Montana Credit Union Insurance Policy Information
Montana Credit Union Insurance. Credit unions are non-profit financial institutions owned by their members, who are often a group of people with a common interest such as membership in a trade union or alumni association. Credit unions were originally formed to provide low-interest loans to their members. These members deposit money and have ongoing access to their funds through ATMs, checks, or electronic means. They have the right to close their accounts and withdraw or transfer their money to another financial institution.
Credit unions earn income from interest charged on loans, profits from investments, and transaction fees. They may offer financial planning or investment services. To maintain public confidence in the industry, credit unions are highly regulated at the federal and state level. The regulations change frequently so additional operations may be added as permitted.
Many Americans are choosing credit unions for their financial needs over traditional banks. Unlike banks, which are owned by large corporations, credit unions are owned by the members of the institution. As such, whatever profits a credit union does make goes back to the institution itself to improve the services that their members receive, or the funds are invested in the community. Additionally, credit union members enjoy lower fees and better rates on savings than traditional financial institutions provide.
Despite the numerous benefits that MT credit unions offer, there are risks associated with this type of financial institution. Since they hold the money of their members, it's the job of a credit union to protect those funds. Despite the best efforts of credit union operators to provide exceptional services and to protect the interests of their members, unforeseen problems can arise. Therefore, it's important that you take the necessary precautions to protect your credit union and the members it serves. What's the best way to do that? - By carrying the right type of Montana credit union insurance coverage.
Montana credit union insurance protects your member-owned business from lawsuits with rates as low as $67/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
Why Do Credit Union Need Insurance?
When it comes to money, problems are always a possibility. A credit union could be robbed, for example, and members' money could be stolen. A fire could erupt, damaging the structure that the credit union operates out of. A member could trip, fall, and suffer an injury while making a deposit. An employee could be injured while working. These are just some of the problems that could arise.
When unforeseen problems do arise, you will be held liable. Your liability means that you are responsible for covering the cost of any losses, damages, or injuries that may occur; the cost of which could be excessive. To avoid having to pay for these expenses out of your own pocket, investing in the right type of Montana credit union insurance is important.
What Type Of Insurance Do Credit Unions Require?
There are several forms of insurance coverage that a credit union should invest in. Examples of policies that these financial institutions should carry include the following:
- NCUA Insurance - This type of insurance is backed by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA). The NCUA is associated with the federal government, but it is an independent agency. NCUA insured credit unions protect up to $250,000 of their members deposits. This type of insurance coverage is crucial, as it certifies that should anything go wrong with the deposits that are made in your financial institution - a theft, for example - those deposits will be protected by the federal government.
- Excess Insurance - With excess insurance, your members' deposits will be protected beyond the $250,000 that NCUA insurance offers. Should members have amounts that are higher than $250,000 deposited in your credit union, excess insurance will guarantee they are covered from losses above the NCUA limit.
- Commercial Property - In addition to protecting your members' money, it's also important to protect the commercial space that a credit union operates out of. Commercial property insurance protects the structure of the credit union, as well as the contents that are housed within it, such as inventory, supplies, and equipment. This type of policy provides protection against acts of nature, such as fires, storms, and fallen trees, as well as acts of vandalism, such as graffiti or broken windows.
- Commercial General Liability - If member or a vendor slips and falls on the credit union's property, or if someone claims that an employee of the credit union damaged their property, commercial general liability insurance will protect you. This form of insurance protects you against third-party accidents and injuries; it pays for the cost of any legal fees, as well as damages that may be awarded.
- Workers' Compensation - If you have employees in almost any state - you'll also need to invest in workers' comp insurance. This form of coverage will cover the cost of any medical expenses and lost wages should an employee sustain a work-related injury or illness.
These are just some examples of the type of Montana credit union insurance policies a credit union should invest in. The amount of coverage needed will vary and are dependent on the specifics of each individual MT credit union.
