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Business & Commercial Insurance Information
Business & Commercial Insurance
As a business owner, you probably already know that you need to prepare for numerous types of loss-inducing events (everything from fires to theft to litigation) – this puts you at a high level of risk. Here are some types of insurance that help you mitigate these business risks:
Types of Coverage for Your Business Needs
- Coverage for the car you use in your business is just as important as the coverage you’ve provided for your personal vehicle – this includes insurance for liability, collision and comprehensive, medical payments (known as ‘personal injury protection’ in some states), and coverage for uninsured motorists. This is even more crucial if (like many others) you use the same vehicle for both business and pleasure. Remember to clarify who owns the vehicle: for instance, if the vehicle is owned by the business, make sure that 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 a claim is filed.
- 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.
- 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.
- In other words, it covers 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
- Compensation laws for workers were created to ensure that employees injured on the job were provided with fixed monetary awards. This has eliminated the need for litigation, providing an easier process for employees to pay for work-related injuries/damage. It also helps control the financial risks of the employer since many states limit the amount an injured employee can claim.
- Workers’ Compensation Insurance is designed to help companies pay these benefits. In fact, it is required in most states that employers carry some form of Workers’ Compensation Insurance to protect their employees. It is important to note that this insurance is NOT health insurance: Workers’ compensation is designed specifically for injuries sustained on the job.
- As mentioned, Workers’ Compensation is mandatory in most states. However, even in non-mandatory states, it is a good idea to carry it (particularly if you have many employees and/or are engaged in hazardous activities).
- What does it cover?
- Workers’ Compensation Insurance covers lawsuits from workplace accidents, medical care and compensation for lost income of employees injured in the course of business (including auto accidents), work-related illnesses, rehabilitation services, and even death benefits to surviving spouses and dependents. Note, however, that Workers’ Compensations Insurance must be bought as a separate policy. Although in-home business and business owners’ policies (BOPs) are sold as package policies, they do not include coverage for workers’ injures.
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