Business Insurance Covers Your Risks
Business insurance can be complex, and it takes an experienced insurance agent to help you get the right commercial coverage for your enterprise. You need an agent who can provide not just one portion of your business insurance needs, but all your commercial coverage, from commercial vehicle insurance to professional liability coverage to workers comp.
An independent agent in the Trusted Choice® network who specializes in business insurance can do just that. Unlike captive agents who provide specific coverage from one insurance company, independent Trusted Choice member agents work with many carriers. These agents can meet all of your commercial insurance needs, even when you need specialty coverage, or several different policies from different carriers.
Independent agents handle over 50 percent of commercial insurance policies in existence today and are located in over 27,000 offices nationwide. Willis & Moore, Inc. of Des Moines, Iowa can help with your entire business insurance portfolio.
Top Risks Businesses Face
· Property damage from fire, storms, and accidents
· Liability in many forms, including product liability, accident/injury liability, libel, malpractice and professional liability or errors and omissions risks
· Fraud, embezzlement, extortion
· Cyber-crime and data loss
Every company, large and small, has unique risks. Some have workers who operate heavy machinery or drive vehicles while on the job, while others serve food and alcohol or handle toxic substances. Doctors and hospital staff handle patients, body fluids, sharp needles and equipment. Some employees handle sensitive documents, data, or money, potentially opening the door to business fraud. For this reason, every company needs commercial insurance coverage specifically matched to the risks of the enterprise.
Determining your risks and making sure you have the right commercial insurance in place requires an evaluation of a wide range of factors, including:
· Your business needs
· How you serve your customers
· How many employees you have on staff
· The materials or substances those employees handle
· Whether your employees drive in the course of their work
· The safety of your building, equipment, and processes
· The security of your data and intellectual property
· Risks facing your corporate officers
To assess your business insurance needs, start by contacting Willis & Moore, Inc., an independent agent in the Trusted Choice network who specializes in commercial insurance. Willis & Moore can fully address every aspect of your business coverage and help to ensure that you do not have gaps that could leave your business exposed to financial risk.
Types of Commercial Insurance Policies
Every commercial operation needs business insurance. The specific blend of coverage types you need for your business depends on many factors, such as whether your employees handle money, dangerous substances, sensitive data, or expensive merchandise.
Your agent will be able to recommend a package combining the coverage types you need, tailored to your risk management concerns.
For example, you may need some combination of the following types of commercial coverage:
· General liability, contractor's liability, or professional liability (errors and omissions)
· Directors and officers liability
· Malpractice insurance
· Commercial property insurance
· Commercial vehicle or commercial truck insurance
· Contractors and builder's risk coverage
· Inland marine coverage
· Business interruption insurance
· Landlord insurance
· Commercial tenants insurance
· Crime coverage or fidelity insurance
· Cyber-crime insurance
· Workers compensation
· Construction bonds
While you certainly do not need all these coverage types to safely run your business, it's nice to know that you have a variety of ways to manage the specific risks your company faces.
You may also want to offer or provide certain types of coverage to your employees, such as:
· Employee health insurance
· Short-term or long-term disability insurance
· Group life insurance
The coverage you choose for your business and employees should be designed to fully protect your company's assets. A quality benefits package will show that you are an excellent employer to work for and may even help you to attract the best talent.
Business Fraud Stats from the NFIB and the FBI
In 2011 the FBI secured $2.4 billion in restitution for corporate fraud. The same year, the FBI ordered $16.1 million in fines from corporate criminals.
The median loss in a fraudulent scheme for businesses of 100 employees or less is $190,000.
Corporate fraud, or white collar crime, is one type of business risk that nearly every commercial enterprise can encounter, whether it is a large corporation, a farm, a school, a restaurant, a non-profit charity, a medical practice, or a machine shop. This is because any business operation, large or small, involves the exchange of money for goods and services.
According to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE), small business owners tend to believe their company is not prone to business fraud. However, in a study the ACFE found that small businesses are at a greater risk of employee embezzlement simply because they have a higher level of trust in their staff. The result of that trust can unfortunately result in more opportunity and more temptation for those who have access to the financials.
There are a few key lessons we can learn from the ACFE business fraud study:
· The first step in mitigating risk is to gain a full understanding of what can happen in the course of doing business.
· The worst time to find out that you need coverage for a problem is after the incident has occurred.
A qualified commercial insurance agent can work with you to help you evaluate your business risks and reduce your exposure.
Managing Risk in Every Aspect of Your Operations
One of the biggest challenges of risk management is simply assessing the potential problems your business may face so you can take the appropriate measures to reduce or eliminate those risks. If you run a commercial operation, there are several vital risk management strategies you can use to protect your business:
Spend some time identifying your company's specific risks, from customer relations challenges to employee safety concerns, property risks, business interruption and corporate fidelity.
Identify the specific proactive methodology you want to implement to mitigate each risk. This step will help you to develop a multi-pronged approach to reducing risk that includes everything from workplace safety measures to security systems, employee education and commercial insurance.
