Frequently Asked Questions About
Commercial General Liability Insurance
How much does commercial 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.
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.
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.
Locksmith Insurance. In order to run a successful locksmith business you need more than just trained and certified locksmiths. Your locksmiths need to be bonded as well. Bonded means the locksmiths' liability is guaranteed by an exclusive bonding company (insurance company). Simply put, if the locksmiths cause any damage while performing their duties the financial obligation due to the third party is absorbed by the insurance company.
Locksmiths install, repair, open, and replace locks and locking mechanisms on homes, businesses, and automobiles. Other services include key duplications and retail sales of hardware and locks. Locksmiths often provide 24-hour emergency unlocking services. Some locksmiths also service safes, alarm and security systems.
Many business owners are under the false perception that if a locksmith is licensed they are also automatically insured. This is not true. The two are not related. Licensure speaks of a locksmith's professional training while locksmith insurance speaks about a locksmith's liability.
Locksmith insurance protects your business from lawsuits with rates as low as $37/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
Why You Need Locksmith Insurance
Locksmiths who are not bonded are at risk of having to pay for any damages should they occur. Not having locksmith insurance also portrays the business as being less competent. In order to stay competitive and appeal to as many customers as possible and safeguard the business finances, here are the various types of locksmith insurance:
General Liability Insurance - This is an insurance policy that all businesses should have. It covers any damage resulting from work done as well as any injuries that might have occurred while working to any third party. Should the third party pursue legal action the general liability insurance policy will be claimed and be used to cover the associated costs e.g. any medical costs incurred, the cost of damaged property e.t.c. One great benefit of a locksmith insurance policy is it protects the locksmith wherever he goes. In addition, the policy can be used to cover the business should another business bring legal action claiming slander or copyright infringement.
Business Auto Insurance - The locksmith profession is a highly mobile one. Constant travel is part and parcel of their occupation. For this reason, commercial auto insurance is absolutely essential particularly for the locksmiths who work primarily from company cars. A commercial auto insurance policy will cover the costs for any accidents regardless of who is at fault, any damage done to the vehicle due to a collision with wildlife and even damage caused to the vehicle by weather.
The commercial auto insurance policy can also be used to make up for any difference that might arise in the event the employee uses his own vehicle to pursue work-related errands and his personal auto policy is not sufficient to cover the financial consequences resulting from an accident e.g. medical bills, vehicle repairs etc. This is called an non-owned coverage.
Professional Liability Insurance - Also know as errors and omissions insurance, this locksmith insurance policy that covers the locksmith in the event a professional oversight or error occurs which results in the financial loss of a third party, which is usually the customer.
For example, if the locksmith uses forceful entry and it is later determined there was a more sophisticated approach he could have used, he might face a professional liability lawsuit. In such a case the insurance policy can be claimed to cover the legal defense as well as any related expenses. Additionally, if the locksmith made any omissions that might be construed as negligence that resulted in financial loss of a third party the professional liability insurance policy will still help cater for the legal expenses and the awarded damages to the plaintiff should the locksmith be found to be at fault.
Commercial Property Insurance - This locksmith insurance policy protects the locksmith's tools and property in the event they are damaged or lost. The damage or loss may be caused by a natural disaster, theft or even a fire. The policy is claimed to help with the repair and replacement of the tools or property.
With property insurance, business owners have the option of choosing between cash value and replacement value insurance plans. A cash value plan reimburses cash at the depreciated value of the property while a replacement plan replaces the tools/property at the initial price.
Workers Compensation Insurance - Workers comp is require in most states for an non-partner or owner employees. workers comp policy covers the medical costs of locksmiths injured while working. Regardless of whether they get injured by their tools, or they happen to slip on a wet floor, or their injury occurs in any other fashion, the policy will cover their medical costs. In some instances the policy may be used to compensate the locksmiths on wages they might miss out on while recovering.
Umbrella Insurance - Commercial umbrella is excess liability insurance that provides additional liability coverage beyond the limits of the underlying liability insurance. If your locksmiths regularly work for clients who own property that is very expensive extending the coverage of some of your locksmith insurance policies is recommended since its very possible you might end up facing a liability suit that requires more than your current policies permit. This policy guarantees that any difference will not be drawn from company funds.
Locksmith's Risks & Exposures
Premises liability exposures are light at the locksmith's premises due to lack of public access. Off-premises exposures are moderate at the client's premises, but customers can be injured or their property damaged during repair or installation. Employees of the locksmith may steal from customers. Locksmiths are held to a high degree of care because of the trust their customers necessarily place in their work.
