Business and Commercial Insurance
When it comes to your business do any of the following concern you?
- Lost income when your business is unable to open; or
- Your employees untilizing personal autos in conjunction the business; or
- Separting your personal assets from your business assets; or
- Paying your employees should business suffer a loss?
The success of a business, whether it’s a tiny enterprise run out of a basement or a large corporation, is largely dependent on hard work and ingenuity. However, no matter how industrious you are, one disaster can wipe out all your profits and even destroy your business. The key to making sure that all the effort and money you have invested ina business doesn’t disappear when a disaster strikes is to protect it with the appropriate insurance.
- Business Owners Policy
- Workers Compensation
- Property & Liability
- Specialty Liability
- Commercial Vehicles
- Professional Liability
Insurance companies selling business insurance offer policies that combine protection from all major property and liability risks in one package. (They also sell coverages separately.) One package purchased by small and mid-sized businesses is the business owners policy (BOP).
Package policies are created for businesses that generally face the same kind and degree of risk. Larger companies might purchase a commercial package policy or customize their policies to meet the special risks they face.
Property insurance for buildings and contents owned by the company — there are two different forms, standard and special, which provides more comprehensive coverage.
Business interruption insurance, which covers the loss of income resulting from a fire or other catastrophe that disrupts the operation of the business. It can also include the extra expense of operating out of a temporary location.
Liability protection, which covers your company’s legal responsibility for the harm it may cause to others. This harm is a result of things that you and your employees do or fail to do in your business operations that may cause bodily injury or property damage due to defective products, faulty installations and errors in services provided.
BOPs do NOT cover professional liability, auto insurance, worker’s compensation or health and disability insurance. You’ll need separate insurance policies to cover professional services, vehicles and your employees.
How can I insure my home-based business?
Let’s face it. Launching and running a business takes capital, motivation and yes, even physical stamina to handle the stress and demands of a new or growing venture. And it’s risky. In fact, one out of every five businesses fails within the first five years of opening.
Handling inventory, scheduling time, purchasing supplies, handling payroll — there are a myriad of procedures every home or small business entrepreneur needs to know, but one of the most critical and often neglected is buying proper insurance coverage.
TAKING A BUSINESS INVENTORY
What would happen if a fire or other disaster destroyed your property, making it impossible for you to get back to business right away? Would you remember what property had been destroyed? One way is by taking a complete inventory of all your personal business property, determining its value, and deciding what’s worth insuring. Having an up-to-date business inventory will help you get your insurance claim settled faster, verify losses for your business’ income tax return and help you purchase the correct amount of insurance.
Start by making a list of personal business property, describing each item and noting where you bought it and its make and model. Clip to your list any sales receipts, purchase contracts, and appraisals you have.
WHAT’S THE RIGHT COVERAGE FOR YOU?
Then there’s the question of what types of coverages you’ll need. Aside from personal business property, there is liability insurance, business income, insurance for the building, boiler and machinery, human failure, employee protection and management protection, among others. The type of coverage you need depends on a number of factors including what kind of business you operate.
HOW TO KEEP COSTS DOWN
Start your search for a policy with trade associations or business groups. In many cases, these organizations are able to provide reduced insurance rates based on the volume of business they can offer the insurance company. They’ve also negotiated coverage specific to your type of business, which can save you significant time in determining what you should cover. Also make sure that you are working with an agent that understands your type of business.
Do I need workers compensation insurance? Employers have a legal responsibility to their employees to make the workplace safe. However, accidents happen even when every reasonable safety measure has been taken.
To protect employers from lawsuits resulting from workplace accidents and to provide medical care and compensation for lost income to employees hurt in workplace accidents, in almost every state, businesses are required to buy workers compensation insurance. Workers compensation insurance covers workers injured on the job, whether they’re hurt on the workplace premises or elsewhere, or in auto accidents while on business. It also covers work-related illnesses.
Workers compensation provides payments to injured workers, without regard to who was at fault in the accident, for time lost from work and for medical and rehabilitation services. It also provides death benefits to surviving spouses and dependents.
Each state has different laws governing the amount and duration of lost income benefits, the provision of medical and rehabilitation services and how the system is administered. For example, in most states there are regulations that cover whether the worker or employer can choose the doctor who treats the injuries and how disputes about benefits are resolved.
Workers compensation insurance must be bought as a separate policy. Although in-home business and business owners policies (B0Ps) are sold as package policies, they don’t include coverage for workers’ injuries.
Property insurance can cover the buildings that you own and/or business property and inventory against physical loss or damage.
If you don’t own your building, you’ll still need contents coverage. In the most policies, property insurance for business contents covers furniture, fixtures, inventory, office equipment and other supplies stored at your facility or off-premises. You may insure those items for replacement cost or for actual cash value (ACV), which pays only for the depreciated value of the property.