Montana Federal Credit Union's Risks & Exposures
Premises liability exposure comes from slips and falls due to public access to the premises. As customer safety and security are very important, the credit union may have one or more armed security guards on duty while it is open. All employees must be trained in proper procedures during a holdup to minimize the possibility of violence to or kidnap of customers. Floors, stairs, and elevators need to be in good condition, with steps and uneven floor surfaces prominently marked.
The number of exits must be sufficient and well-marked, with backup lighting in the event of a power failure. Steps should have handrails, be well-lighted, marked, and in good repair. 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. There should be security in the parking lot equal to or better than the surrounding area. If the business is open after dark, such as for access to ATM machines or deposit boxes, lighting must be adequate.
Personal injury exposure arises from breaches of customers' privacy and confidentiality of their financial records, discrimination in lending practices, and for allegations of assault and battery during the apprehension of suspected robbers. The use of closed-circuit camera systems prevents such incidents from evolving into a "he said / she said" situation. Employees must be trained to handle such situations properly.
Product liability exposure is very low as financial products sold to customers are intangible. There may be some minor exposure if the credit union sells items like tee shirts or advertising novelties or offers small gifts to customers as a reward for doing business with them.
Directors and officers exposure may be limited if the credit union is small and run by members. If operations are larger and operate more like a bank, the exposure increases as directors and officers are more likely to be sued for results of their decisions in times of economic downturn. Credit unions may offer investment advisory services, estate handling, management of individual and corporate trusts, employee pension funds, escrow fund gathering and other financial activities. Directors and officers can be sued if funds from any of these are mismanaged.
Errors and omissions exposure by accountants and auditors can cause significant loss. There must be checks and balances in place to quickly catch and fix errors that are made. The background and training of all professional-level employees must be thorough and continual to keep up-to-date with industry changes. Monitoring is necessary.
Workers compensation exposures are moderate due to the possibility of injury or death of guards, tellers, and managers during an armed robbery. Tellers should be separated from customers by barriers such as high counters. Those working with customers at walk-up or drive-in windows should be protected by bulletproof glass enclosures. As most work is done on computers, employees are exposed to eyestrain, neck strain, and repetitive motion injuries including and carpal tunnel syndrome. All workstations should be ergonomically designed to reduce the chance of such injuries.
Property exposures are primarily from fire due to the electrical wiring for computers, printers and other electronic office equipment, heating, and air conditioning systems. All wiring must meet current codes, be well maintained, and be adequate for the credit union's operations. Circuitry for electronic equipment may be easily damaged from smoke, water, and heat, which will result in a total loss even with a small fire.
The building and its contents can be damaged during burglaries, robberies, and vandalism. Appropriate security measures should be taken, including physical barriers to prevent entrance to the premises after hours and an alarm system that reports directly to a central station or the police department. Since regulations require that customers have access to their monies on deposit at all times, disaster planning for potential interruptions is vital. Extra expense coverage should be considered as the credit union must continue operations after a loss.
Crime exposures are primarily from employee dishonesty, either from the theft of cash or from the improper transfer of funds held for customers. Money and securities can be stolen during armed robbery and safe burglary. Credit unions need a Financial Institutions Bond to cover these exposures. Background checks should be conducted for anyone who will have access to the accounts.
There must be regular monitoring and auditing of the books by outside auditors to prevent and identify problems. All employees must take at least one continuous week of vacation a year. Safes, vaults, theft-proof cashier cages, guards, and watchpersons are needed to protect money. Tellers' drawers should be stripped regularly and money moved to the vault. Bank drops should be made throughout the day to prevent a large buildup of cash available to thieves.
Controls and programming to prevent computer fraud should be reviewed. Extortion is a growing concern due to the high value of assets held by credit unions.
Inland marine exposure is from accounts receivable for billings to customers, computers for tracking financial data, and valuable papers and records for customers' and regulatory information. Off-premises coverage should be considered for kiosks and self-standing cash machines in other stores. Duplicates of all data should be made and maintained and stored at a separate location for ease of restoration in the event of a loss.
