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.
Freight Forwarder Insurance
Freight Forwarder Insurance. From preparing goods to be shipped, arranging cargo space, tracking packages, handling paperwork - and so much more - freight forwarders have a lot of responsibilities on their plates. Your goal is to ensure that the goods the companies have hired you to ship arrive safely at their final destination. Due to the nature of freight forwarding, organizations in this industry are exposed to a variety of risks.
Freight forwarders and freight agencies organize the shipment of freight from its initial pickup at the shipper's location through final delivery at the receiver's location. Transportation of the cargo from point to point can include various modes of transportation such as trucks, railroads, aircraft and watercraft, with warehousing at some point along the route. Freight forwarders may combine shipments from several customers into one. Services may be limited to domestic shipments or include international operations.
If you operate a freight forwarding company, protecting business, your clients, your employees and your own personal assets is crucial. What's the best way to do that? - With the right type of insurance coverage. Why is freight forwarder insurance so important? What type of coverage do professionals in the forwarding industry need? Find the answers to these questions below.
Freight forwarder insurance protects your forwarding business from lawsuits with rates as low as $47/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
Why Insurance Is Crucial For Freight Forwarders
Freight forwarders are often referred to as the 'architects of transport'; a very accurate description for the duties that this job entails. While freight forwarding is a vital part of supplies chains and trade, there are various risks and liabilities that companies in this industry assume, such as the damage or loss of cargo, monetary losses, cargo abandonment, delayed deliveries, and document errors; just to name a few.
There's also damage or loss of commercial property to consider, as well as the safety and well-being of employees. For instance, the goods that a freight forwarder was hired to arrange transport for could become damaged or lost in-transit, an employee could sustain a work-related injury, or a warehouse - and the goods inside - could be damaged in a storm.
Despite your best efforts to avoid the risks that are associated with your freight forwarding business, there's always a chance that the unthinkable will happen. When it does, you will be held liable for the damages, and those damages can cost an exorbitant amount. Without insurance, freight forwarders stand to lose a tremendous amount of money and possibly their entire business. Therefore, having the right Freight forwarder insurance in place is crucial.
When a travesty strikes, insurance will help to cover the losses. In other words, having the right insurance coverage prevents you from losing your own money.
What Type Of Insurance Do Freight Forwarders Need?
Since each freight forwarding business is different, the specific insurance requirements for freight forwarding vary from organization to organization. Some of the factors that will affect the type of insurance coverage an organization needs include the size of the operation, the type of cargo they deal with, where the goods are being shipped (domestic or international shipping), and where exactly the company is located.
While the Freight forwarder insurance requirements for companies do vary, there are specific types of coverage that all forwarding businesses should carry, including:
- Commercial General Liability - This type of coverage protects you from third-party property and personal injury claims. For instance, if a client claims that the goods you were hired to arrange transportation for were damaged or a vendor sustains an injury while visiting your warehouse and takes legal action, commercial general liability insurance will cover the cost of any legal fees, as well as the damages that you are liable for.
- Commercial Property - With this type of policy, the physical structure of your commercial space, as well as the contents within it, are protected from damages such as fire, theft, and vandalism. For example, if a hail storm damages the roof, windows, and other parts of your building, or if someone breaks into your warehouse and steals equipment, your commercial property insurance would help to cover the cost of repairs, as well as the replacement of any stolen equipment.
- Workers' compensation - Should an employee sustain a work-related injury or be exposed to something that causes an illness while working, workers' comp insurance will pay for the necessary medical care, lost wages, and litigation, should he or she take legal action. For example, if a staff member develops a respiratory disease and it is determined that asbestos in your warehouse is the case, workers' comp insurance will cover the damages.
These are just some of the types of insurance that freight forwarding companies need to have in place.
Freight Forwarding Risks & Exposures
Premises liability exposure is limited due to lack of public access to the premises. Cargo containers stored outside may present an attractive nuisance to minors. Fencing and lighting help reduce this exposure. Contracts with transportation and storage providers may expose the operation to additional liability.
