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.
What is contractor insurance?
Like any business, independent contractors need insurance to protect themselves financially. What type of insurance you need depends on the type of work you do. Some types of independent contractors include the following:
- Independent construction contractors
- Freelance writers, editors and graphic designers
- Repair people, plumbers, carpenters, electricians, painters
- Accountants and financial planners
- House and carpet cleaners
- Independent hair stylists and salon professionals
If you are hiring contractors, you want them to have contractor insurance. Insurance you carry as a business or homeowner may not protect you from liability for a contract worker. This can expose you to lawsuits if a worker gets injured at your business or home.
What types of contractors insurance are available?
There is a wide variety of contractor insurance options. Here are common coverages for independent contractors.
- Bodily injury and property damage: This coverage is for contractors who work with heavy machinery and need to be prepared for accidents due to power tools and other hazards.
- Professional liability: For contractors who provide consulting and advice, this coverage can protect you from liability risks due to losses a client may experience. It protects your business’s finances if a client accuses you of errors, whether due to mistake or negligence.
- Commercial vehicle: Any vehicles owned by your business must adhere to state auto insurance laws. You can also protect your vehicles from various damages.
- Builder’s risk covers property and raw materials while construction is underway. This type of policy is often written per project.
- Workers compensation: Independent contractors may or may not need workers compensation. This coverage compensates employees for medical expenses and lost wages after an on-the-job injury.
We can search for the best policies based on the size of your business, the number of employees and the type of work you perform. Call us today to get started with a free quote.
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.
Businesses have many physical assets, including buildings, computers, specialized equipment, outdoor signage and inventory. If a fire, storm or thief were to damage or steal these assets, a business may have to go through a recovery process before their doors can open once more.
Without adequate commercial property coverage, approximately a quarter of businesses fail during the first year following a disaster or theft. Such events result in hundreds of billions of dollars in paid claims. Most businesses cannot afford such a substantial loss. Commercial property insurance can assist with repairs, replacements and lost income during a tumultuous time like a natural disaster or theft.
How does commercial property insurance help?
Commercial property insurance helps businesses survive various situations. These situations include the following:
- Repair or replacement: Coverage can extend to assets that are lost, damaged or stolen due to fire, storm, hail, tornado, theft or vandalism. Damage from flooding and earthquakes are excluded.
- Lost income: Income loss results from a business’ inability to run as usual following a disaster. This coverage can offer lost income relief, along with the expenses associated with recovery.
- Temporary location: A devastated building may no longer be able to support daily operations. Coverage can extend to funding a temporary location while repairs are being made.
We can assist you in finding the commercial property insurance policy that best suits the needs of your business. Call us today with any questions or concerns or to start the process of finding comprehensive coverage for your business.
What is commercial umbrella insurance?
Savvy business owners consider several different commercial insurance policies to protect their businesses. But, what do you do if something happens that results in higher bills than what your current policy covers? Commercial umbrella insurance can come to the rescue under such circumstances.
What are the benefits of commercial umbrella insurance?
Once your claim reaches your policy’s limits, your umbrella insurance helps cover the rest. Think of this policy as a literal umbrella perched above your underlying policies to add an extra layer of protection.
For example, say you have $1 million in coverage from your standard business insurance policies. If you face a legal settlement of $1.5 million, an umbrella policy will cover the additional $500,000.
We live in a litigious society. Lawsuits can cost a business millions. This coverage is a prudent decision to protect you against possible lawsuits. The high costs of a lawsuit can catch a business off-guard. But, umbrella insurance can keep you from permanently closing your doors.
If you want higher policy limits, umbrella insurance is an affordable way to get them. This is because you don’t have to raise the limits on your other individual policies. It is important to know that umbrella insurance will not extend coverage limits on errors and omissions or professional liability policies.
Learn more about umbrella insurance
Want to learn more about how commercial umbrella insurance can protect your business? We can help. Contact us today.
Day Care Insurance:
Whether you provide in-home daycare services or you have a commercial facility, you may need certain insurance protection in order to continue operating your business and taking care of children. But daycare insurance isn’t just about compliance; it’s also about protecting your finances from the cost of lawsuits and property damages while showing parents just how seriously you take the care of their children.
Liability insurance is a must for both commercial and in-home care. With liability insurance, you can protect yourself in the event you are accused of neglect or abuse, since the policy will pay defense costs as well as the judgment, provided that it’s within limits and was not due to willful neglect. Liability coverage can even cover incidents that occur while you and the children are away on field trips and can protect against accusations against any employees you have. In this day and age, when many children are on medication and some have food allergies, the added layer of protection provided by liability insurance is even more important.
When securing liability insurance, you’ll need to consider both the deductible you can afford and the limits that sound reasonable to you. If you have a pool or you provide transportation of the children in a vehicle then make sure to mention that to the insurer. Commercial facilities might also consider employment liability and worker’s compensation coverage in order to protect them against claims by their employees.
Liability isn’t the only risk that daycare providers are exposed to. Their personal and business property may also be exposed to potential damage. Property insurance should, therefore, be secured by all day-care service providers. When you have a commercial facility, you can secure a commercial property insurance policy that protects the building, contents and some outside structures. In-home daycare providers should consider a home insurance policy that includes protection for their business practices. It’s important to note that auto insurance and flood insurance need to be purchased separately.
What is construction insurance?
Construction professionals and contractors are faced with daily risks of jobsite hazards and equipment damage. Construction insurance is designed to help you maintain a safe worksite and team of employees and can provide protection for materials, natural disasters and your own business.
However, construction companies often need specialized policies for complete coverage. Contractors, carpenters, homebuilders, remodelers, plumbers, electricians, handymen and other professionals in the construction industry can benefit from such specialized insurance policies.
What types of construction insurance are available?
Construction professionals work with heavy machinery and equipment that can break down or injure workers. For this reason, standard commercial insurance policies, along with specialized policies, are necessary for comprehensive coverage. Some of the most common policies needed by construction professionals include the following:
- General liability insurance: Could cover liability costs if individuals unassociated with your business experience injury or property damage on your worksite.
- Professional liability insurance: Also called errors and omissions insurance, this policy could protect you from third-party claims of error and/or negligence.
- Commercial vehicle insurance: Could cover any business-owned vehicles or personal vehicles used on behalf of a business and the associated liability of such use. This can include cars, trucks, vans, cement mixers, etc.
- Loss of income insurance: Could cover a loss of income within policy limits resulting from business interruption.
- Builder’s risk insurance: Could cover property damage on worksites while under construction, which may also include construction materials prior to installation.
- Workers’ compensation: Could compensate employees who are injured on the job for medical expenses and partial wage replacement.
Our agency will evaluate your business and make recommendations for appropriate policies based on the size of your company, the number of employees, and the work you perform. Call us today to get started with a free quote for construction insurance.