Work with a knowledgeable commercial insurance agent to choose the specific business coverage you need to reduce the financial impact on your enterprise in the event of accidents, injuries, property damage, fraud, and the other risks you have identified.
By assessing your business risks from multiple angles with a qualified commercial insurance agent, you can more adequately protect your company from the challenges that can undermine your company's financial health.
Comparing Commercial Insurance Quotes
As a member agent in the Trusted Choice network, Willis & Moore, Inc. can review your business needs and help you evaluate the commercial coverage options that make the most sense for your organization. We will also compare policies and quotes from multiple business insurance companies to find just the right fit for you.
Willis & Moore, Inc. is devoted to helping you get just the right insurance for your business. Because of our many insurance company partnerships, we can handle all your business insurance needs out of one office, simplifying your business policies, and even finding you discounts. Give us a call and let us help you. Simply tap here to email us or call us direct at 515-244-0156.
Business Insurance FAQ
Q. What Is Business Insurance?
Q. What Does Business Insurance Cover?
Q. How Does Business Insurance Work?
Q. How Much Is Business Insurance?
Q. Is Business Insurance Tax Deductible?
Q. Is Business Insurance Required by Law?
Q. What Business Insurance Do I Need?
Q. Does Business Insurance Cover Embezzlement?
Q. Does Business Insurance Cover Flood Damage?
Q. Does Business Insurance Cover Lawsuits?
Q. What Does General Liability Insurance Cover?
Q. What Is Errors and Omissions Insurance?
Q. What Is a Business Owners Policy?
Q. How Do I Get Business Insurance?
What Is Business Insurance?
Business insurance includes a broad range of policy options designed to protect a business from financial loss. Every commercial operation has its own unique set of risks, which means a commercial insurance policy must be tailored to the business. Many factors, from the size of your company to the number of workers you employ, the materials they handle and whether you have business vehicles, will determine the specific coverage you need to mitigate risk and protect your company's financials.
Many business owners find that they must turn to several different insurance companies to get all of the coverage needed to cover their risks. If you work with an independent agent in the Trusted Choice® network, you can get all your business insurance policies from one office.
What Does Business Insurance Cover?
Business insurance coverage for a commercial operation can include the following and more:
General liability insurance: Covers third party liability claims for injuries to other people.
Professional liability and malpractice insurance: Covers professionals against loss due to negligent professional duty, wrongful acts, and advice and services that lead to another person's loss or injury.
Product liability insurance: Covers against faulty products and damage, illness, injury or death that may occur from using a faulty product.
Property insurance: Covers loss and damage to your commercial business property due to fires, storms and other causes.
Commercial vehicle insurance: Covers commercial vehicles and drivers for collision, liability, property damage, personal injury and "comprehensive" (now known as "other than collision").
Workers compensation: Covers your employees if they become ill or injured while working on the job.
Loss of income: Covers your business expenses such as rent and employee wages if you can't operate your business.
Key person insurance: Covers loss of income that may result from the head of the business or other key personnel becoming incapacitated or passing away (also known as key man insurance).
Cyber-crime insurance: Provides protection for risks due to Internet use and online communications.
Records retention policies: Covers loss of important data and financial records.
Specialty coverage: Insurance that covers various specific business risks, such as those of lords, farmers, and commercial operations that put on one-day events, such as seminars or concerts.
How Does Business Insurance Work?
Business insurance is a contract between the insurance company and the business. The insurance company agrees to share the business risk with the business entity in exchange for premium payments. In the event of a covered loss, the insurance company pays for the financial losses the business incurs up to the limit of the policy after the deductible amount is paid by the business filing a claim.
At the time of a loss, the business will typically file a claim. If a fire destroys a portion of the business premises, for example, the company will file a claim against the property insurance policy. An adjuster will assess the damage and process the claim. The company will then receive the appropriate amount of compensation for the loss.
There are many different scenarios regarding business risk and how insurance claims are filed. For example, if the incident is a loss suffered by a customer of the company, the injured party will likely file a claim against the businesses liability policy. How the claim is processed depends upon the size of the claim, whether the matter can be settled with an insurance payment, and if the claim results in a lawsuit.
How Much Is Business Insurance?
The cost of business insurance varies. Several factors affect how much business insurance costs, because it depends on the type of business and the types of coverage appropriate for that commercial operation. Cost also depends on the size of the business. A small, home-based business can often be adequately insured for $500 per year, while insurance for a large company with many employees and a wide range of business risks could $500,000 per year.
The costs of business insurance can be reduced with effective risk management practices, and by comparing costs from several different insurance carriers. An independent agent in the Trusted Choice network who specializes in commercial insurance can help with this process and can manage a company's complete business insurance portfolio through one office.
Is Business Insurance Tax Deductible?
Business insurance is tax deductible if the coverage is for the purpose of operating a business, profession, or a trade. Businesses may not deduct their business insurance premiums if the coverage is for the purpose of a self-insurance reserve fund or a loss of earning insurance policy.
Is Business Insurance Required by Law?