Environmental impairment exposure can be high if there are underground fuel tanks and waste disposal of fluids used for servicing and repairing trucks. All underground fuel tanks must meet state or federal regulations and be routinely tested for leakage. Contracts should be in place to dispose of all environmentally dangerous chemicals. Spill procedures must be in place to prevent the accidental discharge of sludge from water reclamation systems used in washing trucks.
Workers compensation exposure depends on the amount of freight handled by employees of the freight forwarder. If workers are involved in handling and/or storage of cargo, there is an increased exposure to injuries due to strains, sprains and back injuries. Proper lifting techniques must be taught and safety equipment provided. Garage employees can be injured by vehicles falling from hoists, strains, sprains and other lifting injuries. Good housekeeping is critical to reduce injury from slips, trips, and falls.
Burns, eye injuries, and respiratory problems can occur with the welding and painting. Dermatitis can result from employees coming into contact with harsh cleaning detergents. Repair areas should be properly ventilated. Proper safety equipment is required. Drivers must operate in adverse traffic conditions such as inclement weather or road construction. They must be monitored to ensure that an appropriate amount of time is allocated for sleep.
Property exposures may be limited to electrical, heating and cooling systems for an office. All electrical wiring must be up to code. If the forwarder stores customers' goods at an owned warehousing facility, the types of goods handled and stored may increase the exposure to both fire and theft. Theft protection should be appropriate for the types of goods stored and the location. Additional property exposures can result if the freight forwarder repairs, refuels, and maintains its own vehicles on premises.
Exposures include flammable liquids, including gasoline and diesel fuel, and heat-producing activities such as welding. Flammable liquids and heat-producing activities must be separated from combustibles to prevent fire and explosion. All spray-painting should be conducted in a spray booth with approved fixtures. The condition and controls of fuel tanks, whether above or below ground, are important for both property and environmental liability.
Crime exposure is from employee dishonesty and money and securities. Background checks, including criminal history, should be performed on all employees handling money. Freight forwarding operations involve a number of transactions and accounts that can be manipulated. There must be a separation of duties between persons handling deposits, billing, ordering, disbursements and reconciling bank statements. Regular internal and external audits should be conducted.
Inland marine exposures include accounts receivable, bailees, computers, goods in transit, and valuable papers and records. Customers' property may be damaged while being transported due to overturn, collision, or theft. Cargo containers should have locks and appropriate alarm systems. Coverage for customers' goods may be purchased using a motor truck cargo carrier coverage with modifications, or companies may offer coverages that are specifically designed for this type of operation. Any items in storage must be marked to prevent incorrect release. All data must be duplicated and kept off site for easy replication in the event of a loss.
Commercial auto exposure may be high if the freight forwarder is involved in one or more legs of the transportation process. Loading and unloading of freight is included on the auto policy. There may be considerable opportunity for contact with the client, who can be injured should the movers drop or overturn cargo. Children may be present during loading or unloading operations, requiring additional caution. All drivers must have training in lifting and handling or items being carried.
They must be well trained and have valid licenses for the items being transported and the type of vehicle being driven. In some cases, a commercial driver's license (CDL) will be required. MVRs must be acceptable and 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. Accidents can result in the spillage of diesel fuel or other operating fluids from within the truck, requiring cleanup.
Freight Forwarding Insurance
To find out exactly what type of policies you need and how much coverage you should carry, speak with a reputable insurance broker who knows your business.
Small Business Economic Data & Insurance Regulations
Perhaps you have the next great idea for a product or service that you know will appeal to your local area. Maybe you want to contribute to the economic growth of your community. Whatever the reason is, if you're thinking about starting a small business, it's important to understand pertinent information relating to small businesses in the United States; namely economic information and insurance regulations. After all, if you want your small business to succeed, you have to understand the economic trends organizations of a similar size in your area.
