Answering Service Insurance Policy Information
Answering Service Insurance. Telephone answering services monitor and record telephone calls or messages and then forward those calls or messages to the client. Services are often provided on a 24/7 basis. These services generally provide service to niche markets where a live operator or service person is required, such as for physicians, plumbers, and auto towing services. Call centers may operate in a central location, or in remote locations with employees monitoring phones from their homes.
Whether in government, medical, ecommerce, telecommunications, property management, or the service industry, telephone answering services are an important component of business and customer service, leading to better customer experiences and higher productivity for workers. However, running an answering service presents you to certain risks such as the potential liability if you don't respond in a timely manner and appropriately to customer emergencies.
You can be slapped with court charges for giving inappropriate advice and for sloppy message forwarding (not calling right away, not dating and timing the calls, calling the wrong doctor, transposing a number, or garbling a message). That's why answering service insurance is essential for your firm.
Answering service insurance protects your business from lawsuits with rates as low as $37/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
Below are some answers to commonly asked answering service insurance questions:
How Much Does Answering Service Insurance Cost?
The average price of a standard $1,000,000/$2,000,000 General Liability Insurance policy for small answering service businesses ranges from $37 to $49 per month based on location, size, payroll, sales and experience.
What Type Of Insurance Do Answering Services Need?
Answering services face various liability risks. The following is a listing of the answering service insurance coverages:
Professional Liability - Professional liability insurance, also known as erros and omissions (E&O), covers claims of negligence and/or poor quality work. Lawsuits may arise if answering center attendants fail to deliver important messages on time, if they deliver inaccurate messages or if they provide incorrect information that causes the caller to incur losses. E&O insurance protects employees from claims by disgruntled customers and pays the fees incurred in defending against such claims.
Per Occurrence" & "Aggregate" liability limits: Your "Per Occurrence," or "Per Claim," limit refers to the total amount the insurance company will pay per incident during the answering service insurance policy term. Your "Aggregate" limit is the total amount the insurance company will pay for multiple claims over the course of one policy term (which is usually one year).
Commercial General Liability - This answering service insurance policy protects your firm in case of third party claims, such as bodily injury or property damage. For example, the common "slip-and-fall" claim would be covered by your general liability policy.
General liability insurance is often considered to be the core coverage, particularly because you regularly interact with customers. You may also have a contract, like a loan or a lease, requiring that you have this coverage.
Business Property - This answering service insurance policy protects your building and its contents, including computers, office equipment, furniture and all of your property - whether it is owned or leased - if it is damaged by fire, smoke, theft, vandalism or some other covered peril.
You need this coverage to protect your expensive phone and communications equipment as well as all the other contents of your office space.
When choosing a property insurance policy, it's imperative that you consider all of your options. The monthly premium you pay is only one part of the equation. You must think about which risks your firm might be exposed to and how you can make financially smart moves to protect your interests.
Business Interruption - Have you ever stopped to consider how your firm would survive should it suddenly come to a grinding halt? If a fire, storm or theft meant having to rebuild it (potentially from scratch), how would you survive financially?
With business interruption add on your answering service insurance, you will be covered for the loss of income, as well as increased expenses of running your firm as a result from interruption caused by material damage events.
Business Owners Policy - A Business Owner's Policy (BOP) is an affordable insurance package that bundles general liability, commercial property and business income. Basically, BOP Insurance protects you by covering some of the most common risks it faces, including; Lawsuits over defamation, copyright infringement, slander, etc. and damage to your firm's property.
You can benefit from this policy because it covers many basic risk exposures you face, and is often cheaper than buying general liability and property insurance separately.
Workers' Compensation Insurance - Workers comp in mandatory in most states for any non-owner employees. Your staff's in-office responsibilities come with their own set of risks. Because they sit behind a computer screen all day, they could develop repetitive motion injuries, such as carpal tunnel syndrome.
Workers comp can provide the necessary funds to cover immediate medical attention, such as a visit to the ER, if an employee is injured at work. It also compensates them for lost income after they recover.
Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI) - EPLI rotects your firm against the high cost of lawsuits due to discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination, and other potential charges stemming from employment practices.
This coverage can cover your firm from the cost of legal defense, settlements, and other court fees when faced with an allegation for failing to provide a fair, acceptable environment for employees to work.
Commercial Crime - Commercial crime insurance policies protect you from losses resulting from business-related criminal activities. This type of insurance protection covers money, merchandise, and other property loss as a result of embezzlement, robbery, theft, forgery, or other crime as stated in the answering service insurance policy.
Commercial Umbrella - You may want to consider purchasing an umbrella policy that will provide you excess coverage over and beyond what you have purchased with your primary general liability policy, business auto, and workers compensation answering service insurance policies.
Answering Service's Risks & Exposures
Premises liability exposure is minimal due to lack of public access to the premises. Much of the operation occurs via phone or other forms of communication. The exposure increases if service occurs at clients' premises as employees will have access to clients' property.
Errors and omissions exposure varies on the type of client. Should errors occur in the failure to transmit an accurate and timely message of a non-emergency situation, the result may be only a complaint or a very minor claim. However, if the operation responds to calls to police, fire, medical or 911-type operations or suicide hotlines, the errors and omissions concerns increase significantly due to the potential for physical injury, death, or property damage.
Workers compensation exposure is limited to office hazards. As work is done on computers and other electronic equipment, potential injuries include eyestrain, neck strain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and similar cumulative trauma injuries that can be addressed through ergonomically designed workstations. Additional exposures arise from employees working from their homes.
Property exposures usually are limited to that of an office. Ignition sources include electrical wiring, heating and air conditioning equipment, wear, and overheating of equipment. All equipment should be in good condition to prevent electrical fires.
Crime exposure comes from employee dishonesty. Hazards increase in the absence of background checks and monitoring procedures. Billing and disbursement should be separate duties. Audits should be performed at least annually.
Inland marine exposures include accounts receivable if the service offers credit, computers and valuable papers and records for customers' and callers' information. Recordkeeping of calls received is critical and may require custom software, including a database and the ability to fax or email messages to the client as needed.
Business auto exposure is limited to hired and non-owned autos and is very light. If vehicles are provided to employees, there should be written procedures in place regarding personal use by employees and their family members. All drivers must have appropriate licenses and acceptable MVRs. Vehicles must be maintained, and records kept in a central location.
Commercial Insurance And Business Industry Classification
- SIC CODE: 7389: Business Services, Not Elsewhere Classified
- NAICS CODE: 517210 Wireless Telecommunications Carriers (Except Satellites), 517410 Satellite Telecommunications, 517110 Wired Telecommunications Carriers
- Suggested ISO General Liability Code(s): 99600 Telecommunications Service Providers, 99614 Telegraph Companies
- Suggested Workers Compensation Code(s): 7600 Telecommunications Co. - Cable TV, or Satellite - All Other Employees & Drivers, 8901 Telecommunications Co.: Office or Exchange Employees & Clerical
7389: Business Services, Not Elsewhere Classified
Division I: Services | Major Group 73: Business Services | Industry Group 738: Miscellaneous Business Services
7389 Business Services, Not Elsewhere Classified: Establishments primarily engaged in furnishing business services, not elsewhere classified, such as bondspersons, drafting services, lecture bureaus, notaries public, sign painting, speakers' bureaus, water softening services, and auctioneering services, on a commission or fee basis. Auctions of used cars and agricultural commodities, such as livestock and produce, are classified in Wholesale Trade.
- Agents and brokers for authors and nonperforming artist
- Apparel pressing service for the trade
- Appraisers, except real estate appraisers
- Arbitration and conciliation services
- Artists' agents and brokers, except performing artists
- Auctioneering service on a commission or fee basis
- Authors' agents and brokers
- Automobile recovery service
- Automobile repossession service
- Automobile shows, flower shows, and home shows: promoters of
- Bartering services for businesses
- Batik work (handprinting on textiles)
- Bottle exchanges
- Bronzing baby shoes
- Business brokers (buying and selling business enterprises)
- Charge account service (shopping plates) collection by individual
- Check validation service
- Cloth: cutting to length, bolting, or winding for textile distributors
- Contractors' disbursement control
- Convention bureaus
- Convention decorators
- Copyright protection service
- Correct time service
- Cosmetic kits, assembling and packaging
- Cotton inspection service, not connected with transportation
- Cotton sampler service
- Coupon redemption service, except trading stamps
- Credit card service (collection by individual firms)
- Decoration service for special events
- Demonstration service, separate from sale
- Directories, telephone: distribution on a contract or fee basis
- Divers, commercial
- Drafting service, except temporary help
- Drawback service, customs
- Drive-a-way automobile service
- Embroidering of advertising on shirts, etc.
- Engrossing, e.g., diplomas and resolutions
- Exhibits, building of: by industrial contractors
- Field warehousing, not public warehousing
- Filling pressure containers (aerosol) with hair spray, insecticides, etc.
- Fire extinguishers, service of
- Firefighting service, other than forestry or public
- Flagging service (traffic control)
- Floats, decoration of
- Florists' telegraph service
- Folding and refolding service: textile and apparel
- Fundraising on a contract or fee basis
- Gas systems, contract conversion from manufactured to natural gas
- Handtool designers
- Handwriting analysis
- Hosiery pairing on a contract or fee basis
- Hotel reservation service
- Identification engraving service
- Inspection of commodities, not connected with transportation
- Interior decorating consulting service, except painters and paper
- Interior designing service, except painters and paper hangers
- Inventory computing service
- Labeling bottles, cans, cartons, etc. for the trade: not printing
- Laminating of photographs (coating photographs with plastics)
- Lecture bureaus
- Lettering service
- Liquidators of merchandise on a contract or fee basis
- Mannequin decorating service
- Map drafting service
- Mapmaking, including aerial
- Message service, telephone answering except beeper service
- Metal slitting and shearing on a contract or fee basis
- Meter readers, remote
- Microfilm recording and developing service
- Mounting merchandise on cards on a contract or fee basis
- Music distribution systems, except coin-operated
- Notaries public
- Packaging and labeling service (not packing and crating)
- Paralegal service
- Parcel packing service (packaging)
- Patent brokers
- Patrol of electric transmission or gas lines
- Photogrammetric mapping service (not professional engineers)
- Photographic library service, still
- Photography brokers
- Pipeline and power line inspection services
- Playwrights' brokers
- Post office contract stations
- Presorting mail service
- Press clipping service
- Printed circuitry graphic layout
- Process serving service
- Produce weighing service, not connected with transportation
- Product sterilization service
- Promoters of home shows and flower shows
- Racetrack cleaning, except buildings
- Radio broadcasting music checkers
- Radio transcription service
- Recording studios on a contract or fee basis
- Redemption of trading stamps
- Repossession service
- Restaurant reservation service
- Rug binding for the trade
- Safety inspection service, except automotive
- Salvaging of damaged merchandise, not engaged in sales
- Sampling of commodities, not connected with transportation
- Scrap steel cutting on a contract or fee basis
- Shoe designers
- Showcard painting
- Shrinking textiles for tailors and dressmakers
- Sign painting and lettering shops
- Solvents recovery service on a contract or fee basis
- Speakers' bureaus
- Sponging textiles for tailors and dressmakers
- Styling of fashions, apparel, furniture, and textiles
- Styling wigs for the trade
- Swimming pool cleaning and maintenance
- Switchboard operation of private branch exchanges
- Tape slitting for the trade (cutting plastics, leather, etc. into widths)
- Tax collection agencies: collecting for a city, county, or State
- Tax title dealers: agencies for city, county, or State
- Telemarketing (telephone marketing) service on a contract or fee basis
- Telephone answering, except beeper service
- Telephone solicitation service on a contract or fee basis
- Textile designers
- Textile folding and packing services
- Time-share condominium exchanges
- Tobacco sheeting service on a contract or fee basis
- Tourist information bureaus
- Trade show arrangement
- Trading stamp promotion and sale to stores
- Trading stamp redemption
- Translation service
- Water softener service
- Weighing foods and other commodities not connected with
- Welcoming service
- Window trimming service
- Yacht brokers
Answering Service Insurance - The Bottom Line
Since it is critical for answering services to be covered with the appropriate insurance coverage - contact an experienced business insurance broker to discuss your options.
Types Of Small Business Insurance - Requirements & Regulations
Perhaps you have the next great idea for a product or service that you know will appeal to your local area. If you've got a business, you've got risks. Unexpected events and lawsuits can wipe out a business quickly, wasting all the time and money you've invested.
Operating a business is challenging enough without having to worry about suffering a significant financial loss due to unforeseen and unplanned circumstances. Small business insurance can protect your company from some of the more common losses experienced by business owners, such as property damage, business interruption, theft, liability, and employee injury.
Purchasing the appropriate commercial insurance coverage can make the difference between going out of business after a loss or recovering with minimal business interruption and financial impairment to your company's operations.
Insurance is so important to proper business function that both federal governments and state governments require companies to carry certain types. Thus, being properly insured also helps you protect your company by protecting it from government fines and penalties.
Small Business Insurance Information
In the business world, there are many risks faced by company's every day. The best way that business owners can protect themselves from these perils is by carrying the right insurance coverage.
The The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) is the U.S. standard-setting and regulatory support organization. Through the NAIC, state insurance regulators establish standards and best practices, conduct peer review, and coordinate their regulatory oversight.
Commercial insurance is particularly important for small business owners, as they stand to lose a lot more. Should a situation arise - a lawsuit, property damage, theft, etc. - small business owners could end up facing serious financial turmoil.
According to the SBA, having the right insurance plan in place can help you avoid major pitfalls. Your business insurance should offer coverage for all of your assets. It should also include liability and casual coverage.
Types Of Small Business Insurance
Choosing the right type of coverage is absolutely vital. You've got plenty of options. Some you'll need. Some you won't. You should know what's available. Once you look over your options you'll need to conduct a thorough risk assessment. As you evaluate each type of insurance, ask yourself:
- What type of business am I running?
- What are common risks associated with this industry?
- Does this type of insurance cover a situation that could feasibly arise during the normal course of doing business?
- Does my state require me to carry this type of insurance?
- Does my lender or do any of my investors require me to carry this type of policy?
A licensed insurance agent or broker in your state can help you determine what kinds of coverages are prudent for your business types. If you find one licensed to sell multiple policies from multiple companies (independent agents) that person can often help you get the best insurance rates, too. Following is some information on some of the most common small business insurance policies:
|Business Insurance Policy Type||What Is Covered?|
|General Liability Insurance||What is covered under commercial general liability insurance? It steps in to pay claims when you lose a lawsuit with an injured customer, employee, or vendor. The injury could be physical, or it could be a financial loss based on advertising practices.|
|Workers Compensation Insurance||What is covered under workers compensation insurance? This type of insurance protects a business and its owner(s) from claims by employees who suffer a work-related injury, illness or disease. Workers comp typically provides the injured employee with benefits to cover medical expenses, a portion of his/her lost wages, rehabilitation costs if applicable, and permanent partial or permanent total disability.|
|Product Liability Insurance||What is covered under product liability insurance? I pays an injured party's settlement or lawsuit claim arising from a defective product. These are usually caused by design defects, manufacturing defects, or a failure to provide adequate warning or instructions as to how to safely use the product.|
|Commercial Property Insurance||What is covered under business property insurance? General liability policies don't cover damages to your business property. That's what commercial property insurance is for. It protects all of the physical parts of your business: your building, your inventory, and your equipment, giving you the funds you need to replace them in the event of a disaster. If you work from home, you might consider a Home Based Business Insurance policy instead.|
