Maryland Government Buildings Insurance Policy Information
Maryland Government Buildings Insurance. The public and governmental sector encompasses a broad range of different entities, all of which have their own clearly-defined purposes.
Government buildings provide office and meeting facilities for various governmental operations. They often have auditoriums designed for large public gatherings or for political assemblies.
Fire departments, public schools, courthouses, public utility companies, police stations, and social service offices are merely some of many examples. Regardless of their role in society, each public or governmental entity also relies on physical buildings to carry out its activities.
It is easy for members of the public to see MD government buildings simply as places that make up the foundation of society. The fact, however, remains that these institutions, and the buildings in which their activities unfold, are vulnerable to the same perils that threaten any commercial venture or residence.
For this reason, government buildings need insurance just like any other organization. What kinds of Maryland government buildings insurance coverage might public entities need to rely on? Find out more by reading on.
Maryland government buildings insurance protects government facilities and operations from lawsuits with rates as low as $97/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
Why Do MD Government Buildings Need Insurance?
Governmental and public entities, and the buildings in which they are based, need insurance for the same reasons that lead businesses of all types and sizes to invest in the best coverage they can afford. Some types of coverage will be legally mandated.
Others are optional, but highly advisable because they can prevent catastrophic financial loss in the case of unforeseen circumstances.
Theft, vandalism (including arson), and acts of nature as varied as earthquakes, hurricanes, wildfires, and serious floods are examples of perils that can wreak havoc on any building. Even accidents caused by human carelessness can lead to serious damage.
Both members of the public and employees may become injured within governmental or buildings, in turn leading to potentially massive liability-related costs that far exceed the entity's budget.
The perils that can befall a public or MD governmental entity are as diverse as these organizations themselves are, and their insurance needs are also unusually complex.
These entities should ideally partner with an insurer who specializes in covering public bodies, as these insurance companies are best situated to provide the Maryland government buildings insurance to help such organizations overcome the challenges they face.
In addition to the financial protection that Maryland government buildings insurance provides, being properly covered ensures that your operation is complaint with the law.
In most locations, MD government buildings are legally required to carry certain kinds insurance coverage, and if they don't, they could face serious fines or potentially lose their business.
What Type Of Insurance Do Maryland Government Buildings Need?
The specific types of insurance coverage a governmental or building or organization may need depend on numerous factors. The exact nature of the body's activities, the jurisdiction within which they are based, and their number of employees are merely examples.
The entity's risk profile is also crucial - fire departments will have entirely different insurance needs compared to, for instance, libraries. Consulting an insurance broker who specializes in public sector insurance is essential.
With that in mind, some examples of common types of Maryland government buildings insurance that any public entity will need are:
- Commercial Property - This type of Maryland government buildings insurance exists to make it easier to manage financial losses associated with property damage resulting from perils that include acts of nature, theft, and vandalism. It covers not only the building itself, but also assets therein - computers and furniture, to name some examples. Note that historic buildings are generally covered by niche policies.
- General Liability - Public and governmental entities will also need to carry general liability insurance in order to protect themselves from the costs associated with third party property damage and personal injury claims. These policies help to cover attorney fees as well as settlement payments.
- Workers Compensation - Employees can sustain work-related injuries or illnesses in any field. Ranging from burns sustained by firefighters to the carpal tunnel syndrome administrative employees may suffer from, public entities can be held liable. Workers' comp can pay for such employee's medical costs as well as reimbursing any income they lose to related work absences.
- Employee Dishonesty - Also called employee dishonesty bonds, this type of coverage protects public bodies from the financial fallout caused by deceptive or illegal activities on the part of an employee, whether in the form of theft or misleading the public.
Because government buildings are so diverse in nature, it is important to be aware that their insurance needs are unique.
Consulting an commercial insurance broker who focuses on the public sector is vital for these entities; these professionals specialize in crafting policies that offer public bodies the Maryland government buildings insurance coverage that protects them from all major perils they may be confronted with.
