Can You Hear Me Now?

I read a news article a few years ago about the owner of a cell phone store who, on the trip home from picking up the newest models of cell phones, stopped to get something to eat. When he returned to his car, the phones were gone.

I remember wondering whether he had insurance to cover that loss.

Whether you are the owner of a phone store franchise, an authorized dealer, part of a large chain, or an independent cell phone store owner, you are going to need specialized insurance along with the insurances any retailer would get.

On top of your general liability insurance, commercial auto, and workers compensation policy, you will want to get your business owners policy (BOP) customized for the cell phone retail store industry.

Some of those coverages are below:

Business money insurance covers your cell phone store when it loses money while it is open, while in transit — like the owner in the top paragraph of this post. This coverage will also protect after hours losses, whether you have the items in a safe or elsewhere in the store, and loss of non-negotiable forms of payment.

Inland transit insurance will pay if your merchandise is damaged during shipment.

Electronic data insurance can insure your business against costs incurred because you have to recover or replace software or digital files.

Burglary and robbery insurance cover you should you be robbed or burglarized, while employee dishonesty coverage will pay if you have an employee who embezzles money or pockets a few smartphones.

These are, of course, only a few of the more specialized insurance coverages you might need for your cell phone retail store. A visit with your licensed insurance professional will set your mind at ease and ensure that you have all the protection you need.

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The Fifth Grade Explanation Of Business Insurance

I had a college professor who always said; explain it so a fifth grader can understand.  In the world of insurance, everything sounds really complicated.  Then, along came Jeff Foxworthy’s game show, “So you think you’re smarter than a 5th grader” as icing on the cake.  So, instead of being really complicated and covering every nuance, let’s break down business insurance in its simplest forms so a fifth grader (and the rest of us) can understand.

How does my business insure:

Buildings and Property

Property and Casualty insurance covers building and property.  As simple as that seems, there are a number of losses that aren’t covered, such as flooding as one example.  Just because your business is in leased space and not owned also does not mean you can go without property and casualty insurance.

Vehicles

A commercial auto insurance policy will cover your business vehicles and their drivers.  Again, while seeming quite simple, many business owners assume a variety of risks by using their cars and assuming a personal auto policy will cover any risk.  Sometimes, the auto coverage can be combined with Property and Casualty in a Business Owner’s Policy.

Employees

Every business must have workers compensation in place to protect them if an employee is injured on the job.  Some states also require additional coverage be provided.  Meet with your licensed insurance professional to determine what coverage is mandatory.

There are a number of additional insurances available to business.  Ask your insurance agent/broker about options available for your business.  Have a frank discussion about what risks your company faces while conducting your day to day business.

Liability

Small business liability insurance will protect against lawsuits, property damage or personal injury to a third party.  It will pay for legal fees, settlements and judgments subject to the deductible.

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How Liability Insurance Will Protect Your Business

Liability insurance will cover losses and damages to third parties as a result of a claim against your business.  For example, if a suit is brought against your business for personal injuries or property damages, the cost of defending and resolution would be covered by your business’s Liability insurance.  Normally, a general Liability policy will cover you and your business for most common risks, such as a customer or vendor being hurt on your premises, on a jobsite, or even in transit.

There are also other types of liability coverage available for business that is generally not covered in the standard general liability insurance policy. These include:

Errors and Omissions Insurance also known as “E & O Insurance” covers unintentional mistakes or failures which result in an injury to another party.  The error must be unintentional and not malicious.  For example, a realtor misdates a form or fills it out wrong causing an injury would normally be covered.  Another example may be an insurance agent who files an application late.

Malpractice Insurance or Professional Liability Insurance will cover an injury to a third party when it is found that performance falls below the level of professional standard in a particular industry or profession.  Malpractice Insurance will pay to defense costs and judgments.  Malpractice insurance is available to Doctors, Dentists, Accountants, Architects and other professionals.

Automobile Insurance covers cars, trucks, vans and trailers used by your business.  The coverage will reimburse damage to your vehicles subject to a deductible and also cover your drivers should they cause damage to another party.

Directors’ and Officers Liability Insurance is generally purchased by non-profit and corporations to cover its directors and officers against law suits brought against the company.

Finally, we are left with Workers’ Compensation insurance. This does contain liability coverage within the scope being protected against claims.

Workers’ Compensation insurance covers you and your business for the on the job injury to an employee.   Most states require a business to carry workers’ compensation insurance.  This policy also generally protects your company having a negligence suit against your company as a result of an on the job injury.

Obviously, careful review of your business and industry as well as a commercial insurance agent will help you in determining what liability coverage choices are right for your business.

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