How to choose the right insurance for your business
Every day, businesses face threats to their prosperity. Many of these perils to financial wellbeing can be protected against by a well-designed insurance and risk management program.More than 6,000 workers are injured on the job each day, part of a daily $82 million loss from work accidents.More than 1,500 robberies and 5,200 burglaries against business will occur today.
Work accidents, crime, lawsuits, construction cost, motor vehicle accidents are just a few of the perils for which you need financial protection.This file provides an easy-to-read discussion of some major insurance options you should consider.Please call us for a review of your business needs.
There are a wide variety of options available to protect your business property from loss. If you own the building, property insurance can cover the structure, electrical wiring, heating/air conditioning, lighting, plumbing and other building-related equipment. Generally, insurance coverage is provided on a “named perils” basis, i.e., fire, windstorm, hail, smoke, explosion, etc. Some policies offer “all risk” coverage for most perils, but still list a few exceptions or limitations.
Protection for your building may be purchased through a standard fire insurance policy providing coverage for the fire, lightning, etc.; extended perils (windstorm, hail, riot, explosion, etc.) coverage; vandalism coverage; burglary and robbery protection; sprinkler leakage coverage and other coverage’s. Insurance may also be purchased through a special package policy. These package policies include various property and liability insurance protections.
In addition to building insurance, contents coverage is available for machinery and equipment, furniture, stock and inventory. If you are leasing space, improvements and alterations you have made to the structure may be insured, as well as your business contents. Flood and earthquake damage to your building and/or contents generally must be insured by additional policies or endorsements to your other insurance. Call Neill and Neill for a price quote.
Burglary and theft protection are available to protect your equipment and business stock. Unless you purchase a package policy, crime coverage is provided as a separate policy or endorsement. To some extent, glass coverage is provided under package policies. You also can purchase coverage under a separate policy for valuable glass, such as display counters, glass windows and glass doors. Repair services often are arranged under this type of coverage to handle damage.
Boiler and Machinery
The insurance industry long has been a leader in safety-such as building codes, auto crash research and workplace safety, as well as boiler and machinery inspections. Boiler and machinery insurance generally involves an inspection of your equipment in addition to offering financial protection. The insurance inspection may satisfy local safety requirements. Boiler and machinery insurance covers boilers, pressure vessels, piping and machines (pumps, turbines, electrical switchboards, etc.) for property damage and covers your firm for injuries or damages caused by an insured object. Call us for additional details.
Business interruption or “time element” coverage protects you against financial loss from your business being suspended due to insurance damage to your premises or indirect damage, such as power failure, for example. There are many varieties of business interruption coverage. This form of insurance reimburses you for continuing expenses you incur while closed, such as mortgage/rent, utilities, salaries, etc. In addition, business interruption insurance also pays for the profit that would have been earned while the property is restored to its predamaged state.
One form of business interruption insurance provides you with extra expense coverage to meet those costs necessary to keep your firm operating after a loss. For example, this coverage might pay the extra cost of temporary relocation of your business while your building is being repaired. Business interruption coverage often is overlooked. Examine the need for this type of insurance with Neill and Neill insurance.
Inland marine coverage could be used to protect off-the-road contractors’ equipment, rolling stock, accounts receivable, valuable papers and cargo in transit. These policies are available on a named peril or all-risk basis.
Every state requires most employers to compensate workers for injuries caused by on-the job accidents or diseases. State statutes also specify benefit levels or formulas for compensation to workers. In Massachusetts all employees and most sub contractors must be insured by this policy.
You and your business may be legally responsible for injuries and damages caused by your workers, your products, your services or, in some cases, independent contractors. Numerous insurance policies have been developed that are tailored to specific needs for financial protection against legal liability. Liability insurance generally pays for legal defense costs, as well as claims or judgments rendered against a firm, up to the policy limits. Many businesses are inadequately insured considering the rapid increase in the size of many liability verdicts.
Special liability package policies are available for different businesses. Such policies may be endorsed to include protection for certain contractual liability your business may assume (leases, agreement required by municipal ordinance, etc.) in combination with other liability protections.
Special Liability Policies
Product liability insurance is a special coverage to protect against liability caused by manufacturing of products. Product recall insurance is available to cover costs of taking such action. Professional liability is a critical coverage for many service businesses-law firms, medical practice, engineers, architects, etc.
Commercial umbrella liability policies are an inexpensive way to obtain additional protection in excess of your basic liability policies. These policies can be tailored to your needs. Liability is a complex issue in today’s society. Call us to help you in analyzing your needs and making insurance recommendations.
Three main types of commercial vehicles for insurance purposes are business autos, trucks and public conveyances (buses, taxis). Business autos may be insured individually or as a fleet, depending on the number of vehicles. Commercial auto insurance provides liability protection for injuries and property damages caused by vehicles used in your business. In addition, liability protection is provided when you permit your employees to drive other vehicles not owned by your firm.
Physical damage to your vehicles is covered by comprehensive and collision insurance within the commercial auto policy. Comprehensive pays for damages, not the result of a collision, such as vandalism, theft, fire. Collision pays for damages as a result of hitting an object or overturn. Give us a call and we can counsel you on premium savings, such as through different deductibles and fleet discounts, while making sure you have the right insurance for your vehicles.
Surety and Fidelity Bonds
Many businesses need to provide guarantees of performance. Surety bonds commonly fill this need, not only for the construction industry (such as bid and performance bonds) but also for court-appointed guardians, custodians of property for others, and business owners to satisfy potential civil penalties if violating some law.
To insure against losses from employee dishonesty, fidelity bonds are available. These bonds are needed since some theft insurance policies exclude losses caused by employees.
Some Special Needs
If you have a board of directors, they face a liability exposure for failure to exercise “due care” in supervising company operations, such as suits by stockholders or by government regulators. Directors’ and officers’ liability insurance provides financial protection against lawsuits, by covering legal defense costs and judgments up to policy limits. Directors’ and officers liability coverage does not generally pay for fines or penalties, nor claims as a result of willful acts against public policy, such as a decision to knowingly discharge pollution.
Other commercial insurance you may consider are pollution liability, special events coverage (i.e., a planned event canceled due to an insured peril), ocean marine coverage for import-export shipments, aviation insurance and personal injury liability to protect against suits for slander, libel and other actions. As with all policies-including group life and health insurance, as well as pension plans-we can provide full details and answers.
Consult with Neill and Neill to determine possible cost savings on your insurance. A tailored program of loss prevention, risk management and insurance can provide cost-effective protection for your firm. Discounts, experience rating, higher deductibles and package policies are a few ways that we may suggest to develop the best coverage at a competitive price.
And, since Neill and Neill works with many insurance companies, with national and international insuring capabilities, you can be served first. Working with us to make sure you have the right insurance at the right price.