What is a Business Owner’s Policy?


One of the most popular insurance forms for small businesses is a BOP, or business owner’s policy. These policies have increased in popularity in recent years. A business owner’s policy is convenient and specifically designed for small or medium sized businesses. Here are some strengths and weaknesses of the business owner’s policy for you to consider when deciding on the type of insurance to get for your business.

Strengths of a BOP

The fundamental strength of a BOP is that it is specifically designed with small businesses in mind. The policy was developed by a professional in a way that makes sense for a typical small or medium sized business, so you don’t have to worry so much about what an appropriate level of coverage would be; it’s already taken care of.

Related: What Insurance Policies are Deductible?

A BOP combines most of the coverages that a small business needs in a reasonably broad, logical bundle. Here are some typical elements of a BOP:

  • Property Insurance, for buildings, equipment, and inventory
  • Business Interruption Insurance, for lost profits when a loss forces you to close your business for a time
  • Casualty or Liability Protection, for damage to people or their property by your employees or products
  • Crime Insurance, for burglaries, robberies, employee theft, and other losses
  • Liability Insurance, for lawsuits from accidents on your property or damages caused by your products

Other major policies that a small business commonly needs that are not in a BOP are workers’ compensation and auto insurance. As a result, it makes the insurance process much simpler, because you’re only buying one plan instead of half a dozen.

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This efficiency creates another strength of BOPs. Because there is only the one plan for the insurance company to underwrite, the BOP can be priced very attractively, with a discounted premium for the package compared to buying each policy individually.

Limitations of BOPs

While there’s a lot to like about BOPs, they aren’t perfect. Every business is different, with different circumstances and different needs. As a result, a one-size-fits-all policy like a BOP won’t work for a business that doesn’t fit into the standard box. The policy is designed for a typical small office oriented toward sales or administration. If you run a high traffic retail store, or perhaps a construction company using heavy equipment, you might need more coverage than a BOP can offer. Determine what level of coverage you need, and talk to your insurance agent about modifying the standard package to include policies that meet your requirements. Also, be aware that a BOP will usually not include forms of disaster coverage, like flood insurance, earthquake insurance, and others. If you want these coverages, you’ll need to buy separate policies.

Not every business qualifies for a business owner’s policy. Because they are specifically designed for small and medium sized businesses, there are eligibility requirements your business has to meet. Typically, there is a limit on the number of employees your company can have and the amount of sales revenue your company can bring in. Talk to your insurance company to find out if your company meets their qualifications.

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Rebecca Kincaid

Rebecca Kincaid

Rebecca Kincaid is a Chartered Life Underwriter specializing in life insurance for business and estate-planning services. In addition to providing consultative support, she also acts as the Director of Life Sales for Tarkenton Financial, with a background that also includes regional management and sales positions with leading insurance firms such as Parker & Company and Old Mutual Financial Network.