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California Auctioneer Insurance Policy Information

CA Auctioneer Insurance

California Auctioneer Insurance. Although most people will undoubtedly let their minds wander to fast-paced bid-calling when they imagine an auctioneer, the truth is that auctioneers and auction houses do much more than lead bids.

Auctioneers sell customers' goods to the general public or a specialized clientele through a bidding process, with the highest bidder purchasing the goods. Auctions may be conducted for antiques, collectibles, electronics, farm animals or equipment, household goods, land, machinery, motor vehicles, or to dispose of property from a bankruptcy or estate.

There may be a minimum bid set for particular goods. The auctioneer earns a commission based on the amount of sales. Some auctioneers conduct auctions at their own facility.

Other CA auctioneers travel to a customer's chosen site to conduct their operations. Some offer pick-up services to sellers or delivery services to successful buyers.

These professionals will specialize in a particular area - such as jewelry, antique furniture, fine art, or livestock - and spend the bulk of their professional careers not bid-calling, but valuing items for auction, growing their client base, and following the fluctuations of the market.

Auctioneers have an exciting and ever-changing job, and owning and operating an auction house can certainly be an extremely profitable endeavor. There is no question, on the other hand, that auctioneers also face a lot of risk and uncertainty.

Because the threat of unforeseen circumstances, potentially accompanied by devastating financial consequences, always looms large, it is vital for auctioneers to protect their interests. To find out what types of California auctioneer insurance will help you do that, keep reading.

California auctioneer insurance protects your auctioneering business from lawsuits with rates as low as $37/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.

Why Do CA Auctioneers Need Insurance?

Auction houses will always do their best to provide excellent service, including ensuring that auctions proceed smoothly and that the value of commodities to be auctioned is correctly ascertained. Like any other business, however, they can fall victim to perils they could not have seen coming, and did not prepare for.

In such cases, massive - and even potentially bankrupting - costs can follow. Investing in the top-notch insurance is an essential building block in an CA auctioneer's risk management plan.

Your physical assets face are vulnerable to countless perils. An auction house could be struck by an act of nature, such as an earthquake, hurricane, wildfire, or serious storm, damaging not only the premises but also valuable assets belonging to third parties.

Theft, vandalism (in the most serious cases including arson), and accidental fires are other threats.

Other dangers lurk in the form of liability risks. An employee or a client could commit fraud. You may accidentally damage a valuable item as you take care of it prior to an auction.

A visitor could suffer an injury on your premises, or someone may file a lawsuit alleging that you carried your duties out negligently, by making valuing errors, for instance.

All these perils could cause severe financial peril, unless a comprehensive California auctioneer insurance plan that will shoulder a significant portion of the costs is in place.

Auction houses should acquire not just the basic insurance policies they are obliged to, but also consider what further coverage would actively benefit their business.

What Type Of Insurance Do California Auctioneers Need?

The fact that the modern insurance market offers niche coverage for almost any peril means that you will certainly be able to protect yourself.

It also, on the other hand, makes acquiring the insurance you need a complex process to navigate. The types of goods you auction, the location of your auction house, your number of employees, and the size of your operation all influence what kinds of insurance you will require.

Speak to a commercial insurance broker for insurance advice tailored to your unique circumstance, but be aware that auctioneering businesses will generally require at least these types of California auctioneer insurance coverage:

  • Commercial Property - This form of coverage protects your auction house if it is hit by perils like acts of nature, theft, or vandalism. It covers costs associated with damage to your premises, but also damage to or loss of other physical assets, such as computers and furniture.
  • Commercial General Liability - If a third party were to be injured on your premises, or if your company's activities were to accidentally cause damage to someone else's property, this form of California auctioneer insurance coverage helps you shoulder the legal costs that follow.
  • Errors And Omissions - This type of insurance helps you deal with expenses that can arise in case of allegations that you performed your professional duties negligently. Keep in mind that an auctioneer may be sued even if the claim later proves to be groundless.
  • Commercial Crime - Designed to cover expenses related to property loss due to crimes such as robbery or fraud, commercial crime insurance is essential for auctioneers.
  • Workers' Compensation - Auction houses with employees will further require workers comp. In the event that an employee is injured in the workplace, their medical bills and any lost income will be covered.

