Frequently Asked Questions About Small Business Insurance
Self-Storage Insurance California. We live in a time where people own more things and the more things they own, the less space they have. For this reason, the self-storage industry has risen in demand. Although you can make money, there are many risks that come with operating this type of business.
Mini-warehouses offer long– and short-term storage facilities to both business and residential customers. The length of storage varies from a few days to years, depending on the customer's need. Individual storage units vary in size. Customers generally provide their own locks or security codes to ensure privacy and restrict access to their belongings.
While office hours are limited, customers must be able to access their individual units 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Units may or may not be climate-controlled. Some mini-warehouses sell boxes and packaging supplies, or offer free use of dollies. Others rent trucks and trailers to customers to transport their goods to the storage facility.
With the number of risks faced in a self storage operation, you should get self-storage insurance California to protect your facilities. In this post, we'll take a look at the different types of insurance policies to keep your CA self-storage business protected.
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When operating a self-storage building, you customers should be required to have insurance to protect their own property. The most important need for you is the protection of your business property. Speaking with an experienced insurance agent can help you to find the right insurance for your self-storage business. Before speaking with one, it's a good idea to know the basics insurance policy you can get. Here are some of the insurance policies you may discuss with your insurance agent:
Business Property Insurance - This offers protection for the things in your main office, like computers, filing cabinets or office furniture. If they are damaged, then this insurance helps with the costs.
Commercial Property Insurance - If perils such as fire, wind, hail or vandalism destroy causes damage to your buildings and units then having this insurance provides you with the protection you need. If there are fences or gates for your business, they can be covered by this self-storage insurance California.
Equipment Breakdown Insurance - If you own climate-controlled units, then it's important for you to have this insurance. If your heating or cooling system develops a problem, then this insurance covers the repairs and replacements costs. This insurance helps to minimize the number of expenses you incur as a result of your machinery breaking down and helps with getting the problem fixed quickly.
Flood Insurance - A flood can cause lots of damage to your business. This loss can become very expensive for your business. Flood damages are not covered by your building or business property insurance plans. For this reason having flood insurance is important. Speaking with an independent insurance agent can help you to get a commercial flood insurance policy with the National Flood Insurance program.
When operating a CA self-storage business, you're not liable if damage happens to the property of customers who store things in your units. Although this is the case, it doesn't mean they can't sue you. Self-storage insurance California helps to protect your business from financial loss if someone gets hurt and your business is sued.
General Liability Insurance - If an accident happens while on the property of your business and causes damage to a third party then having this insurance provides you with protection against it. This insurance also provides protection for copyright infringement.
Employment Practices Liability Insurance - With this self-storage insurance California, you are provided with coverage for legal defense fees and financial damages caused by a lawsuit by an employee or former employee on the grounds of perceived illegal business practice, discrimination or wrongful termination.
Cyber Liability Insurance - If you use a computer to store the personal information of your customers such as their financial information and your database is hacked unfortunately you can be sued. A lawsuit in this type of situation could be costly for your business if you don't have cyber liability coverage.
Workers Compensation - Workers comp is require in most states for any non-owner employees. To ensure your employees are always protected while working you must have CA workers compensation. If an employee is injured while on the job and has to go to the hospital, then this insurance policy helps with the costs associated. If an injury results in a fatality then this insurance pays benefits to the surviving family.
Premises liability exposure is moderate due to the regular visits by clients to their rental units. Maintenance and housekeeping can prevent losses due to slips, trips, and falls. Sidewalks, parking lots, and entrances to units must be in good condition. Vacant units should be inspected and cleaned before leasing to the next client. There must be adequate security in place, including lighting and fencing. In some cases, 24-hour security is appropriate.
Personal injury exposures can arise from allegations of invasion of privacy, wrongful eviction, assault and battery, and negligent infliction of emotional distress. There should be written procedures on the handling of late payments from clients and the confiscation and sale of stored property to pay back rental fees.
Workers compensation exposure can be limited to that of an office, or more extensive if packing services are offered. Back and lifting injuries, hernias, sprains, and strains may occur as spaces are cleared out. The training of workers in material lifting and conveying devices is important. Workers should be trained to respond appropriately to hold-ups and to unhappy clients whose property is being confiscated due to nonpayment of rents.
Property exposures are largely unknown because there are no requirements regarding disclosure of contents. While there may be leases or contracts prohibiting the storage of flammables and hazardous materials, violations are not usually noted until after a loss. Fire can start from the storage of flammables, escape of fumes from stored vehicles or watercraft, or from faulty or inadequate electrical wiring.
All wiring must be up to code and adequate for the operation. Good housekeeping and fire controls are critical. Smoking should be prohibited. Stored items may be a target for thieves. Security should be appropriate for the types and values of items stored and for the location.
Equipment breakdown exposure is moderate if units are climate-controlled.
Crime exposure is from employee dishonesty and money and securities. Background checks, including criminal history, should be conducted on all employees handling money. Regular audits, both internal and external, are important in order to prevent employee theft of accounts. Receipts must be provided for all payments and compared to money received.