Likewise, you want to ensure that your small business is well protected with the right business insurance and that you are in compliance with the rules and regulations that pertain to commercial insurance in your region.
Read up on economic statistics and insurance information that relates to small business owners in the United States.
Small Business Economic Data In The United States
Here's a look at some information that was compiled by the Small Business Association (SBA) regarding the economic data that pertains to small businesses in the United States:
- In 2015, small businesses in the United States employed an estimated 58.9 million American workers, or 47.5 percent of the nation's private workforce.
- Largest shares = fewer than 100 employees. The small businesses that employed 100 people or less had the largest share of employment amount small businesses.
- Employment increased by nearly 2 percent. In 2018, employment amongst small businesses increased by 1.8 percent, which is an increase of 1 percent from the prior year.
- Increase in proprietors. In 2016, the number of small business proprietors increased by 2.3 percent.
- In 2015, small businesses were responsible for creating 1.9 million net jobs. Organizations that employed 20 people or less had the largest gains, as they added an estimated 1.1 million net jobs.
- There were 5.7 million loans that were value less than $100,000 issued by lenders in the United States in 2016. These loans were issued under the Community Reinvestment Act.
- Small business owners that were self-employed at the incorporated businesses that they owned reported a median income of $50,347 in 2016.
- Small business owners that were self-employed at the unincorporated businesses that they owned reported a median income of $23,060 in 2016.
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. The SBA recommends the following insurance plans for small business owners:
- Commercial Property Insurance: In the case of an unplanned disaster - fire, flood, vandalism, theft, etc. - this type of coverage will help you avoid paying for the damage out of your own pocket. Even if you rent the property, you should still carry commercial property insurance.
- Commercial Liability Insurance: In the event that a legal situation arises - a negligence lawsuit, for example - commercial liability coverage will provide financial protection. It will cover the cost of legal defense fees, court fees, and even moneys that may be awarded.
- Commercial Auto Insurance: If you operate a vehicle for any activities that are related to your business - transporting and/or delivering goods, or meeting with clients - commercial auto insurance is legally required for businesses of all sizes, including small businesses.
Additional Resources For Commercial Auto Insurance
Learn about small business commercial auto insurance which includes liability and physical damage protection for vehicles that are used for business purposes.
- Big Rig Truck
- Bobtail Non-Trucking Liability
- Commercial Auto
- Commercial Van
- Dump Truck
- Freight Forwarder
- Food Truck
- Non-Owned and Hired Auto Liability
- Owner Operator
- Pizza Delivery
- Tow Truck
The person injured in an vehicle accident may be a child, a wage earning single parent, a brain surgeon, or even a homeless person. The costs of the accident may be relatively small or run into the millions of dollars, depending on the victim and his or her injuries. Do you have the assets to handle such costs?
Trucking operations in this chapter are among the most heavily regulated in the country. All are subject to multiple types of regulation including municipal, state and federal. The regulations are necessary because potential for severe property damage and/or bodily injury is extremely high.
All carry cargo that if not handled appropriately could have serious consequences to the cargo owner and/or the public at large. Those that carry people must prove that they keep their equipment in good condition and that employees operate in a safe, sober manner.
The insurance company pays amounts an insured is legally obligated to pay as damages because of bodily injury or property damage and certain types of pollution events covered by this insurance caused by an accident and resulting from ownership, maintenance or use of covered vehicles.
The obligation to pay is triggered only by accidental occurrences involving vehicles covered under the Business Auto Coverage Form. An eligible pollution event is covered only if it is connected to a covered bodily injury or property damage loss.
It is important that you have the proper Limit of Insurance to protect your operations. This limit is the most the insurance company pays for the total of all damages, including any covered pollution cost or expense resulting from any one covered accident, is the Covered Auto liability limit of insurance on the declarations.
This limit applies regardless of the number of insureds, autos covered, vehicles involved in an accident, premium paid, or number of claims made.
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.