Business Owner? Think About a BOP.

Starting or operating a business is enough responsibility on its own–navigating the ins and outs of your chosen profession, pleasing customers and managing your operation–without the additional stress of figuring out the complexities of commercial insurance.

Anytime something can be streamlined, it’s worth investigating. As a business owner, you appreciate when something can be made simpler, although, to paraphrase Albert Einstein, you shouldn’t make it any simpler than necessary. There are times when complexity is warranted, but for the most part, simple is best.

Insurance is one of those things.

To make it as easy as possible, when that’s the best choice, carriers often offer a “BOP”, or Business Owner’s Policy. This is coverage that takes a few of the most needed policies for business owners and combines them into a package, which can usually be a better deal financially than orchestrating all of the policies individually.

A Business Owner’s Policy usually consists of:

  • General Liability. You need this foundational policy to protect you against situations where you might be liable for a third party’s injuries or damages.
  • Business Property Insurance. This provides coverage for leased or owned buildings, equipment, furniture, and important papers.
  • Business Interruption. If an event disrupts your ability to operate, it doesn’t mean your bills will stop. Procuring Business Interruption coverage can be a business life saver.

Your business is unique, and that means your company’s needs will be unique, too. Speaking with a professional who can help you figure out the best coverage for your particular business is important. It may be that a BOP would help your bottom line, and you may also be in a situation where you need the additional help of an Umbrella policy, or endorsements that go beyond the scope of a BOP.

Understanding basics is a good start, and will help you take a hand in the risk management of your business, but you need an experienced specialist to guide you through insurance specifics.

Call us today at 1-877-907-5267 to speak with one of our insurance professionals and get the plan that’s right for you.

Professional Liability vs. General Liability

Going into business sometimes means navigating new strategies and encountering unfamiliar terms; the insurance aspect can be one of the most confusing, especially if it’s not a world you’ve dealt with much in the past.

Researching what you need, what’s a good idea, and what you can do without are some of the first steps in understanding what your business will require, insurance-wise. Defining terms, and learning what each type of coverage is and isn’t is a good practice to go along with that.

A common question from business owners, consultants, or freelancers is, “What’s the difference between Professional Liability and General Liability?” The natural follow up to that question is, “Do I need both? Or does one include the other?”

General Liability is a policy that insures you against claims from a third party that allege bodily/personal injury or property damage. It typically covers legal costs like settlements, defense fees, and other expenses. This is a building block for most businesses–you may hear it referred to as “Slip and Fall” insurance and if you’re a contractor, clients you work with may require it in order to do business together.

Professional Liability is also known as Errors and Omissions. This coverage generally applies to the professional who offers services and is typically concerned with financial damages that arise out of mistakes or lack of completion. It’s more specific than a General Liability policy and applies to the arenas that need “expertise”. Lawyers, IT specialists, and many types of contractors and freelancers benefit from this coverage. It may not be required by your state or professional organization, but it could be a very good idea that might save your practice/career in case of a claim.

No matter what type of business you engage in, consulting with an insurance specialist about your business insurance needs is wise and could be the most important part of your business plan. Lawsuits, even those that are unfounded or frivolous, can often end business dreams, and the surest way to ensure your future–even if you’re very good at what you do–is to be certain that you’re insured to the best of your ability.

Risk management is an art, and our business is helping you protect your business. Call us today at 1-877-907-5267 and let one of our specialists guide you in the search for finding the coverage that’s right for your business.

The Best of Both Worlds: Starting Your Own Business…In the Comfort of Your Own Home

Shot from above of a young businesswoman working on the computer late at night.
Is your home business covered?

Entrepreneurship is still at the heart of the American dream; working for yourself can answer a lot of problems, but it can also create some if the insurance for your home based business isn’t tailored to your specific situation.

Recent statistics indicate that home-based businesses number in the tens of millions, and growth is projected to continue. Whether you’re consulting, freelancing, or creating and selling, a home-based business can offer you a way to work for yourself without investing in another location, leaving you more financial room to invest in your business.

Part of that investment needs to include sufficient insurance.

