Southwest Insurance Marketing Group Commercial Insurance

Southwest Insurance Marketing Group Commercial Insurance

Commercial Insurance

The success of a business, whether it's a tiny enterprise run out of a basement or a large corporation, is largely dependent on hard work and ingenuity. However, no matter how industrious you are, one disaster can wipe out all your profits and even destroy your business. The key to making sure that all the effort and money you have invested in a business doesn't disappear when a disaster strikes is to protect it with the appropriate insurance.

click here for "Small Business Basics"

BUSINESS OWNERS POLICY

Insurance companies selling business insurance offer policies that combine protection from all major property and liability risks in one package. They also sell coverages separately. One package purchased by small and mid–sized businesses is the business owners policy– BOP.

Package policies are created for businesses that generally face the same kind and degree of risk. Larger companies might purchase a commercial package policy or customize their policies to meet the special risks they face.

BOPs include:

Property insurance for buildings and contents owned by the company -- there are two different forms, standard and special, which provides more comprehensive coverage.

Business interruption insurance, which covers the loss of income resulting from a fire or other catastrophe that disrupts the operation of the business. It can also include the extra expense of operating out of a temporary location.

Liability protection, which covers your company's legal responsibility for the harm it may cause to others. This harm is a result of things that you and your employees do or fail to do in your business operations that may cause bodily injury or property damage due to defective products, faulty installations and errors in services provided.

BOPs do NOT cover professional liability, auto insurance, worker's compensation or health and disability insurance. You'll need separate insurance policies to cover professional services, vehicles and your employees.

How can I insure my home-based business?

Let's face it. Launching and running a business takes capital, motivation and yes, even physical stamina to handle the stress and demands of a new or growing venture. And it's risky. In fact, one out of every five businesses fails within the first five years of opening.

Handling inventory, scheduling time, purchasing supplies, handling payroll -- there are a myriad of procedures every home or small business entrepreneur needs to know, but one of the most critical and often neglected is buying proper insurance coverage.

TAKING A BUSINESS INVENTORY

What would happen if a fire or other disaster destroyed your property, making it impossible for you to get back to business right away? Would you remember what property had been destroyed? One way is by taking a complete inventory of all your personal business property, determining its value, and deciding what's worth insuring. Having an up-to-date business inventory will help you get your insurance claim settled faster, verify losses for your business' income tax return and help you purchase the correct amount of insurance.

Start by making a list of personal business property, describing each item and noting where you bought it and its make and model. Clip to your list any sales receipts, purchase contracts, and appraisals you have.

WHAT'S THE RIGHT COVERAGE FOR YOU?

Then there's the question of what types of coverages you'll need. Aside from personal business property, there is liability insurance, business income, insurance for the building, boiler and machinery, human failure, employee protection and management protection, among others. The type of coverage you need depends on a number of factors including what kind of business you operate. For more information click here...

Business Owner Insurance ChecklistBUSINESS OWNERS INSURANCE CHECKLIST

Click here to download the “Business Owner Insurance Checklist”

HOW TO KEEP COSTS DOWN

Start your search for a policy with trade associations or business groups. In many cases, these organizations are able to provide reduced insurance rates based on the volume of business they can offer the insurance company. They've also negotiated coverage specific to your type of business, which can save you significant time in determining what you should cover. Also make sure that you are working with an agent that understands your type of business.

COMMERCIAL VEHICLE INSURANCE

Commercial auto liability coverage provides protection for any business-owned or leased commercial vehicle. Policies usually include collision and damage coverage as well as coverage for property and personal damage to others.

Just like you need auto insurance for your own car, you need business auto insurance to cover your business-owned or leased vehicles. If you, or any of your employees have an accident in your business's car, you may be liable for bodily injuries, lost wages or any damage caused.

Typical coverage includes:

Bodily Injury Liability - Coverage for damages that involve bodily injury to others for which you become responsible under law.

Property Damage Liability - Coverage for damage to property of others for which you become responsible under law.

Medical Payments - Coverage for reasonable and necessary medical expenses and funeral services for those who are accidentally injured while in your automobile or while getting into or out of your automobile.

Personal Injury Protection - Coverage for medical, hospital, rehabilitation, loss of wages or loss of services costs resulting from injury to you or any resident family member. In case of death to the insured or a resident family member, death benefits and survivor benefits, if applicable, will be provided.

Other coverage that may be obtained include:

Comprehensive - Protection for the loss of or damage to your vehicle and its equipment from all causes except collision, subject to the deductible on the policy.

Collision - Protection for the collision damage to your automobile and its equipment, subject to the deductible on the policy.

Uninsured Motorist - Coverage allows you to recover bodily injury damages due to an accident where the other party does not have insurance, and is found legally liable.

Underinsured Motorist - Coverage allows you to recover bodily injury damages due to an accident where the other party is found legally liable and does not have adequate liability limits.

Additional Expense - Coverage for necessary additional expenses incurred as a result of a loss for which you are protected under comprehensive or collision coverage. These expenses include rental cars, food, lodging and other incidental expenses.

Hired Auto Liability Coverage - Covers liability for automobiles hired under contract on behalf of or loaned to the named insured.

Hired Auto Physical Damage - Coverage for an automobile of any type, hired, borrowed or leased on a short term basis for use in the insured's business.

Employer's Non-Ownership Liability - Coverage for a private-passenger automobile used in the business of the named insured by any person, or the occasional and infrequent use of a commercial automobile in the business by any of your employees.

With Permission © Insurance Information Institute, Inc. - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED -