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.
Labor Union Insurance
Labor Union Insurance. Trade and labor unions were formed to improve the wages, benefits and working conditions of its members through collective bargaining. They may be limited to one type of worker, such as carpentry, or be organized around an industry, such as construction. The union's officers are elected by the members and make decisions on their behalf. They represent members in disputes with management. They may advocate for legislation and social policies favorable to their members.
Some unions offer counseling, job placement, temporary job services, or vocational rehabilitation and training. Many unions sponsor social activities for their members, such as picnics, athletic teams/leagues, or parties. Alcoholic beverages may be served at social events. Some unions provide transportation services to sponsored events and have significant automobile exposures. Others are responsible for pension or retirement funds and have a significant fiduciary exposure.
Strikes, labor disputes, and walkouts may occur if the members of the union decide to take action against employers, increasing the potential for personal injury liability, bodily injury, and property damage. Labor unions are nonprofit, and their workers are a combination of voluntary and paid. While most of the funding is through membership dues, there may be additional fund-raising activities.
Geographic exposure is usually local, but most unions are linked to state or national organizations. All activities, operations, fund-raising promotions, and geographic exposures of the union should be carefully evaluated.
unions are a vital part of the workforce. They work with employers on behalf of the employees they represent to establish protections in the workplace and to set standards of pay, thereby improving working conditions by ensuring that employees are receiving just treatment. Unions also help society, as a whole, by promoting economic gains, increasing productivity, and reducing the turnover rate.
Are you in charge of a prominent trade union? Have you and your colleagues decided to create a local union? Either way, it's important that you have the right type of labor union insurance protection in place.
Labor union insurance protects your trade and labor union locals, regional and national associations from lawsuits with rates as low as $57/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
Why Is Insurance So Important For Trade & Labor Unions?
labor unions endorse the best interests of the employees they represent. They also work directly with employers to ensure that they workers they are supporting are receiving just treatment. There are several risks associated with operating a union; employees can file a lawsuit against you, stating that they didn't receive just representation, a client could slip, fall, and sustain an injury while visiting your office, you could be involved in a car accident while driving to a job site.
These are just some of the risks that are associated with operating a trade or labor union. You are financially responsible for covering the costs of any damages and litigation. Insurance provides financial protection for the organization, as well as the personal assets of those who are invested in the union.
With the right labor union insurance, instead of having to pay for any damages and legal fees out of your own pocket, your insurance provider will cover the costs. In other words, insurance can protect you from financial devastation.
What Type of Insurance Do Labor And Trade Unions Need?
The insurance needs of a labor union depend on a variety of factors; the industry and the number of employees you are representing, as well as the location of your union, for example. While the risks and protections that a labor union needs will vary, there are certain labor union insurance coverages that all unions should have in place, including:
- Commercial General Liability - General liability coverage is a vital for all labor unions. This type of coverage protects your organization against third-party claims, including personal injuries, property damage, advertising mishaps, and other types of risks. For example, if a client sustains an injury while visiting your office and files a lawsuit, general liability insurance will help to pay for any associated medical expenses, legal fees, and any other covered expenses.
- Business Auto - If you or any other representatives of your labor union use vehicles for work-related purposes, commercial auto insurance is an absolute must. For instance, if you cause a rear-end collision while driving to a job site, your commercial auto insurance will pay for any damages that the other vehicle sustained. If the driver of the vehicle you hit takes legal action, your commercial auto insurance will also help to cover the cost of a lawyer, court fees, and other related legal expenses.
- Workers Compensation - Whether you employ a staff of five, 50, or 500, workers' comp is important and often required. This type of insurance covers the cost of medical care and any rehabilitation that your employees might need if they suffer a work-related injury or illness. It can also provide compensation for any wages that an employee loses while he or she is recovering, as well as legal fees, should the employee decide to file a lawsuit.
- Fiduciary Liability - This type of insurance coverage will protect your labor union, the directors and officers, and the trustees from any fiduciary-related legal claims, such as the mismanagement of your employees' benefit plans. For instance, if an employee you represent claims that you offered poor advice regarding investment practices, or you were negligent with the investments that you were entrusted with, fiduciary liability insurance will help to cover the cost of any related legal fees.
These are just some of the insurance options that labor unions should invest in.
Labor Union's Risks & Exposures
Premises liability exposure is minor if limited to an office. If there is a union hall, visitors may be injured from slips and falls. Flooring should be in good condition, with no frayed or worn spots on carpet, and no cracks or holes in flooring. Steps and uneven floor surfaces should be prominently marked. Sufficient exits must be provided and be well marked with backup lighting systems in case of power failure.
If training is conducted on premises, there may be additional exposures due to the nature of that trade. If daycare is provided, background checks should be conducted on all daycare attendants. Children must be properly supervised at all times. 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. If the hall is open after dark, lighting must be adequate both inside and outside the building.
The union hall may be a target for vandals, disgruntled members, or the public. There must be adequate security to prevent unauthorized entry. Any off-premises exposure from union activities must be evaluated. Personal injury exposure can arise from union activities, particularly if others do not share their viewpoint, and can include alleged assault and battery, discrimination, invasion of privacy, and unlawful detention. Employees must be trained to handle such situations properly.
Directors and officers exposure can be substantial as they are more likely to be sued for any adverse results of their decisions in times of economic downturn. Policies and procedures should be published and consistently followed, especially as they relate to membership, membership revocation, the election of officers, and removal of officers.
Liquor liability exposure arises if liquor is provided or sold during social events. Servers must be trained to recognize the effects of excessive alcohol consumption, to verify the age of those ordering alcoholic beverages, and to refuse service to underage members or guests.
Workers compensation exposure may be limited to office employees who may develop repetitive motion injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome. Workstations should be ergonomically designed. Any union employee attempting to start new union shops may be subject to intimidation by the management of the employer being targeted for union organization. Training in the handling of potentially escalating situations is important to avoid injury to union employees.
If the union hall houses other activities such as a restaurant or job training, employees may be injured by electric shocks, back sprains and strains, machinery, heat, extreme cold, respiratory illness, slips or falls, being hit by dropped objects, or falls from heights.
Property exposure comes from the office and the union hall. Ignition sources include electrical wiring, heating, and air conditioning systems, and cooking equipment. Electrical wiring must be up to date and meet codes for current use. If training takes place at the union hall, all exposures affecting that trade group should be evaluated to determine the increased potential for fire.
If the union hall serves food and drink, kitchen appliances should be protected with automatic shut-off valves and fire extinguishing agents. Housekeeping is critical, with grease filters cleaned and maintained regularly. Activist unions may antagonize others not supportive of their viewpoint and may become targets for acts of intimidation that include vandalism, arson, and firebombing. Additional security may be needed.
Crime exposure comes from employee dishonesty and theft of money and securities. Employee dishonesty coverage should be expanded to include volunteers as employees. Background checks should be conducted on all employees and volunteers handling funds. Receipts should be provided for all payments.
Regular audits, preferably by an independent accountant, must be performed to ensure that all funds are being properly handled. Duties must be separated to guarantee appropriate checks and balances. Unions hold the dues and pension funds in trust for the membership. Surety bonds are available to meet governmental obligations arising from this fiduciary responsibility.
Inland marine exposure comes from accounts receivable for dues collected from members' employers, computers, and valuable papers and records for historical documents, contracts, members' records, and minutes of active negotiations. All records must be duplicated and stored at an off-site location for easy restoration in the event of a loss. The union may need scheduled property floater coverage for items used in union organizing, meetings, and other activities.
Commercial auto exposure is generally limited to hired and non-owned auto for employees or volunteers running errands on behalf of the union. Some larger organizations may have full-time employees who must visit the workplaces of union members and assist in organizing new unions. If there is a private passenger fleet, all drivers should have valid licenses with MVRs regularly reviewed.
All vehicles should be maintained with records of the maintenance kept in a central location. If buses are rented to transport members to various functions, coverage should be evaluated based on where the buses are going, licenses and MVRs of drivers, and the contract with the organization that is supplying the bus.