Many home-based business owners may neglect insurance altogether, or make the mistake of under insuring. This may keep your costs low initially, but in the long run, you might end up paying more for events that arise, that could have been covered by paying a regular premium.

Insurance for a home based business needs to provide General Liability, especially if you are going to have clients on premises. This is a coverage that includes your liability for injuries or damages to third parties. (You may have heard it referred to as “Slip and Fall” insurance.)

If you’re using your car, or another vehicle, Commercial Auto insurance may be necessary, as well. Professional Liability applies to injury or damage caused by negligence, and you may want to consider Advertising Liability, to protect you from slander, libel, or copyright infringement.

The freedom that comes with a home-based business does have an equal responsibility, and making sure that you develop an adequate risk management strategy–that includes insurance for all the aspects of your home based business–can be the deciding factor in whether or not your enterprise is a short-lived dream or a lifelong pursuit.

Reach out to us today at 1-877-907-5267 to talk with an experienced insurance professional about insurance for your home-based business.

Does Getting Insurance for a Business Have to Be a Headache?

Young woman working on laptop with hands on either side of head looking frustrated
Does getting insurance for your business have to be a headache?

Starting a business is an ambitious endeavor, but getting insurance for a business can feel like climbing Mt. Everest; it may seem as if there are endless questions you haven’t considered and hidden costs around every corner.

A solid risk management plan is the foundation of every good business strategy; insurance for a business should not be an afterthought or add-on, but a measured cost that you plan on growing as your company grows. Risk and exposure generally increase as your operations do, and allowing room for growth in insurance for a business is one of the best ways to protect the profits that come with expansion.

Where Do I Start?

Trying to narrow down your options when searching for insurance for a business can be overwhelming. Keep these points in mind when considering commercial insurance choices…

  • Experience with your segment. A company well-versed in handling insurance for a business like yours will have the answers to common questions and will be able to help you navigate your needs and give you direction in areas where you need it.
  • Access to A-rated carriers. Finding insurance for a business is hard enough without worrying that the carriers your provider uses aren’t top quality. Ask the specialist you speak with about the carriers they use.
  • Timely service. You want experience and professionalism first and foremost, but there’s no reason that those things should come at the expense of your time. Your provider should value your time, and quotes and answers to questions shouldn’t take more of that than necessary.

What Do They Need to Know?

Finding insurance for a business can be made a little easier if you know the standards that companies are using to evaluate what coverages your business needs. Here are some common questions you might encounter when you begin the search for insurance for a business…

  • Specific practices. Be as precise as you can. If you’re going to do landscaping, be prepared to respond when asked about the services you’ll offer. Trimming trees poses a different set of risks than mowing lawns, and the application of this principle goes across a number of different types of businesses. Questions will help the person guiding you to know what you need…and how much it will cost.
  • Projected income. To get insurance for a business, you’ll need to know how much you expect to make. Determine your pricing, and then estimate how much work you’re likely to get in a year.
  • Experience level. To properly calibrate insurance for a business, the professional putting it together will need to know what level of success it can expect, and that’s often a result of how much experience the person starting the business has in the field.

Getting insurance for a business can seem like a daunting task, but we’re here to help; call our specialists at 1-877-907-5267 for a quick, free quote, or click here to start the process.

What Do You Do? Understand Your Property Preservation Insurance Needs

wooden house on the shore among the autumn trees
Is your Property Preservation business covered?

At its simplest, property preservation is simply what its name suggests, keeping buildings from disintegrating into health hazards or eyesores; the need for specific property preservation insurance for your business will depend on a few factors.

Determining your property preservation insurance needs requires asking about your usual or expected practices. Even if you don’t offer a particular service at this point in your business, if it’s a future prospect or something you’d like to eventually do, having property preservation insurance that covers you for that pursuit could be the help you need in getting those jobs.

