Category Archives: Insurance

What Types of Commercial Insurance

If you have your own business, you may be bewildered by the range of commercial insurance you need. Some of these forms of insurance are required by law, whereas others might be stipulated by various professional bodies in order for you to practice. In other cases, insurance is advisable though not mandatory.

commercial insurance

The wide range of sub-types of commercial insurance means that it is worth gaining specialist advice to make sure you are properly covered. Some of the most common kinds are summarised below, though the list is not exhaustive.

Employers liability insurance is mandatory, except in very restricted circumstances. Under the law you must arrange cover of at least £5 million. Employers liability insurance protects you against claims from employees that arise in the course of their work. These can include accidents and injury, but also harassment, discrimination and wrongful dismissal, amongst other things.

Public liability insurance provides cover for claims that arise from third parties or members of the public (who are unconnected with your business) in the course of your work. For example, you might need to pay costs in the event of an accident that is your fault that results in injury to a person or damage to property.

Professional indemnity insurance is generally required by those who provide advice in the course of their work. This covers you for claims that arise when that advice is, or is perceived to be, deficient in some way. It is often associated with lawyers and architects, but is a type of commercial insurance applicable to a much wider list of professions.

Directors and officers insurance protects key members of a company from decisions they make as managers. This is important because a claim can be brought against both individuals and a company itself; directors and officers can be held personally liable for decisions made on behalf of the company, meaning their own assets are at risk. D&O can cover you for mistakes made by previous as well as current directors.

Premises insurance. If you have separate premises you will need to organise cover for the buildings and contents. There are various additions for special circumstances, for example if you keep a large amount of cash on the premises. If you work from home then you will need to consider how this affects your home insurance. In some circumstances it will not matter. Generally, though, if your work raises the risk of damage or burglary (perhaps because there are more people coming to your house) then your insurer will be reluctant to cover you without raising your premiums. Similarly if you are keeping valuable equipment or stock at home, you will need to change your policy.

Vehicle insurance. This is mandatory for any driver, but you must also make sure that they are covered for business usage if they are driving their personal vehicles in the course of work. If you are transporting products, you should also consider goods in transit cover.

Personal insurance. There are various kinds of personal insurance you might want to think about if you have your own business. Life insurance is an obvious one, but critical illness cover could also be important (this can often be purchased on the same policy.)

Combined commercial insurance policies

There are many different kinds of commercial insurance, and purchasing individual policies can be expensive. One cheap way to go about acquiring all the different types of insurance you need is to get a combined commercial insurance policy. This allows you to access economies of scale and create a bespoke set of policies that is right for your requirements from a long list of types of cover.

Commercial Insurance Helps

Commercial insurance policies provide cover for buildings and property against all kinds of perils, but it is important to consider what it would cost to get your buildings reinstated following a total loss catastrophe such as a fire or major flood, and to ensure that your business insurance policy contains provisions to cover all the costs of reinstatement expenses.

If you under-estimate the total rebuilding costs of your commercial premises when initially applying for cover, then following any future claim, any payouts agreed will be subject to reductions by what is called ‘average’.

Average will reduce the claim payout proportionally by the amount of under-insurance of the declared value from the actual current rebuilding costs. For example if your premises costs 150,000 to rebuild and you have declared the sum insured at 120,000, your claim will be reduced by a fifth.

If allowances are not made for all the costs of rebuilding, including those that may not at first be apparent, when applying for a commercial property insurance quote, then it is more than likely that the premises will be under-insured.

Commercial buildings cover may or may not include cover for fees for architects, surveyors or consultant engineers that may be required before rebuilding work can be commenced. These will usually work alongside any loss adjusters appointed by the insurer to minimise costs and agree any rebuilding proposals. Insurance companies will not pay rates for fees above those set by the governing professional trade bodies.

It is important to establish whether professional fees are included in the policy cover and if not, add an amount to cover these to the declared sum insured. When doing so be aware that these professions usually charge a very high hourly rate, and inflation should be allowed for.

Another area that can often cause disagreement between an insured and an insurance company following total loss of the premises, is that of debris removal and clearance of the site in preparation to rebuild.

Most commercial policies will include a section outlining the insurance companies responsibility as regards the insured premises site clearance and debris removal. This typically includes cover for dismantling and demolishing buildings, shoring and propping up dangerous or adjacent buildings and site clearance. More often than not the amount for this is included in the sum insured, in which case this should be calculated and also added in to the rebuilding cost at proposal.