AFL-CIO Affiliated Unions
- Actors' Equity Association (AEA)
- Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA)
- Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU)
- American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE)
- American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada (AFM)
- American Federation of School Administrators (AFSA)
- American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME)
- American Federation of Teachers (AFT)
- American Guild of Musical Artists (AGMA)
- American Guild of Variety Artists (AGVA)
- American Postal Workers Union (APWU)
- American Radio Association (ARA)
- American Train Dispatchers Association (ATDA)
- Associated Actors and Artistes of America (4As)
- Association of Flight Attendants (AFA-CWA)
- Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM)
- Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen (BRS)
- California School Employees Association (CSEA)
- Communications Workers of America (CWA)
- Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC)
- Glass, Molders, Pottery, Plastics & Allied Workers International Union (GMP-USW)
- Industrial Union of Electronic Workers (IUE-CWA)
- International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts of the United States, Its Territories and Canada (IATSE)
- International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers (Ironworkers)
- International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF)
- International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers (HFIU)
- International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM)
- International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART)
- International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Iron Ship Builders, Blacksmiths, Forgers and Helpers (IBB)
- International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW)
- International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers (IFPTE)
- International Longshoremen's Association (ILA)
- International Plate Printers, Die Stampers and Engravers Union of North America (Plate Printers and Die Stampers)
- International Union of Allied Novelty and Production Workers (Novelty and Production Workers)
- International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers (BAC)
- International Union of Elevator Constructors (IUEC)
- International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE)
- International Union of Painters and Allied Trades of the United States and Canada (IUPAT)
- International Union of Police Associations (IUPA)
- Laborers' International Union of North America (LIUNA)
- Marine Engineers' Beneficial Association (MEBA)
- NFL Players Association (NFLPA)
- National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA)
- National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians (NABET-CWA)
- National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC)
- National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE-IAM)
- National Nurses United (NNU)
- National Postal Mail Handlers Union (NPMHU)
- National Taxi Workers Alliance (NTWA)
- Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU)
- Operative Plasterers' and Cement Masons' International Association of the United States and Canada (OPCMIA)
- Printing, Publishing and Media Workers, CWA (PPMW-CWA)
- Professional Aviation Safety Specialists (PASS)
- Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU-UFCW)
- Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA)
- Seafarers International Union of North America (SIU)
- The Guild of Italian American Actors (GIAA)
- The Newspaper Guild (TNG-CWA)
- Transport Workers Union of America (TWU)
- Transportation Communications International Union/IAM (TCU/IAM)
- UNITE HERE
- United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry of the United States and Canada (UA)
- United Automobile, Aerospace & Agricultural Implement Workers of America International Union (UAW)
- United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW)
- United Mine Workers of America (UMWA)
- United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial & Service Workers International Union (USW)
- United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers and Allied Workers (Roofers and Waterproofers)
- Utility Workers Union of America (UWUA)
- Writers Guild of America, East Inc. (WGAE)
Labor Union Insurance
To make sure that your union is properly protected, speak to an experienced insurance broker to find out exactly what type of labor union insurance coverage you need and how much coverage you should carry to protect your operations, leadership and members.
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 Miscellaneous & Non-Profit Insurance
Find informative articles on miscellaneous businesses including the types of commercial insurance they need, costs and other considerations.
- Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting
- Assisted Living Facilities
- Employment / Staffing Agency
- Engraving Business
- Facility Support Services
- Mail Order
- Oil And Gas Lease
- Parking Lot
- Personal Concierge
- Photofinishing Lab
- Private Water Districts
- Process Server
- Public Liability
- RV Parks & Campgrounds
- Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) Drone
- Wedding Planner
An insurance contract is an agreement where one party obligates itself to make good the financial loss or damage sustained by a second party when a designated event occurs. The event must be fortuitous and happen by accident. The named insured must have insurable interest at the time of loss. One final point is that in order for any contract to be considered insurance, there must be a risk of loss.
Fortuitous Event - An occurrence largely beyond the control of any involved party; happening by chance; accidental; for example: fire, lightning, windstorm, explosion or flood.
Insurable Interest - In order to recover from a loss to property, the holder must have an insurable interest in the property at the time of the event or occurrence. An insurable interest is any right, title or interest in property where the holder of that right, title or interest sustains financial loss if the property is damaged or destroyed. Any lawful and substantial economic interest in the safety or preservation of the property from loss, destruction or damage also constitutes an insurable interest.
An entity does not have to be the property owner to have an insurable interest in it. Examples include, but are not limited to, mortgagees, trustees, vendors, lessees and bailees. Insurable interest for any entity must exist at the time the loss occurs.
Risk Of Loss - If property could never be destroyed, there is no risk of loss. If property must necessarily disintegrate or be destroyed, there is no risk of loss. Between these two extremes is the exposure of risk that can be insured.
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.