Any time security issues are involved and a theft or crime occurs, the exposure of the locksmith who promises safe, secure premises from the installation and use of a product can result in significant products losses. The completed operations exposure can be very high if the locksmith monitors alarms.
Property exposure may be limited to an office and storage of equipment if the locksmith handles only on-call lock services. If there are retail lock and security systems sales, the stock will be susceptible to fire, smoke and water damage. Specialty equipment used to duplicate keys and open locks is a target for thieves.
Crime exposure is primarily from employee dishonesty. Background checks, including criminal history, should be performed on all employees providing services to customers or handling money. Employees who cannot be bonded and licensed are a significant hazard as they have ready access to the special tools used to duplicate keys and open locks, plus access to customers' premises and property. This exposure can quickly grow from a crime loss against the locksmith to a liability loss from customers.
Physical audits of all equipment should be conducted regularly. Receipts for monies received from customers should be reconciled daily. All ordering, billing and disbursement should be handled as separate duties with reconciliations occurring regularly.
Inland marine exposures include accounts receivable if the locksmith offers credit to customers, computers, contractors' equipment and tools transported to customers' premises, goods in transit if there are retail sales, and valuable papers and records for customers' and suppliers' information. The equipment used to open locks is attractive to thieves as it can be used to break into buildings and cars. If the locksmith installs locks or security equipment, there will be an installation floater exposure.
Business auto exposure generally consists of travel to and from job sites. MVRs must be run on a regular basis. Random drug and alcohol testing should be conducted. Vehicles must be well maintained with records kept in a central location. Emergency services result in driving to unfamiliar places at unusual hours. A significant hazard arises if the insured lacks standard procedures that apply to "on call" personnel regarding sleep, alcohol or drug use, and radius of operation.
Workers compensation exposures come from the cutting, welding, drilling, and other necessary processes during the repair and installation operation. Persons on call to handle emergency lock-outs can be injured in automobile accidents or face danger from robbery and personal attack, especially in high-crime neighborhoods, as the equipment and tools they carry are attractive to thieves.
There are many potential risks you face when operating a locksmith business. Having locksmith insurance will help protect your operation, while minimizing out of pocket expenses if you are ever sued.
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 Contractors & Home Improvement Insurance
Learn about small business contractor's insurance, including what it covers, how much it costs - and how commercial insurance can help protect your contracting business from lawsuits.
- Air Conditioning Systems Installation Repair
- Builders Risk
- Cable And Satellite TV Installer
- Concrete Contractors
- Contractor Liability
- Demolition Contractors
- Dryer Vent Cleaning
- Drywall Contractor
- Electrical Contractors
- Excavation Contractor
- Fence Installation
- Fire Sprinkler Contractors
- Fire & Water Restoration Contractors
- Flooring Contractor
- Framing Contractor
- Garage Door Installer And Repair
- Glass Contractor
- Glazier Insurance
- House Cleaning
- HVAC Contractor
- Janitorial Cleaning Services
- Lawn Care
- Masonry Contractor
- Plastering And Stucco Contractor
- Propane And Fuel Dealers
- Rug, Upholstery & Carpet Cleaning
- Security Alarm
- Siding Contractor
- Solar Panel Installers
- Snow Plow
- Stone And Tile Installer
- Swimming Pool Contractor
- Tree Trimming
- Upholstery Shop
- Waste Haulers & Garbage Collection
- Water Well Drilling
- Welding Contractor
- Wildlife & Pest Control
- Window Cleaning
If a contractor wants to begin or stay in business, liability coverage must be obtained for the premises or operations, off-site locations and products/completed operations exposures. These coverages may be included as a part of a businessowners policy (BOP) or purchased in a commercial general liability (CGL) policy. Owners and contractors protective liability and railroad protective liability coverages may also be required in certain cases in order for a contractor to obtain a particular job.
Many contractors do not have the usual location-specific buildings and business personal property exposures. Their business property is more mobile and, therefore, better covered with inland marine coverage forms. However, for those larger contractors that own buildings and/or maintain business inventory there are many coverage forms and choices available to them.
Contractors use their vehicles to get to and from their workplaces and jobsites. They also use vehicles to transport equipment and inventory to those locations. It is important to cover the liability of these vehicles for injury or damage they may cause, as well as to provide coverage for damage to the vehicles themselves.
Employers are required to provide coverage for injuries sustained by their employees while on the job. Contractors must comply with these requirements but some try to avoid them by hiring subcontractors. These subcontractors may actually operate and qualify as employees. The relationship between a contractor and its subcontractors must be carefully evaluated in order to determine if workers compensation coverage is still needed.
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.