Commodity Broker Insurance Washington DC Policy Information
Commodity Broker Insurance Washington DC. As a commodity broker, you are tasked with purchasing and selling commodity contracts. Needless to say, your job is extremely important, as you're not only making vital decisions on the behalf of your clients, but you're also responsible for large sums of money.
While you may be great at what you do and you always go the extra mile to ensure that all of your t's are crossed and i's are dotted, there's always a chance that something could go wrong when you least expect it.
Commodity brokers are trained and licensed to purchase and sell commodities for their individual or corporate clients on a fee or a commission basis. Commodities are unprocessed materials, such as grain, livestock, or metals, that are traded on futures markets.
Commodities brokers match the products of the farmer or mine owner with the anticipated future needs of the marketplace. These contracts or "futures" are traded in the commodities market.
Commodity brokers are regulated under the jurisdiction of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and are required to be members of the National Futures Association (NFA). Commodity brokers have a high degree of fiduciary responsibility to their clients.
Whether you work for yourself or you trade on a firm's floor, you are exposed to numerous risks on a daily basis. Those risks range from general and professional liabilities to an array of crimes (such as fraud).
In order to protect yourself and your clients, making sure that you have the right type of commodity broker insurance Washington DC coverage in place is vital.
Why is it so important for DC commodity brokers to have insurance? What type of insurance do you need? Read on to find the answers to these questions and to ensure that you are properly protected.
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Why Do Commodity Brokers Need Insurance?
Just like any other professional, DC commodity brokers face a number of risks. Some of those risks are common to all industries, while some are unique to your specific profession.
For instance, if you're an independent broker or you run a firm, you're responsible for anyone who visits the location where operate your business. If a third-party - a client or a postal employee delivering your mail, for example - slips and falls at your facility, sustains in injury, and files a lawsuit, you are responsible for any medical care that may be required, as well as the cost of litigation.
Similarly, if you make a mistake and a client sues you for suspected fraud, you are liable for any financial repercussions. In the event that something does go wrong, having the right type of insurance in place is the key to avoiding serious monetary losses.
If you aren't insured, you would be responsible for covering the expenses out of your own pocket, which could be financially devastating. If you're insured, however, your carrier would cover the related costs.
Additionally, in order to legally operate as a commodity broker, you are required to carry certain commodity broker insurance Washington DC coverage. If you aren't properly insured, you could face fines and penalties and even lose your license.
In other words, being insured will ensures that you are operations are compliant with Federal and DC state laws, and can help you avoid exorbitant expenses and even the possibility of losing your business.
What Type Of Insurance Coverage Do Commodity Brokers Need?
There are several factors that will impact the specific type of commodity broker insurance Washington DC that should be purchased; where you operate your business, whether or not you're an independent broker or you own and operate your own firm and employ other brokers, for example.
With that said, here's a look at some of the most common types of insurance coverage that commodity brokers should carry:
- General Liability - All DC commodity brokers should have general liability insurance. This type of coverage protects you from any third-party personal injury and property damage liability claims. For instance, if a client who is seeking advice is injured on the premises of your business and files a lawsuit against you, general liability insurance will cover the cost of any legal expenses and expenses that a court may find you liable for.
- Professional Liability - Also known as errors and omissions (E&O) insurance, professional liability protects you from any mistakes that may occur. For example, if you make an investment error that leads to financial losses, you'll have the coverage you need to protect you against any legal actions that a client may take.
- Commercial Property - To protect the space where you operate your business from physical damage, you'll need commercial property insurance. This policy protects the physical structure of your business, as well as the contents within it, from acts of nature, theft, and vandalism. If a fire were to break out, this coverage would help to pay for any necessary repairs or replacements.
These are just a few examples of the types of commodity broker insurance Washington DC coverage that DC commodity brokers should have in place.
Washington DC Commodity Broker's Risks & Exposures
Premises liability exposure is often minimal since most of the client contact is done electronically or by mail. If clients visit the premises, they must be confined to designated areas to prevent them from overhearing private conversations or gaining access to other clients' confidential information.
To prevent slips, trips, or falls, all areas accessible to customers should be well lighted with floor coverings 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. Off-premises exposures arise from sales visits, training sessions, and similar work at the customer's premises. There should be policies and training as to off-site conduct by employees.
Professional liability exposure is extensive due to the handling of futures contracts and the necessity for client confidentiality. Working with individual clients presents fewer professional exposures than working with corporate clients.
Commodities brokers are licensed and are expected to act responsibly for both the buyer and the seller. The exposure increases if the broker fails to conduct thorough background checks to verify employees' credentials, education, and licensing, ignores or has inadequate error checking procedures, or allows clerical workers to do tasks that only professionals should handle such as putting in orders or offering investment advice.
The handling and sharing of information not generally available to the public is a serious exposure, sometimes resulting in allegations of insider trading. Ongoing training must be required for all employees. Policy and procedure manuals should be updated regularly. Very serious losses may result from failure to document decisions and actions or to secure client approval.
All employees must be supervised and monitored, and must take at least one consecutive week of vacation a year.
Workers compensation exposures are generally limited to those of an office. Since work is done on computers, potential injuries include eyestrain, neck strain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and similar cumulative trauma injuries that can be addressed through ergonomically designed workstations.
