If you're thinking of opening up a new business or have already been running your business for a few years, there are essential insurance coverages that you should consider carrying. This includes companies with one employee or companies with hundreds. Risk is risk, no matter the size of your operation, and protecting your largest asset, your business, should be done so prudently to avoid major setbacks.
General Liability protects your company from third party claims typically related to Bodily Injury or Property Damage losses deemed to be caused by your negligence. For a store owner, this can be a simple trip and fall scenario by one of their customers. For a contractor, this can be damage to their client's property by an action they or their employees took. This is the most straight forward of all liability coverages for businesses and should be carried by all.
Workers Compensation is essential for any employer because it protects you from claims related to employee related injuries that incur on the job. Even in an office, a simple back injury that occurs from picking up a box can result in thousands of dollars of medical bills. An employee injured in a car accident on company time, would also fall under an employment related injury. These injuries, even the small ones, can be ongoing and the only way to prevent a financial loss for you, the business owner, is to carry Workers Compensation. The state requires this coverage for companies with 4 or more employees. However, for construction related businesses, it's required even if you carry just one employee.
Do you have equipment and inventory that's vital to running your company? Would a theft of this property or fire damage set your company back financially or prevent you from operating? Then carrying Property Insurance to cover this exposure is vital. If you own the building you operate in, the policy can also cover the structure. Coverage can be included to cover loss of business income from a covered peril. Special Inland Marine policies can cover equipment used off premises and Cargo policies can be used to cover shipments by land, sea or air.
Professional Liability (Errors & Omissions)
It's obvious that doctors, lawyers, architects and engineers should carry professional liability, but this coverage is vital for many other professionals. If you're offering consultation or professional advice, you're in need of this coverage. The idea that General Liability will cover professional services is incorrect. It's best to speak to your insurance agent to figure out if you have a Professional Liability exposure to cover.
Directors & Officers
How do you cover a board of directors or corporate officers for lawsuits or wrongful act allegations related to running the company? Directors & Officers coverage. This insurance helps cover defense costs and damages. Incidents could include an alleged breach of fiduciary duty resulting in bankruptcy or financial losses, fraud, misuse of company funds or noncompliance with laws and regulations. These lawsuits can be lengthy, complicated and expensive, making D&O coverage essential.
Employment Practice Liability
With the current climate of employment related issues we see covered in the news each night, this coverage has never been more timely or important. Employment Practice Liability covers the business and employer for employment related claims such as wrongful termination, sexual harassment, discrimination, wrongful discipline, failure to promote, and much more.
Cyber Liability and Data Breach
The need for this coverage has grown each year; huge data breach incidents have hit even the largest publicly traded companies. The cost to notify the affected customers and the measures to repair the damage or deal with the legal ramifications can be financially overwhelming. A company dealing with a breach rarely even knows where to start. These policies are often written through companies with teams specialized in dealing with data breaches and they guide you through the process. If your company collects and stores personal information or even takes credit card payments, this coverage is essential.
For quotes on any of these lines of coverage, please contact Bruening Insurance today.