Replacement cost policies have higher premiums, however they can help your business recover from a loss faster, since you can replace all of the lost or damaged property with new items. If you lease some of the equipment at your business, the leasing company may require that you insure the property at replacement value.
Liability insurance is designed to protect the business against losses even if they are negligent or liable for damage, injury or loss to another’s property, reputation, or health. Typically, damages, legal defense fees and settlement charges are paid by the insuring company when a claim is filed against the business.
Bodily Injury – Liability coverage may pay the affected person or firm for the cost of care, the loss of services and restitution for death that results from an injury.
Property Damage – In the event your business causes damage to, or causes the loss of use of someone else’s property, property damage coverage may pay for the value of the physical damage to the property; or the loss of use of that property.
Products and Completed Operations
A policy may provide coverage for your company’s completed products or services. If an injury occurs due to the use of your products or services provided, the policy would pay for the resulting damages and any legal expenses up to the policy limits.
General Liability coverage extends to any liability you may assume by entering into a variety of different types of contracts such as a building lease.
If you’re not in the business of manufacturing, distributing, selling, serving or furnishing alcoholic beverages, the policy may protect you in case someone claims you are legally liable for a liquor-related accident.
Hired Auto & Non-Owned Auto
Hired Auto & Non-Owned Auto coverage if requested is typically added as an endorsement on a policy. If their are no vehicles owned by the company this coverage will meet the contract requirement for Commercial Auto coverage.
Hired Auto coverage replaces or augments the liability coverage offered by auto rental agencies for example
Non-Owned Auto coverage protects your company in the event that your company is sued as a result of an auto accident that you or one of your employees has in a personal vehicle while on company business.
If someone is injured by you or at your business site, the policy may pay for medical and funeral expenses incurred, up to policy limits, within one year of the accident. For example, if a customer tripped and fell on your premises and had to be hospitalized.
- Most General Liability policies provide coverage if you are accused of:
- Publishing inaccurate information that slanders or libels a person or organization;
- Publishing material that violates a person’s right of privacy;
- Falsely arresting, detaining or imprisoning someone;
- Maliciously prosecuting someone;
- Wrongfully evicting someone.
- Advertising Injury
In the course of advertising your company’s own goods, products or services, this policy will provide valuable liability protection against advertising injuries resulting from:
Publishing inaccurate information that slanders or libels a person or organization; Publishing material that violates a person’s right of privacy; copying some other company’s advertising ideas or style of doing business; Infringing on another company’s copyright, title or slogan.
General Liability insurance does not protect your business against claims of professional negligence, or for failure to perform your professional duties. For this type of coverage, the business will need a separate Professional Liability policy.
Professional Liability Insurance protects your business against loss from a claim of alleged negligent acts, errors or omissions in the performance of your professional services.
The policy normally pays for any resulting judgments against you, including court costs, up to the coverage limits on your policy.
Employment Practices Liability – Employment practices liability coverage protects an employer against an employee’s claims such as:
- Wrongful Termination
- Sexual or Workplace Harassment
- Wrongful Discipline
- Age Discrimination
- Violation of Employment Discrimination Laws
- Violation of Americans with Disabilities Act
- Wrongful Failure to Employ or Promote
- Wrongful Deprivation of a Career Opportunity
- Breach of Employment Contract
- Employment Related Misrepresentation
- Failure to Adopt Adequate Workplace Employment Policies & Procedures
- Illegal Retaliatory Treatment
- Invasion of Privacy
- Negligent Evaluation
- Employment Related Wrongful Infliction of Emotional Distress
The purpose of this insurance is to protect the corporation, directors, officers and employees from alleged employment-related wrongful acts. Some features to having this policy are Coverage for front/back pay, attorneys’ fees and compensatory damages, for punitive damages where insurable by law, for actual or alleged retaliatory treatment, varying retention’s for class action suits or other claims, for emotional distress or mental anguish, no purposeful or intentional acts exclusion or reductions in force or mass layoffs exclusion.*
*Coverage varies from company to company.
Directors & Officers Liability
Directors and officers liability coverage protects directors and officers against claims alleging negligence, errors and omissions, misstatements, misleading statements and misrepresentations.
Most organizations have a general liability policy that protects its directors and officers against negligent acts that result in bodily injury or property damage. However, general liability does not protect against alleged wrongful acts or omissions, including breach of duty, which do not result in bodily injury.
Directors and officers coverage protects your executives from potential lawsuits resulting from key decisions or management practices-lawsuits that may target their personal assets.