Debris clearance can be extremely expensive, especially if for example hazardous building materials such as asbestos have to be removed, or if the site was storing chemicals or dangerous machinery that have to be treated and removed by specialist clean-up teams.

Commercial Insurance Online Pitfalls

It is a very straight-forward process today to compare commercial insurance quotes online for virtually every type of business and trade.

There are many very fast and efficient websites operated by insurance agents, brokers, companies and comparison sites that offer quote comparisons for both liability and property cover, However when buying commercial insurance for your business online there are many not so obvious considerations and often hidden costs, that you should be aware of before you purchase.

The major problem with all online quote comparisons is that products are differentiated by price, most often with the cheapest quotes displayed first. Inevitably this will mean that quality insurance products with more cover that maybe cost a little more, will often not make the top five results displayed.

Whether you are looking to purchase liability protection or commercial property insurance for your stock, buildings and contents the most important consideration when applying for quotes is to disclose all the material facts. Many policy contracts can later be deemed null and void because a business owner was not one hundred percent truthful when applying for quotes.

If you fail for example, to declare the full value of your buildings in an attempt to reduce the premium prices quoted, in the event of a claim for an insured loss, your settlement figure will be reduced by the insurer proportionally to the amount of under-insurance, invoking what is known as the average clause.

Another example is a failure to declare all your staff including part-time staff for liability cover purposes.

it is also equally important when comparing policies by price quoted, to compare the actual covers offered by these policies. Invariably there will be differences in the levels of indemnity for loss, sums insured and additional covers offered.

Likewise each commercial insurance company will also tend to have its own levels of voluntary and policy excess, set to attract or deter certain types of business.

Compare policy wordings and keyfacts documents so that you fully understand the levels of cover offered by each of the quotes, before you buy.

Avoid paying for additional covers that you do not need. For example, new businesses in their first year would not be able to claim on a business interruption section of a policy for loss of profits, as there is no trading history. Similarly businesses that do not give advice have no requirement for professional indemnity insurance which may be included in some all risks packaged polices.

Other hidden costs to be aware of, are companies offering monthly payments or credit facilities at high interest rates. Beware sites that do not display the monthly premium breakdown at quote stage for those wishing to pay by monthly debit.

Before purchasing or even obtaining quotes, you should check that the provider is regulated and authorised to conduct commercial insurance business.
For example in the UK the site should display an FSA registration number, which shows the site is covered by the Financial Services Authority compensation scheme, should things go wrong.

Commercial Insurance Combined

Commercial Insurance is a wide genre with many business types, covers and risks.

A commercial insurance combined policy is modular with a basic set of cover options included. This allows various risks and cover options to be added to the policy as desired by an individual business in an incremental fashion or at a later date during the policy term, if business needs require.

The modularity of the underwriting and premium calculation allows proposers to tailor the covers to fit their individual trade or business insurance requirements whilst retaining the widest range of policy options to cover all enterprises requirements, under the same policy wording.

Most commercial and business insurance is packaged in some way, with a basic blanket level of cover and indemnities to which further options can be added. However it is possible to buy standalone commercial insurance cover for public liability and professional indemnity insurance and also for most types of commercial property insurance, for example where just buildings cover is needed.

At the sales and marketing level, commercial insurance combined packages are differentiated and sold by the various trade and business types.

This is because different business types require differing liability and cover limits, depending upon the particular risks in that business sector. For example a shop insurance package may place high value on including window and glass cover in its package, however this wouldn’t be much use to a painter and decorator who is just looking for tradesman’s public liability and tools cover. Similarly the shop owner would not find much use for a contractors all risk option but requires goods in transit cover for his deliveries.

Good commercial combined packages allow flexibility in their underwriting to cater for all variations of trade risks and online services allow you to freely add and remove options to build up a combination of covers that suits your business risks and pocket.

A combined policy will always contain a liability section as standard. This provides options to add employers and product liability to the basic public liability cover.

If the business owns or rents commercial property then buildings and contents cover can be added if required. Certain combined policies, such as for office insurance will offer office contents as a separate option. Similarly a shop insurance package will offer cover for stock held in the premises.

Commercial packages aimed at various trades usually also offer a plethora of add-on options for an additional premium.

