Vermont Funeral Home Insurance Policy Information
Vermont Funeral Home Insurance. Funeral directors or morticians prepare deceased bodies for burial or cremation. Services offered generally include transportation of the body to the funeral home for preparation and embalming, the sale of caskets, urns, and memorial items, funeral services at any location chosen by the client, transportation of the body, flowers, and family members to the cemetery, and notification to the local newspaper. Cremation also can be arranged through the funeral director. A pre-payment option may be offered, which places a long-term fiduciary responsibility on them.
Funeral home insurance policy is vital for businesses including funeral homes, which typically require coverage for a variety of costs including property damage and work-related bodily harm. On the whole, funeral homes require several insurance policies, each of which needs to be catered to your specific business.
No two funeral homes provide exactly the same service, and your commercial insurance needs might differ from your competitors. That's why each of these policies can be customized to meet your specific requirements. That's is why the smartest move a funeral home can make is to ensure they are properly protected with an-adequate Vermont funeral home insurance policy.
Vermont funeral home insurance protects your mortuary from lawsuits with rates as low as $47/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
Commercial General Liability Insurance
This type of policy covers any costs associated with a number of events including lawsuits, settlements, employee injury, or property damage involving a third party. If for instance, a mourner slips and falls inside your business premises; or one of your workers damages a customer's vehicle while going about their business, general liability insurance can help with expenses relating to property damage and/or medical costs.
The business itself needs coverage for property damage (i.e., to protect assets and fixtures inside the building) in case of a hazardous event such as fires, storm, theft, and vandalism. Your premises probably needs coverage for items such as:
- Office equipment including computers and other electronics
- Specialized equipment for embalming
- Business property such as coffins on display or for sale
Some businesses are eligible for a comprehensive insurance package known as Business Owners' Policy (BOP), which offers liability insurance, property insurance, and business interruption insurance in an affordable package. Discuss this with your insurance agent to find out what types of Vermont funeral home insurance packages your business is eligible for.
Special VT Funeral Home & Director Liability Coverage
In order to establish an infallible insurance policy, both the funeral home and directors may require additional liability protection to boost your basic CGL policy and to safeguard specific standalone policies. This may include:
- Directors & Officers liability insurance: This is meant to protect essential decision makers in the business (e.g., board of directors) from any legal issues arising from misconduct or poor decisions. Without this form of protection, individuals in management position may lose their assets in a lawsuit if found to have done any of the following:
- Bad investment decisions
- Illegal hiring and firing
- Releasing confidential information to the public
- Failure to maintain property
- Gross negligence
- Conflicts of interest
- Professional liability insurance: It is not uncommon for funeral directors to be accused of negligence or error, resulting in financial harm to the family of the deceased. Regardless of the validity of the claim, your professional liability policy can help cover costs when proving your case.
Commercial Auto Insurance Coverage for Hearses and other Company Vehicles
Driving is a major part of the funeral home business, and businesses that own fleets of hearses, trucks, cargo vans, and passenger cars need insurance coverage for both the vehicles and the drivers.
- Commercial Auto Insurance: This policy covers a number of things including collision and comprehensive motorist coverage for commercial vehicles. Coverage is normally based on two things; the way your vehicles are used in the business, and the persons responsible for driving them. For individuals who prefer to hire or lease business vehicles - or if you and your workers use personal vehicles for business purposes, additional coverage may be required. VT commercial auto policies typically cover the following:
- Vehicles owned and operated by your business
- Vehicles owned or leased by your business
- All vehicles used for business purposes (this includes vehicles not owned, hired, or leased by the business, e.g., a personal car used to conduct business).
You can choose to list the vehicles separately on your auto policy based on each vehicle's characteristics and corresponding Vermont funeral home insurance coverage.
VT Funeral Home's Risks & Exposures
Premises liability exposure is high as people entering the location to arrange and attend funerals are often in a fragile emotional state and may be unaware of their surroundings. The rooms and halls must be free of obstructions, and floor coverings must be in good condition.
There should be sufficient personnel to direct and assist, and they must be able to handle emergency situations. Parking lots and sidewalks must be kept free of ice and snow and must be in good condition. Lighting should be sufficient for the situation. Visitors may bring food into a designated area, which needs to be kept clean. If there is a playroom for children, it must be supervised at all times. Additional security may be required for high-profile funerals.
Off-premises exposures include conducting services at houses of worship, event centers, homes, and gravesites. Equipment used during services can pose a tripping hazard.
Professional liability exposure is high. While damage to a body is considered property damage, any improper handling can result in emotional distress to the family. The funeral director should comply with FTC regulations regarding itemization of prices for any services rendered. There should be excellent documentation regarding identification and handling of the deceased and any personal effects.
The family's wishes concerning all aspects of the body handling must be documented, signed, and strictly followed. There should be procedures on checking latches on the casket and on the hearse. Should cremation or other services be outsourced, the funeral director should be sure there is adequate liability coverage in place from the outsource vendor.
Environmental impairment exposure is high due to the potential for air, surface, or ground water, or soil contamination due to the toxic and corrosive impact of the embalming fluid and waste materials such as blood. The director must adhere to all federal and state guidelines for proper disposal.