Business auto exposures may be limited to hired and non-owned exposure for employees running errands. If the company provides vehicles to officers or key employees, policies should be in place for personal and permitted use of the vehicles. Any driver must have a valid driver's license and acceptable MVR. Vehicles must be well maintained with records kept in a central location.
Montana Credit Union Insurance - The Bottom Line
To learn more about what type of Montana credit union insurance you should carry and how much coverage you should have, speak with a trusted insurance broker.
Montana Economic Data, Regulations And Limits On Commercial Insurance
Thinking about starting a new business? Already own a successful business and want to expand your operations? Whatever the case may be, if you want to experience as much success as possible, you are going to want to ensure you choose the best possible location for your specific industry.
No matter how outstanding your goods and services may be, if the area where your business is located doesn't offer a healthy climate that will support your company, chances are you'll struggle to succeed.
If you are thinking about opening up a business in Montana, being familiar with the state's economic trends can help you determine if it's a good location for you. It's also wise to know what type of insurance you'll need to invest in so that you can plan ahead.
With that said, below, we provide an overview of the economic trends in the state of Montana, as well as the commercial insurance requirements for business owners in the Treasure State.
Economic Trends For Business Owners In Montana
As of December, 2019, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the unemployment rate in the state of Montana was 3.4%; that's 0.1% lower than the national average, which was 3.5% at the same time. This rate remained steady throughout the entire 2019 fiscal year, and it is expected to either continue remaining steady or improve in coming years, according to economists.
Unemployment rate is a vital statistic for business owners, as it indicates the job market of a location, which is a strong determining factor in the success of businesses in the region.
There are several areas throughout the state of Montana that are seeing economic booms and where businesses are flourishing. Among those locations include the following cities and the areas that surround them:
- Great Falls
Several industries are seeing substantial growth in MT; however, there are particular sectors that are really thriving in Montana. Among those sectors include:
- Advanced manufacturing
- Hospitality and tourism
- Information technology
- Oil and gas production
- Retail development
If you are considering opening a business in any of the above-mentioned areas, your chances of success in Montana are favorable.
Commercial Insurance Requirements In Montana
The Office of the Montana State Auditor, Commissioner of Securities and Insurance regulates insurance in MT. Montana mandates very few forms of insurance coverage by law. They enforce worker's compensation.
Montana 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.
Montana 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 Financial Institutions Insurance
Discover the types of commercial insurance that banks, finance companies and other financial institutions need to protect their asset management, deposit, lending, investment and other operations.
- Check Cashing
- Credit Union
- Currency Exchanges
- Finance Companies
- Insurance Company
- Mortgage Broker
Financial institutions handle, receive, disburse, and invest money of others.
They are subject to regulations specific to their operation but they are also subject to legal and moral obligations for their customers.
Customers entrust their funds to these institutions because of their confidence in the management's ability.
Insurance is a necessary means to protect the financial institutions and their customers against various types of losses.
The financial services offered and the personal relationships created by the institution can only be protected through the use of a sound insurance program and appropriate bonding practices.
Minimum recommended small business insurance coverage: Business Personal Property, Extra Expense, Equipment Breakdown, Financial Institutions Bond, Accounts Receivable, Computers, Valuable Papers and Records, General Liability, Directors' and Officers' Liability, Employee Benefits, Fiduciary Liability, Professional, Umbrella, Hired and Non-Owned Auto, Workers Compensation & Surety Bonds.
Other commercial insurance policies to consider: Buildings, Earthquake, Flood, Leasehold Interest, Real Property Legal Liability, Computer Fraud, Extortion, Fine Arts, Signs, Cyber Liability, Employment-related Practices, Law Enforcement Professional, Business Auto Liability and Physical Damage And Stop Gap Liability.
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