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.
Self-Storage Insurance. 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 to protect your facilities. In this post, we'll take a look at the different types of insurance policies to keep your self-storage business protected.
Self-storage insurance protects your facility from lawsuits with rates as low as $67/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
Property Coverage For Your Storage Facility
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.
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.
The Importance Of Liability Insurance
When operating a 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 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, 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 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.
Self-Storage Unit's Risks & Exposures
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.
Self Storage Insurance
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.
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 Property Insurance
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.
- Apartment Building
- Business Interruption
- Commercial Flood Insurance
- Commercial Property
- Condo Association
- Equipment Breakdown Protection Insurance
- Homeowners Association Insurance
- Inland Marine
- Mobile Home Park
- Non-Residential Building Operators
- Shopping Center & Strip Mall
- Vacant Land
- Vacant Property
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.
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.