Auction houses should also ask their commercial insurance broker about cyber insurance to protect their electronic data, and commercial auto insurance for their professional vehicles, among other types of California auctioneer insurance coverage.

Because every auctioneer will have specific insurance needs, it is important to opt for an in-depth consultation.

CA Auctioneer's Risks & Exposures

Premises liability exposure depends on where the auction is held, who is responsible for the site, and who sponsors the auction. Exposures are minimal if the auctioneer conducts sales from premises owned by others. If auctions are held at the auction company's own location, prospective buyers will visit the premises.

There should be good lighting, and adequate aisle space with debris removed regularly to prevent slips and falls. All goods should be kept on easily reached clothing rods or shelves, so customers do not pull items down on themselves. Flooring should be in good condition with no frayed or worn spots on carpet and no cracks or holes in flooring. Steps and uneven floor surfaces should be prominently marked. Sufficient exits must exist and be well marked, with backup systems in case of power failure.

Purchased items are often immediately carried to buyers' vehicles, posing slip and fall hazards. 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.

Some items may be attractive nuisances for children. Parking and traffic control pose additional hazards due to potentially large numbers of buyers entering and leaving the premises with their purchases.

Animal auctions pose additional hazards to buyers due to the unpredictable nature of animals. There should be a disaster plan in place for unexpected emergencies.

Personal injury exposures are from allegations of discrimination, invasion of privacy, and apprehending and detaining shoplifters, which may result in claims of assault and battery, false arrest or detention, unauthorized or intrusive searches, or wrongful ejection from the premises.

Shoplifting procedures must be fully understood and utilized by all employees.

Products liability exposure of an auctioneer is normally low as items are generally sold on an "as is" basis. The exposure increases if a guarantee or warranty is made during the auction or the auction company reconditions items for sale.

Professional liability exposure comes from the promises, commitments, and warrants the auctioneer makes during the auction process. In many cases, the auctioneer must assist in determining the value of clients' goods based on a review of titles, appraisals, or descriptions. Representing services as an appraisal professional can result in liability should a buyer find that the item purchased was not as represented by the auctioneer.

Workers compensation exposure from back injuries is high as goods can be packaged or unpackaged, picked up, moved several times during the auction, moved to buyers' vehicles, or delivered to buyers. There should be conveying devices available to assist with heavy lifting. Continual standing can result in musculoskeletal disorders of the back, legs, or feet.

Trips, slips, and falls are common. If goods are not in mint condition, the auctioneer may clean or renovate items to get the highest bid, resulting in exposures to flammable or toxic fumes.

Work done on computers can result in eyestrain, neck strain, carpal tunnel syndrome and similar cumulative trauma injuries that can be addressed through ergonomically designed workstations.

Travel to auction sites presents over-the-road exposures and lack of control over the seller's premises hazards. Animal auctions pose additional hazards to workers due to the unpredictable nature of animals. In any retail business, hold-ups may occur. Employees should be trained to respond in a prescribed manner.

Property exposures can be high for auctions conducted on premises due to the wide variety of items being held for sale. Ignition sources include electrical wiring and heating and air conditioning equipment.

If the items are stored in the building, the quantity of combustible items may create a heavy fire load. Items should be separated by sufficient aisle space to prevent fire from spreading and allow for access by firefighters.

Heat-producing items need to be separated from highly combustible items. All flammable liquids should be stored in cabinets until sold at auction and picked up by the successful bidder. Equipment for fire detection and control must be maintained in proper working order.

Theft may be a concern if high-valued items are auctioned. Appropriate security controls should be taken, including physical barriers to prevent access to the premises after hours and an alarm system that reports directly to a central station of the police department.