Business insurance is required by law, but only under certain conditions. The following business insurance is required by law if it is applicable to your situation:
Unemployment insurance: Applies to a business that has employees and may be obligated to pay unemployment insurance taxes under prescribed conditions; if these conditions are applicable to your business, then you must register your business with the state work force's agency.
Workers compensation insurance: If your business has employees, you are most likely legally obligated to carry workers compensation insurance, either on a self-insured basis or through a commercial insurance carrier or a state worker's compensation program. Workers compensation laws vary by state.
Professional liability insurance: Some states require specified professionals to carry insurance against professional liability.
Disability insurance: Several states require that a business have partial wage replacement insurance coverage for employees eligible for non-work related injury or illness. These states include California, Hawaii, New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico and Rhode Island.
What Business Insurance Do I Need?
Depending on the nature of your business and any insurance which you are legally obligated to carry, the following types of business insurance should be considered essential:
· General liability insurance: Coverage against accidents, injuries, and negligence claims
· Product liability insurance: Coverage against product defects
· Professional liability insurance: Covers professionals against malpractice, negligence, or errors
· Commercial property insurance: Covers against damage to your business property, such as from fire or a severe storm
· Business interruption insurance: Protects your business if you are no longer able to conduct your business because of a loss
· Home-based business insurance: Covers against general or professional liability.
Because commercial insurance needs to be tailored to each business based on risks, it is critical to work with an agent who will get to know your company and ensure that your coverage adequately protects your business investment.
Does Business Insurance Cover Embezzlement?
If your business carries commercial crime/theft coverage, your business insurance will cover employee fraud and embezzlement.
There are several different forms of employee dishonesty coverage. For example, you can purchase several types of fidelity bonds, either to protect the business in the event of dishonest acts by all employees, or by named employees.
Does Business Insurance Cover Flood Damage?
For your business insurance to cover flood damage, your company must carry a separate flood insurance policy or endorsement. The typical commercial property insurance policy covers specific water damage situations but excludes flooding. The wording and water damage exclusions vary from one insurance company to another. Be sure to review your policy carefully and discuss your specific risks and concerns with an independent agent in the Trusted Choice network who can help you get the coverage you need.
Does Business Insurance Cover Lawsuits?
Business insurance covers lawsuits as long as you have the appropriate business liability insurance for your situation and enough liability coverage to pay your legal costs. To ensure that enough liability coverage is in place for extreme circumstances like a lawsuit that exceeds $1 million in damages, many businesses buy a commercial umbrella liability policy.
Certain liability exclusions also apply, such as if an injury or damage was expected, or was caused intentionally. Some policies also have something called a workmanship exclusion, and some exclude coverage of punitive damages. Liability insurance is available in many different forms, including:
· General liability
· Professional liability, "errors and omissions" and malpractice
· Directors and officers liability
· Product liability
· Premises or property liability
· Employers liability
· Employment practices liability
· Environmental and pollution liability
What Does General Liability Insurance Cover?
General liability insurance provides insurance protection for a company's assets, financial obligations, legal defense, and any settlements or judgments awarded to an injured party. It may also include claims for copyright infringement, false or misleading advertising, or libel and slander. If a patron is injured in some way while doing business with your company, your general liability insurance will provide coverage.
What Is Errors and Omissions Insurance?
Errors and omissions insurance (or "E and O") covers a business for a service rendered which did not have the expected or promised results, or which results in a loss or personal injury suffered by the person receiving those services. It also covers situations where the individual or company failed to render service at all. These are known as errors and omissions. As an example of errors and omissions insurance, if a financial advisor provided investment advice that resulted in a client's financial loss, those circumstances could result in an errors and omissions liability claim.
This type of insurance is also known as malpractice insurance (for medical practitioners) and professional liability insurance for practicing lawyers and other professionals.
What Is a Business Owner's Policy?
A business owners policy or BOP is insurance coverage designed specifically for small or medium-sized businesses. Depending upon the insurance company, the size of business that qualifies for a business owners policy may be based on revenues or number of employees. A BOP combines several types of insurance coverage in a packaged format and can be customized to suit a particular business. Generally, this type of policy includes both property and liability coverage.
Policies may also provide coverage to include the following:
· Property claims
· Breakdown of equipment
· Loss of income/business interruption
· Professional liability
· Copyright infringement
· Products and completed operations
· Premises liability
How Do I Get Business Insurance?
There are a variety of ways to purchase business insurance. You can shop online or call an insurance company representative. However, business insurance policies vary a great deal between companies, as do the cost of premiums. Therefore, your best course of action is to talk with an independent insurance agent who can check rates from several different insurance company to find you the best quote available.
An independent agent in the Trusted Choice network who specializes in commercial insurance can design a policy specifically for your business. Independent agents have access to numerous insurance companies, which means they can customize your commercial insurance policy and meet all of your business insurance needs out of one office.
Contact Willis & Moore, Inc. and get the business insurance you need to protect your company's bottom line. Simply tap here to email us or call us direct at 515-244-0156.