MD Government Building's Risks & Exposures
Premises liability exposure is high due to services provided to residents and the public's access to the building. If tours are given, exposures increase significantly as guests may be led through areas generally "off limits" to more casual visitors. Legislation and judicial decisions have eroded governmental immunity protection in most states. Public and life safety code compliance is very important. To prevent trips, slips, and falls, all premises must be well maintained with flooring in good condition.
Adequate lighting, marked exits and egresses are mandatory. Steps must have handrails, be well lit, marked, and in good repair. Elevators and escalators should be inspected annually by an outside service contractor. Parking lots should be free of ice and snow. Government facilities may be a target for vandals, disgruntled citizens, criminals, or terrorists.
Security inside the facility, as well as outside areas including owned parking areas, needs to be carefully implemented and monitored. An evacuation plan must be in place. Personal injury losses may occur due to alleged assault, discrimination, invasion of privacy, or unlawful detention.
Public officials' liability exposure can be severe. Today's political climate has seen an increase in lawsuits against public officials for failure to perform the functions of their office, failure to account for tax funds, failure to enforce regulations, failure to follow mandated procedures, such as open bidding on contracts, bad faith, and other errors or omissions. Defense costs can be prohibitively expensive.
Workers compensation exposures are varied, from office workers to janitorial staff, building or yard maintenance workers, repair personnel, and drivers. Workers may incur back injuries, hernias, slips, falls, strains, or sprains.
Skin or lung irritation can result from working with cleaning chemicals and paint. Office workers may develop repetitive motion injuries. Workstations should be ergonomically designed. There may be interactions with angry constituents or protestors. Employees should be trained to deal with difficult situations.
Property exposure is generally low. Ignition sources include electrical wiring, heating, and air conditioning systems. There may be a restaurant or cafeteria on premises. Most offices and auditoriums have extensive wiring for lighting, computers, and other electronic equipment. It must be in good repair and adequate for its use.
Valuation may be a concern in older buildings with unique architectural features that may be difficult to rebuild with like construction and quality after a loss.
Smoke detectors are critical for early detection of a fire. Smoking should be prohibited. If there is a restaurant or cafeteria on premises, all cooking equipment should be properly protected.
Garages for storing, fueling, and maintaining vehicles must be separated from office facilities. Governmental facilities may be a target for political activists or for terrorists. Adequate security is required. There should be disaster recovery plans in place to continue operations in the event of a large loss.
Crime exposure is from public officials' dishonesty, employee dishonesty and money and securities. Background checks, including criminal history, must be completed on all employees. Receipts must be provided for all payments of taxes, fees, fines, and penalties, with daily reconciliation between receipts and money received. Regular deposits must be made.
Money should not be left on premises overnight. There must be regular audits, preferably by an outside firm. All employees must take at least one complete week of vacation each year. If the facilities have offices to collect fees, penalties, or obtain permits and licenses, there may be an exposure to holdup.
Inland marine exposures are from accounts receivable for billings, audio/visual equipment, computers, contractors' equipment, fine arts, and valuable papers and records. Contractors' equipment may be used off-premises to build, maintain, or service municipal streets and roads.
Fine arts such as statuary and paintings, artifacts, historical documents, rare or historical books, or manuscripts may be one-of-a-kind and irreplaceable. If insured, valuation should be done by a qualified appraiser.
Valuable papers and records are often delicate and must be protected from fire, water damage, vandalism, theft, or other losses. All records should be duplicated and retained at an off-site storage facility.
Commercial auto exposure can be high if vehicles are used to transport public officials, guests, and visitors. All drivers must have appropriate licenses and acceptable MVRs. All vehicles must be maintained on a regular basis with records kept in a central location. During inclement weather, drivers may be on the road for extended hours in adverse conditions.
Supervision is necessary so drivers can be rotated and not become overly fatigued. There may be a high non-owned auto exposure if employees use their own vehicles to run errands or attend meetings on municipal business. Employees should carry personal automobile insurance with adequate liability limits.
