Business & Commercial Insurance
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Business & Commercial Insurance Information
As a business owner, you need the same kinds of insurance coverages for the car you use in your business as you do for a car used for personal travel -- liability, collision and comprehensive, medical payments (known as personal injury protection in some states) and coverage for uninsured motorists. In fact, many business people use the same vehicle for both business and pleasure. If the vehicle is owned by the business, make sure the name of the business appears on the policy as the "principal insured" rather than your name. This will avoid possible confusion in the event that you need to file a claim or a claim is filed against you.
Whether you need to buy a business auto insurance policy will depend on the kind of driving you do. A good insurance agent will ask you many details about how you use vehicles in your business, who will be driving them and whether employees, if you have them, are likely to be driving their own cars for your business.
While the major coverages are the same, a business auto policy differs from a personal auto policy in many technical respects. Ask your insurance agent to explain all the differences and options.
If you have a personal umbrella liability policy, there's generally an exclusion for business-related liability. Make sure you have sufficient auto liability coverage.
Unfortunately for every business owner, the chances of getting sued have dramatically increased in the last decade. General Liability insurance can prevent a legal suit from turning into a financial disaster by providing financial protection in case your business is ever sued or held legally responsible for some injury or damage.
General Liability pays losses arising from real or alleged bodily injury, property damage, or personal injury on your business premises or arising from your operations.
Broad Range of General Liability Protection
- Bodily Injury, including the cost of care, the loss of services, and the restitution for any death that results from injury
- Property Damage coverage for the physical damage to property of others or the loss of use of that property
- Products-Completed Operations provides liability protection (damages and legal expenses up to your policy's limit) if an injury ever resulted from something your company made or service your company provided
- Products Liability is a more specialized product liability insurance that protects your company against lawsuits from product-related injury or accidents
- Contractual Liability extends to any liability you may assume by entering into a variety of contracts
- Other coverage includes: Reasonable Use of Force; Borrowed Equipment; Liquor Liability; Non-Owned Vehicles (such as aircraft and watercraft); Fire, Lightning or Explosion Damage; Water Damage Liability Protection; Legal Defense Costs; Medical Payments; Personal Injury; Advertising Injury; and specialized liability protection for specific business types
Workers compensation laws were created to ensure that employees who are injured on the job are provided with fixed monetary awards. This eliminates the need for litigation and creates an easier process for the employee. It also helps control the financial risks for employers since many states limit the amount an injured employee can recover from an employer.
Workers Compensation Insurance is designed to help companies pay these benefits. As a protection for employees, most states require that employers carry some form of Workers Compensation Insurance. Workers Compensation Insurance is not health insurance. Workers Compensation is designed specifically for injuries sustained on the job.
In most states, if you have employees, you are required to carry Workers Compensation coverage. Even in non-mandatory states, it can be a very good idea, particularly if you have many employees, or if they are engaged in hazardous activities.
Common Business Insurance Questions:
What is business insurance?
You can’t ignore the fact that problems could arise in your business at any time. Fires or severe weather might damage your location, a thief or dishonest employee might make off with your company property, a customer might sue you because you caused them some type of harm (even unintentionally). All of these setbacks could wind up costing you a lot of money, not to mention causing a lot of reputational harm. You need a vessel that will enable you to pick up the pieces of these incidents without a massive financial loss, and that’s what business insurance will do.
Business insurance is not a single policy like homeowners, auto or life insurance. Rather, it’s an umbrella term that refers to numerous commercial insurance options that the average business might need. Working together, this combination of policies will help you work your way out of tough situations without sustaining irrevocable harm.
What does business insurance cover?
It’s up to you to find the optimized combination of benefits for your needs. Some of the policies that you can enroll in with our help include:
Commercial property insurance: If something damages physical property—such as your building or possessions—then this coverage can help you repair or replace them.
General liability insurance: This covers the business in the event it causes property damage or bodily injuries to another party, like a client or vendor.
Business interruption insurance: This helps you pay the bills if you must temporarily close after a damaging accident.
Commercial auto insurance: When the company owns vehicles, this coverage will supply the requisite physical damage, liability and other benefits to help the company afford the costs of wrecks or other vehicle hazards.
Workers compensation insurance: If an employee gets hurt on the job, they are often eligible for workers compensation. It will supply them supplementary income during their recovery.
Errors & omissions insurance: Professional advice or mistakes could cause clients a financial loss. This coverage can compensate them on behalf of the business.
Surety bonds: If you are contractually bound to certain clients, then bonds will guarantee them that you will repay them if you cannot meet your obligations.
Of course, there are many other policies available that are designed to protect you against specific risks and liabilities. These include:
- Inland Marine Insurance
- Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI)
- Products/Completed Operations Liability Insurance
- Cyber Liability Insurance
- Umbrella Liability Insurance
- Hired/Non-owned Auto Liability Coverage
Small business owners can benefit financially by bundling their essential coverage into a business owners policy (BOP). The BOP is designed for small operations, and allows you to get several benefits (property, general liability, business interruption) in one place and at one price.
How much business insurance do I need?
No two businesses, even those in the same industries, are identical. Therefore, while your nearest competitor’s insurance options might serve as guideposts for the coverage you need, you still should work with one of our agents to customize your business insurance portfolio to your needs. We’ll make sure the coverage options, deductibles, endorsements and other terms within your policies will provide maximized assistance even in the toughest loss scenarios.
What will my business insurance benefits cost?
Numerous factors can influence the price of your commercial insurance, and all your different plans will have different costs, based both on the coverage you choose and the risk factors that the insurer assumes by covering you.
We understand that you might have concerns about the burden that your benefits will have on your overhead costs, but we are committed to working with you to get you the coverage that offers you the best value on the market.
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