When you own a business, it is important to make sure you business is protected from all risk. While you cannot predict what might happen, you can purchase commercial insurance and pass most or all of the risk on to the insurer you are paying to cover you. When you are building a business insurance portfolio in Florida, there are several different forms of coverage you will need to consider investing in. Before you think you are adequately covered, review the most important types of commercial insurance you need when you own a business and review your current portfolio to search for gaps.
Commercial General Liability Insurance
General liability insurance can be purchased in a Business Owners’ Package policy or separately. This type of cover will protect your business against claims of bodily injury, property damage, and advertising injury. If you are operating without general liability insurance, you will be forced to pay for claims out-of-pocket and may be forced to close your doors.
Commercial Property Insurance
You need property insurance if you are a tenant or the owner of the commercial premises where you conduct business. Commercial property insurance for building owners will cover the building, your business property, and also signage. If you are renting, your property insurance will cover Loss of Income and tenant building improvements you have made. Property insurance on your commercial property is just as important as having homeowners insurance.
Commercial Flood Insurance
Did you know that your commercial property insurance policy specifically excludes damages that are caused by a flood? If you did not know this, it is important to invest in commercial flood insurance to protect your building, your business property, and even the products you sell. This specialty policy will pay for repairs and will also pay for you to rent another space while your property is being restored.
Commercial Equipment Insurance
Some broad commercial insurance policies include limited coverage for commercial equipment. If you have very valuable equipment, you will need a special commercial equipment insurance policy that will pay when the equipment breaks down. This insurance will pay to repair covered losses, will pay you business income when the breakdown causes business interruption, and will pay for other expenses you might incur because of the loss.
Commercial Auto Insurance
You cannot cover your commercial vehicles with the standard personal auto insurance policy. If you drive your vehicles for business, you will need a commercial auto insurance policy. This policy will include commercial liability coverage, uninsured motorist coverage, collision, and comprehensive.
Worker’s Compensation Insurance
If you have employees, you have a need for workers compensation insurance. In fact, in the state of Florida, if you have 4 or more employees, you are required to carry this insurance. While it is a requirement, it is also very important to have if your employees are injured at work. Not only will the insurance pay for the employee’s medical care, when claims are paid the employee waives the right to sue you for negligence.
Operating without the right types of commercial insurance is one of the biggest gambles you can make as a business owner. Do not take the chance and make sure you build an extensive insurance portfolio that will pass the risk on to the insurer.
There are dozens of types of commercial insurance available, but you don’t need to buy all of them to start a successful business. Since every business is unique, you will need to design a custom insurance package that provides the level of protection you need. Listed below are five essential commercial insurance plans to help a new business in Tampa to run smoothly.
This insurance protects the assets owned by your business in the event it gets damaged or destroyed. Property insurance is especially necessary if you own land or expensive equipment. Without it, an accident may cause your company to go bankrupt. Even if your business is run from your home, the average home-policy insurance will not cover commercial assets and property.
Property insurance is available in two main types: all-risk policies and peril-specific policies. As the name suggests, an all-risk policy will cover a wide range of incidents. A peril-specific policy will only cover a certain incident, such as crime, floods, or fires.
Product/Professional Liability Insurance
Product liability insurance is designed for companies that retail, distribute, wholesale, or manufacture a product. It protects the business from financial loss that may result from a defect product causing bodily harm or injury to a customer. The amount you spend on this insurance should be based on the products you are selling. For example, a shoe store would have far less risk than an appliance store.
Professional liability insurance is for a business that provides services. It protects the company from the effects of negligence, errors, and malpractice when delivering your service. Some governments require this type of insurance for specific professions. For example, doctors in many states have to buy malpractice coverage before starting their own practice.
Business Income Insurance
This type of business insurance will cover financial loss that may result when the company’s facilities are being rebuilt after a disaster. It is designed to cover any type of business and will provide the same financial position that the company would be in if there no income loss had occurred. Income insurance is not usually used as a stand-alone policy, but it can be added to a comprehensive package.
Worker’s Compensation Insurance
Employee injuries while on the job are not common, but when they happen, it can result in an expensive compensation package or even a lawsuit. A business with compensation insurance will take the financial burden off your business in the event of a mishap. Additionally, having this insurance usually prohibits the employee from filing a lawsuit against you.
Commercial Automobile Insurance
This last policy may seem surprising, but it is just as important as other types of insurance. Any company that uses trucks or cars will need coverage in case of an accident. This is particularly essential for companies with large fleets of vehicles, since it raises the possibility of a mishap.
