Frequently Asked Questions About
Commercial General Liability Insurance
How much does small business insurance cost?
Costs can vary widely based on industry and are also determined by zip code and often payroll and/or gross sales. Request a free quote to get an exact number. (read more)
What kind of business insurance do I need?
Most business owners need General Liability Insurance at the very least. If you have any non-owner employees, you will need workers compensation insurance too.
What is a Certificate of Insurance?
A Certificate of Insurance is proof of coverage. It lists the type and amount of liability coverage you have and other policy information when a third party requests it. (read more)
Is business insurance tax deductible?
Yes. you can deduct the cost of commercial insurance premiums. The IRS considers insurance a cost of doing business as long it benefits the business & serves a business purpose.
Pennsylvania Certificate of Insurance
Pennsylvania Certificate of Insurance (COI). There are inherent risks involved anytime a contractor works on a client's property. Life is full of risks, and contract work is particularly risky. Contractors may become injured on the job or damage property belonging to the client. When individuals and companies hire contractors to work for them, they want to be assured that any injuries or damage does not end up costing them.
They also want to be assured that they don't have to pay for substandard work. A Pennsylvania certificate of insurance gives clients this assurance.
A Pennsylvania certificate insurance provides verification of your business insurance coverage. Get a fast quote and your COI now.
An Pennsylvania certificate of insurance is a document that's standard in the contracting business. It provides evidence that the contractor has insurance coverage and includes the type of coverage and the limits of the policy. It also lists the dates that the policy is in effect.
Around one out of every 25 claims resulting from errors and omissions involve a certificate of insurance. Around 36 percent of these cases involve contractors who failed to properly identify or add all parties who needed to be insured prior to commencing work. About 21 percent of the cases involve situation where the certificate's holder misrepresented the business' coverage or even claimed to have coverage that is nonexistent.
Why Do Clients Want To See Your Certificate?
The Pennsylvania certificate of insurance is important because your company can be held liable if you work with a subcontractor who causes property damage or other damage when working on behalf of your company. Even when you have a contract with the subcontractor spelling out the terms of the contractor, and that contract states that coverage is mandatory, if the coverage actually doesn't exist, then it does your business no good; you're still liable for damage. Proof of coverage from subcontractors is therefore vital.
Who Should Ask to See the PA Certificate of Insurance?
As a business owner, you should seek a Pennsylvania certificate of insurance from every subcontractor that you hire. Even among subcontractors that you know and trust, it remains vital that you get this proof of insurance prior to allowing the contractor to conduct business and provide services on your behalf. Each time you hire a subcontractor, even one you've worked with in the past, you should obtain a new PA certificate of insurance. This can prevent a situation where you absorb risk unwittingly when subcontractors do not have their own insurance in force.
Property owners should also ask for this certificate prior to allowing contractors to work on their properties when hiring contractors, landscapers and others. The reason for this is that:
- It prevents you from taking on risks involved in hiring a company only to find out that the company or its subcontractors have improper insurance or none at all. This protects you from scenarios such as claims that arise if a neighbor's lawn, shrubs, or trees become damaged.
- It ensures that you are not the responsible party if a contractor is injured while working on property you own.
- It provides coverage if the contractor's work is shoddy or incomplete.
What to Look for When Examining a PA Certificate of Insurance
The first thing to remember when looking at a Pennsylvania certificate of insurance is to remember that it is that the certificate may not be valid. Forged or false certificates are not unheard of, and the contractor may have allowed the insurance to lapse after purchasing a policy. Best practice dictates requesting the Pennsylvania certificate of insurance from the contractor's insurance company in lieu of taking the contractor at his word and assuming the validity of the certificate.
When reviewing a Pennsylvania certificate of insurance, look at:
- The name on the certificate. It should match the name of the person or the company that you ire.
- The coverage dates. Make sure the policy is not set to expire prior to the anticipated completion date for the job. If the certificate expires during a job, request a new one.
- The limits on the policy and coverage type. The certificate should provide proof of general liability that protects against damage and worker's comp insurance that pays out if the person is injured while working. The limits of the policy should be sufficient to protect you from personal liability in the event of a major event.