Some commodity brokers travel extensively for sales presentations and similar activities. Workers can be injured by slips and falls at clients' premises or in automobile accidents.
Property exposures are generally 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 equipment, wear, and overheating of equipment. Computers and other electronic equipment may be targets for theft.
Crime exposure is from employee dishonesty, which can be quite serious as commodity brokers frequently have access to their clients' personal and proprietary information, including investment accounts, and handle large values. Potential for theft, directly or by means of identity theft, is great.
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.
Receipts should be issued for any cash payments received. Bank deposits should be made on a timely basis to limit the buildup of cash on premises. Audits should be performed at least annually. All transactions should be handled in accordance with CFTC guidelines.
Inland marine exposures consist of accounts receivable if the broker offers credit, computers, and valuable papers and records for customers' and vendors' information. Clients' records and approvals are typically originals that are difficult to re-create.
Power failure and power surges are potentially severe hazards. A morale hazard may be indicated if the insured does not keep valuable papers and disks in fireproof file cabinets to protect them from smoke, water, and fire. Duplicates should be kept off-site to allow for re-creation in the event of a loss.
Business auto exposure is generally limited to hired and non-owned. 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.
Commodity Broker Insurance Washington DC - The Bottom Line
To find out more about the specifics, including any other protections that you may need and the amount of commodity broker insurance Washington DC coverage you should carry, speak with a reputable insurance agent.
Made In Washington D.C. Economic Data, Regulations And Limits On Commercial Insurance
Whether you have a great idea for a business and you're considering your first startup company or you are already operating a business and you're looking to expand, the location of your operations is one of the most important factors you'll need to consider. In order for a business to achieve success, it must be situated in an area that offers a healthy economy and a market that your products and/or services will appeal to.
The unemployment rate of a region paints a picture of the area's economy. A lower unemployment rate indicates that the area has a healthy business climate that can sustain the residents of the region. In addition, it's important for prospective proprietors to find out which industries are thriving in the area they're considering for their operations.
Furthermore, business owners must take into consideration what type of commercial insurance policies they will need to carry in order to protect themselves, those who interact with them, and to ensure that they are compliant with the law.
If you're considering Washington, D.C. for your business, below, we provide an overview of the above-mentioned information so you can determine if the nation's capital offers favorable conditions for success.
Economic Trends For Business Owners In Washington D.C.
In December of 2019, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the unemployment rate in Washington, D.C. was 5.3%. While that rate is considerably higher than what the national average of 3.5% at the same time, the rate had fallen throughout the course of the year.
For example, in July of 2019, the unemployment rate was 5.6%, in August it was 5.5%, and in October, it was 5.4%. This steady decline indicates that more employment opportunities as a result of a healthy business climate have become and are becoming available in D.C.
Washington, D.C. is divided into four specific quadrants, including NE, NW, SE, and SW. While all regions are considered suitable for businesses, those that are situated in commercial areas - Northwest, Southwest, and Southeast - as opposed to Northeast, which is primarily residential, are likely to offer the best opportunities for prospective business owners.
There are several industries that are experiencing growth in D.C. Not surprisingly, government-related sectors and businesses that provide services for the government are seeing the most growth. Additionally, leisure, hospitality, and tourism are also prime industries in the nation's capital, as the region attracts millions of tourists from around the globe. Construction, education, and health round out the top industries in the region.
Commercial Insurance Requirements In Washington D.C.
The Washington D.C. Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking regulates insurance in DC. Washington D.C. mandates very few forms of insurance coverage by law. They enforce worker's compensation.
Washington D.C. requires you to have worker's compensation insurance if you hire even one employee on a regular basis. This includes part-time employees, family members, minors, and immigrant employees. It is not required for independent contractors or domestic employees, though you should check to make sure any contractors you have are true contractors, and not employees.
Washington D.C. also requires all business-owned vehicles to be covered by commercial auto insurance. Other types of business insurance that business owners should carry depend on the specific industry.
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
- Armored Car
- Attorney Lawyer
- Background Music Services
- Business Consulting
- Chemical Engineers
- Civil Engineers
- Claims Adjuster
- Commercial Laundries
- Commodity Broker
- Corporate Wellness
- Court Reporter
- Credit Bureaus
- Debt Collection Agency
- Detective Agency
- Diaper Services
- Electrical Engineering
- Environmental Consultant
- Executive, Career & Life Coaching
- Executive Search Firm
- Expert Witness
- Financial Planner
- Financial Services
- Funeral Directors
- HR Consultant
- Inspection Bureaus
- Insurance Agents & Brokers Insurance
- Mediator - Arbitrator
- Medical Billing
- Music, Drama & Dance Therapy
- Office Machine Repair & Maintenance
- Piano Tuners
- Project Management
- Safety Consultants
- Speakers Bureaus
- Temporary Staffing
- Tax Preparer
- Title Abstractors
- Valet Parking
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.
Also find DC local small businesses by General Liability Class Code and learn about Washington D.C. small business insurance requirements for general liability, business property, commercial auto & workers compensation including District of Columbia business insurance costs. Call us (202) 800-5202.