Business Consulting Insurance Virginia Policy Information
Business Consulting Insurance Virginia. As a business consultant, you are entrusted daily with giving your clientele the advice they need grow their business and boost their profits. However, if the advice you give does not turn out to be what's in the best interests of your client, you can end up facing a lawsuit as a result.
Consultants are generally independent contractors who specialize in a particular area of expertise. Consultants offer a wide range of advice and services for almost any type of industry or operation. One of the most common services provided is research and information on a specific subject. At times, the consultant will work out of the client's place of business to provide immediate responses and information. Due to the varied areas of knowledge or expertise needed by a consultant, their background, education, certification, experience, and professionalism are items to consider.
Protecting yourself with business consulting insurance can give you a wedge of protection against possibilities that are beyond your control. An independent insurance agent can help you determine which types of insurance and how much insurance your consulting business needs.
Business consulting insurance Virginia protects your business from lawsuits with rates as low as $37/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
Business Consultant Insurance
Business consultants perform a range of duties for their clients. They provide both assistance and advice to other businesses on issues ranging from administrative management, records management and equity and asset management to financial planning and budgeting, office planning, site selection, process improvement, and strategic and organizational planning. Consultants may provide business services such as human resources advice, administrative support, distribution and logistics, operations, and marketing.
As a business consultant, you likely receive requests to find methods for keeping your clients' businesses above board and profitable. Although most of the time your services only lead to improvements for your clients as well as increased profits, if you fail to provide the appropriate service or if you make errors of any type, you may be subjecting yourself to a lawsuit.
You must have a plan in position to protect your consulting business from inherent risks that you face, including property damage, lawsuits, accidents, weather, theft, and other events. With a comprehensive business consulting insurance Virginia plan in place, you protect your business should things go awry. Each business is different, so the plan that works for one business is not necessarily the insurance plan that works for all. An insurance agent can help you make that determination.
Basic Insurance Policies for Consulting Businesses
While you are at a low risk as a business consultant for claims of bodily injury or property loss, you still need to worry about protecting your assets if a scenario arises where someone sustains an injury on your business' premises or becomes injured while visiting your office. De commercial general liability policies offer a broad range of coverage against lawsuits that occur due to third-party property damage or bodily injury. Some scenarios that might call for you to have this type of coverage include:
- Slips and falls that occur when a delivery person, vendor or client falls on the property belonging to or controlled by your business
- Your employee or you damage property that belongs to your client
- You face accusations of libel, slander or false advertising
General liability insurance covers the costs associated with paying medical bills, replacing any property that is damaged and paying any legal costs associated with lawsuits or claims against your business. If a settlement is rendered in your case or the court finds against you, any judgement can be paid by your insurance policy, up to the limits of the policy you choose. In addition, a business consulting insurance Virginia policy provides protection for your business property, even if the space you lease or the property your business insures is leased. This includes damage by weather, fire, vandalism, theft, and other covered perils. Moreover, your policy can provide coverage for the interruption of your business and the loss of business income. This may include ongoing expenses such as salaries and rent or for the costs of relocating following events such as fire.
Another option is a business owner's policy, also known by its acronym, BOP. This is a bundled package of policies that provide everything a small business needs to be covered completely. BOP policies include property coverage, liability coverage, and coverage for business interruption in a package that is customized for your business needs. In addition, your business may benefit from other types of coverage. A commercial auto policy can cover your business auto from liability caused during the course of operation for your business. Worker's compensation can provide medical coverage and lost wages to any employees who are injured or become ill due to a work-related peril.
Professional Liability Coverage for the Business Consultant
One of the most important insurance coverage types for the business consultant is a professional liability policy. If you make a negligent mistake that causes negative consequences for your client, then this policy can kick in and pay. This includes suits for professional negligence, errors and omissions, breach of duty, actual or alleged mistakes, and making misleading statements.
A good way to choose a policy is to compare quotes from more than one company. Weighing the differences in policies, including limits and exclusions, can help you find the right level and type of coverage for your particular needs. Work with an independent agent to make the comparison process easier.
Virginia Consulting Risks & Exposures
Professional liability exposures may be moderate or very significant, depending on the type of consulting work performed.
Workers compensation exposure is often that of an office exposure, although some firms have significant off-site work at clients' premises. Since office work is done on a computer, potential injuries include eyestrain, neck strain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and similar cumulative trauma injuries that can be addressed through ergonomically designed workstations.
Consultants working off site can be injured by slips and falls, falling objects, falls from heights, electrical panels, and wiring, construction machinery, flying debris, noise, and automobile or aviation accidents. Protective equipment may be required.
Premises liability exposure is often limited at the consultant's office due to lack of public access. If clients visit the premises, they must be confined to designated areas. To prevent slips, trips, or falls, all areas accessible to clients must be well maintained with floor covering in good condition. The number of exits must be sufficient, and be well marked, with backup lighting in case of power failure.
Parking lots and sidewalks need to be in good repair with snow and ice removed, and generally level and free of exposure to slips and falls. The off-site exposure could be extensive. All employees should undergo thorough background checks. There should be a policy and procedure manual explaining expectations when employees are off site.
Property exposure is often limited to that of an office, although there may be some incidental storage or an area for meetings. Ignition sources include electrical wiring, heating and air conditioning systems, wear, and overheating of equipment. Storage of papers and materials needed to perform research or other work for clients may increase the fire load. All information should be kept in fireproof cabinets.