Maryland Government Buildings Insurance - The Bottom Line
To learn more about that Maryland government buildings insurance policies needed, how much coverage to have and the premiums - speak with a commercial insurance broker that is experienced in government insurance.
Maryland Economic Data And Business Insurance Regulations
Business owners that have their sights set on Maryland should to take a number of factors into consideration before the set up shop; namely, they need to determine if the state offers favorable for business owners in general, as well as their specific industry. After all, it doesn't matter how top-notch the products and services a business offers may be, if the location isn't favorable for the industry - and businesses, in general - the operation is going to have a hard time thriving.
Below, we examine key factors that indicate whether or not Maryland is favorable for business owners. We also look at some of the must-have types of commercial insurance coverage that are required in the state.
Economic Trends For Maryland Business Owners
A state's unemployment rate is key indicator of whether or not the climate is favorable for business operations. As of May, 2019, the unemployment rate in the Old Line State was 3.8 percent; 0.2 percent higher than the national average. In October of 2022, the rate hit a record low of 3.7 percent, so in less than a year, the unemployment rate has increased by .01 percent; a marginal increase. However, there have been gains in recent years; in 2010, the rate was 7.8 percent; that's a 4.0 percent increase in less than a decade.
The best place to start a business in Maryland is in Baltimore, the state's largest city. Suburbs of the city also offer promising conditions for business owners, such as Ellicott City, Columbia, Fulton, Lutherville, and Elkridge.
The state of Maryland offers a friendly culture for business of all shapes and sizes; but, the industries that are see the most success in the Old Line State include:
- BioHealth and Life Sciences
- Advanced manufacturing
- Information technology
- Aerospace and defense
- Financial services
- Energy (specifically green energy)
- Hospitality and tourism
Commercial Insurance Regulations In MD
The Maryland Insurance Administration regulates insurance in Maryland. Commercial insurance is designed to protect business owners from potential perils; it also protects anyone that interacts with a business, including consumers, vendors, and employees. Having the right type of coverage is not only crucial to avoid serious financial devastation in the even that a catastrophe does occur, but certain types of insurance are mandated, meaning business owners must carry specific forms of coverage.
In the state of Maryland, business owners are required to carry workers' compensation insurance, which offers coverage for on-the-job accidents and illnesses that employees sustain, is also required. Other forms of insurance coverage that business owners may need to invest in depend on the specific industry; for example, companies that distribute or sell alcohol will need liquor liability insurance, and businesses that utilize vehicles for business-related operations should carry commercial auto insurance to protect their drivers and other motorists on the road.
Additional Resources For Local, State And Federal Government Insurance
Learn about commercial insurance for local, state and federal government agencies, services, operations and buildings.
- County Administration Offices
- Fire Departments
- Government Buildings
- Law Enforcement Entities
- Public Buildings
Cooperative efforts between insurance professionals and public officials have led to the satisfactory arrangement of coverages for public properties that may include large building schedules spread over a number of locations and geographic areas.
Liability insurance protection is a matter of much greater concern. As governmental and charitable institutional immunity continues to erode, the onslaught of lawsuits makes adequate liability protection essential.
Public utilities have unique insurance needs usually best handled by specialists in their field.
Because government entities are becoming more inventive in raising money, they are involved in activities that may not appear to be government-related so that they may require coverages that at first glance do not seem appropriate for them.
Minimum recommended small business insurance coverage: Building, Business Personal Property, Employee Dishonesty, Money and Securities, Accounts Receivable, Audio/Visual Equipment, Computers, Contractors' Equipment, Fine Arts, Valuable Papers and Records, General Liability, Cyberliability, Employee Benefits, Public Officials' Liability, Umbrella, Hired and Non-Oowned Auto & Workers Compensation.
Other commercial insurance policies to consider: Earthquake, Equipment Breakdown, Extra Expense, Flood, Computer Fraud, Forgery, Employment-related Practices, Business Auto Liability and Physical Damage and; Stop Gap Liability.
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