It is a common misconception when setting up a Limited Liability Company, or LLC: the very name says liability is limited. Therefore, no insurance is needed, right?
While LLCs do offer some protection, it doesn’t negate the need for insurance. Let’s examine why.
What Is An LLC?
An LLC is a form of business ownership that is designed to protect the personal assets of its managers and members from business liability. The structure itself is easier to maintain than a corporation, as there are no board meetings required or articles of incorporation to be filed.
Do LLCs Really Limit Liability?
LLCs limit liability in certain ways. If the LLC defaults on a loan, the individual LLC members and managers may not be sued personally on behalf of the LLC due to the corporate structure. Piercing the corporate veil proves to be more difficult than a corporation since there are fewer hoops for LLCs to jump through, so less opportunity for mistakes to be made.
While this does offer protection to the members and managers of the company in the event of a lawsuit, it does not protect the LLC from being sued. Does that make a difference?
What If My Company Gets Sued?
The structure of the LLC protects the individual members and managers from personal liability for corporate decisions, which is a good thing. However, the LLC cannot protect itself from being sued simply by being an LLC. For instance:
- If you own a small retail shop and someone falls and gets injured while on your premises, they may sue your company.
- If someone becomes ill or is injured due to a product you sell, your company may be sued for products liability.
- If one of your workers is injured on the job you could be sued for workers compensation.
- If one of your workers causes damage on a job site your business could also be sued.
Fighting lawsuits is expensive. Attorneys fees and court costs can add up quickly, eating up company assets that could be used to continue and grow your business.
An LLC Is Not Insurance
Corporate structure is not a replacement for the protection of an insurance policy. Your premises, your products and your work are not protected without the right insurance coverage.
Contact Hayes today to discuss just how limited that Limited Liability Company protection really is. Our experienced brokers will perform a free, no-obligation risk management analysis so you can learn how to REALLY protect your business.