Inland marine exposures include accounts receivables, computers, valuable papers and records, and warehouse operators' legal liability. Warehouse operators' legal liability will depend on the contract between the facility and its customers, which should spell out who is responsible for damage to stored goods.
If climate-controlled units are offered and the equipment breaks down, the warehouse could be held liable for damage to stored goods. If locks are provided to customers, they should be changed regularly. There should be firewalls between storage units to prevent access from adjacent units. All data should be duplicated and placed off site for easy replication.
Commercial auto exposure can be high if pickup and delivery services are offered. All employee drivers must be well trained and have valid licenses for the type of vehicle being driven. They must be trained in appropriate handling methods. MVRs must be run on a regular basis. Random drug and alcohol testing should be required.
Vehicles must be well maintained with records kept at a central location. If vehicles or trailers are rented to customers, their driving habits are unknown to the warehouse. A copy of the renter's driver's license and proof of insurance should be retained. The rental contract should identify permitted drivers and state that unlicensed or minor drivers are not allowed to drive the rented vehicles. It should also include a hold-harmless agreement in which renters agree to assume responsibility for the operation of the vehicle to limit the warehouse's exposure to vicarious liability.
If a collision damage waiver is offered, the customer's signature is needed to document whether this was purchased or declined. The customer should also be required to sign a vehicle pre-inspection form to minimize disputes when the vehicle is returned with damages.
A lawsuit could destroy your business and everything you've worked for in your business. Owning a business in the self-storage industry can be lucrative, but there are many risks that you face operating one. The last thing you want is a lawsuit destroying your business. This is why it's important for you to find the right insurance policies to protect your business.
If you are an entrepreneur and you considering having your operations located in California, it's essential that you have a full understanding about the economy of the state, as well as the regulations and limits that are in place for commercial insurance.
If you are considering opening up a business in the Golden State, you first want to make sure that it is a sound location for your operations. That means that you should understand some key information related to the state's economy, as well as the types of insurance coverages that businesses are legally required to carry.
In terms of job creation, the state of California exceeds rate of job growth in the United States; however, as the state's metropolitan areas are reaching employment capacity, job growth is starting to slow. In 2017, the rate of growth was 2.1 percent, which is the slowest rate of growth since 2011; but it is still expected to increase by 1.8 percent by the end of 2018, and 1.2 percent by the end of 2019.
In the month of April, the unemployment rate in California dropped to 4.2 percent, which is a record low. This unemployment rate is expected to remain consistent for the rest of the calendar year; however, it's forecasted that the rate will start to increase in 2019.
The strongest labor market in the state is in the Bay Area, where the unemployment rate was 3.4 percent in 2017. Southern California follows, with an unemployment rate of 4.5 percent in 2017. In the Central Coast region, the rate was 5.4 percent and in the Central Valley, it was 6.6 percent. While the unemployment rate is considered high in these areas, they have decreased dramatically over the last 12 month period.
The industries that are expected to see the most growth in CA include:
The California Department of Insurance regulates insurance in the Golden State. In the state of CA, commercial liability insurance is not required; however, since the state does not cap rewards for liability law suits, business owners are wise to invest in this type of coverage. The amount of coverage recommended varies depending on the size of the business and in the industry.
Workers' compensation insurance is the only type of coverage that business owners are required to have. This applies to any organization that employs a salaried or hourly staff, even if that staff only consists of one employee. Furthermore, if an employee is injured or becomes ill as a result of work, business owners must pay for CA workers' comp benefits.
Read up on small business commercial property insurance, including how business property insurance protects your company's building's and/or their contents from damage, destruction, theft and vandalism.
Rental property owners, real estate developers and property managers should keep an accurate survey of each property they own or that is in their care. This survey should include inventories of furnishings and equipment at those properties. These documents establish the extent of their insurable interest, facilitate the arrangement and placement of insurance and minimize controversy and confusion if a loss occurs.
Insurance coverage on property, general liability and professional or errors and omissions liability should be arranged and placed for every real estate and rental property risk.
The main goal of any commercial property insurance program is to protect the insured's real and business personal property. Buildings and their contents property usually represents a significant portion of its total assets, regardless of the size of the business. A commercial property program can provide the coverage you need if a loss should occur.
The ISO Commercial Property Building and Personal Property Coverage Form is an insurance industry standard that provides this needed coverage. As a result, it should always be reviewed and used as a benchmark for comparison when evaluating any commercial property coverage form.
This policy treats business personal property as more than just the contents of a building. When there is a limit of insurance on the declarations, property can be covered if inside the building or structure or within 100 feet of the building or premises and either in the open, or even in or on a vehicle.
There are many endorsements available to tailor the ISO Commercial Property Coverage Forms. Some are mandatory for all policies while others are mandatory for specific classifications and types of business. Others are optional and permit a standard form to be customized to meet a specific risk's coverage needs. Endorsements broaden, restrict, delete, modify, or add coverage.
These policies can provide the following additional coverages for small specific limits of insurance: debris removal, preservation of property, fire department service charge, pollutant clean up and removal, increased cost of construction and electronic data.
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