In addition, you should ask to be named as an additional insured during the span of the project. By having another entity add your business as an additional insured that sub contractor is protecting you against their potential negligence.
Tracking a Certificate of Insurance
An insurance tracking firm can help you verify coverage throughout the job. These companies also provide notification of expiring certificates so that you don't have to keep track of the insurance and ensure it's in force. An insurance agent is also a good liaison in determining the validity of insurance and reviewing the Pennsylvania certificate of insurance to ensure that it protects you from personal liability when working with contractors and subcontractors.
Pennsylvania Economic Business Outlook & Commercial Insurance Requirements
While you might have a fantastic idea for a business, if you aren't setting up shop in the right PA location, there's a good chance that you won't see the success that you hope to achieve. With that said, it's important that you have an understanding of the economic status of the state that you are thinking about doing business in. It's also important for you to know what type of rules and regulations regarding insurance are in place in that state.
If you are thinking about doing business in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, keep on reading to find out some valuable information that you can use to make the best choices for your operation.
Pennsylvania's Economy Now And Into The Future
In terms of the economy, Pennsylvania's future looks pretty bright. It boasts the sixth largest economy in the United States. It is also home to some of the largest private and public organizations in the nation, as per sales.
The job market is expected to see steady growth in Pennsylvania during the 2019 calendar year. That rate is expected to be 1 percent, which is a marked increase from previous years. This is largely due to the high pool of educated laborers that reside in the state. Currently the unemployment rate is 4.9 percent, which is on-par with the rest of the nation. It is believed that the unemployment rate will continue to drop as more jobs are added.
For business owners, there are several industries that will afford success. The food products industry, particularly related to agriculture, contributes largely to the state's economy. This is expected to continue moving forward throughout the 2019 calendar year. Other industries that are forecasted to see growth include:
- Printing & Publishing
If you are thinking about doing business in PA, working in one of these industries will likely afford you success.
Insurance Requirements For Businesses In Pennsylvania
The Pennsylvania Insurance Department regulates insurance in PA. Business owners are legally required to carry workers compensation insurance. This type of coverage is a must for any business that employs any W2 part-time or full-time employees, and for employees that are either hourly or salaried. You must also carry PA commercial auto insurance if you plan on using a vehicle to conduct anything related to your business.
While commercial liability insurance is not required in Pennsylvania, it is still a wise idea to invest in. This type of coverage will protect you from the cost of any lawsuits that could potentially arise.
Additional Resources For Small Business Insurance
Protect your company and employees with the right commercial insurance policies. Read informative articles on small business insurance coverages - and how they can help shield your company from legal liabilities.
- Small Business
- Business General Liability
- Business Liability
- Business Owners Policy (BOP)
- Certificate of Insurance
- Commercial Auto
- Commercial Umbrella
- Comprehensive General Liability
- Directors and Officers Liability
- Cyber Liability
- Employers Liability
- Employment Practices Liability
- General Liability
- Home Based Business
- Independent Contractor
- Liability Insurance Certificate
- Liability Insurance
- Professional Liability
- Workers Compensation Insurance
Your small business faces many potential disasters including: fire, floods, theft, equipment breakdown, lawsuits from clients or customers and current & former employees. Any many other risks you haven't even thought about.
A small business commercial insurance program should provide protection for both larger and smaller disasters. The obvious things like fire, flood and theft most business owners think about... but what if a hacker infects your computers with a virus - and files containing private customer information like credit card and Social Security numbers are stolen?
Who is going to pay to fix your customers credit rating etc...? Will your insurance pay for the cost? You need to know that.
Your commercial insurance program should cover events that can close down your company, or cause it to lose revenue. Anything less than that is not enough coverage. Commmercial insurance doesn't cover everything, and all policies have exclusions and limits.
You need a written plan that allows you to get your operations back up and running as quick as possible.
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Quotes from leading small business insurance carriers including: ACE, AmTrust, Chubb, Cincinnati, CNA, Colony, Employers, Evanston, Fireman's, Foremost, Guard, Hanover, Hiscox, Liberty Mutual, LLoyd's of London, Markel, MSA, Nationwide, Penn America, Philadelphia, Prime, Progressive, Scottsdale, The Hartford, Travelers, USLI, Utica First, Western World, Zurich & others.