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.
Umbrella Insurance. Does you business need an umbrella excess liability policy? Any company in business in today's modern world is subject to claims of wrongdoing and/or negligence. With an umbrella insurance policy in place, the fallout from these types of lawsuit is minimized and mitigated.
In the litigious environment in which we live, people are seemingly looking for a reason to sue a company, business, or individual and the excess liability policy can cover damages that exceed the limits of your underlying liability insurances.
Umbrella insurance is excess liability that protects your business from lawsuits with rates as low as $47/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
Any Company Can Be Sued for Negligence or Wrongdoing
Now more than any time in history, people are more than glad to lodge a complaint against a business, even if the complaint has little or even no merit. When an individual feels wronged or jilted in some way, the first thing that comes to mind is to make the company offending them pay. Many people see a business as having deep pockets, even if the business is small and doesn't have a lot of revenue. With business umbrella insurance, your business enjoys a heightened level of protection from such claims, and should your business find itself paying an exorbitant amount in a claim, this insurance can be invaluable.
A commercial agent working with experiencing writing business policies is a go-to source for getting the right umbrella insurance policy. An agent with experience can be helpful in recognizing the risks that your business faces and helping you to find the right level of protection to put a shield between you and potential litigants.
Reasons to Buy Business Umbrella Insurance
There are a number of reasons that an umbrella insurance policy may be right for you. Some of them include:
- You have professional liability coverage in force, but it might not be sufficient to cover your needs, including any payouts to litigants and the legal fees incurred to defend yourself in court.
- Your business has significant assets to protect. Remember that if a monetary award is quite significant, you may be asked to sell off assets to cover any award not met by your insurance.
- Your company runs a high risk of claims because of the service or products that you provide or sell. For example, a dog walking business is generally a less-risky endeavor than a sky-diving instruction business.
- The work you do is prone to litigiousness. Some professions see more litigation than others; a doctor is more apt to be sued than a guy providing landscaping services.
Commercial Umbrella Insurance and Your Business
Lawsuits in the business world are filed each and every day. Do you know your own business' risks?
Big businesses are not alone in their risk for legal action against them. Small businesses and mid-sized enterprises are also vulnerable, perhaps even more so. Any business of any size can be targeted, and even a minor lawsuit can cost a lot of money to dispose of, including legal fees for representing claims without merit.
Some scenarios that often leave businesses at risk of being sued include:
- An employee posting something deemed damaging about another business or individual on a social media network from a company computer.
- Advice rendered by an employee causes a client to lose money.
- A customer coming into the office for a consult slips in ice on the pavement out front and is inured.
- A bartender serves too many beers to someone who ends up in an accident and kills someone.
- A waitress drops a hot cup of coffee on a customer and causes a burn.
- An adjustment by a chiropractic professional leads to the patient's injury.
- A product you sell causes people to become ill or die.
- An employee in a company car runs a red light and causes an accident.
These are real world examples of accidents that have occurred and been adjudicated in a court of law. It is impossible to know in advance if an event will occur, which is why an umbrella insurance policy makes sense. The policy kicks in to pay any excess liability not covered by your standard business insurance policy.
How Does An Umbrella Business Policy Work?
Umbrella policies have simple structures that are not too difficult to understand. To illustrate such as policy, assume that you or an employee causes an accident. Several people sustain severe injuries. The accident happens in your company car. As a result, the legal fees and costs of the accident amount to $2 million and include legal settlements, attorney's fees, hospitalization and medical costs. You only have $1 million in liability coverage. Who pays the other million? If you have an umbrella policy, the umbrella policy does.
If you don't have the policy in force, you would pay yourself, or your company would pay.
LLCs and Umbrella Policy
While an LLC structure provides some protection to businesses when it comes to such claims, there is also such a thing as 'piercing the corporate veil.' In this instance, if the plaintiff can provide evidence that the LLC and business owner were inseparable, then the business owner can be held personally liable, leaving his personal assets open to seizure.
Because of this, even if your business is set up as an LLC, having that extra layer of protection in place can be fundamental to keeping your business on the right track and progressively growing, even in the face of claims.
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 Small Business Insurance
Protect your company and employees with the right commercial insurance policies. Read informative articles on small business insurance coverages - and how they can help shield your company from legal liabilities.
- Business General Liability
- Business Liability
- Business Owners Policy (BOP)
- Certificate of Insurance
- Comprehensive General Liability
- Directors and Officers Liability
- Employers Liability
- Employment Practices Liability
- Home Based Business
- Independent Contractor
- Liability Insurance Certificate
- Liability Insurance
- Professional Liability
- Small Business
Your small business faces many potential disasters including: fire, floods, theft, equipment breakdown, lawsuits from clients or customers and current & former employees. Any many other risks you haven't even thought about.
A small business commercial insurance program should provide protection for both larger and smaller disasters. The obvious things like fire, flood and theft most business owners thnk about... but what if a hacker infects your computers with a virus - and files containing private customer information like credit card and Social Security numbers are stolen?
Who is going to pay to fix your customers credit rating etc.? Will your insurance pay for the cost? You need to know that.
Your commercial insurance program should cover events that can close down your company, or cause it to lose revenue. Anything less than that is not enough coverage. Commmercial insurance doesn't cover everything, and all policies have exclusions and limits.
You need a written plan that allows you to get your operations back up and running as quick as possible.
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.