|Business Owners Policy (BOP)||What is covered under a business owners policy (BOP)? This is a policy designed for small, low-risk businesses. It simplifies the basic insurance purchase process by combining general liability policies with business income and commercial property insurance.|
|Commercial Auto Insurance||What is covered under business auto insurance? This type of insurance covers automobiles being used for business purposes. This could include a fleet of business-only vehicles or a single company car. In some cases it might cover your car or your employee's car while they're being used for business. These policies have much higher limits, ensuring you can cover your costs if one of these vehicles gets into an accident.|
|Commercial Umbrella Policies||What is covered under commercial umbrella insurance? This type of policy is a sort of "gap" insurance. It covers your liability in the event that a court verdict or settlement exceeds your general liability policy limits.|
|Liquor Liability Insurance||What is covered under liquor liability insurance? It covers bodily injury or property damage caused by an intoxicated person who was served liquor by the policy holder.|
|Professional Liability (Errors & Omissions)||What is covered under professional liability insurance? This type of business insurance is also known as malpractice oe E&O. It covers the damages that can arise from major mistakes, especially in high-stakes professions where mistakes can be devastating.|
|Surety Bond||What is covered under surety bonds? Bonding is a contract where one party, the SURETY (who assures the obligee that the principal can perform the task), guarantees the performance of certain obligations of a second party, the PRINCIPAL (the contractor or business who will perform the contractual obligation), to a third party, the OBLIGEE (the project owner who is the recipient of an obligation).|
Who Needs General Liability Insurance? - Virtually every business. A single lawsuit or settlement could bankrupt your business five times over. You might also need this policy to win business. Many companies and government agencies won't do business with your company until you can produce proof that you've obtained one of these policies.
Business Insurance Required by Law
If you have any employees most states will require you to carry worker's compensation and unemployment insurance. Some states require you to insure yourself even if you are the only employee working in the business.
Your insurance agent can help you check applicable state laws so you can bring your business into compliance.
Other Types Of Small Business Insurance
There are dozens of other, more specialized forms of small business insurance capable of covering specific problems and risks. These forms of insurance include:
- Business Interruption Insurance
- Commercial Flood Insurance
- Contractor's Insurance
- Cyber Liability
- Data Breach
- Directors and Officers
- Employment Practices Liability
- Environmental or Pollution Liability
- Management Liability
- Sexual Misconduct Liability
Whether you need any or all of these policies will depend on the results of your risk assessment. For example, you probably don't need an environmental or pollution policy if you're running an IT company out of a leased office, but you would need data breach and cyber liability policies to fully protect your business.
Also learn about small business insurance requirements for general liability, business property, commercial auto & workers compensation including small business commercial insurance costs. Call us (855) 767-7828.
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.
- Answering Service
- Armored Car
- Attorney Lawyer
- Background Music Services
- Business Consulting
- Chemical Engineers
- Civil Engineers
- Claims Adjuster
- Commercial Laundries
- Commodity Broker
- Corporate Wellness
- Court Reporter
- Credit Bureaus
- Debt Collection Agency
- Detective Agency
- Diaper Services
- Electrical Engineering
- Environmental Consultant
- Executive, Career & Life Coaching
- Executive Search Firm
- Expert Witness
- Financial Planner
- Financial Services
- Funeral Directors
- HR Consultant
- Inspection Bureaus
- Insurance Agents & Brokers Insurance
- Mediator - Arbitrator
- Medical Billing
- Music, Drama & Dance Therapy
- Office Machine Repair & Maintenance
- Piano Tuners
- Project Management
- Safety Consultants
- Speakers Bureaus
- Temporary Staffing
- Tax Preparer
- Title Abstractors
- Valet Parking
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.