Cyber Insurance & You!

I keep hearing about cyber insurance, does my business need it?

We hear this a lot lately.

Cyber insurance covers lots of scenarios relating to loss and claims of damage in the high tech world we operate in today.  Ask yourself if your business could handle downtime from a crippling virus to your network.  Do you have sufficient cash on hand to handle the cost of repair, possibly new equipment or software, and pay the bills still coming in?

Cyber insurance goes by many names and handles a variety issues such as virus, hacked systems, and web liability, and others.  It could be described as e-commerce insurance, information systems, and so forth.  What should be done is to discuss options with your commercial insurance broker regarding types of cyber coverage.

Cyber insurance will cover the data/technology issues often excluded now in general business liability coverage. Often, you can pick options which will protect how your business is exposed in technology.  Like other policies, you will need to have certain safeguards in place like anti-virus and firewall protection to get a policy issued.  The carrier may wish an assessment done and look at password procedures, access, and network configuration.  Your agent and carrier can walk you through what could be needed.

Cyber insurance is a new breed of insurance.  Do your research as well.  Check with your state department of insurance for information.  Check the fine print of your existing policy to see if some computer, especially hardware claims may be covered.  Use that information as you tailor cyber coverage for your business with your commercial broker.

Business Insurance Overview

As a new entrepreneur starting a business, there are lots of questions to be considered.  Make sure you have questions regarding the type of business insurance coverage your business requires.  Commercial business insurance covers a broad spectrum of protection that includes your property, you and your employees, and your liability.  As you begin to understand how it works, it is important to remember the ultimate goal is to make sure you are never underinsured or exposed to risk in the event of an incident or disaster.

Business property insurance will cover losses to your building, and the property housed in it.  The computer and phone systems, furniture, finished goods, as well as carpeting, lighting fixtures and supplies will be covered.

There are two options, either actual cash value, which is purchase price less depreciation, or the replacement cost of the item.  Discuss these differences in more detail with your commercial agent and look for the solution which is best for you.

Most businesses are required to have workers compensation insurance when they have employees. Workers compensation covers the employee from lost wages and medical if job related while protecting the business against being sued by the employee.

More specific information is available from the insurance department of your state government and your commercial agent.

General business liability insurance must also be in place to protect the business, employees and the owner against lawsuits brought from claims of injury or damages.  A general liability policy will cover most situations that may arise.

There are specific types of liability coverage for risks not covered within the general liability policy.  An example would be liquor liability insurance which is a separate coverage generally taken out by bars and restaurants.

Discuss with your commercial insurance agent what else you should be looking at for in specialized coverage.

Tailor Your Policy To Your Business

A commercial auto insurance policy for a company vehicle or fleet insurance (for several vehicles) needs to be tailored to your business.

Any vehicle owned or operated by the business may put the business at serious risk financially in the event of an accident caused by that vehicle or the operator.  Most business owners know the risk involved with their product and service offerings but often assume their auto coverage is sufficient.

Often, one of the first perks a business owner takes is having the business pay for an automobile. That’s a great way to enjoy your financial success…but don’t jeopardize that perk by insufficiently insuring it.

Commercial auto insurance needs to be take out anytime the vehicle is titled to the business.  It doesn’t matter the size, make or even if it is used strictly for pleasure.  The business name on the title brings the business into a lawsuit in the event of an accident or personal injury.  While the car may be used by the business owner’s spouse or family member exclusively, the titleholder (The Business) can be sued.

Make sure you work with your insurance professional on the liability limits covered by the policy.  Taking out just the state-mandated minimums in insurance may expose your business to financial risk in the event of a lawsuit or judgment higher than that amount. Opposition attorneys review assets in addition to coverage.  You may wish to have your corporate attorney  review the coverage and potential for risk as well.

Vehicle classification, motor size, use, must all be noted and will impact both premium and coverage options. Your insurance professional can work with you in determining the proper coverage and policy.  It may make sense to opt for fleet insurance for your business if you have more than one vehicle.  Your agent can discuss those options.