Here are some basic practices that an insurance professional may ask about, to determine what type of property preservation business you have, or would like to have…

  • Lock changes. Securing properties is not always a feature of property preservation. Getting adequate coverage in your property preservation insurance policy means understanding all of your exposures.
  • Winterization. In certain climates, vacant properties need special attention when temperatures drop. If a point is missed, damages could arise–you want to be sure your property preservation insurance addresses all your practices and covers your liabilities.
  • Debris removal. This could be as simple as removing property left behind by tenants, or disposing of materials after a rehab or renovation. Whatever the circumstances, the agent managing your property preservation insurance should be informed of the type of debris removal you do.
  • REO (Real Estate Owned) Maintenance. Whether you own a small operation that contracts through a larger property preservation organization, or you are that larger entity that specializes in handling foreclosed properties, your property preservation insurance will likely need to meet certain requirements. Specifics from all parties involved are necessary, as well as full disclosure of your operations to your insurance professional.

Engaging in property preservation can be a lucrative business opportunity, and having the correct type and amount of property preservation insurance can be one of the deciding factors in your success. Transparency about current practices and future goals will help ensure that your property preservation insurance policy covers your risks and sets you up as a professional worthy of consideration for contracts.

Call us at 1-877-907-5267 to speak with an insurance professional who can guide you to the right coverages for your property preservation insurance needs.

Retail Store Insurance

Woman standing at cash register in retail store smiling at camera
Is your retail business covered?

A successful retail business has many financial factors to consider, and it might seem to an owner or manager as if retail store insurance is just another item on the budget to manage and keep as low as possible.

If you’ve been in the retail business long enough, you’ve learned that there’s a balance between spending and quality. Your customers know it–when a bargain is a real bargain or a situation where you’re getting the value you paid for–and you do, as well, when it comes to inventory.

But your risk management plan is an investment not unlike the one you make in the product you decide to sell; do you go with the lowest retail store insurance and hope you never need it? Or do you think in terms of the coverage and security it can provide, and pay what that is worth?

You need to be prudent with expenses, but you also have to be aware of the risks involved in the retail business and why you need good retail store insurance; even if you operate from your home, putting products out into the world opens you up to a series of liabilities. When you have a physical location where customers, vendors, employees or delivery personnel come in, your exposure is even greater.

In addition to General Liability coverage, which provides for injuries and damages to third parties, you may need Commercial Property insurance, to cover your premises and equipment, and Business Interruption coverage, in case of an event that disrupts your ability to operate. A solid retail store insurance policy should provide all of these. One option is to purchase a “BOP” or Business Owner’s Policy, which combines all of the above coverages into one policy.

When the foundation of a “BOP” is in place, you can add additional endorsements, depending on your store’s unique needs.

  • Workers Compensation. Do you have employees? Your retail store insurance should provide coverage for them–be familiar with your state’s laws concerning your responsibility to workers.
  • Commercial Auto. Do you use vehicles for delivery? Visiting vendors? Consider adding additional coverage for them to your retail store insurance.
  • Business Income from Dependent Properties. Do you rely on third parties for goods or services? Interdependency is standard in the retail business, but you can expand your retail store insurance to mitigate losses when those relationships have events that preclude you from continuing your business.

Consulting with an insurance professional who can guide you in the search for appropriate retail store insurance for your business isn’t wasted time if it helps you understand your store’s risks and the available answers.

Call us today at 1-877-907-5267 and let us help you find the solutions for your particular retail store insurance needs.

Publishing is Changing…But Your Need for Publishing Insurance Isn’t

Publishing team of 5 smiling to camera in an office
Is your publishing business properly insured?

 

The industry of publishing has changed, with the expansion of online options and self-publishing, but one thing remains the same; publishing of any sort can be a risky endeavor, and publishing insurance needs to cover some basic exposures, as well as your particular operation’s special liabilities.

Whether you own a building and operate presses, or conduct all of your publishing remotely, through third party suppliers, your publishing insurance needs to cover certain standards.

  • General Liability. This is the coverage that will provide for damages in case there are personal injuries or damages that occur, that are found to be your responsibility. It can include attorneys’ fees and court costs in case of lawsuits–an important consideration for publishing insurance.
  • Commercial Property. This provides coverage for your physical building (if you have one) as well as equipment.
  • Business Interruption Coverage. If an event temporarily halts production, your financial obligations may continue. This is an important aspect of publishing insurance that can keep you running.

