Import & Export Business Insurance

Getting insurance for your import & export business is essential.

Import & export businesses need to be protected against claims arising from things like slips and falls, contractual breaches, and professional negligence.

For example, your business misses the agreed-upon date for a client’s goods to be exported, or you are found to lack the necessary permits for importing your products. 

We’ll help you find the most personalized and affordable coverage for your unique business. 

Recommended: Next Insurance is dedicated to matching small businesses with the right policy at the best price.

Best Insurance for an Import & Export Business

General liability insurance is — generally speaking — one of the most important insurance policies for import & export businesses. 

Some of the risks general liability insurance covers are:

  • Bodily injury
  • Property damage
  • Medical payments
  • Legal defense and judgment
  • Personal and advertising injury

Running an import & export business involves a number of inherent risks that aren’t covered by general liability. For this reason, several extra policies are required, such as:

  • Workers’ compensation insurance: Employees are faced with numerous risks on the job that make injuries very likely. This policy ensures they are adequately compensated should they fall ill or suffer an injury because of work.
  • Commercial auto insurance: Business vehicles form an essential part of an import & export business. This policy covers any property damage or personal injury caused by vehicles used by you or your employees primarily for business.
  • Commercial umbrella insurance: Due to the size of import & export businesses, they are more likely to experience lawsuits of such a large scale that their primary policy’s limit. This protects your business from being responsible to pay any legal fees that exceed these limits.

The first step involved in choosing the best insurer for your business is to decide upon which of the two types best fits your business’s needs:

  • Traditional brick-and-mortar insurers — Such as Hiscox and Nationwide. Describes insurers with a physical store.
  • Online insurers — Such as Tivly and Next. Describes insurers that base themselves entirely online.

Find the Right Policy at the Best Rate

We’ve reviewed and tested the major business insurance providers. Let us help you find the best match for your business.

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Cost of General Liability Insurance

On average, import & export businesses in America spend between $400 - $700 per year for $1 million in general liability coverage.

Compare the average cost of general liability insurance for an import & export business to other professional industries using the graph below:

Graph showing average price of general liability insurance prices per industry

Several factors will determine the price of your policy. These include your:

  • Location
  • Deductible
  • Number of employees
  • Per-occurrence limit
  • General aggregate limit

You may be able to acquire general liability insurance at a discounted rate by purchasing it as part of a business owner’s policy (BOP) rather than as a standalone policy.

A BOP is a more comprehensive solution that includes multiple forms of coverage, such as business interruption and property insurance.

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Finding the most affordable premium starts with getting accurate quotes from highly rated providers.

Common Situations That General Liability Insurance May Cover for an Import & Export Business

Example 1: A potential investor group arrives early for a meeting — before your office cleaning staff has a chance to display a “caution” sign in the newly mopped lobby. One of the investors slips on the wet floor, fractures her wrist, needs immediate medical attention, and asks you to cover the cost of her ambulance trip and hospital stay. General liability insurance would cover her medical bills.

Example 2: As an employee uses a forklift to load merchandise onto a shipping truck, he accidentally backs into a client’s luxury car. The client sues because the impact causes serious damage to his property. General liability insurance would cover your legal fees as well as any court-awarded damages.

Example 3: A few weeks after launching your new company logo, a nearby rival claims it infringes on their copyright and threatens to sue. General liability insurance would cover your legal fees and any awarded damages.

Check out our review of the Best Small Business Insurance Companies.

Other Types of Coverage Import & Export Businesses Need

While general liability is the most important type of insurance to have, there are several other forms of coverage you should be aware of. Below are some other types of insurance all import & export businesses should obtain.

Workers’ Compensation Insurance

Operating an import and export business means your employees face a variety of on-the-job risks. Most states require businesses to carry workers’ compensation insurance for their part-time and full-time employees. This coverage protects your employees if they become injured at work or fall ill after a work-related accident. It not only covers an employee’s medical bills and lost wages if they need time to recover, but also any disability or death benefits stemming from a work-related accident.

Commercial Auto Insurance

Any vehicle you or your employees use primarily for business requires commercial auto insurance to protect the vehicle, driver, and others on the road in the event of an accident. Be sure to select a policy that covers not only accident-related vehicle repair costs and medical treatment for anyone injured, but also sufficient protection for any business materials you carry in your vehicles.

Commercial Umbrella Insurance

While your general liability insurance policy covers most claims, some accidents or lawsuits may be so catastrophic that they threaten to exhaust the limits of your primary coverage. Commercial umbrella insurance protects you from paying out-of-pocket for any legal fees and awarded damages that exceed your primary policy.

Commercial Property Insurance

Establishing a thriving import and export business requires a significant initial investment in your own brick-and-mortar building. If you lost your building or its contents in an unexpected event like a fire, you may find it difficult to replace that business property on your own. Commercial property insurance would cover the cost of repairing or replacing your business building and its contents after an accident so you can recover quickly.

Additional Steps To Protect Your Business

Although it’s easy (and essential) to invest in business insurance, it shouldn’t be your only defense.

Here are several things you can do to better protect your import & export business:

  • Use legally robust contracts and other business documents. (We offer free templates for some of the most common legal forms.)
  • Set up an LLC or corporation to protect your personal assets. (Visit our step-by-step guides to learn how to form an LLC or corporation in your state.)
  • Stay up to date with business licensing.
  • Maintain your corporate veil.

Business Insurance Is the Best Way to Protect Your Business

If you're starting a new business, then you need business insurance. It's as simple as that. The protection offered by an LLC will protect your personal assets, but your business's assets are still open to liability in the case of a lawsuit or other loss.

Be sure that everything you've built is safe by getting business insurance.

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Import & Export Business Insurance FAQ

Can I buy business insurance online for my import & export business?

Yes, absolutely. You will need to first get a quote from an online business insurance provider like Next Insurance. Next allows you to then purchase a policy immediately and your coverage will be active within 48 hours.

What is included in a business owner’s policy?

A typical business owner’s policy includes general liability, business interruption, and commercial property insurance. However, BOPs are often customizable, so your agent may recommend adding professional liability, commercial auto, or other types of coverage to your package depending on your company’s needs.

What is the difference between business insurance and general liability insurance?

"Business insurance" is a generic term used to describe many different types of coverage a business may need. General liability insurance, on the other hand, is a specific type of coverage that business owners need to protect their assets.

Do I need insurance before I start an import & export business?

Due to its complex activities, import & export businesses will likely benefit from business insurance in order to get started. Even if certain policies aren’t a legal requirement, some form of insurance is highly recommended as a defense against the many risks you can expect to face.

Will insurance protect my import & export business from everything?

Not necessarily. Certain exceptions may be written directly into your import & export business insurance policy, and some perils may be entirely uninsurable.

Do I need business insurance if I already have an LLC?

Yes, an LLC is meant to create a legal barrier between your business and your personal assets and credit. If you haven’t formed an LLC yet, use our Form an LLC guide to get started.

An LLC doesn’t protect your business assets from lawsuits and liability– that’s where business insurance comes in. Business insurance helps protect your business from liability and risk.

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