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.
In many parts of the world where floods are experienced on a regular basis, commercial flood insurance is a necessity. It is very risky for business owners in the State of Florida to operate without this type of cover. This is because floods can cause extensive damage to buildings and their contents. According to official figures, nearly 40 percent of small firms never reopen after business premises get flooded. This is because even a few inches of flood water can cause extensive damage amounting to tens of thousands of dollars. Flood insurance is normally purchased separately from commercial property insurance. This is largely due to the fact that most property insurance policies do not offer flood coverage. It is therefore important for business owners to check their policies to make sure that they have sufficient flood cover.
Causes of Flooding
Flooding normally occur when there is heavy rainfall. Blocked storm sewers can also cause flooding in certain areas. A modification of the drainage pattern of a region can also lead to flooding. Whatever the cause, commercial property owners and business owners should find a commercial insurance agency to help them procure the right policy.
Calculation of Flood Insurance Premiums
There are many factors that come into play when calculating premiums for flood insurance. For instance, the flood zone where the property is located has a very big impact on premiums. Generally, flood zones are divided into high-risk, low-risk and medium risk zones. Properties located in high-risk areas attract higher premiums and vice versa. The year of construction of the building, its occupancy and number of floors are also considered when calculating premiums. The value and location of items in a building also affects premiums.
When to Buy Flood Insurance
Commercial flood insurance policies normally have a 30 day wait period. This means that purchasing a policy in Florida when heavy rains start falling in the area will not be of any help. The best time to procure flood insurance is immediately after a business goes into operation. A standard policy will cover damage on the structure of the building as well its contents. Commercial flood insurance claims vary depending on the amount of cover purchased. However, the average flood insurance claim over the last few years has been around $85,000.
What to Consider When Looking For Flood Insurance
The coverage limits for a building and its contents must be considered when looking for coverage. This is simply the amount of money that the business owner will receive as compensation when flooding occurs. The amount of premiums paid for a certain amount of cover can be reduced when deductibles are factored in. For instance, commercial property with items kept on the first or second floor can get huge discounts because of the low risk flooding poses to the contents of the building.
According to the National Flood Insurance (NFIP) Program, owners of commercial property can get up to $250,000 in building coverage and up to $100,000 in contents coverage. Commercial properties that qualify for NFIP include real estate owned property, farms, apartment buildings, residential buildings for more than 4 families, and office buildings among other commercial properties.
Want to know more about commercial flood insurance and find a relaible Tampa Bay commercial insurance agency, call Mid Florida Insurance Professioanals at: (813) 962-3082
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.
Commercial 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
When you own a business in Florida, you need to make sure your business stays protected. This is why it is imperative that you build a comprehensive insurance portfolio that will protect your business from the unexpected. There are multiple forms of Florida commercial insurance that is designed to protect your business assets, your workers, your commercial property, and more. All business owners in Florida need to carry commercial property insurance to cover the building where they operate as well as the business property and merchandise in the building. Learn what commercial propety insurance will cover and what you should consider when customizing your policy and bind your insurance through a commercial insurance agency you can trust.
What Does Commercial Property Insurance Cover?
Property insurance is designed to cover owned and leased property. You will be given the option to purchase a property owner’s policy or a tenants policy depending on whether or not you own the building in which you operate. A commercial property insurance policy will cover most or all of your business’ physical assets. If you have a fire that destroys the building you own, the dwelling coverage will pay to repair or replace the building. If a storm damages your outdoor signage, the policy will pay for a new sign. If a pipe bursts and damages all of your paperwork, your policy will also pay for repairs.
What Can be Customized on Your Property Insurance Policy?
You can customize your commercial propety insurance policy to suit the needs of your business. If you are a tenant at a rental property or you own your building, you can change each of the following areas of the policy so you have enough coverage. You can also consider your budget and adjust the limits as desired.
* Dwelling limits (coverage for your building or tenant improvements) * Business property (coverage for your computers, furnishings, and merchandise located on premises) * Inventory * Landscaping (including permanently fixed fences, bushes, and trees) * Damage to the property of others.
Choosing the Right Agency
Now that you know what your commercial property insurance will cover, you need to start building a policy as soon as possible. If you have insurance, make sure you bring your current insurance policy with you when you visit any agency you choose. The agent should be dedicated to helping you build a policy that will provide you with an adequate level of protection. You should check to see if the commercial insurer is financially stable and review customer commentary. Consider the quality of service provided and how quickly claims are paid before choosing any agency.
You never want to be put in the situation where you need to use your insurance. If you are put in the situation, you want peace of mind in knowing that your business and your property is covered with adequate coverage. Take time to build a comprehensive insurance portfolio and ask the licensed agent for recommendations on other forms of Florida commercial insurance you may need for added protection. Call our third generation commercial insurance professionals at: (813) 962-3082 and know your business is well protected.