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Posts Tagged ‘Commercial General Liability’

Insurance for your Home-Based Business

Thursday, April 17th, 2014

Congratulations! You have finally realized your life-long dream. You have started your own business in your home: a desktop publishing business. Now you can go to work barefoot and without blow-drying your hair.

But wait! You have your computer, your printer, your telephone, and all the office supplies you need. But do you have the necessary insurance?

Here is a nightmare scenario: You put together a glossy brochure for a local car dealership. You have some gorgeous pictures of the brand new Chrysler 200S convertible in the brochure. It’s candy apple red, leather seats, with a retractable hardtop. Three weeks after your gorgeous brochure is put out in public, the dealer calls you, screaming.

Instead of the MSRP of $33,445, the brochure offers the car for $334.45. This is going to cost the dealer a pretty penny, no matter how he handles it. And guess where he wants to get the money from?

If you are counting on your homeowners insurance to get you out of this mess, you are mistaken!

While it is quite likely that the dealership does not have to honor the erroneous price, the customers could sue, and even though the lawsuit would be a frivolous and unsuccessful, it still costs money and time for the dealer to go to court and, if necessary, for you to do the same.

When you sit down with your licensed insurance professional, you will want to bring up the topic of Errors & Omissions insurance as well as a commercial general liability policy.

Bed Bug Insurance

Friday, January 10th, 2014

Perhaps while you were growing up, your mother or grandmother or father would tuck you in and say, “Sleep tight. Don’t let the bedbugs bite.” Fortunately, most children are not horrified at such a suggestion because they don’t know what a bedbug is. Thankfully!

Lately, bedbugs have been in the news again. Yes, these bugs, which were at one time nearly extinct, are making a comeback, primarily because more people travel more extensively, both here and abroad. Sleeping in even the most posh hotels puts us at risk for “letting the bedbugs bite.”

So how do insurance companies handle these little devils?  Well, several ways, it turns out.

They are covered by the commercial general liability, but it’s complicated.

Businesses which are insured, for example, hotels, motels, inns, bed & breakfasts, and hostels  are excluded from damages that are incurred from an infestation of rodents or insects.

Clearly there is a a duty to defend and even indemnify a guest of one of those establishments, and the courts have underscored that of late with some pretty hefty settlements from the courts.

While this sort of claim is still being felt out, the insured would be wise to find ways to mitigate the damage these pests can cause by taking steps to make them vacate the establishment.

Liability Insurance and Your Business

Friday, October 12th, 2012

General liability insurance will help to keep the doors of the business open and operating in the event of lawsuit and judgment against your business. Allow your licensed insurance professional to be your guide as you work toward determining the appropriate amount of insurance and type of coverage needed for your business.

General liability, property insurance, and workers compensation coverage are all necessary to any business, whether it is just starting up or already operational.

In this day and age, where businesses are sued on regular basis, even a small mishap could easily result in a lawsuit.

General liability insurance protects the business and its assets in a scenario wherein it is sued for claims of bodily injury or damages and will generally cover the costs of defending and litigating a claim brought against the company.

Such coverage will pay any compensatory awards or actual damages which the business is obligated to pay up to the coverage limits; however, general liability insurance will not cover punitive damages, due to the fact that those damages are considered a result of intent.

Amounts of coverage amount necessary are determined by a variety of factors, including the type of business, the general area where the business is located, and types of equipment included.

Such coverage will usually specify a maximum paid per time period as well as a maximum per occurrence.

For instance, if a business has a policy which offers $1 million per occurrence, and the business received a $1.25 million judgment against it, the insurance would cover $1 million of the judgment, leaving the business would be responsible for the $250,000 which remains.

As always, you will need to work with your licensed insurance professional in order to determine how much and what types of coverage you need.

Automobile Repair Shop Business Insurance

Friday, September 28th, 2012

Car dealerships, like other industries, have run into trouble in the recent economic times.  Like other professions, auto mechanics may find themselves laid off or working less than full time. Some mechanics have opted to open their own repair shops as a result.  Like any business, auto repair businesses and the mechanics that own them need to get the proper insurance in place.