You commercial agent can review other coverages available for commercial auto insurance.  Comprehensive coverage, under-insured motorist, medical payments and others may be available.  Design a policy and coverage with your agent that provides adequate protection and minimizes the exposure and risk for your small business.

Don’t assume you have good coverage without having a conversation and review with your commercial agent. Click here to start the process of getting a quick, free, competitive quote from us at CommercialInsurance.net, or call one of our specialists now at 1-877-907-5267.

Will You Business Insurance Protect Your Business In A Natural Disaster?

Often, business owners believe their property insurance will cover damage from any type of disaster. That is a myth which costs many owners who don’t understand their coverage. In fact, many disasters may not be covered at all.

In general, your property insurance will cover you from a loss of a common risk like an accident, theft, or vandalism.  Fire is normally covered under you property insurance but flooding may not be.  In fact, even disaster insurance may not cover flooding.  Talk to your commercial agent regarding damage from flooding, winding, and other natural disasters.

In the world of insurance today, there are various packages available to cover a multitude of risks.  The key is to maximize coverage without duplication.  Work with your commercial insurance agent to figure out specifically what coverage(s) is needed to protect your business property. Meet with your agent or broker and determine what coverage and risk your particular business could face.

You’ll need to compare policy coverage, premiums, risks, deductibles, and many factors in selecting your final property insurance coverage.  Like many business people, after weighing the options, you’ll want to choose the most coverage you can afford.

Obviously, get the coverage(s) in place as most likely to least likely if affordability is an issue.  Even with disaster insurance, look at the details of the policy and coverage options.  Your state department of insurance may track types of disasters and losses for your area.  This information may help you decide on types of coverage.

It’s also important to remember the effect of any type of disaster.  Loss of income insurance should be discussed.  Often, we forget about the down time a disaster will bring to the business.  Loss of income insurance can cover the liabilities and owner’s income while reopening the business after a disaster.  Check with your agent about this important coverage.  Often, it is added as an option and sold as a separate policy.

In closing, also consider all the coverage with one insurance company.  Generally, multiple policies are afforded discounts whether personal or business insurance.  Don’t hesitate to ask your commercial broker if discounts are available.

Do You Understand Your Business Insurance?

Business insurance is an important component of your total business plan. It is often required for bank financing, supplier credit, and by your prospective customers.  It is important to know the coverage in place, where gaps exist, and what your policies mean in relation to risk and potential losses.

The first step in understanding your coverage is working with your commercial insurance agent.  Do not hesitate to call or meet with them to discuss the specifics of all your business insurance.  If necessary, have your attorney review the policies if there are terms or riders you still don’t understand.  In addition, your state department of insurance can be a great resource.

Here is a list of terms with the definitions.  If something is in your policy and defined here, follow up with your agent.  If you don’t recognize a term, ask if you should have this coverage.

Actual cash value: Sometimes known as ACV.  This method determines value of loss by reducing the value of the property by depreciation.  Depreciation is typically factored by age, wear and tear, and obsolescence.

Business Owner’s Policy: Also known as a BOP.  This policy will encompass liability and property insurance for the business.  It may include other endorsements for coverage.

Coinsurance: This is a requirement in a policy to carry a minimum amount of coverage relating to an asset’s value.  It’s called coinsurance because failure to carry this amount required then makes the insured a co-insurer on any loss.

Endorsement: Also known as a rider, addendum, or attachment.  An endorsement is a written document which changes coverage offered by a policy. An endorsement can add coverage for certain scenarios not normally covered by the policy.  Often, endorsements can be added to cover additional risk.

Exclusion: This is a provision which eliminates coverage for various items, acts, or issues.  Be careful to look for exclusions.  Don’t assume you may be covered when in reality you are not.

Replacement cost: This method determines value without factoring in deprecation.

There are certainly other terms used in insurance which could need more definition.  The key is working with your commercial insurance professional in determining what information you need to make proper decisions regarding your coverage.