For some business classifications, the insured has an option to have a BOP or Business Owner Policy. This is in its simplest sense… a combination policy of the Commercial Property and the General Liability rolled into one policy with many endorsement options to expand the coverage even further. Because of its limited scope of business types it covers…this all in one policy “usually” offers a few minor extras free of charge that are not easily obtained through the normal Property or General Liability policies. The cost of the policy is usually structured to be a little more cost friendly for the insured than the combined cost of the two separate policies.
For the business owner, they have just one policy that covers their property as well as liability protection in case bodily injury or property damage of others occurs during the normal activities of the company.
It should be noted that a BOP policy does not provide Workers Compensation coverage. A BOP policy typically does not provide Inland Marine coverage, (even though a few policies provide endorsement options for some of these items).
IF your type of business allows for you to obtain a BOP policy, it is usually a better deal for the insured both in coverages and in policy cost.
Why would someone NOT want a BOP? It is possible that a new start up business may not have a building to insure, may not have much inventory or business personal property. Under those circumstances, a simple General Liability policy may be more cost effective for the owner than the BOP.
That is why you need to talk to your agent to make sure you are both on the same page to what you are thinking your business needs are at the current moment. While a BOP is typically an annual policy, it can be altered as the policy period moves forward…you are not “locked in” to the way you originally set up the policy coverage.