Some of the more popular of these covers include business interruption insurance or loss of profits insurance which covers a businesses losses whilst being unable to trade due to a claim. Professional indemnity insurance which covers negligent advice is available under combined liability policies. Fidelity guarantee insurance protects a business against fraud or theft of money by an employee. Group personal accident cover and income protection is often available on combined policies which cover staff against accident and sickness.

How a Commercial Insurance

Insurance brokers have become increasingly more important today compared to many years back. Given the heavy loads of competition in the California insurance market, customers should be kept well-informed so that they won’t be led astray into getting frivolous deals. Most especially in the aspect of commercial insurance, entrepreneurs are usually better off with brokers beside them.

What is a Commercial Insurance?

Commercial insurance is just an insurance to protect businesses in the state. It is considered as one of the most vital investments for business operators. Depending on the specific type of commercial insurance, this security protects various aspects of the business. It can provide financial security in times of theft, liability, property damage, work-related employee or customer injury and even during times of business interruption. Those who have not secured insurance for their business are at risk of sudden financial depression. It has also been observed that uninsured businesses place the personal assets of the owner at risk.

Before setting out for an insurance hunt, make sure that you are already equipped with ample knowledge of what you really need. For example, you may be better with one specific type of commercial insurance, rather than having all forms of commercial insurance in one package. If you don’t have company vehicles for operating your business, you can do away with auto insurance and just go for property insurance instead. But you still need to know everything about these specific insurances because nobody is certain when your business might expand. Together with this growth is an expected change in insurance needs.

Looking For an Insurance Broker

Finding the right commercial insurance in California involves tapping the services of a trusted insurance broker who, as much as possible, is specializing in business insurance. It is important that you interview more than two brokers and check who among them makes you more at ease when it comes to dealing things. It is expected that he discusses the different options that surround commercial insurances.

As there are various classes of business insurance, your broker can guide you through the entire process. Using his expertise, he can easily recommend the most suitable plan for your immediate needs. A good place to start looking for brokers is the Internet. If not, search for them via networking organizations for local businesses. Your friends in the industry or business advisers may also refer you to seasoned brokers in the state.

Insurance brokers are in place to make it easier for business owners to get the right insurance. However, even with their ability, it may be difficult for some to get one most probably because of their company background. For example, if the business has already suffered some degree of loss in the past then it may be considered a high-risk entity. This means most insurers will back out from making any deals with you. Another reason for the increased difficulty in procuring commercial insurance is the owner’s history of making frequent claims, which easily makes him a liability. In addition, new businesses will surely have a harder time getting insured because of not having a proven history of business sustainability and strength compared to more established businesses. Still, business owners have higher chances of sealing the best deals with a broker nearby.

Two Unexpected Areas Commercial Insurance

The average person tends to mostly associate the term ‘commercial insurance brokers’ with business and corporate insurance, a link which is neither unwarranted nor off the mark. In fact, the majority of these companies’ business tends to revolve around helping corporations and small businesses be properly insured.

However, some companies are not satisfied simply sticking to the standard, typical areas of expertise for commercial insurance brokers. For some of these experts, it is a challenge to attempt to expand to areas outside what would normally be associated with them, and as a result, their companies tend to offer services in fields they would not necessarily be expected to operate in. This article highlights two of the most unusual fields commercial insurance brokers may offer insurance solutions for.

Charity

The name ‘commercial insurance brokers’ hints at the fact that these companies mostly operate within profit-driven sectors; that is why it can come as so much of a surprise to discover that some of them offer solutions specifically tailored for charities and not-for-profit organisations.

Commercial insurance brokers who offer these types of services tend to focus their efforts on ensuring said organisations are protected against medical malpractice, abuse, negligence and accidents. Further, they seek to provide cover for any events these groups may seek to organise, as well as insure their property as much as possible. It is not unusual to see commercial insurance brokers who offer solutions for charity offering cover for vehicles, such as minibuses, as well as insurance in case of business interruption. The intent is to ensure that, much like profit-driven businesses, these organisations are able to minimise financial damages in case of an accident or misfortune. This is particularly important in the case of charities, as they tend to survive on donations and grants; commercial insurance brokers who deal with these types of institutions understand this, and this is why they tend to be particularly thorough when tailoring insurance solutions for not-for-profit clients.

Education

Education insurance is another field many commercial insurance brokers very often branch off into when looking to widen the scope of their services. While not strictly businesses, schools and academies often tend to have many of the same needs a typical company or corporation will have, and hence many commercial brokerage companies find that they are well-equipped to offer solutions in this field as well.

