Business insurance protects businesses from financial loss resulting from property damage, professional errors, auto accidents, and more. A licensed broker agent can assist with evaluating specific risk exposures and selecting the proper commercial policies.
Business property coverage includes buildings and structures, permanently installed fixtures, machinery, and equipment. Time element coverages such as business interruption and extra expenses help cover income lost due to disaster-related events. Visit https://www.nicholsoninsurance.com for more information.
Many small business owners choose to invest in a BOP because it provides a financial backstop that can help protect their assets, income and retirement savings from unforeseen events. It’s not uncommon for a large claim or lawsuit to put a small business out of operation, and it’s not always feasible for the owner to pay for the damages from their own personal resources. BOP insurance bundles property, general liability and business interruption insurance into a single policy that can be customized for a wide range of industries.
The property portion of a BOP covers your business’s buildings and other physical properties, such as inventory, furniture, mechanical equipment and more. It also helps cover the cost of repairing or replacing third party property damaged during your company’s operations. General liability protects your business from third-party bodily injury and property damage claims, which include medical expenses and legal fees that may result from a customer’s injuries or damages sustained on your company’s premises.
Business interruption insurance is another benefit of a BOP, which covers your lost income in the event that your business is forced to shut down because of a covered loss. This coverage can reimburse your business for the expense of renting temporary space to continue operating until your place of business is able to reopen.
A BOP is a convenient and cost-effective way to safeguard your business against risks that can quickly derail your success. By combining multiple coverages into a single policy, it saves time and money by eliminating the need to review, purchase and manage individual policies for each essential area of risk.
There are some policies that cannot be included in a BOP, including workers compensation and commercial auto insurance, but many small businesses still need these important protections. Contact us today to learn more about how a BOP can work for you, and how it can help safeguard your home, investments and retirement savings in the event of an unexpected accident or disaster. Our in-house team of experts is here to help you find the right coverage for your unique needs.
General liability, sometimes called business liability insurance, protects your small business against common claims of bodily injury and property damage. It covers incidents that occur during normal business operations. This includes a customer triping over a box in your store or a server spilling coffee on someone. It also helps pay for legal costs in case of a personal or advertising injury, such as slander. Many clients or employers require you to carry this type of insurance before agreeing to work with your business. You can purchase general liability as part of a BOP or on its own.
Unlike commercial property coverage, which covers your business’s own physical assets, general liability only covers damages to third party property. This includes property owned by your customers. The average cost of a general liability claim is $20,000, so it’s worth protecting your business from these types of costly accidents.
While you may not be able to avoid every accident, it’s important to do everything you can to minimize them. A general liability policy is one of the best ways to do this. It’s important to note that it won’t cover things like theft, vandalism, fire and severe weather. These issues are better covered by other policies, such as a business owners policy or commercial auto.
You can often buy a combined business owners policy, which combines the essentials of general liability and commercial property into one package. This is an affordable way for small businesses to get the protection they need.
Commercial auto insurance is a must for businesses that use vehicles to conduct business. It provides liability and physical damage coverage for cars, trucks, vans and other vehicles your company owns or leases. It also can include hired and non-owned auto insurance, which covers vehicles your employees drive that aren’t owned by your business. The type of autos covered depends on how your business uses them — for example, an 18-wheeler that transports goods from warehouse to warehouse needs commercial auto coverage, while a courier service with just a few vehicles may need less extensive coverage.
Most commercial auto policies offer the same kinds of coverage found in personal auto policies, including liability, collision, comprehensive and medical payments (also known as personal injury protection). You can get optional coverage for uninsured motorists and rental car reimbursement, which pays for a rental vehicle while an insured vehicle is being repaired from an accident or other loss.
Adding roadside assistance can be beneficial as well. This helps pay for towing, rental car expenses and other services if you or your employees are in an accident while on the job. Your policy should also cover any cargo you carry in your vehicles, which is an important consideration if your business involves hauling or delivering goods and materials.
You might also want to consider getting excess auto liability coverage, which is additional insurance that goes above and beyond your primary business auto policy limits. This can be helpful if you have multiple drivers and their personal insurance does not provide enough coverage in the event of an accident. Additionally, it might be a good idea to require that your employees obtain this coverage on their own personal cars and trucks if they use them for work, so you can pull their Motor Vehicle Report annually and make sure they have adequate coverage.
Your agent can help you determine the specific needs of your business. They’ll ask you about how you use vehicles in your business, who will be driving them and whether your employees will often take the same cars home at night. They’ll also want to know about any vehicles your business rents or leases, and if you have a fleet of trucks you need coverage for. Your agent will answer these questions and others to create a business auto policy that’s tailored to your unique operations.
A business interruption policy, also known as business income protection, reimburses a company for the lost profits it sustains when its physical property is damaged and unable to function. Typically, it’s an add-on to your commercial property insurance and covers the continuing expenses of your business even while you wait for your business to resume operations. It pays for things like employee wages, tax payments, loan payments and rent costs of a temporary location, among other potential losses.
Most commercial property policies include this coverage and many businesses find it very helpful when they’re forced to close their doors for an extended period of time due to damage to the physical property. Business interruption coverage allows the business to continue paying important bills and not fall behind on mortgages, loans or taxes – which could be disastrous for smaller companies in particular.
The type of loss that triggers business interruption coverage usually differs between different insurers. For instance, some policies require that the actual damage to your business property lead to the interruption, while others simply include it as an extension of your general liability coverage in the event of a third-party claim. In any case, it is always advisable to carefully review the specifics of your business interruption policy with your agent.
It’s important to remember that business interruption only applies to the financial impact of your business shutdown – not the damage to the physical property itself. This is why it’s often best to get both a BOP and a business interruption policy.
Additionally, your business interruption policy may be limited to a certain amount of time – which will vary between insurers – before you start receiving payouts. The policy will also likely include a list of items covered and excluded from the policy, so it’s crucial to discuss these details with your broker. Contingent business interruption coverage also provides an added layer of protection and will cover your losses in the event that a key supplier or vendor experiences damage. This can be an especially important part of your business continuity plan if you work in an industry that is dependent on a certain commodity.