Workers compensation exposure can be high due to the handling of bodies. Common injuries include cuts, puncture wounds, slips, trips, falls, foreign objects in the eye, and back injuries from lifting bodies. The use of chemicals can result in serious eye, skin, and lung injuries.
Some chemicals, particularly formaldehyde used in embalming fluid, are toxic. Employees must be fully informed as to the potential effects of any chemicals, including long-term occupational disease hazards so that they can take action as quickly as possible. Embalming operations require employees to wear gloves and masks to prevent contamination from bodily fluids, particularly blood.
Those transporting bodies to and from the funeral parlor, cemetery, or crematory can be injured in automobile accidents.
Property exposure consists of offices, a retail display area for caskets, urns, and memorial items, processing area, and viewing rooms. Ignition sources include electrical equipment, heating, and air conditioning. If the funeral home is located in a converted dwelling, all heating, cooling, and electrical wiring must meet current codes. Furnishings are highly susceptible to smoke, water, and fire damage.
Caskets are often wooden and lined with fabric that will help feed a fire. If embalming takes place on premises, the embalming fluid should be stored in small quantities and kept in an approved cabinet due to its corrosive and toxic nature. There should be adequate ventilation to prevent the buildup of chemical vapors which can ignite. Theft can be a concern, as the embalming fluid has become an attractive additive to marijuana.
Security is important to prevent unauthorized entrance to the premises. An on-premises crematory increases the exposure to fire due to the extremely high temperatures required to consume a body. There must be adequate clearances as the flue exits the chimney and controls in place to prevent overheating. Fuels used for crematory ovens include liquid petroleum, natural gas, or home heating oil. These must be stored in approved containers.
Crime exposure is from employee dishonesty. Background checks should be conducted on all employees handling money. Billing, ordering, and disbursements must be kept as separate duties. There should be a regular auditing of books especially if prepaid policies have been sold.
Inland marine exposures include accounts receivable if the funeral director offers credit, bailees customers, computers, special floater, and valuable papers and records for customers' and suppliers' information. The bailees customers exposure is from taking custody of the body of the deceased and any personal items that accompany it, plus personal items belonging to family and friends that are left in the funeral director's office or other designated area during visitations and the funeral. Equipment used off premises to conduct the funeral, such as at churches and other locations, should be covered with a special floater. Duplicates of all records should be made and kept off site.
Commercial auto exposures include transporting the body to the funeral home, then driving the hearse, flower car and other vehicles supplied to the family for funeral services. Additional services such as long distance body transport or emergency body pickup may be offered. All drivers must have the appropriate licenses and be aware of any local ordinances regarding funeral processions. Side trips should not be permitted. MVRs should be ordered on a regular basis. Vehicles must be regularly maintained with documentation kept in a central location.
Garagekeepers liability exposure is moderate if the funeral director offers valet parking or places visitors' vehicles in line for funeral processions.
Aside from the standard Vermont funeral home insurance policy, you can explore other options with your insurance agent to find out ways in which you can protect your business and employees.
Worker's compensation insurance policy protects your workers from costs relating to illness and injury and is required for any non-owner employees in most states. On the other hand, a package such as excess liability coverage can provide additional coverage or supplemental liability protection, giving your business coverage beyond the normal limits offered by standard policies.
Other types of coverage that may be of interest include pollution liability insurance, employment practices liability insurance, and employee theft or crime. When shopping for the best VT funeral home insurance, discuss with your agent all items that may need coverage, and find a policy tailored to your specific business. Small businesses need a trusted advisor who will be able to guide them in finding quality, affordable insurance that shields them from the myriad problems that can arise at the workplace.
Vermont Economic Data, Regulations And Limits On Commercial Insurance
For business-minded individuals who are either thinking about launching their first organization or established entrepreneurs who would like to expand their operations, there are several factors that need to be taken into consideration before proceeding. Of those factors, top on the list of importance is location.
The target market and demographics of a location must be favorable for the industry in order for a business to be successful. By analyzing the unemployment rate of a specific state and the key industries that are flourishing with that state, business owners can determine whether or not the will amass the success they are hoping to achieve.
In addition to understanding the economic data of a state, it's also important for proprietors to know what type of commercial insurance they are required to carry.
If you're considering Vermont as the headquarters of your operation for a branch of your already existing business, read on to for an overview of the economic data and commercial insurance requirements in the Green Mountain State.
Economic Trends For Business Owners In Vermont
In December of 2019, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the unemployment rate in Vermont was 2.3%; 1.2% lower than the national average of 3.5% during the same time period. While the state's unemployment rate did rise slightly – it was 2.1% in July of 2019, for example – these statistics sill indicate that Vermont has a healthy economy that is conducive for business owners and residents of the state.
The favorable tax climate, the healthy environment, and the overall quality of life in Vermont are just some of the reasons why the economy in this state is booming.
As in most states, densely populated urban areas offer the most promise for businesses. These regions offer a larger workforce and market than smaller suburban and rural areas, they're easier to access, and they are more closely connected with surrounding states and the region of New England, as a whole.
