Building a comprehensive insurance plan for your business can be, in a word; intense. Unlike standard house insurance, you can’t just fill out a simple form online and ‘wham’ you’re covered. A commercial policy will cover several insurable entities from property insurance to vehicle and fleet insurance to liability, fire, and loss of income insurance. Below we’ll dig a little deeper into what you should be asking for when shopping around for broad spectrum coverage for your business or commercial property.
Small Business Insurance – What’s included the policy?
Liability Insurance may contain coverage across several subcategories if deemed necessary for larger organizations.
- General Third Party insurance is available to protect you against cases of injury or property damage which you’ve been found legally liable. This could include accidents or damage that occurred on your premises, the operation or at a customer’s location.
- Umbrella Liability insurance is extended protection over and above your current coverage. It defines in broader terms what situations of bodily injury are covered as well as protecting you worldwide.
- Directors & Officers liability insurance is another element wherein litigation may arise from negligence, omission, or error on the part of an executive or board member listed in the policy. Directors and officers may still face lawsuits if they are found personally responsible for damages even after a resignation.
- Errors & Omissions liability insurance is for companies that sell professional services. Usually reserved for such occupations such as lawyers, doctors, and professions where extensive training and services standards are in play. This element is designed to protect against losses and damage arising from incorrect appraisals, defective designs, inaccurate information or advice, breach of contract and delivery delays.
Property Insurance can be fairly broad as well and will vary whether you lease or own the commercial property. Here are a few elements that will determine a broad cover property insurance policy
- Contents insurance is there to cover the contents of your warehouse, office or retail space. It will also cover furniture, machinery, and related equipment. Owning the building will allow you to protect the whole structure and fixtures while leasing will allow you to cover any improvements.
- Flood coverage can be added in the case of flood loss by way of damage or breach of any man-made waterway. This includes damage caused by waves and tides as well as ground water seepage. Pipe rupture and plumbing failure can also be a coverage of the flood plan.
- Tools & Equipment coverage can be very helpful if your employees transport a larger quantity of tools from job to job. They run the risk of theft or damage while on or off site.
- In addition to the common property insurance items, customized policies can also protect all of your electronics and computers as well as personal and customer property that is kept at the business site.
Loss of Income Insurance which is also referred to as Business Interruption insurance is a necessity in situations where the business must stop production or close its retail doors after a claimable incident such as flood or fire or even if there has been damage caused by a break in. Loss of income insurance covers above and beyond the property insurance and pays out lost income and operating expenses such as electricity, water, and other utility bills.
Auto Insurance or Fleet Coverage is certainly required if you own or lease multiple company vehicles as part of your business. Trades, support and other service oriented businesses that run a fleet of vehicles will do well to bundle auto insurance with their overall commercial coverage. It is just much simpler and likely cheaper to develop a fleet policy with a single yearly renewal pattern.
The Possibilities are Nearly Endless
Those are just a few of the core elements of a complete commercial insurance policy and there is a very high level of customization available to really personalize coverage around your unique needs.
Below are several more extensions to your commercial policy that can be added or removed to meet your specific business requirements.