Typical insurance solutions for schools and academies also tend to overlap with those offered to charities and not-for-profit organisations, as these types of institutions tend to have the same needs and many of the same goals as educational establishments. However, packages for schools do offer a number of additional options, such as cover for school and field trips, cover for governors and trustees, and hirers’ liability. This helps ensure both students, staff and school property are fully insured and covered, a measure both welcome and necessary when dealing with minors. Child protection is one of the main concerns of modern western society, and it therefore comes as no surprise that most of these packages are specifically designed to ensure both a school’s students and the adults responsible for overseeing them are as safe and secure as possible in the context of their learning activities.

It is clear, then, that while many commercial insurance brokers are perfectly happy sticking to the tried and true areas of the insurance field implied in their name, just as many are willing to branch out and offer cover to sectors and fields of modern society they would not normally be expected to get involved in. Doing so, in turn, allows them to widen their potential pool of clients, all while earning a reputation as versatile insurance providers able to manoeuvre within different fields.

How Commercial Insurance Brokers Can Help

Commercial insurance brokers are among the most prominent and relevant players in the modern insurance panorama. As the entities most often called upon to deal with business insurance, these types of offices tend to deal with a variety of aspects within their field of expertise, and are often crucial in ensuring an office, business of company retains or regains its financial health and is protected against any costly eventuality.

One of the many fields these companies are often requested to look at in the context of corporate and commercial insurance, as well as one of the least understood by layman business owners, is risk management. This article will seek to provide a little more insight into what exactly is meant by that term, and how commercial insurance brokers can help companies and businesses deal with this aspect of their insurance.

What is Risk Management?

As the name indicates, risk management deals with assessing and managing potentially risky situations in everyday life. In the context of a business or company, this may involve identifying potential loss situations, devising solution meant to prevent said situations from occurring, and drawing up a plan to implement those solutions. The task commercial insurance brokers are usually entrusted with involves ensuring the client’s risk-benefit ratio remains as consistently positive as possible, and that any potential risks are dealt with quickly and efficiently.

Risk management is usually carried out in a three-step process. The first step involves understanding the risk, and the consequences it might bring about if allowed to occur. The next step is to assess and analyse the risk, and to come up with potential solutions to prevent or minimise its impact. Finally, action must be taken to implement or apply the solution or solutions thought to be more effective in taking care of the issue. This three-step process is applicable to any area of human life, and remains unchanged when transposed to the context of corporate and business finance. The only difference is that, rather than be carried out by the business owner or its board, it is usually up to commercial insurance brokers to take care of this three-step plan and ensure any risks to the business are dealt with.

How Can Commercial Insurance Brokers Help?

As noted above, the main way in which commercial insurance brokers can help companies with risk management is by carrying out the three-step process described in the first section of this article, while transposing and adapting its structure to fit a corporate or business context.

This is usually done with the help of a series of internationally recognised standards and procedures, put in place to standardise and streamline the risk management process for commercial insurance brokers worldwide. This is the template most commercial insurance companies start from when undertaking risk management, and it is flexible enough that each broker can adapt it to fit the situation at hand. As such, it is no surprise that this is the mould followed by most insurance companies the world over when dealing with a request of this type. There are, however, exceptions to this rule. Certain companies prefer to set their own individual standards and practices, or come up with techniques not accounted for by the international rules.

Whichever way they choose to go about it, however, commercial insurance brokers tend to have a common goal when dealing with risk assessment: to help companies pinpoint, prepare for and eventually deal with potentially dangerous or financially harmful situations brought about by their circumstances. It is the variety of measures and ways through which this is achieved that is commonly understood as ‘risk management’.

Commercial Insurance

Unless you are a very small business running without a lot of overhead and liabilities, it is a very good idea to have commercial insurance. Indeed, your financial safety could very well depend on it as commercial not only allows you to recoup your losses in the event of a disaster outside your control, but allows you get your business up and running again. Commercial insurance can also save the ruin of your business by those who would seek to benefit by suing you for damages they have sustained directly in your workplace or through the products and/or services that you market.

There are three components to commercial insurance, and you can buy policies that cover one or all of them according to the type and size of business you own. The first one of these, property insurance, is most similar to homeowner’s insurance. It reimburses you for damage to your place of business, whether through fire or damage from burglary. As with all insurance policies, you must be careful in making sure that you get the coverage you think you might need. Indeed, it can often be a good idea to get coverage for things you don’t think you will need, if the extra cost is reasonable.