Insufficient coverage is often the biggest mistake a new business owner can make. Even if the worst does not happen, it is always good to prepare for it. Spending $1,000 on insurance fees isn’t nearly as bad as losing a million dollars in a crisis. The agents at Mid Florida Insurance Professionals are Tampa’s experts in the Commercial Property and Casualty Insurance industry. Call us today for a no-obligation consultation (813) 962-3082.
There are a number of significant decisions that must be made by a new business owner. None may be as important as the decision to take out a commercial insurance policy. These policies are vital to the protection and overall success of the business. However, the term business insurance is a broad description and encompasses several specific types of policies. Therefore, it is important to understand the various plans available and the protection provided by each one.
Property insurance refers to a commercial policy that protects the location and/or contents of the business. For instance, if a business owner is operating from home or rental property, then this type of plan should be put in place to protect the contents. If the property is owned by the business operator, then the policy would cover the contents as well as the structure itself. These plans also insure the property of others that may be in the location. Several additions can be included to insure against specific disasters as well, such as fire, flooding or tornadoes.
Another important form of commercial insurance is a liability policy. These policies protect a business when liabilities are legally imposed due to the negligence of employees or the company itself. Basically, it protects the business from being sued. There are various liability plans that can cover everything from harassment to the poor performance of stocks.
Commercial auto insurance is a must when operations involve the use of automobiles. This plan should not be mistaken for a regular automobile policy. Commercial auto policies cover any damage that may be done to others while using a business automobile. Actual coverage for the company vehicles must be provided within a regular car insurance policy.
There are several other types of business insurance policies available including health insurance for employees, workers compensation plans as well as life and disability plans. Other plans offer protection in the unfortunate event that a key owner or employee is injured or killed. This policy may provide financial means for the remaining employees or owners to buy out the effected partner’s share. Business interruption insurance covers damages or losses sustained to the profit of a business due to the inability to operate for uncontrollable reasons. A prime example would be if a business is damaged due to lighting and could not be in operation for several days.
As an experienced agent, I can help a business owner decide exactly what commercial insurance plans should be purchased. A business should tailor their policies to their individual needs and be aware of the exclusions and additions that may be necessary. Based on these changes, premiums can fluctuate. Running a business can be a quite unpredictable venture and owners should always be prepared for the worst case scenarios.
Tampa Bay Commercial Insurance Summed Up in One Article
Misconceptions and half-truths often characterize business owners’ understanding of business insurance matters. Sole proprietors and business partners face a number of operating risks. Injury claims have become exceedingly common, fueled by anecdotal evidence of huge cash awards. Lawyers offer contingency representation that facilitates people filing suits, often for frivolous or fraudulent reasons.
Courts sometimes award plaintiffs exorbitant awards, and owners that have been found liable could loose their businesses, personal assets, homes, and reputations. Liens continue until settled, and determined plaintiffs can renew them. Courts can seize bank accounts, cash, and personal property to settle these judgments. Commercial liability insurance offers protection from claims of injuries or property damage occurring on business property.
The corporate business structure will not protect limited liability corporation owners from summary judgments. Courts can and do remove the veil of corporate protection under certain circumstances. Insurance coverage, however, offers protection against almost any possible risk. These policies can be tailored to specific industry needs, and package deals offer comprehensive coverage options at reduced rates.
Types of Commercial Insurance Agency Coverage
Choosing the right coverage makes sound financial sense, and some types of coverage might be mandatory for certain types of businesses. Types of coverage include the following options.
This coverage is mandatory for companies that employ workers in most states. The insurance covers medical claims for employee injuries while working on the company premises. The coverage extends to include off-premise injuries when employers require workers to travel. Workers compensation premiums are based on payroll, and owners estimate their annual payrolls each year and must adjust premiums when the actual figures have been determined.
Commercial General Liability Insurance
This coverage protects against customer claims when they suffer injuries or property damage while on company premises. The coverage pays medical bills, costs of property damage, and negligence awards. Liability insurance also offers protection against libel, slander, and the legal costs of defending companies against claims.
Commercial Property Insurance
This protection covers company property against fires, natural disasters, thefts, vandalism, smoke damage, and other hazards. Loss can include buildings, company papers, cash, business interruption, and lost income due to supplier failures.
All-risk policies cover multiple risks except those perils specifically excluded. Most small businesses choose these plans for the comprehensive protections they afford.