With that said, the top places to start a business in Vermont include:
Several industries are seeing significant growth in Vermont. At the time of writing, the following sectors were seeing the most growth in the state:
- Food and beverage
- Health care
- Hospitality and tourism
- Professional services
Commercial Insurance Requirements In Vermont
The Vermont Department of Financial Regulation regulates insurance in VT. Vermont mandates very few forms of insurance coverage by law. They enforce worker's compensation.
Vermont requires you to have worker's compensation insurance if you hire even one employee on a regular basis. This includes part-time employees, family members, minors, and immigrant employees. It is not required for independent contractors or domestic employees, though you should check to make sure any contractors you have are true contractors, and not employees.
Vermont also requires all business-owned vehicles to be covered by commercial auto insurance. Other types of business insurance that business owners should carry depend on the specific industry.
Additional Resources For Retail Insurance
Read valuable small business retail insurance policy information. In a retail business, you need to have the right type of commercial insurance coverage so that your store, employees, and inventory are protected.
- Adult Novelty
- Antique Dealers
- Appliance & Electronics Store
- Army Navy Surplus Stores
- Art Dealers
- Art Gallery
- Arts & Crafts Supply Stores
- Bicycle Shop
- Boat Dealers
- Book Store
- Bridal Shop
- Candy Confectionery Store
- Carpet Store
- Cell Phone Stores
- Clothing Store
- Collectibles Memorabilia Store
- Consignment Stores
- Convenience Store
- Cosmetics Store
- Costume Stores
- Dry Cleaning
- Embroidery Services
- Equipment Rental
- Fabric Stores
- Fish Markets
- Flea Markets
- Funeral Home
- Furniture Store
- Gift Store
- Greeting Card Stores
- Hardware Store
- Harness & Saddle Shops
- Home Improvement Store
- Infant, Baby & Children's Clothing Stores
- Jewelry Store
- Lamp Stores
- Lingerie Store
- Luggage Store
- Meat Market & Butcher Shop
- Men's Clothing Stores
- Music Store
- Office Supply Store
- Paint & Wallpaper Store
- Pawn Shop
- Pet Store
- Pharmacy Liability
- Plumbing Supplies Fixtures Store
- Poultry Dealers
- Rent To Own Stores
- Scrap Metal Dealers
- Sewing Store
- Shoe Store
- Sporting Goods Store
- Stationary Store
- Thrift Store
- Ticket Agency
- Tire Store
- Tobacco Store
- Toy Store
- Travel Agency
- Trophy Stores
- Tuxedo And Formal Wear Rental Store
- Vending Machine Operators
- Wig Store
- Women's Clothing Stores
Retail stores are susceptible to premises liability claims because of customer traffic, but large department and specialty stores are more susceptible than most.
All retail stores have significant property exposures. The on-hand stock represents a considerable investment, but the amount on hand fluctuates seasonally. For this reason, physical damage insurance on this property must be arranged carefully. When the insured occupies a non-owned building, insurance coverage must be arranged for the insured's interest in extensive improvements and betterments made to the premises.
Crime insurance, in the form of employee theft and money and securities coverage, is also very important.
The businessowners policy was designed with retail exposures and operations in mind. For this reason alone, it should always be the first type of package coverage to consider. However, for those risks not eligible for the business owners policy program, the commercial package policy (CPP) is a practical and convenient way to combine a number of coverages into one policy.
Retail businesses generate income through interaction with customers. This interaction is also how a customer can sustain an injury and then sue the retailer for damages. Hazards, exposures and operations both on premises and off are important and must be covered, but liability the retailer may incur because of the merchandise sold must also be considered and insurance protection arranged.
Inventory or stock is the major property exposure for most retail operations. Because stock values tend to fluctuate or have significant peaks at certain times of the year, value reporting or peak season valuation options should be considered. Business income coverage, including business income from dependent properties coverage, may mean the difference between a retail operation staying in business or being forced into bankruptcy following a loss.
When the insured occupies a non-owned building, insurance coverage must be arranged for the insured’s interest in extensive improvements and betterments made to the premises.
Most retail businesses offer endless opportunities for a variety of criminal activities. For this reason, the coverages needed must be carefully evaluated. Holdup and robbery losses may be the most obvious concerns but employee theft, fraud and counterfeit money losses are also serious issues that cannot be dismissed.
Retail businesses are gaining greater exposure to international issues because of the growth in sales via the internet. As these sales increase, the added exposures faced by these retailers must be evaluated. While their operating horizons are expanding so are their potential loss exposures.
Minimum recommended small business insurance coverage: Business Personal Property, Business Income and Extra Expense, Equipment Breakdown, Employee Dishonesty, Money and Securities, Accounts Receivable, Computers, Valuable Papers and Records, General Liability, Employee Benefits, Umbrella, Hired and Non-owned Auto & Workers Compensation.
Other commercial insurance policies to consider: Building, Earthquake, Flood, Leasehold Interest, Real Property Legal Liability, Computer Fraud, Forgery, Bailees Customers, Goods in Transit, Jewelers Block, Cyber Liability, Employment-related Practices, Business Auto Liability and Physical Damage and Stop Gap Liability.
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