Commercial liability insurance is also an important component of commercial business insurance. It guards against lawsuits brought on by customers, and allows you to be reimbursed for things like legal fees and settlement money. Some professions need liability insurance more than others. The healthcare profession, for instance, needs malpractice insurance as they work directly with patients’ health and a mistake here could be very costly. Malpractice insurance affects other professional fields as well, from architecture to accountants. Even businesses that sell a product may benefit from this insurance in the event that a customer suffers some injury or damages due to their company or product. Indirect damage, such as Errors and Omissions, can be covered under liability insurance. You can also be reimbursed if your product causes harm to a customer, or if a company vehicle causes the damage. Under commercial vehicle insurance, you can also get coverage that will reimburse you if your vehicle suffers any damage or is broken into. Remember that there are many frivolous lawsuits these days and even legal fees can have a devastating effect on a business. Commercial liability insurance can make the difference between whether or not your business survives such a lawsuit.

The third type of commercial insurance is worker’s compensation insurance, and this is to protect you as the employer from exorbitant expenses if your employee is injured while on the job. Most states in the U.S. require some form of this insurance, and it reimburses the employer for medical bills and days of work missed due to the injury, as well as lawsuits for employer negligence.

Commercial Insurance and Commercial

The general policy in any business establishment is usually safety first. However, the reality is that no matter how good any policy on safety and precaution a company may have it is a reality that accidents can occur or accidents may be caused as the case may be. This being the case an effective commercial insurance could just make the difference between businesses being saved or going bankrupt.

Commercial liability insurance and commercial property insurance are two of the main services offered by any commercial insurance company. Commercial liability insurance is primarily and particularly advisable for businesses that offer services and food products. To begin with it would be good to understand what commercial liability insurance is all about. The latter is an insurance policy that serves as a safety that could help a company defray the cost that damage or accidents to others may bring. Cost her refers to those that may possibly arise as a result of a law suit or any money claim due to damage against other people or other’s properties.

One good example of the effectiveness of commercial liability insurance is those that involve cases of construction companies. Construction businesses and sites are prone to accidents and lawsuits for money claims due to damages caused by the latter. In this situation a good and reliable commercial insurance work to alleviate the burden that defraying the cost of said lawsuits and damages may affect on the company’s resources.

In the case of commercial property insurance, it is very helpful in cases where damage and loss to property is suffered. It can do well to lessen the troubles of the business as it can ensure a return of some amount to help out with the company recovering from the loss or damage of their property.

Through the years many company owners have experienced regret which ultimately led to a bankrupt simply because they were not able to get a commercial insurance for their business. It is a known fact that a single lawsuit can easily amount to millions which in turn can spell disaster to the budget and finances of the company. A problem that could have easily been avoided had the management been wise enough to avail of commercial liability insurance for them.

Commercial Insurance and Commercial Auto Insurance

No matter how safe we want to be, things like accidents and calamities happen. Fortuitous events may occur and we find ourselves helpless to do anything about it. However, all is not necessarily lost with the help of a good commercial insurance and commercial auto insurance. So what is a commercial insurance one might ask? Commercial insurance is like any other business safety an insurance policy that is made and established to protect and serve as a back up to one’s business, in the unlikely event that some type of loss or damage happen.

“How a Commercial Insurance

There are basically two main kinds of coverage that one can avail of within a commercial insurance. These are;

• Property Coverage – commercial property insurance is designed to practically assure the company in the unfortunate event that the latter is threatened of any major or minor damage or loss of property because of calamity, accident or other causes not the wilful fault of the company or its employees.

• Liability Coverage – it serves as a safety in the event that the company may cause loss or damage on others due to, say for example a lawsuit filed against them.

Companies who avail themselves the services and guarantees offered by both property and liability coverage can sleep better at night, because of the assurance they are given in the event a damage or loss may occur to their business due to any fortuitous event. As it is mentioned in the coverage mentioned above insurance carrier is there to safeguard the company’s asset and provide aid in defraying the cost of possible liabilities.

In the case of commercial auto insurance, a person or a company is given a guarantee of help and assistance in the event that damage or loss happen to the latter’s vehicle. Commercial auto insurance works the moment loss happen to the car, like in the case of theft and the likes and also damage due to accidents and/or vandalism.