Peril-specific coverage only covers the specific incidents mentioned in the policy. The premiums cost less, so these policies make good choices for businesses that face fewer risks.
Commercial Automobile Insurance
Businesses that use vehicles in the course of operations need commercial auto insurance because personal auto policies will not cover accidents if underwriters determine that incidents occurred during business use. The policies not only provide protection for personal injuries and property damage but also cover auto damage and loss of use until replacements are made.
Commercial Flood Insurance
Flood insurance always comes as a separate, independent policy. Some areas run little risk of flooding, while others in low-lying areas risk flood damage on a yearly basis. Some businesses at risk fail to take out this essential protection, assuming federal assistance should disasters strike. However, the government might require disaster-area businesses to obtain future flood coverage through the National Flood Insurance Program.
Most flood policies cover the following situations.
Building damages and contents.
Cleanup and repairs after floods recede, including painting and debris removal.
Sandbagging to prevent or limit flood damage.
Commercial Equipment Insurance
Commercial equipment includes stationary and mobile equipment used in a business. Owners can choose from a variety of industry-specific policies and coverage options. Some owners only cover replacement or repair costs for breakdowns, but some equipment might cause injuries or property damage and need indemnity coverage. Insurance providers refuse to insure certain types of high-risk equipment, including underground apparatus.
Home Business Coverage
More people work from home than ever before due to computers and online business opportunities. Working from home creates less stressful lifestyles, but these companies still must protect themselves. Home businesses face many of the same risks that traditional firms must handle.
Personal insurance will not cover home-business use. The use of a personal automobile faces the same requirements at home as any retail location. The law prohibits some high-risk businesses from operating out of residential locations for zoning or safety reasons. In these cases, insurance coverage will not pay for businesses operating illegally.
Other Optional Coverage
A variety of optional coverage options furnish custom protection. These options include the follow special types of coverage.
Errors and Omissions
This coverage provides protection from claims arising from failing to perform professional services as promised.
Life and Disability Insurance
This coverage protects against the death or injury of a key employee or business partner. These policies allow surviving partners to buy out the deceased’s interest in the business, among other coverage options.
Some businesses have special needs. For example, businesses that rely on physical abilities of a partner or employee might need to insure legs, arms, diving capabilities, or driving skills. Scripted policies can be tailored to cover an amazing variety of unusual, situations.
Business insurance offers a variety of custom-tailored options. Risk is substantial, and insurance coverage can address almost any eventuality imaginable.
Give Mid Florida Insurance Professionals a Call at: (813) 962-3082 We’re third generation of insurance professions with the knowledge and skills to get the coverage you need at the best prices available.
Typical drivers in Florida are required to carry car insurance. Even if it is only used to help to pay for the bills that the driver may injure, this sort of insurance is an important safety net. Commercial drivers are not immune from such necessities, nor are the businesses for which they work. Whether you own a single truck or you are trying to take care of a large fleet of vehicles, it is important to consider the very real necessity of having commercial auto insurance in Florida.
Unlike typical consumer auto insurance, commercial coverage pays equal attention to the driver of the vehicle and the owner of the vehicle. In many cases, a business will have any number of vehicles available for employee use, and these vehicle policy will generally be in the name of the business itself. Were this sort of policy akin to a consumer contract, the policy would only cover named drivers. Commercial auto insurance in Florida, however, provides protection for both employees of the business and for the employers themselves. This makes for a far less risky driving experience for both the owners of the vehicle and for those driving. While having this sort of coverage cannot prevent accidents, it can prevent them from having a particularly negative effect on your business.
What to Remember About Commercial Auto Plans
Commercial auto insurance is a fine product to buy, it is important that you remember to talk to an agent about the various types of policies available. You may need particular coverage if your vehicles are used for an unusual purpose, if you own a large number of vehicles or if you have a larger number of potential drivers. You should also remember that commercial insurance does not tend to cover drivers or vehicles when they drive the vehicles outside of normal commercial purchases, and that consumer coverage should be maintained for such purposes.
If your business owns a fleet or even if your simply have one company car, it is often wise to consider purchasing commercial auto insurance. This sort of policy can help you to make sure that your car stays on the road and that it can be used by employees, and it can also protect you from incidents in which the vehicle may be involved during the course of regular business activity. Even if you are only considering purchasing your first commercial vehicle, it is wise to consult with a commercial insurance professional to determine your commercial auto insurance needs.
For a commercial automobile insurance and all of your business insurance needs, our agents can help you to create a plan and fill in the details. Call us at (813) 962-3082.