For any type of business, there are several basic needs, and some specialty insurance coverage to consider.  General liability is the first piece of putting together an auto repair business insurance package.  No matter how diligent you are, everyday you are at risk of being sued.  Court costs and legal fees, damage awards, and time spent can financially ruin a business.  A general liability insurance policy will cover costs and protect the assets of the business.  Garage keepers insurance also needs to be discussed where you are keeping customers vehicles for a period of time.  Product liability insurance is another option that needs serious consideration.  If you are towing vehicles, tow truck insurance will cover liability and damage claims in transit to the repair shop as well as bodily injury and property damage.

Property insurance is the next insurance a business including auto repair shops need to consider.  Property insurance will cover the building structure and furnishings as well as some equipment.  Additional options that should be discussed include employee’s tools, debris removal and pollutant clean up, computer equipment, and equipment breakdown or boiler and machinery insurance.

A business owner’s policy can provide a good insurance package by combining the coverage discussed.  In addition, many of the options can be added as part of the business owner’s policy instead of purchasing separate policies for each.

If the auto repair business has employees, then as a rule, workers compensation is required.  This is always purchased as a separate insurance.  While every state varies in specific standards, we recommend having workers compensation in place from the first employee hire.  In addition, it may make sense to explore crime insurance and employment practices insurance as well.

Don’t assume your auto repair business is adequately insured.  Talk to a licensed insurance professional who understands the needs of your business.  Together you can design a plan to meet both risk and the budget.

Does My Liability Insurance Cover Everything?

Monday, September 24th, 2012

In order to be fully protection in your business, one of the essential policies is the general liability policy. It will reduce your business’s risk of exposure.

This type of coverage is meant to protect the business in the event that someone claims injury or property damage due to something your business fails to do or does not do enough.

Generally speaking, general liability insurance covers property damage, personal injury, bodily injury, and assorted other types of injury which include copyright infringement, defamation of character, slander, and invasion of privacy.

While it might appear that some people believe that a general liability policy is the only type of coverage needed for liability protection. That is not, however, the case.

Additional situations any business owner should consider include professional negligence and failure to perform duties which are standard in your industry. While this may not sound like something you would need, this sort of case happens with a customer says that they work which you did for them caused them pain and suffering due to mistakes or things you may have overlooked. It also covers some of the things which happen with there is a misunderstanding between the customer and provider as to what is required.

Many businesses have had to close due to lawsuits of this type.

For accountants, realtors, medical providers, and lawyers, exposure to errors and omissions pose a much larger problem than general liability risks. Professional liability insurance covers legal costs and any settlement or award up to the limit of the policy.

Meet with your licensed insurance professional in order to determine if professional liability insurance needs to be part of business insurance package. That professional can help you understand the different liability risks associated with your business and general business risks and design the right coverage to reduce those risks.

Why Should I Carry Business Insurance?

Sunday, November 27th, 2011

We are often asked, “I’m not required to carry business insurance, why should I?

In a tough economy a start up business owner may opt to go without business insurance. Another business owner may consider allowing their business insurance policy to lapse. In each scenario, those business owners are lying to themselves and hoping to justify their decision on not being required.

In today’s business environment and where lawsuits occur over the temperature of coffee served, operating without liability insurance is like skydiving without a parachute. Trying to defend a claim, legitimate or frivolous, without liability insurance can put a business into bankruptcy from this one event. One accident, one fire and not only can the business face financial ruin, so can the owner of the business. Safeguarding both the business and your personal assets is not where to cut costs and try to save a few bucks.

A business needs general liability insurance and property insurance in place. When times are tough, it sure may look like an easy way to improve cash flow. This coverage is too expensive not to have due to the risk exposed, but there are ways to reduce the premium and get the best value for the coverage. Take a look at whether you can combine coverage by utilizing a Business Owners Policy.

This type of policy offers liability insurance as well as property insurance for your business. You can often add some coverage like business interruption to these policies. A Business Owners Policy is typically less expensive than purchasing policies separately. You may be able to reduce coverage limits and increase deductibles. Don’t be afraid to ask your licensed insurance professional for help. Be candid and let your agent know what’s happening with your business. If necessary, don’t be afraid to shop around for better rates. Just remember to get the same coverage if you that becomes the case.

There is certainly a cost involved for protecting your business from risk. Business insurance offers the owner peace of mind that the business they are building can withstand a frivolous claim or the cost of litigation or go through a fire or some type of catastrophe. Having the proper small business insurance in place is one of the most important steps a business owner can take in protecting their business and themselves.

