Michigan Auctioneer Insurance

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Michigan Auctioneer Insurance Policy Information

MI Auctioneer Insurance

Michigan 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 MI 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 Michigan auctioneer insurance will help you do that, keep reading.

Michigan 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 MI 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 MI 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 Michigan 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 Michigan 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 Michigan 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 Michigan 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 Michigan auctioneer insurance coverage.

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

MI 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.

Michigan Auctioneer Insurance - The Bottom Line

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

Michigan Economic Data And Business Insurance Requirements

Business owners who are interested in establishing operations Michigan must have a thorough understanding of the state's economy. They should also familiarize themselves with any regulations and limits that state may have in place for commercial insurance.

Made In Michigan

Any entrepreneur who is thinking about starting a business in the Great Lake State first needs to determine if it's a feasible location for business operations. As such, it's important to have a keen understanding of pertinent details regarding the economy of Michigan, in addition to the types of insurance coverage that are mandatory for corporations that operate within the state.

Economic Trends for Businesses In Michigan

After a long period of stagnant job growth in the early part of the 21st century, MI has been experiencing a steady increase in employment gains. Between 2009 and 2018, the state has enjoyed a period of uninterrupted job growth; the longest stretch of job growth since World War II. According to economists at the University of Michigan. While there has been a slight decline in the rate of job growth, job creation continues and forecasters say will continue for the next two years, into 2021.

In 2018, an estimated 55,200 jobs were created; in 2019, it's expected that 35,800 jobs will be created, and in 2020, economists believe that there will be a total of 39,300 jobs created in Michigan. While that rate of growth is 1.9 percent slower than the job growth rate between 2011 and 2016, it is still a steady increase overall. In total, approximate 683,200 jobs will be created in MI between 2099 and 2020; almost four out of the five jobs that were lost during the early part of the 21st century will be recovered.

While the unemployment rate has steadily improved, it is still above the national average. In March of 2019, the national unemployment rate was 3.8 percent, while in the state of Michigan, it was 4.0 percent. Mid-Michigan has experienced the largest growth rate in the state, and according to forecasters, it looks like that trend will continue, moving forward. Industries that are expected to see the most growth include:

  • Energy, due largely to research and development in clean energy
  • Food and agriculture
  • Water
  • Transportation and mobility
  • Healthcare industry
  • Information and technology

In the state of MI, business owners are not legally required to carry liability insurance; but most entrepreneurs opt to invest in a General Liability or Business Owner's Policy (BOP). A commercial auto insurance policy is also required for any businesses that use motor vehicles to conduct any aspect of their business operations. Workers' compensation insurance is also required for any businesses with non-owner employees. While the following forms of coverage are not required, depending on the type of business you operate, they are recommended:

  • Data breach insurance
  • Business income insurance
  • Commercial Umbrella insurance

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 Michigan insurance agents & brokers and learn about Michigan small business insurance requirements for general liability, business property, commercial auto & workers compensation including MI business insurance costs. Call us (313) 344-7177.

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