated to do.

  • Does biBERK offer professional liability (E&O) insurance in my state?
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Yes, we provide coverage in all 50 states.

  • Does professional liability (E&O) insurance cover my company even if a lawsuit is baseless?
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Yes, even if there are no grounds for a claim, your policy can provide protection.

  • What is a professional liability (E&O) audit and how does it work?
    keyboard_arrow_down

    The amount you pay for professional liability (E&O) insurance is based on your total payroll. We charge you a percentage of your payroll. The percentage, also called your rate, is based on a variety of factors including your industry and the nature of work your employees perform. We require a professional liability audit, which helps us ensure you’re paying the right amount for your coverage. It involves sending us documents that we request so that we can evaluate them and you pay based on your actual employee payroll during the policy period. If the actual payroll is higher than you estimated when you purchased the policy, we send you a bill for the difference. If the actual payroll is lower, we send you a refund for the difference.

  • What is a professional liability (E&O) premium audit and why is this process necessary?
    keyboard_arrow_down

    When your original policy was written, the calculated premium (the amount you were charged) was based on estimated payroll. That figure must be verified after your coverage has expired (or upon cancellation). We require your participation in a premium audit so that we can review your records and operations to determine your actual payroll and make any necessary adjustments to the amount of premium charged.

  • What information and records is needed to complete a professional liability (E&O) payroll audit?
    keyboard_arrow_down

    • Payroll journals listing individual employee payroll records and job duties/responsibilities for the period listed on the audit form
    • Your general ledger, check register, and cash disbursements journal
    • Federal Quarterly Tax Returns (IRS Form 941) for the previous four quarters (State Unemployment Quarterly Forms are also acceptable as well as Schedule C of the Federal Income Tax Return for sole proprietors, Form 1065 for LLCs/partnerships, or Form 1120 for corporations)
    • All Miscellaneous Income Forms (IRS Form 1099) for the most recently completed calendar year
    • Any other records that may be requested by the auditor at the time of your audit

  • If I do not cooperate with the premium audit requirements of my professional liability (E&O) policy, what happens?
    keyboard_arrow_down

    If you do not cooperate, we will have no choice but to estimate your payroll, which will result in a substantial increase of 100% or more of your original premium.

  • What is considered payroll/remuneration?
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Premiums for professional liability (E&O) insurance are based on payroll, which is defined as total remuneration for services performed by an employee. In most states, remuneration means money or substitutes for money, including:
    • Wages/salaries
    • Bonuses
    • Commissions
    • Overtime
    • Vacation, sick, and/or holiday pay
    • Tax-deferred payments (cafeteria or 401(k) plans)
    • Rental value of an apartment or house furnished by the employer
    • Car or tool allowances
    • Any other substitutes for wages (such as store certificates, merchandise, etc.)

Commercial Auto FAQs

  • What is commercial auto insurance for a small business?
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Commercial auto insurance is coverage for vehicles you use for business purposes. Vehicles used strictly for personal activities would be covered under a personal auto policy. Also, leased vehicles or employee-owned vehicles used for business purposes require hired/non-owned coverage, which can be purchased under a general liability or BOP policy. 

  • How much does commercial auto insurance cost on average?
    keyboard_arrow_down

    The cost of commercial auto insurance varies based on factors like the type of vehicle, how it’s used, and the driving records of the people who will operate it, to name just a few. However, biBERK is able to offer insurance at up to 20% less than other insurance providers. For example, commuter/consultant use of smaller vehicles can cost $600 to $1,500 per vehicle per year. The cost to insure vehicles for for-hire trucking can be $5,000 to $15,000 per vehicle per year. Livery vehicles may cost $2,000 to $6,000 per vehicle per year to insure. 

  • Is my business vehicle covered by my commercial auto policy when I’m using it for personal activities?
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Commercial auto insurance can cover the cost of damages even if the vehicle is used for personal activities outside of its primary business use.

  • Who is covered by my small business auto insurance?
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Your policy can cover your employees, family members, and others who have permission to drive your vehicles. People who do so on a regular basis should be noted on your policy.

  • Will my insurance cost increase if I’m involved in an accident in my covered vehicle?
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Your current policy won't be affected, but your next term or renewal may be. Your policy is rewritten each time it expires. When that occurs, your driving record is a factor in determining your rate. That means your rate may go up, but an increase is not guaranteed just because of an accident.

  • Does my small business car insurance cover items stolen from my vehicle?
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Your policy can cover the vehicle and anything permanently attached to it, like a truck bed tool box. However, in that example, the tools themselves are not covered. Contractors who transport tools can purchase coverage for them under a general liability or business owners policy. Businesses in the for-hire trucking industry can purchase cargo liability add-on coverage to insure the goods they haul. 

  • If I’m pulling a trailer with a vehicle that’s covered under my policy, is the trailer automatically covered?
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Not necessarily. Liability coverage is automatic for trailers under 2,000 pounds gross vehicle weight, but for theft or damage coverage, you have to add the trailer to your policy. Trailers 2,000 pounds or over must be added to your policy to have coverage. 

  • What is combined single limit (CSL) versus split limit coverage?
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Liability policies provide different maximum dollar amounts that the insurer will pay for different components of a claim. This is called a split limit. A combined single limit policy states that the insurer will pay up to a certain dollar amount for the entire claim. It doesn’t matter whether all components of the claim are related to one person’s injuries, or whether there are multiple injured parties represented by the claim. The combined single limit is capped at the stated dollar amount either way for that claim.`

Umbrella FAQs

  • What is umbrella insurance?
    keyboard_arrow_down

    An umbrella policy “sits on top” of an existing liability policy and “kicks in” when the limit of that policy has been reached. The umbrella policy provides an added measure of protection—up to its limit—to coverage like general liability insurance, professional liability (E&O) insurance, or commercial auto insurance. For example, if you are required to pay a $125,000 claim but the underlying policy that covers the incident has a $100,000 limit, an umbrella policy can cover the additional $25,000. You must tell your insurance company about your liability policies for the coverage to respond.

  • What is covered under an umbrella insurance policy?
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Umbrella insurance can cover costs associated with things like bodily injuries and related medical expenses, damage to customer property, product liability, slander, libel, and copyright infringement. This includes defending against a lawsuit.

  • What is not covered under an umbrella insurance policy?
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Like all insurance, an umbrella insurance policy has certain exclusions. They include damage to property your business owns or leases (since umbrella insurance is only for liability claims), contractual liability, and liability associated with armed conflicts or wars among others. Our insurance experts can provide details.

  • Do I need umbrella insurance?
    keyboard_arrow_down

    The cost of defending just one lawsuit can exceed the limit of liability policies, so it’s a good idea to have the added protection of umbrella insurance. Also, high limits may be required by a contract. Having an umbrella can be a cost-efficient way to have coverage for those limits, especially when the limit requirement is for multiple coverages.

  • How much umbrella insurance do I need?
    keyboard_arrow_down

    The amount of umbrella insurance that a business should have depends on multiple factors. Our insurance experts can help you choose the right amount of coverage.