These basic coverages can be combined into a “BOP” or Business Owner’s Policy, for a streamlined solution to acquiring the standard coverages for publishing insurance. However, publishers often face additional risks. You can enhance this primary plan by additional coverages, depending on your needs.

Do you have a board of directors? Consider Directors & Officers (or D&O) liability. Just a one-person show? You still might need Media Perils coverage, which could be helpful if a lawsuit arises because of material you’ve printed, or an Umbrella Policy, which would kick in for qualifying events if damages are found that exceed your regular General Liability coverage.

Dispersing knowledge is a powerful business, and whether you’re a large operation producing printed material, or an individual helping others get their writing to audiences online, the right type of publishing insurance in the right forms can help ensure that you continue to be part of an important endeavor.

Keep in mind that while managing costs may play an important role in what you’re able to do in your business, the publishing insurance you choose could turn out to be one of the best investments you make for your company–it could make the difference in case of an unforeseen event.

You need cost-effective publishing insurance, but you can’t afford to not have the right amount of coverage.

Call us today at 1-877-907-5267 or click here for free help to determine what type of publishing insurance is right for you.

Understanding Handyman Insurance

Handyman installing smoke detector
Is your handyman business covered?

Small contracting and repair jobs can be a great way to augment your income, and it can also be a lucrative business–just don’t ignore the need for handyman insurance, no matter what the level or scope of work.

It may seem like overkill, buying an insurance policy if you’re only doing “odd jobs”, but entering homes and places of businesses puts you at risk, and any money saved by not insuring yourself against exposures could be dwarfed by court costs and/or damages if something goes wrong.

Things happen. An accident can occur anywhere, and happen to anyone. (That is, as they say, why they’re called accidents.) Even if nothing is directly caused by your actions, you may be called to prove that in a court of law, and having the ability to cover the costs of doing so (through handyman insurance) could be invaluable.

A handyman insurance policy can be as minimal or robust as you need it to be, and if you need to increase coverage as your business grows, you have that option.

Very few people enjoy price shopping insurance, and if you don’t know what to expect, the process can seem to be endless. When you call to inquire about handyman insurance, prepare to answer a few questions, such as…

What type of work are you doing? This can be a challenge because the very nature of the term “odd jobs” means that you do what’s necessary–you may not know ahead of time what a customer needs. Think of it in terms of what you won’t do. The question is meant to assess risk. Will you be doing things like roofing? Handyman insurance is meant to cover minor jobs, not exhaustive contracting.

How much do you make in a year? Or expect to make? Your insurance professional isn’t being nosy; annual income is key in determining your quote for handyman insurance.

Your physical location, years of experience, and whether you have employees or not are also things that might be asked. Again, these are all factors in pricing, and figure in to giving you a quote for handyman insurance that’s geared to your individual business.

Risk management is an art, and our business is helping you protect your business–and a business is what you have, no matter how small your scale of operations. Call us today at 1-877-907-5267 to get your quick, free quote for handyman insurance, or click here to start the process.

Get the Right Insurance for Your Photography Business

Photographer showing image on camera to client.
Is your photography business covered?

Most individuals who engage in photography as a business venture aren’t doing it out of a cold, calculated desire to make money; it’s usually a situation where a fondness for an artistic pursuit has crossed paths with a way to make a living–or at the very least, a little extra money.

While it’s the best of all worlds to be able to earn money doing something you enjoy (and are presumably good at), the ideal situation would be one where that business has the means to continue for a long time…that’s where photography insurance comes in.

Researching photography insurance isn’t as fun as planning out your next wedding shoot, or offering new parents the chance to capture their infant’s cozy first weeks at home professionally, but it is necessary if you’re accepting money for taking pictures. (And you should probably know a little bit about photography insurance even if you’re only doing it for friends, “for fun”.)