Demolition Insurance

Saturday, September 10th, 2011

Insurance companies are no longer running away from the wrecking ball.  At least not on buildings of 3 story or less.  That is due to the fact explosives are not use in these type operations therefore the risk is less.   There are main stream companies now entering this market who previously shied away from these risks.

 

Because more main stream competitors are entering the market, rates are decreasing and competition is increasing.  Traditionally, these operations are less risky as previously thought, but companies have become aware this has been a long under-served market and have developed specialty products and rates placing them under their “program markets” allowing agents to address the industry’s special needs and access a company’s expertise.  If you have questions regarding your insurance, please talk with your agent or one of ours.

 

Commercial Insurance.Net, LLC Advisor is not an attorney, accountant or certified financial planner and makes no representations or warranties to that effect.  Always check with your chosen professional as to statements made in this blog for your particular situation.

Classification of General Liability Insurance

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

In this economy many businesses add new products and services to their existing accounts.  Most are not thinking about their insurance when doing so.  However, it should be one of the top priorities when making changes to their existing operations.  When an agent works with a client, we are asking questions regarding the business operations.  We are looking for everything that pertains to the operation for the purpose of classifying the risk properly to determine proper premium.  When the risks change within the operations, premium needs to be determined also to cover claims which may arise out of those risks.

 

Agents and companies understand there must be changes within and operation due to economy, market and needs.  Classification is one of the necessary changes within an operation for insurance coverage to apply.  New forms of the Commercial General Liability may or may not apply to operations of which we have no knowledge.  Therefore it is imperative to keep your agent and company informed.  If you have questions regarding your policy, please talk with your agent or one of ours.

 

Commercial Insurance.Net, LLC Advisor is not an attorney, accountant or certified financial planner and makes no representations or warranties to that effect.  Always check with your chosen professional as to statements made in this blog for your particular

Distracted Driving On Company Business

Sunday, September 4th, 2011

Labor Day is celebrated tomorrow and many people will be returning home from the 3 day weekend.  As it approaches, I am reminded the number one cause of fatalities in the workplace comes from automobile accidents.  The majority of those accidents have been determined as being caused by distracted driving.  Some states have passed laws regarding texting while driving.  A few states have actually made it illegal to use cell phones or other electronics while driving.  However, these are not the only cause contributing to an accident.  Other causes are eating, drinking, grooming, using GPS devices, checking email and surfing the internet.

 

Public and private companies often have employees drive upon their behalf.  Each should be aware if their insurance policy not only covers the business while an employee is driving but should implement a distracted policy of their own.  Educating and following up with employees is essential to risk management.  Distracted driving has always been an exposure, but with new technology it is greater than ever.  If you have questions about your insurance coverage, please talk with your agent or one of ours.

 

Commercial Insurance.Net, LLC Advisor is not an attorney, accountant or certified financial planner and makes no representations or warranties to that effect.  Always check with your chosen professional as to statements made in this blog for your particular situation.

Bed Bugs And General Liability Insurance

Monday, August 29th, 2011

When growing up in a small, rural, Southern Plains town, my grandmother would come for a visit in the summer.  She had a strange saying to us when it was time for us to go to bed.  It was “sleep tight and don’t let the bed bugs bite” and she would chuckle.  I suppose because I did not know what that meant.  As I got older and putting my own children in bed I would always remember that phrase even though I never said it.  Today, however, because these critters are in the news, I now know what she really meant. 

 

Bed bugs were essentially extinct while I was growing up, but because of more extensive travel both in the U.S. and abroad, there is a resurgence of infestation even in the most exclusive locations.  Now the reason I am speaking of this is insurance companies are in a quandary as to how they should respond to the claims against the Commercial General Liability policy rising out of this hazard.   Regarding a 1st party (our insured ) claim, the policy specifically excludes damages to property from an infestation of insects or rodents.  However, the liability to a 3rd party is not so clear.  There is a duty to defend and maybe indemnify a 3rd party and there have been some very sizable awards from the courts. 

 

I recently watched a documentary about dogs being trained to sniff out these little creatures, and properly trained, are quite successful.  But this takes time, and training is expensive.  In the meantime, insurance companies are looking for ways to help insureds contain exposure.  If you have questions regarding your coverage, please talk with your agent or one of ours.

 

Commercial Insurance.Net, LLC Advisor is not an attorney, accountant or certified financial planner and makes no representations or warranties to that effect.  Always check with your chosen professional as to statements made in this blog for your particular situation.