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Business & Commercial Insurance Information
Four Coverages All Businesses Should Have:
1. General Liability:
Unfortunately all businesses are subject to lawsuits. No matter how careful you are or how well trained your employees are, accidents still happen. Example:
- An Electrical Contracting Company is sued when it was determined a wiring error by one of their electricians caused a fire that significantly damaged a home
- A claim is made against a restaurant, when a patron alleges they needed dental work after biting into an uncooked piece of rice
- A Manufacturer is sued when it is alleged their product caused bodily injury
- Despite signing a Waiver, parent of a gymnastics student, sue for a broken arm sustained while training at your gym.
General Liability helps protect your company from accidents that result in property damage, bodily injury and more. General Liability Coverage will cover judgments or settlements awarded to the claimant(s) and the legal costs to defend your business.
2. Workers Compensation:
As an Employer, employee safety is a top concern. However, no matter how excellent an Employer’s injury prevention practices, workplace injuries still occur. When they do, it’s good to know your employee’s medical expenses and if necessary, loss of income due to time away from work, will be covered.
In MO if you are an Employer with 5 or more employees (or just one employee for many construction employers), including yourself, you are required by MO Law to have coverage.
Even if an Employer does not have 5 or more employees, they should still have Work Comp coverage. The reason, even though they are not required by law to have coverage, the Law does not prevent an injured employee from suing an Employer.
Without coverage, the Employer will face a Civil Suite with potentially significant legal costs, settlement costs and a lot of time away from work. It is much easier to turn a claim over to an Insurance Company and relieve yourself of this significant financial burden.
3. Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI):
Even with exceptional HR Policies, an Employer can not fully control how employees will act at all times. As a result any employer is subject to claims of:
Even when the claim is groundless and the Employer wins the case, the cost to defend can be staggering, not to mention the time away from your business spent on defense. Whether the claim is made against you or one of your employees, EPLI is vital protection for your business.
In addition, we can help you secure coverage with a Carrier that will provide free access to a Human Resources (HR) consulting firm that can assist you with your questions and concerns. This is a great resource for your HR Employee to have, and it is invaluable to a business that does not have a dedicated HR Employee - you wear enough hats as it is, this is not an area you should try to tackle alone.
Form more details about EPLI visit: Why EPLI
4. Data Breach/Cyber Liability:
Any business that retains Personal Information on clients and employees is at risk for Data Breach. Small businesses are particularLy vulnerable because they do not have the resources to maintain state-of-the security.
Phishing attempts occur with such frequency, and they have become so skillfully engineered, that it takes just takes on click of a mouse or a touchpad, for an entire Network to be compromised.
If a Breach occurs, the associated costs of the breach can be staggering. It has been reported that 60% of small businesses go out of business within 6 months of a Data Breach.
A good Data Breach Policy is not just limited to loss caused by hackers. Coverage will also include claims caused by
- Human Error – loss of laptop or cell phones
- Acts of Rogue Employees – e.g. disgruntled employee steals records on co-workers and clients or steals credit card information when collecting payments out in the field
For more information about Data Breach visit: Why Cyber Liability and Data Breach Protection
Call (636-519-0059) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org) today for a quotation or more information for your business
Three Additional Coverages Most Businesses Should Have
Most companies will need this coverage. For Businesses that have a loan, coverage will be mandatory.
If you are leasing a space, you will need coverage to replace all of the property you use to operate your business (e.g. furniture, computers, inventory, etc.). Also, depending on your lease agreement, you may also be responsible for:
- Improvements and Betterments you make to the space
- Heating and Air Conditioning equipment
2. Inland Marine Policy:
If you are a Contractor with Equipment, Tools and Material, a Property Policy will not work. Since your Property has exposure away from the premise (e.g. at project sites, in transit and temporary storage location), you need an Inland Marine Policy to address this exposure because, generally, Property Policies will not cover your Property if it is more than 100ft. from your premises.
Common Inland Marine Coverages for Contractors Include:
- Equipment and Tool Floater
- Installation Floater - Coverage for the materials and equipment that will become a permanent part of your projects. Typically protection is provided at the project site, while in transit and at a temporary storage location.
3. Business Income and Extra Expense
Business Income: If a covered claim occurs (e.g. fire, windstorm, theft, etc.) that causes a significant disruption or suspension of your operations, in addition to the profit you would lose, how long would you be able to pay employees, rent and other continuing expenses? Business Income Coverage will protect your business from unexpected loss that shuts down or severely impairs your operations.
For a restaurant owner, Business Income protection is the best option because if operations are disrupted, you likely have no other option than to wait for restoration. However, many businesses have options and will do whatever it takes to avoid a suspension which could cause a loss of clients, for that, there is:
Extra Expense Coverage, which will provide coverage for all of the associated expenses a business incurs to avoid or minimize a suspension of their operations. Examples include, rental of power generating equipment, or temporary rental of replacement location, including the cost to move equip and operate at the replacement temporary locations.
For some potentially very helpful information for your Business check out the following Tags on our Blog: Loss Control, Business Owners Insurance, Work Comp