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Business & Commercial Insurance Information

 

Business Owner's Policy (BOP)

Think of a Business Owner's Policy (a.k.a "BOP") as being similar to a homeowner's policy specifically for your business. The "package policies" can contain numerous individual coverages all rolled into one policy; including general liability, professional liability, cyber/data liability, physical property damage, tenant's liability, loss of income and business interruption, and many many more.  This coverage is generally inexpensive for most business and NO business should be without it. Some of the things normally available within a BOP include:

  • General Liability
  • Professional Liability
  • Care, Custody, and Control coverage
  • Loss of Business Income
  • Business Interruption 
  • Inventory coverage
  • Coverage for buildings and equipment
  • Advertising injury
  • Cyber/Data-Loss coverage
  • Much more

Commercial Auto

Commercial auto coverage is far different than insurance for personal vehicles and it is required for vehicles that are used during the course of business but you still need the same kinds of insurance coverages for the car you use in your business as you do for a car used for personal travel -- liability, collision and comprehensive, personal injury protection), and coverage for uninsured motorists. In fact, many business people use the same vehicle for both business and pleasure. If the vehicle is owned by the business, make sure the name of the business appears on the policy as the "principal insured" rather than your name. This will avoid possible confusion in the event that you need to file a claim or a claim is filed against you.

Whether you need to buy a business auto insurance policy will depend on the kind of driving you do and a few common examples include:
  • Contractor pickups, vans, and service vehicles
  • Fleet vehicles
  • Box trucks and Delivery trucks
  • Tow trucks

General Liability

Stand-alone general liability is for those business that don't qualify for a BOP (such as some manufacturers, general contractors, and other businesses) and if you have a personal umbrella liability policy in place, there is a very clear exclusion in it regarding business-related liability.  Unfortunately for every business owner, the chances of getting sued have dramatically increased in the last decade. General Liability insurance can prevent a legal suit from turning into a financial disaster by providing financial protection in case your business is ever sued or held legally responsible for some unexpected injury or damage; even if you are working as a subcontractor and become embroiled in a dispute with the general contractor and end customer. You don't have to be guilty to be accused

General Liability pays for financial losses arising from real or alleged bodily injury, property damage, and/or personal injury (libel, slander, defamation, etc.) on your business premises or arising from your operations.

Broad Range of General Liability Protection

  • Bodily Injury, including the cost of care, the loss of services, and the restitution for any death that results from injury
  • Property Damage coverage for the physical damage to property of others or the loss of use of that property
  • Products-Completed Operations provides liability protection (damages and legal expenses up to your policy's limit) if an injury ever resulted from something your company made or service your company provided
  • Products Liability is a more specialized product liability insurance that protects your company against lawsuits from product-related injury or accidents
  • Contractual Liability extends to any liability you may assume by entering into a variety of contracts
  • Other coverage includes: Reasonable Use of Force; Borrowed Equipment; Liquor Liability; Non-Owned Vehicles (such as aircraft and watercraft); Fire, Lightning or Explosion Damage; Water Damage Liability Protection; Legal Defense Costs; Medical Payments; Personal Injury; Advertising Injury; and specialized liability protection for specific business types


Worker's Compensation

Worker's compensation is critical to anyone with an employee! Laws have been created to ensure that employees who are injured or made ill on the job are provided with fixed monetary awards. This eliminates the need for litigation and creates an easier process for the employee. It also helps control the financial risks for employers since many states limit the amount an injured employee can recover from an employer.

Worker's Compensation Insurance is designed to help companies pay these benefits, including litigation and settlement costs, lost wages, and costs of the employee's injury, illness, or disease. 

In most states, if you have employees, you are required to carry Worker's Compensation coverage though that is not necessarily the case in Texas (unless you fall under construction laws). Even if not required, it is a very good idea, particularly if you have many employees, or if they are engaged in hazardous activities.


Do I need worker's compensation insurance?

YES. Employers have a clear legal responsibility to their employees to make the workplace safe. However, accidents happen even when every reasonable safety measure has been taken.

To protect employers from lawsuits resulting from workplace accidents and to provide medical care and compensation for lost income to employees hurt in workplace accidents, in almost every state, businesses are required to buy worker's compensation insurance. Worker's compensation insurance covers workers injured on the job, whether they're hurt on the workplace premises or elsewhere, or in auto accidents while on business. It also covers work-related illnesses.

Worker's compensation provides payments to injured workers, without regard to who was at fault in the accident, for time lost from work and for medical and rehabilitation services. It also provides death benefits to surviving spouses and dependents.

Worker's compensation insurance must be bought as a separate policy. Although in-home business and business owners policies (BOPs) are sold as package policies, they don't include coverage for workers' injuries.



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