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
- Business Interruption if your business has to be shut down or is impaired, you have the opportunity to have your business' expenses and loss of profits covered.
- 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.
Do I need workers compensation insurance?
Employers have a legal responsibility to their employees to make the workplace safe. However, accidents happen even when every reasonable safety measure has been taken.
To protect employers from lawsuits resulting from workplace accidents and to provide medical care and compensation for lost income to employees hurt in workplace accidents, in almost every state, businesses are required to buy workers compensation insurance. Workers compensation insurance covers workers injured on the job, whether they're hurt on the workplace premises or elsewhere, or in auto accidents while on business. It also covers work-related illnesses.
Workers compensation provides payments to injured workers, without regard to who was at fault in the accident, for time lost from work and for medical and rehabilitiation services. It also provides death benefits to surviving spouses and dependents.
Each state has different laws governing the amount and duration of lost income benefits, the provision of medical and rehabilitation services and how the system is administered. For example, in most states there are regulations that cover whether the worker or employer can choose the doctor who treats the injuries and how disputes about benefits are resolved.
Workers compensation insurance must be bought as a separate policy. Although in-home business and business owners policies (BOPs) are sold as package policies, they don't include coverage for workers' injuries.
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.
Sensitive customer data stored within company servers and in the cloud is vulnerable to attacks from hackers and other cyber criminals. Most people think only large corporations are in danger of cybercrime attacks. But, all businesses that use computers connected to the Internet are at risk.
What are the benefits of cyber liability insurance?
More than one-third of businesses experience a data breach each year. If a similar event happened at your business, would you be able to pay for the resulting damages?
Many cyber liability policies cover a variety of expenses associated with a cyberattack:
- Stolen data retrieval
- Reimbursement of fraudulent charges
- Identity protection services for customers at risk of identity theft
- Damage control for your business’ reputation
- Legal fees associated with the attack
- And other cleanup efforts
A general liability policy often excludes losses incurred because of the Internet. A cyber liability policy can fill in that gap. It may be the difference between closing your business and making a comeback.
Don’t let the term “inland marine” confuse you. As opposed to “marine insurance,” which covers products when transported over water, inland marine insurance covers products, materials and equipment when transported over land—e.g., via truck or train—or while temporarily warehoused by a third party. Collisions and cargo theft are the two most frequent causes of inland marine losses.
What are the benefits of inland marine insurance?
For many businesses, the property insurance provided by your Business Owners Policy (BOP) or Commercial Package Policy (CPP) may be sufficient. In general, these types of insurance cover property housed at a specific location, but tools and equipment that travel with employees to nearby job sites may also be covered.
However, if your business frequently ships products or equipment, you may want to consider purchasing inland marine insurance. This type of coverage is especially important if you ship high-value products or materials, which are often excluded from basic property coverage. Inland marine insurance can cover a wide range of specialty equipment and products, including:
- Computers, everything from servers to laptops.
- Communications and networking equipment.
- Construction and contracting equipment.
- Medical and scientific equipment.
- Photography equipment.
When weighing the need for inland marine insurance, consider the nature of your business and operations. Inland marine insurance isn’t just for companies that ship products to retailers and customers. For example, if you have a valuable tradeshow booth that is frequently shipped around the country and stored offsite by a vendor, you may want the protection provided by inland marine insurance. In addition, if someone else’s property is temporarily in your possession, inland marine insurance can provide coverage against the loss of this property. Special inland marine coverages include:
- Bailee’s Customer Coverage—Protects clients’ property that is left in the care of your business; e.g., if you operate a warehouse or repair shop.
- Builder’s Risk—Protects structures and materials during new construction projects or renovations.
- Exhibition and Fine Art Coverage—Keeps valuable items protected while on exhibit, in transit or on loan.
- Installation Floater—Covers materials from the moment they are loaded onto a truck until they are put to use or installed.
- Motor Truck Cargo Coverage—Keeps clients’ goods protected while your business transports and delivers them.
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Our staff has been serving the Missouri, Kansas and Illinois markets for years and can find you the best policies based on the size of your business, the number of employees and the type of work you perform. Call us today at 636.391.0700, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or click here to get started on a free quote.