You may already have a basic photography insurance plan in place, or you might be starting a new business, and trying to figure out exactly what you need, and how much it’s going to cost. Answering those questions will require answers to other questions, such as…

  • Type of photography. Are you simply shooting quinceaneras? Contracting with magazines? Going to clients’ homes? Your photography insurance is based on the type of photography you’re doing.
  • Additional services. Do you offer videography? Drone photography? Do you provide lighting? Editing?
  • Mobile or Studio? If you have a physical studio, your photography insurance can cover the property.

If you’ve been in operation for a while, and have a current photography insurance policy, you may want to investigate other options and get a few quotes to see if you can economize. It’s always good business to make sure you’re maximizing your profits, but the best business is making sure that unplanned events don’t derail your dream. When you look at your existing photography insurance, examine the types of risks it covers, and ask yourself if you need to expand it, rather than try and whittle it down.

Photography is rewarding, but it’s also quite a carrier for risk. Whether it’s props and lighting, in a studio or on location, or the possibility of damages while in a client’s home due to negligence or simple accidents, you don’t want to lose the unique opportunity you have because an unforeseen risk wasn’t covered by an available photography insurance policy or add-on.

Call today to speak with one of our insurance professionals at 1-877-907-5267, and see what kind of photography insurance is right for your business, or click here to start the process for getting your quick, free, competitive quote.

How to Get a Better Insurance Rate for Your Business

Business owners are always trying to improve their bottom line, and finding methods to lower insurance rates for a business often tops the list of ways they go about it.

If you’re interested in paying as little as possible for your commercial insurance, there are a few key ways you can lower insurance rates for your business…

Be Less Successful. If you want to pay less for insurance, you can always make less money. One facet examined by carriers is gross annual income; if this is low, you won’t have to worry much about insurance. It may seem unfair, but if you start making more money, you’ll likely pay higher insurance rates.

Don’t Expand. Keeping an operation small keeps your costs low. If you have fewer employees–or none–you don’t have the cost of paying for insurance to cover their medical expenses in case of a work-related injury or illness, and you’ll get to enjoy doing all of the work yourself, for the life of your business, to boot.

Limit Your Options. It’s simple; clients and venues often require insurance in what may seem like high amounts; if you limit your clientele and partners to those on the small side, you can prevent having to carry larger amounts of commercial insurance, thereby lowering your insurance rates. You also don’t have to invest in higher numbers of inventory, or manpower hours, or whatever your particular business model needs as capital, if you’re shooting low.

You’ve probably figured out by now that our “suggestions” are tongue-in-cheek. However, they’re still very valid ways you can lower your insurance rates for your business because the truth is that you need insurance if you run a business, and the deeper truth is that if you want to experience real success–growth, and the benefits that come with it–you also experience the cost of that.

Author and speaker David Hyatt says that “success brings its own set of problems”, and he’s right–that truth is particularly relevant to your business insurance.

Now, let’s look at the reasons why you should celebrate the fact that you need insurance for your business–and why you need it in the amount that will help your business thrive.

Insurance Protects Your Present. Whatever your scale of operations now, if an event happens that incurs legal costs, they have to come from somewhere. It can be a payout from a robust General Liability policy, or it could be the proceeds from shutting your business down and selling it…and possibly going into debt if that’s not enough to cover incurred obligations. You may be the best in your industry, or have a product like no other, but accidents happen, and even if you’re not at fault, court costs money.

Insurance Helps Build Your Future. Having enough to cover your assets in case of accidents or negligence is important, but when you expand, so does your risk. Want those choice clients? The big venues? They likely require a little more from you in the way of insurance coverage. Even if they don’t, and you’re taking on more by doing more, the possibility of happenings that outstrip basic, bare-bones coverage increases. An Umbrella Policy to raise limits, or Workers Compensation to protect employees may give you the safeguards you need to step forward.

Risk management is an art, and our business at CommercialInsurance.net is helping you protect your business. 

So that you can grow, not just enjoy the status quo.

Call 1-877-907-5267 today to speak with one of our specialists, or click here to start the process of getting a quick, free quote.