The best way to decide what type of insurance you need is to first determine what type of risks you have and then find out what types of coverages will offset that risk and what they will cost you. There are two basic types of insurance. One pays for damage that other people, accidents and acts of God can do to your property. The other pays for damage you may do to other peoples property. Keep in mind that you can’t offset every risk with insurance and that sometimes a policy can cost more than the risk it covers. It is up to you as the business owner to assess all risk and cover what you feel is prudent.
For some industries liability insurance serves two purposes. Number one, it provides real coverage for possible liability that a company may incur. Secondly, it allows a company to bid on jobs for customers that require their contractors to have liability coverage and without it they would be barred from bidding on these jobs.
For sign shops that do not do installs the advantage of liability insurance is going to be minimal. In other words, if you do not engage in activities that can create liability then a liability insurance policy has nothing to cover. Also, for shops like this, customers seldom ask if you have liability insurance.
If you are a sign company that DOES go onto a customers property to install signs and you DO use equipment that can harm the customers property or other people then you DEFINATELY need liability insurance for both the first and second reason above. If you hurt someone with your equipment and you are uninsured a lawsuit can easily put you out of business. Also, most larger companies will require you to prove you are covered.
BUSINESS PROPERTY INSURANCE PROPERTY (comprehensive)
This is a general business policy that covers a variety of risks that shops may incur. Some of these are theft, vandalism, copyright violations, loss of income, etc.. Comprehensive business policies also often include a liability portion which as stated above may be of varying value to some shops. For some shops this type of policy is very useful. If you are on the gulf coast where hurricanes are an issue then the loss of income coverage would be valuable. If your shop is in an area where vandalism or theft is an issue then the theft and vandalism coverage would be valuable. Comprehensive blanket policies are a great way to cover all the risks of a particular industry. You may not use all the coverage but the cost is usually very affordable.
It goes without saying that your vehicles need to be insured. Most states require this by law. Also, any other types of insurance that are state mandated should be carried.
Make a list of all the risks you have. Research policies that will cover as many of these risks as possible at a reasonable price. Purchase what you feel comfortable with and add to that any government or state mandated coverage.