Do you own your own business or maybe you’re thinking about starting your own business? We can help you a comprehensive affordable policy specifically designed for your insurance coverage needs.
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- Business Owners Policy
- Commercial General Liability
- Commercial Property
- Business Interruption/Continuation Insurance
- Commercial Automobile
- Workers’ Compensation
Business Owners Policy
Many small business owners purchase a business package policy called a “BOP”, a business owner’s policy. A BOP typically includes property insurance, business interruption/continuation insurance and liability insurance. Often it is a less costly option for small businesses than buying a set of individual policies. Many insurers customize BOPs for specific types of businesses. A BOP does not cover professional liability (liability claims arising from wrongful practice by professionals), auto insurance, workers’ compensation, health or disability insurance, all of which need to be purchased separately. A BOP is great for a home-based business or a company with only a few employees may start out with a BOP and then expand its coverage as it grows. Not all businesses qualify for a BOP. We can help you determine the best policy for your business.
Commercial General Liability
Commercial General Liability (CGL), covers four categories of events for which you could be held responsible: bodily injury; damage to others’ property; personal injury, including slander and libel; and false or misleading advertising. CGL coverage pays for the injured party’s medical expenses. It excludes your employees, who are covered by workers’ compensation.
There are three types of legal damages people may sue you for that are typically covered by a CGL policy:
- Compensatory damages: financial losses suffered by the injured party and future losses they may suffer resulting from an injury they claim in the lawsuit.
- General damages: non-monetary losses suffered by the injured party, such as “pain and suffering” or “mental anguish.”
- Punitive damages: additional penalties and charges the defendant must pay.
Standard liability insurance does not protect a business against claims from sexual harassment, wrongful termination of employees, failure to employ or promote, or race and gender lawsuits and claims related to operating an automobile or truck.
Property insurance protects small business owners from losses due to damage to physical space or equipment and as a result of theft. For insurance purposes, a business’ property includes the physical building in which it resides, as well as its other assets.
All of the following, owned or leased, can be considered business property:
- The actual building
- Furniture, equipment and supplies
- Computers and other data processing equipment
- Valuable papers, books and documents
- Artwork and antiques
- Television sets, VCRs, DVD players, satellite dishes
- Signs, fences and outdoor property not attached to a building
- Non-tangible items such as trademarks and copyrights
There are three types of property insurance plans:
- Basic form, which includes losses resulting from a fire, lightning, windstorm, hail and explosion, plus the cost of removing property to protect it from further damage.
- Broad form, which includes basic plus extended coverage for other types of perils, such as a roof collapse (e.g. caused by snow or ice), riot and civil commotion, etc.
- Special form, which includes basic and broad, and covers all direct physical losses except conditions specifically excluded as listed in the policy.
With property insurance you can buy either actual cash value or replacement cost insurance. Actual cash value insurance reimburses you for the value of lost, damaged or stolen goods after depreciation is taken into consideration. Replacement cost insurance reimburses you the amount it would take to replace, rebuild or repair damages with materials of similar kind and quality, without deducting for depreciation.
Business Interruption/Continuation Insurance
This type of insurance covers lost earnings due to a circumstance covered by one of the property insurance plans you purchased, such as a fire or theft that shuts down your business for an extended period of time. Business interruption/continuation insurance covers expenses associated with running a business, such as payroll and utility bills, based on the company’s financial records. Business interruption/continuation coverage can be added to a property insurance policy or purchased as part of a package insurance product.
All motorized vehicles, whether used for personal or business purposes, need auto insurance. Automobile liability insurance covers medical expenses for injured persons and damages to the property of other individuals as a result of a motor vehicle accident caused by the insured’s negligence.
While the types of coverage provided by personal and commercial auto insurance policies are essentially the same, there are important distinctions. Typically, commercial auto insurance policies have higher liability limits, for example $1 million. They also may have provisions that cover rented and other non-owned vehicles, including employees’ cars driven for company business.
Several factors related to ownership and use of vehicles determine whether a personal or commercial policy is appropriate. These include:
- Who owns or leases the vehicle you individually or the business as an entity
- Who drives the vehicle you or your employees
- How the vehicle is principally used – for example, transporting people, delivering packages or carrying hazardous materials
Workers’ compensation insurance protects a business owner from claims by employees who experience a work-related injury or illness either sustained on business premises or due to business operations. Minnesota Workers’ Compensation law states all employers are required to purchase workers’ compensation insurance or become self-insured. Typically, workers’ compensation covers the employee’s medical expenses, rehabilitation costs and lost wages. If you do not have workers’ compensation and one of your employees is injured on the job, your business may be liable for any medical expenses that individual incurs. You might also face fines and penalties for noncompliance.