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Small Business Insurance - Oklahomans Protecting Themselves

Forrest Bennett Oct 26, 2022 9:00:00 AM

Starting a Business in Oklahoma

You know what’s so great about Oklahoma? It’s a lower cost-of-living state, residents have (mostly) cheery dispositions, and small businesses thrive in the Sooner State. It’s generally great to live here and create a small business.

Entrepreneurial pursuits and small businesses run rampant in Oklahoma. Case and point: 99% of private enterprises are small businesses, and 51% of all Oklahoma employees work at small businesses. 

That being said, small businesses in Oklahoma and its urban capital of Oklahoma City face the same challenges all small businesses face. By running a small business, you know your time is valuable and your money is precious. 

So in this blog, we’ll be discussing what types of insurance small businesses need in Oklahoma. Knowing business insurance requirements can help you avoid costly fines or being caught with your pants down when disaster strikes. Knowing the types of business insurance and how it can benefit you will go a long way towards securing your small business’s future. 

Even if you live somewhere else and you’re planning to relocate your business to the Sooner state, we hope this guide will help you out. If you need anything, we’re just a mouse click away.

Starting a Business in Oklahoma

This likely is a refresher for you, but we wanted to make sure we are all on the same page from the start. 

In Oklahoma, many businesses do not have licensure requirements. For those businesses that do require licensure to start their business here, most of them do not have many requirements for specific forms of insurance coverage. 

For the full list of steps needed to start your business operation, check out the guide from the Oklahoma Secretary of State.

Small Business Insurance and You

Entrepreneurs, small businesses, and big businesses all have different insurance needs. Your coverage depends on your business’s scale and vulnerabilities. The job of insurance is to protect your small business, its employees, and all those who rely on it. To do that, insurance has to fit your business perfectly.

Does insurance have a set sticker price? Not really. Insurance costs are completely subjective to your business needs and its size. A good independent insurance agent tailors policies, bundles, and specific coverage for your Oklahoma small business and prioritizes its needs.
Restaurants will need something different than a big shipping corporation. Consequently, a restaurant’s coverage cost will be different than that of a big shipping corporation. There’s no shortcut to receiving cheap insurance (except bad insurance). However, a good agent will help you only pay for what exactly your business needs. 

What Insurance You Need in Oklahoma for Your Business

Insurance in Oklahoma, on its face, is not complicated. Just about all businesses, with rare exceptions, need workers’ compensation insurance coverage. This is even if you have just one employee outside of yourself, including part-time workers. 

However, Oklahoma law is not all you have to consider. If you’re leasing or owning commercial property, many lease agreements require you to have general liability insurance. Small businesses in Oklahoma that sell alcohol are required to have liquor liability insurance. If you have delivery or service vehicles, you’ll need commercial auto insurance. 

The list goes on and on. So let’s go through the basics of what small businesses in Oklahoma need:

1. Workers’ Compensation Insurance

Absolutely legally required — if you have more than one employee (or more than 5 when excluding those related by blood or marriage), you need workers’ comp insurance. This will help cover medical costs, legal fees, or lost wages associated with a worker’s on-the-job injury.

2. General Liability Insurance

Employees (including you) can cause accidents when working on the job. General liability insurance covers claims involving bodily injury or property claims of your business or employees. 

Should any services, employees, or products cause any injury or property damage, general liability can cover some of the financial costs associated with repairs or even legal fees. Though not legally required, Oklahoma general liability insurance can be contractually mandated by leasing agreements and contracts. 

3. Commercial Auto Insurance

Because of the higher potential for incidents involved in a business, personal car insurance won’t cover your commercial vehicle. Whether you’re using your one company car or a fleet of vehicles, commercial auto insurance is a necessity. 

It is expensive (and legally irresponsible) to use personal car insurance for your business. Your or your employee’s personal car insurance won’t cover any claims when you or an employee was working for your business when an accident occurred.  

In Oklahoma especially, having a commercial auto insurance policy is a necessity. So many service, construction, and delivery vehicles for oil and gas service work rely on contracting businesses.

4. Errors and Omissions (E&O) Insurance

Also known as professional liability insurance, errors and omissions insurance protects your business from costly legal expenses should your business be sued. In such a suit, a claimant can allege your business made a mistake while conducting their business. 

Even if a settlement is reached, the expenses involved with the settlement, court costs, and legal fees could prove detrimental. Errors and omissions insurance covers some of that damage, so your business won’t bear the brunt of the financial blowback.

5. Data Breach Insurance

Small businesses are especially vulnerable to data breaches and cyber-attacks. Because you most likely don’t have the funds required to perform the latest cybersecurity around the clock for your business, you’re a prime target for hackers and opportunists looking to sell your customer’s information. 

Should your business deal in credit cards, identification, health information, or any kind of sensitive data that can be sold by criminals, you should consider data breach insurance. 

Such coverage can help with the costs of customer notification, security investigations, and even credit monitoring services that may be needed for your customers to detect future suspect behavior using that leaked information. 

Choose Hopewell

Do you still have lots of questions? We bet you do. With the intricacies of insurance and how it varies from industry to industry, state to state, your mind may be a buzz with questions. 

Whether you want to know more about the costs of insurance, whether your business needs a specific kind of insurance (if you run a fishing company, do you need boat insurance in Oklahoma?), or if you should invest in group life or health coverage for your employees, Hopewell can help.

Hopewell is an independent insurance agency that understands the minutiae of the insurance market, so you don’t have to figure it out alone. Together, we can customize an insurance solution for your business’s scale and needs. 

The worst part about insurance (other than waiting on hold for the insurance company) is that you’re paying for something you hope you’ll never need. Since you don’t like thinking about the worst, planning for it is even harder. 

So let us do it for you. After all, our expertise is only good for one thing: helping you. Reach out to us today for your free, no-obligation insurance estimate. 

Forrest Bennet is the owner and founder of Hopewell Risk Advisors, an independent insurance agency writing personal lines of insurance and commercial policies for industries ranging from cannabis to restaurants. A born-and-raised Oklahoman, Forrest has been fighting to provide great insurance coverage since 2021. He considers Hopewell Risk Advisors “honest brokers in the protection racket.”