Crime exposure is limited to employee dishonesty, particularly of clients' property while the consultant's employee is on the clients' premises. The consultant may have unique access to clients' trade secrets and other confidential information. Hazards increase without proper background checks, along with monitoring procedures and securing of all records to prevent unauthorized access. All job duties, such as ordering, billing and disbursing, should be separate and reconciled on a regular basis. Audits should be performed at least annually.
Inland marine exposures consist of accounts receivable if the consultant offers credit, computers, and valuable papers and records for clients' information and research done by the consultant. There may be specialized equipment transported to the client's location that will need special floater coverage. All information should be duplicated with copies stored off-site. Any books that are used in research should be cataloged in the case of loss or damage.
Commercial auto exposure is primarily limited to hired, non-owned and rental usage. If vehicles are supplied to employees, there should be written procedures in place regarding personal use by employees and their family members. All drivers must have appropriate licenses and acceptable MVRs. Vehicles must be maintained and records kept in a central location.
Virginia Economic Data & Small Business Insurance Information
If you're planning on starting a business, a lot of planning and factors need to be taken into consideration. Of course, having a great business model and offering valuable products and services are all keys to your success; however, there's something else that you need to take into consideration: where you're going to set up shop.
In order to reap the success that you hope for, you need to choose a location that offers favorable conditions for your specific business. If you operation isn't located in a location that can benefit from what you plan on offering, you aren't going to achieve the success that you desire.
For entrepreneurs who are thinking about Virginia as a location for their headquarters or a branch of their company, it's important to familiarize yourself with the economic trends in the commonwealth. It's also essential that you have a keen understanding in regard to the type of insurance coverage you'll need to carry to protect yourself, your clients, and your employees.
Business Economic Trends In Virginia
In regard to job growth, VA exceeds the rate of national job growth. As of February 2019, unemployment rates were at a historic low in The Volunteer State, with a rate of 3.2% throughout the state; 0.1% lower than the last historic low of 3.3% in October of 2018. That's lower than the national unemployment rate, which was reported to be 3.8% in February of 2019. Economists are forecasting continued job growth throughout the state into 2019.
The Commonwealth of Virginia has seen a dramatic upswing in economic growth in recent years. As of late 2019, the unemployment rate had fallen to a record low of just 2.9 percent; a significant difference compared to the national unemployment rate, which was 3.7 percent. In a one-year period, nearly 65,000 jobs were added. In 2019, the unemployment rate and economic growth of the state continues to be positive, and it expected to remain in the green well into 2019 and the future.
In regard to areas that offer the most favorable conditions for business owners, there are several. Metropolitan areas, including northern (Arlington, Fairfax, etc...), central (Richmond, Ashland, Lynchburg, etc...), and southern (Chesapeake, Newport News, Hampton, Norfolk, etc...) all afford great opportunities for entrepreneurs. However, virtually any location in the Commonwealth of Virginia can be considered favorable for business owners.
Industries that offer great promise in Virginia include:
- Education and training
- Information technology
- Travel and tourism
Commercial Insurance Regulations & Limits In VA
The Virginia Bureau of Insurance regulates insurance in Virginia. Just like any other state in the country, there are regulations in place regarding commercial insurance. Business owners are required to carry certain types of coverage to protect themselves, their clients, and their employees.
Small businesses with 2 or more employees are required by VA state law to have workers comp insurance coverage.
If you use certain types of motor vehicles for business-related purposes, you'll also need to invest in commercial auto insurance coverage to protect your drivers, as well as other drivers on the road.
Additional Resources For Professional Services Insurance
Get informed about small business professional services insurance, including Professional liability, aka errors and omissions (E&O insurance), that protects your business against claims that a professional service you provided caused your client financial loss.
- Answering Service
- Attorney Lawyer
- Business Consulting
- Corporate Wellness
- Court Reporter
- Debt Collection Agency
- Detective Agency
- Electrical Engineering
- Environmental Consultant
- Executive, Career & Life Coaching
- Executive Search Firm
- Expert Witness
- Financial Services
- Financial Planner
- HR Consultant
- Mediator - Arbitrator
- Medical Billing
- Music, Drama & Dance Therapy
- Office Machine Repair & Maintenance
- Project Management
- Temporary Staffing
- Tax Preparer
Let's face reality. People today are claims conscious, resulting in a significant share of malpractice lawsuits against professionals.
Liability resulting from the rendering of or the failure to render professional services is excluded in most liability coverage forms. This means that a policy covering a account's or lawyers' office will cover liability arising out of the maintenance or use of the premises, but specifically exclude liability arising out of the rendering of a professional service or the omission of such a service.
In addition to the professions in which actual physical or mental injury may be caused to clients, certain other professions are exposed to claims for malpractice.
Claims may be brought against lawyers, accountants, architects, and similar professional persons for errors or omissions in their professional capacity. Errors & Omissions insurance pays damages that might be awarded to a plaintiff alleging professional negligence.
Professional liability policies are made available to such risks, and these policies provide essentially the same protection as is afforded under the physicians, surgeons or dentists professional liability policy.
Minimum recommended small business insurance coverage: Business Personal Property, Employee Dishonesty, Accounts Receivable, Computers, Valuable Papers and Records, General Liability, Employee Benefits Liability, Professional Liability, Umbrella Liability, Hired and Non-owned Auto Liability & Workers Compensation.
Other commercial insurance policies to consider: Building, Business Income with Extra Expense, Earthquake, Equipment Breakdown, Flood, Computer Fraud, Forgery, Money and Securities, Special Floater, Cyber Liability, Employment-related Practices Liability, Business Auto Liability and Physical Damage and Stop Gap Liability.
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Also learn about Virginia small business insurance requirements for general liability, business property, commercial auto & workers compensation including VA business insurance costs. Call us (703) 747-9779.