Inland marine exposures include accounts receivable if the auction offers credit, bailees customers, computers, and valuable papers and records for customers' and sellers' information. The bailee's customer loss potential to the goods in the care, custody, and control of the auctioneer can be extensive.

The contract between the client and the auctioneer must spell out the responsibilities of providing insurance coverage. If pick up or delivery services are offered, goods in transit coverage will be needed.

Special packaging and handling may be required for highly breakable or damageable items while being transported to and from auction sites or while being delivered to buyers. Backup copies of all records, including computer files, should be made and stored off-premises.

Crime exposure is from employee dishonesty and money and securities. Background checks should be conducted on all employees handling money. There must be a separation of duties between persons handling deposits and disbursements and reconciling bank statements. Regular audits are important for verification.

The money and securities exposure during an auction can be very high, as bidders may pay in cash as well as credit. Receipts should be provided. Adequate security must be provided during financial transactions. Money should be regularly collected from cash drawers and moved away from the collection area, preferably to a safe on premises.

Regular deposits should be made throughout the day to prevent heavy cash buildup.

Business auto exposure may be limited to hired and non-owned. If the auctioneer travels, transports goods for sale or sold items, or holds automobile auctions, the exposure increases. All drivers who transport goods or drive vehicles at an automobile auction must have a valid commercial license and acceptable MVRs.

Vehicles must be maintained and records kept at a central location. If vehicles are provided to employees, there should be a written procedure regarding personal use by employees and their family members. Unusual or odd-sized items must be securely packaged and tied down for transport.

California Auctioneer Insurance - The Bottom Line

To find out more about the specific types of California auctioneer insurance policies you'll need and how much coverage you should have, speak with a reputable agent that is experienced in commercial insurance.

California Economic Data, Regulations & Limits On Commercial Insurance

If you are an entrepreneur and you considering having your operations located in California, it's essential that you have a full understanding about the economy of the state, as well as the regulations and limits that are in place for commercial insurance.

Made In California

If you are considering opening up a business in the Golden State, you first want to make sure that it is a sound location for your operations. That means that you should understand some key information related to the state's economy, as well as the types of insurance coverages that businesses are legally required to carry.

Economic Trends For Businesses In California

In terms of job creation, the state of California exceeds rate of job growth in the United States; however, as the state's metropolitan areas are reaching employment capacity, job growth is starting to slow. In 2017, the rate of growth was 2.1 percent, which is the slowest rate of growth since 2011; but it is still expected to increase by 1.8 percent by the end of 2018, and 1.2 percent by the end of 2022.

In the month of April, the unemployment rate in California dropped to 4.2 percent, which is a record low. This unemployment rate is expected to remain consistent for the rest of the calendar year; however, it's forecasted that the rate will start to increase in 2022.

The strongest labor market in the state is in the Bay Area, where the unemployment rate was 3.4 percent in 2017. Southern California follows, with an unemployment rate of 4.5 percent in 2017. In the Central Coast region, the rate was 5.4 percent and in the Central Valley, it was 6.6 percent. While the unemployment rate is considered high in these areas, they have decreased dramatically over the last 12 month period.

The industries that are expected to see the most growth in CA include:

  • Agriculture
  • Construction
  • Healthcare
  • Hospitality
  • Information Technology
CA Commercial Insurance Regulations And Limits

The California Department of Insurance regulates insurance in the Golden State. In the state of CA, commercial liability insurance is not required; however, since the state does not cap rewards for liability law suits, business owners are wise to invest in this type of coverage. The amount of coverage recommended varies depending on the size of the business and in the industry.

Workers' compensation insurance is the only type of coverage that business owners are required to have. This applies to any organization that employs a salaried or hourly staff, even if that staff only consists of one employee. Furthermore, if an employee is injured or becomes ill as a result of work, business owners must pay for CA workers' comp benefits.

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.


Professional Services Insurance

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 find CA local small businesses by General Liability Class Code and learn about California small business insurance requirements for general liability, business property, commercial auto & workers compensation including CA business insurance costs. Call us (323) 484-2100.

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