A comprehensive Directors & Officers liability policy can provide the following:
- Committee Members
- Trustees or Employees
- Comprehensive D&O Insurance can:
- Defend Prior Acts
- Defend Non-Monetary Damages
- Provide Duty to Defend Coverage
- Defend Libel, Slander & Defamation of Character
- Defend Discrimination, Sexual Harassment and Wrongful Discharge
Crime coverage can extend to those who may have access to your companies funds:
- Employee Dishonesty
- Money & Securities
- Forgery & Depository
Pollution & Environmental Liability
Environmental coverage generally falls into two categories. Errors and omissions coverage, also known as professional liability, protects a professional who mistakenly designs a facility that causes pollution in some way. Pollution incident coverage protects professionals on the job in case they cause a pollution incident by perhaps backing into a sewage pipe.
Policies for environmental consultants can feature broad coverage specifically tailored to the specific needs of a professional in the environmental field. Coverage may include pollution incident and asbestos coverage as well as retroactive coverage for eligible firms.
Commercial auto liability coverage provides protection for any business-owned or leased commercial vehicle. Policies usually include collision and damage coverage as well as coverage for property and personal damage to others.
Just like you need auto insurance for your own car, you need business auto insurance to cover your business-owned or leased vehicles. If you, or any of your employees have an accident in your business’s car, you may be liable for bodily injuries, lost wages or any damage caused.
Typical coverage includes:
Bodily Injury Liability – Coverage for damages that involve bodily injury to others for which you become responsible under law.
Property Damage Liability – Coverage for damage to property of others for which you become responsible under law.
Medical Payments – Coverage for reasonable and necessary medical expenses and funeral services for those who are accidentally injured while in your automobile or while getting into or out of your automobile.
Personal Injury Protection – Coverage for medical, hospital, rehabilitation, loss of wages or loss of services costs resulting from injury to you or any resident family member. In case of death to the insured or a resident family member, death benefits and survivor benefits, if applicable, will be provided.
Other coverage that may be obtained include:
Comprehensive – Protection for the loss of or damage to your vehicle and its equipment from all causes except collision, subject to the deductible on the policy.
Collision – Protection for the collision damage to your
Uninsured Motorist – Coverage allows you to recover bodily injury damages due to an accident where the other party does not have insurance, and is found legally liable.
Underinsured Motorist – Coverage allows you to recover bodily injury damages due to an accident where the other party is found legally liable and does not have adequate liability limits.
Additional Expense – Coverage for necessary additional expenses incurred as a result of a loss for which you are protected under comprehensive or collision coverage. These expenses include rental cars, food, lodging and other incidental expenses.
Hired Auto Liability Coverage – Covers liability for automobiles hired under contract on behalf of or loaned to the named insured.
Hired Auto Physical Damage – Coverage for an automobile of any type, hired, borrowed or leased on a short term basis for use in the insured’s business.
Employer’s Non-Ownership Liability – Coverage for a private-passenger automobile used in the business of the named insured by any person, or the occasional and infrequent use of a commercial automobile in the business by any of your employees.
Misc. Commercial Insurance
Ocean Marine / Cargo & Hull – Provides coverage for your international cargo shipments by sea or air, as well as for your hulls.
Boiler & Machinery/Equipment Breakdown – Covers sudden and accidental breakdowns of steam and hot water boilers, pressure vessels, air conditioning equipment, turbines, electrical apparatus, and various other mechanical and electrical objects. Coverage extends not only to insured object itself but also to other property damaged by an accident to an object. Endorsements are available to cover loss of income, extra expense, utility services, consequential loss (spoilage).
Crime/Employee Dishonesty – Crime insurance can cover money and securities against burglary, robbery, theft, destruction, disappearance, computer fraud, extortion, and employee dishonesty. Crime insurance can also cover property other than money and securities.
Credit Insurance – Covers your accounts receivable against payment default on the part of one of your customers.
Libel & Slander – Provides coverage for liability arising from libel and slander.
Special Event Insurance – Provides coverage when your company participates in shows, exhibitions, hole-in-one events and other such activities. Coverage may include liability, including liquor liability, protection of property, and event cancellation costs.
Transit – Provides protection for property while in transit. Property covered can be owned or property of others in your care, custody, control. Types of transit coverage include ocean cargo, motor truck cargo, contractor’s equipment floater.
When planning special events you want to make sure everything is perfect. Special Events Insurance is a form of insurance that protects you against liability, property damage, and theft so you can enjoy the event.
It covers a variety of special events, including but not limited to: art and craft shows, bazaars, Christmas tree lots, exhibitions, fairs, festivals, fireworks stands, haunted houses, meetings, pumpkin patches, Renaissance festivals, seminars, shows and weddings.
Builder’s Risk Insurance
Builder’s Risk Insurance is a form of property insurance that protects property owners and builders while the project is under construction. This type of insurance provides coverage for theft, vandalism, accidental losses, damage or destruction to the property, etc. Please contact one of our agents at 704-554-5701 for details and a quote.