What Types of Commercial Insurance are Essential in Florida

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.

In Tampa call Mid Florida Insurance Professionals for a free quote and a confidential conference.

 

Commercial Insurance for New Businesses

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.

Property Insurance

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.

Conclusion

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.

 

Proper Protection for Your Business with Commercial Insurance

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.

 

The Importance Of Commercial General Liability Insurance

Today’s society is so litigious, and consumers are so knowledgeable about their rights, that you as a business owner can never predict when a lawsuit may come your way. Such a lawsuit, if it succeeded, could completely devastate your business. You cannot avoid the risk of this happening, but you can and should take out commercial general liability insurance, and let the insurers take the risk on your behalf.

Busines accident victimCommercial general liability, or CGL, insurance is usually obtained through a commercial propery and casualty insurance agency, and provides you with coverage for lawsuits that may be brought against your business. It is designed to cover claims for various categories of business liability. These include bodily or physical injury and damage to property, personal injury – which involves damage to someone’s reputation through slander, libel or defamation – and misleading advertising claims. The bodily or property damage can take place on your premises, or be caused off the premises by an employee carrying out work for the company elsewhere.

The main types of damages that can be covered by a commercial general liability insurance policy are compensatory damages, which cover the claimant’s financial losses, and general damages, which cover the intangible or non monetary losses, such as mental stress, or pain and suffering. In some states, including Florida, the insurance will also pay punitive damages awarded against your business, but in many states punitive damages are not payable. CGL insurance does not cover injury claims from your own employees, or claims relating to vehicles used for your business, so you will need separate policies for both of these areas.

You can either buy CGL insurance on its own, or as part of a Business Owner’s Package or BOP, which will be less expensive. However, the BOP has a lower level of coverage than the separate policy, so whether it is better for you will depend on your level of risk. For instance, obviously the risk levels for a manufacturing plant operating heavy machinery will be higher than those for a floristry business, and the manufacturing plant would be better advised to take out a separate policy.

One industry in which risks are considered particularly high is the construction industry. In Florida, construction contractors are required to carry a policy with minimum coverage of $300,000 for bodily injury and $50,000 for property damage, whereas for other types of business the requirements are $100,000 and $25,000 respectively. However, the requirements can vary from city to city, and in Tampa, for instance, contractors are required to carry a CGL policy of $2 million for total incident coverage.

The biggest problem for contractors with commercial general liability insurance is that they often find payouts are refused for claims involving accidents, or occurrences,  arising from defective workmanship or negligence. This is because different states have different definitions of what constitutes an occurrence, with some states refusing to accept that a construction defect is an accident or occurrence, because it is not unintended or unexpected. However, several states, including Florida, have ruled that a construction defect can be considered an occurrence under the policy, provided it was not intended by the contractor. In Florida, therefore, a construction business can feel safe in taking out CGL insurance.

When you are looking at commercial general liability insurance, there are a number of steps you can take to keep your premiums down, such as keeping your employees fully trained in safety procedures, keeping detailed and comprehensive records, and maintaining high standards of quality control. What you must not do is try to manage without a policy, or you will be leaving yourself and your business very vulnerable. You should reduce your premiums to the minimum, and then regard the insurance as an essential business expense.

Call our third generation commercial insurance agent to find the best rates on commercial general liability insurance available for the Tamap Bay area at: (813) 962-3082

 

Business Insurance Indemnifies Owners Against Assorted Perils

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.

Map of Tampa Bay FloridaCourts 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.

  • Workers Compensation

    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.

  • Scripted Policies

    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.

 

What Type of Commercial Insurance Do Florida Business Owners Need?

If you own a business you need to have a comprehensive insurance portfolio to cover a plethora of different claims that can arise during the course of owning a business.  While you never want to experience a loss, some losses simply cannot be avoided no matter how proactive you are.  The entire purpose of buying insurance to recover financially from an unintentional loss so you do not have to pay out-of-pocket.  If you are not sure what type of commercial insurance you need to carry in Florida, make sure you review the various types of business insurance that are available.  Surprisingly, there may be a number of different policies that you need that you are not currently carrying.

Commercial Property Insurance

You carry property insurance to cover your home.  Commercial property insurance in Florida is designed to protect the structure where you conduct business.  If you own the building where you operate, you will need a comprehensive plan that covers the entire building.  If you are renting the property, the landlord will require you to carry a tenant’s property insurance policy.  A tenant’s policy is more affordable because it only covers tenant improvements and not the entire building.  Some benefits of carrying property insurance when you are renting include coverage for loss of earnings when the building you are renting is not inhabitable.  Property insurance will also include coverage for business property, furnishings, and merchandise that is stored onsite.

Commercial General Liability Insurance in Florida

If you have property insurance, you do have liability coverage built into the policy.  You might wonder why you would need general liability insurance when you are already carrying a form of liability cover?  Businesses invest in general liability insurance because it gives added protection in the event that a third-party person is injured or their property is damaged by the business.  This type of insurance also covers libel, slander, and defamation.  If you do not have enough liability insurance protecting your business, you may spend thousands of dollars and years in court trying to defend yourself as a defendant.

Commercial Flood Insurance to Protect Property and Merchandise

Did you know that property insurance policies specifically exclude flooding and mudslides.  This means that you must carry commercial flood insurance in Florida to have any type of coverage in the event of a claim.  A flood is defined as water that has overflowed onto two or more properties.  This means that the flood occurring in your building would have to overflow off of the property to be considered a covered flood.  Flood insurance policies are nationally mandated and premiums are calculated based on flood zones.  If you are in a risky zone, you will pay higher premiums.  You can opt for a policy that covers only property, only contents, or both.  The deductible will be a high percentage of the damage sustained because of the flood.

Specialized Commercial Equipment Insurance

If you use special equipment, you need to list this equipment specifically or invest in a special rider.  Machine tools, printing equipment, restaurant equipment, dental equipment, computers, agricultural equipment, vending machines, and construction equipment are all types of machines that must be covered.  Considering the value of this equipment, there is no reason it should not be protected against unexpected loss.

Worker’s Compensation Insurance

Worker's Compensation & Commercial General Liabiltiy InsuranceYou also need to protect your employees.  In the state of Florida, in most cases you must carry work comp insurance if you have 4 or more full-time employees.  This insurance will cover all reasonable costs for medical treatment when the employee is injured on the job.

As you can see, there are a number of different types of business insurance that you must carry to keep your business protected.  Failing to purchase just one of the essential policies could close your doors for good in the tragic event that you have to file a claim.  Meet with an experienced commercial agent and review your insurance portfolio for holes.

For current rates and ways to save money on commercial insurance, Tampa Bay area business owners  should call Mid Florida Insurance Professionals at (813)  962-3082 for a quick quote and excellent rates on all commercial insurance plans.