Business Insurance For Printing Companies [Explained]
From greeting cards and product packaging to T-shirts and car wraps, the printing industry is incredibly diverse. Each business is unique, and your printer insurance policy will be, too. Yet there are also some things that are common to nearly every printing business, like expensive equipment and flammable materials. Here’s what you need to know to ensure your company is covered from the unexpected.
Who needs printer insurance?
Any business that provides printing or copying services needs to have comprehensive insurance coverage. The most common types of companies we work with provide all of the following, and more:
- Car wraps
- Document printing
- Poster printing
- Promotional materials printing
- Screen printing
- Sign printing
- T-shirts printing
- Wallpaper printing
Why do printing businesses need insurance?
At first glance, printing operations may seem low-risk, especially if you run a smaller shop. But printer insurance has plenty of benefits for every size of business.
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Lower the risk
Even small operations or those run out of a home take on liability risks. You may need protection from employment lawsuits, employee injury costs, fires, car accidents, copyright infringement, product liability, and much more. Having a comprehensive business insurance policy means you don’t have to worry about these situations, so you can focus on your business.
Protect your assets
From thermographic and electrostatic to rotogravure printers, a printing company’s machinery is often very expensive. You’ll also have your raw materials, as well as an inventory of finished goods. You might even own the building where you operate. All of these assets could cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars to replace. If they’re lost, damaged, or destroyed, printer insurance helps you recover your investment.
Comply with the law and customer requirements
Nearly every state requires businesses with one or more employees to have workers comp. Many also require certain businesses to have commercial auto insurance. Check your state laws to see what insurance you need. Beyond legal requirements, keep in mind that many clients want their vendors and business partners to meet certain insurance standards, such as $1 million in general liability or printers errors and omissions (E&O) coverage.
Essential Printer Insurance Coverages
From physical assets to liability, there’s actually a lot to consider when it comes to printer insurance. Here’s the breakdown of what you’ll need.
Commercial general liability (CGL) safeguards printing businesses against claims arising from accidents and injuries that happen on your property, as well as any property damage you cause in the course of operations. For example, if a customer slips on spilled ink, the premises liability included in your policy would cover the costs of a lawsuit. It also includes product liability, so if a defect in one of your products caused harm, it would be covered.
Commercial property insurance protects you against the loss of your physical assets in the case of fire, theft, natural disasters, and so on. It has two parts. Building coverage insures your building, fixtures, and any permanently installed machinery, like your printing equipment. Business personal property insures your furniture, inventory, and equipment that is not permanently installed, like computers. You may be able to save money by bundling it with your general liability in a business owner’s policy (BOP).
Printers Errors And Omissions (E&O)
Printers E&O, also called professional liability insurance, covers financial losses arising from professional mistakes, like misprints or inaccuracies. For example, if you printed the wrong price in a catalog and caused a client to lose money, they could sue you to recover their losses, and E&O would cover it. You can also add “correction of work expense” to your printers E&O policy, which serves a similar purpose but covers your business for the costs of correcting your mistake, like reprinting.
Workers compensation protects employees who get injured on the job by covering medical expenses, lost wages, and disability benefits, while also shielding your business from potential legal claims. Every state except Texas requires businesses to carry workers comp, although the exact rules vary, so check your state laws. Even if you run your business alone, it can still help protect you from work injury costs that health insurance might deny.
Many printing businesses deliver or transport their products, for example between your manufacturing center and your warehouse, or to your customers. Commercial auto insurance is essential if you have business-owned vehicles, because it covers property damage and medical costs if an employee gets in an accident.
Modern printing is digital, often using cloud-based technology and software. That means you could be vulnerable to data breaches and cyber attacks that compromise sensitive information.
Cyber liability insurance helps protect your business from the costs involved in dealing with these types of situations, for example the cost of incident response or system repairs.
Employment Practices Liability
Employment practices insurance covers your fees, defense costs, and other costs related to claims about wrongful termination, discrimination, or harassment. It’s an essential type of printer insurance if you run a large business and don’t have direct oversight of your hiring practices, or if your business has frequent ups and downs that might result in layoffs – both of which can increase your risk of employment-related lawsuits.
Examples of Real-World Printer Insurance Claims
Every business owner hopes they’ll never have to file an insurance claim – and you’re lucky if you don’t. We see plenty of claims for printing businesses, however, including these two examples.
Commercial Property Insurance: Warehouse Fire
Business: Digital photo printing studio
Incident: A malfunction in a digital printer caused a fire. Because the building contained so many paper products, the fire moved quickly, causing extensive damage.
What Was Covered: Compensation for equipment repairs, damaged prints, structural damage, and loss of income during downtime
Workers Comp Insurance: Repetitive Strain Injury
Business: Large-scale T-shirt printing company
Incident: Jane has been a loyal employee for five years. But because she performs the same tasks every day, she develops carpal tunnel syndrome due to repetitive motions.
What Was Covered: Medical treatment, physical therapy, and loss of income during downtime
Top Insurance Challenges for Printing Businesses
Printing businesses come in all shapes and sizes, and so does printer insurance. As your broker works to customize your quote, you may run into some of these challenges.
Unsprinklered, Wood-Frame Buildings
If your printing business involves a lot of paper or combustible material and you have a wood-frame building without a sprinkler system, it can be tough to get a good price on your property insurance. The combination of paper products and wood-frame construction means a fire can escalate quickly and be difficult to put out. That means it causes more damage, and that makes your business harder to insure.
Printing businesses often have a lot of inventory as well as specialized materials, plus expensive machines. Even some of the chemicals used in printing can be a target for thieves. If your building doesn’t have an alarm system, all of those things are more likely to be stolen. Underwriters know this and will charge you more for printer insurance – possibly even more than what it would cost to get a basic alarm system.
Many insurance companies won’t insure printing businesses that work with clients in the gambling, adult content, weapons manufacturing, political, and certain other industry types. If you have an experienced agent, they may be able to find you a specialty carrier that can insure these industries.
Equipment vs. Building Coverage
Permanently installed machines are considered part of your building coverage, while others are considered part of your building’s contents. Printers need to make sure that all of their equipment is covered under the appropriate part of their property insurance. For example, if you don’t own your building but do have machinery that is permanently installed, you’ll still need building coverage for that machinery. Printing equipment is expensive, so be sure you’re not underinsured in this area.
Many of our printing clients operate delivery trucks as a value-added service, which means they take on certain risks from having business-owned vehicles. To help keep your commercial auto insurance costs down, you should implement policies like performing motor vehicle record checks on anyone who will be driving your vehicles and providing proper training.
Top Insurers For Printing Companies
Not all printer insurance is created equal. As a trusted broker, we can provide you with quotes from these top insurance providers.
EMC is our first choice in insurance for printer insurance. They offer all the types of insurance printers need, customized to your industry and business, and they can write any line of coverage a printing company might need. Plus, their pricing is competitive and they have a strong track record and reputation in the printing industry.
Chubb is a fantastic insurer for printing companies. They offer the coverages you need and can also provide specialty policies, like property warehouse coverage. Chubb is financially strong and has always paid our clients’ claims fairly. Your printing company can’t go wrong with Chubb.
The Bottom Line
Printer insurance needs to be customized based on your business size, the type of product you create, the buildings you own and operate from, your inventory, and more. You don’t want to file a claim only to find out you’re underinsured. To make sure you’re covered, talk to an expert at LandesBlosch. We can help you determine what coverage you need and get quotes from all the top insurers.
About The Author: Austin Landes, CIC
Austin is an experienced Commercial Risk Advisor specializing in property & casualty risk management for religious institutions, real estate, construction, and manufacturing.
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