Commercial Insurance For Beginners

Would you go boating without a life-vest? I certainly hope not. In the same way; would you run your business without having it insured in any way? Risking bankruptcy and failure, simply by not protecting yourself against theft, lawsuits, damage from water and fire, etc – would you make that mistake?

That should suffice for rhetorical questions for now, I think. Of course you wouldn’t jeopardize your livelihood like that, so as any sensible business owner,you want commercial insurance. What type you want depends on what sort of business you run: If you work in the transport and freight sector, you would likely need to insure a vehicle of some sort – perhaps a truck. Well then; commercial truck insurance is what you need. The premiums will depend on the size of the truck, the use of it (could be hazardous materials), what shape it is in, etc. If on the other hand you are a doctor, you wouldn’t dream of practising your work without a malpractice insurance, would you? A single malpractice lawsuit could ruin you for life, so you probably would not risk that. No matter what field of business you are in though, there is one type of insurance you probably can’t escape: Commercial liability insurance. This will save you from financial ruin, in case you, your company or a product you manufacture causes damage to someone. Most people have personal liability insurances, so the concept may not be foreign to you. Well, liability is just as important for businesses to concerned with – if not more so. No matter how sure you are of the qualities and safety of your products or services, you can never know for certain that they won’t be able to cause damage to someone somewhere. No matter how well written your legal disclaimers and user manuals are; there will be people who misuse the product, so even if you are legally not at fault, you could still become subject to a lawsuit. Of course there is also the possibility that you missed a detail when designing your product – no matter how good your quality control is. Insurance is the only way to protect yourself against issues like these.

Commercial motor insurance is another example of how business insurance differs from personal insurance. To an insurance company, a vehicle used for business purposes will be subject to more wear, higher risk, etc; than a personal vehicle is. This may mean you have to pay more to insure a business vehicle in some cases, but not necessarily. What it does mean for certain though, is that the criteria used for risk-assessment are different when insuring the company car. A van insurance quote for instance, will be calculated differently if the van is to be used by a courier business, than if it was for private use. It may end up costing more – or it may end up costing less. No matter what you are insuring, remember to shop around for the best commercial insurance quotes. Take the time you need to find something that fits your needs, and spend what you have to – but please don’t omit insurance when building your business.

What Kind and How Much Commercial Insurance Do You Need?

Every business needs commercial insurance of some kind or another, depending on the nature of the business, and in sufficient amounts to protect it from serious, if not fatal, losses and liabilities. Only a serious, thoughtful review of business operations and assets can determine the kinds and amounts of insurance needed for a particular business, though commercial insurance agents should be able to offer some guidance.

In assessing the need for property insurance like commercial building insurance, a business needs to make a thorough review and valuation of its assets. These include real estate, buildings, fixtures, equipment and everything a business owns as tangible property or what accountants term “fixed assets.” The business’s accountants can aid in this review and prevent overlooking assets that otherwise might not occur to the business owner. Once this has been firmly established, then the business needs to weigh the advisability of insuring it for “actual value” or “replacement value.”

A commercial insurance policy for “actual value” means losses to property would only be covered for the actual cost of the property, such as a building or piece of equipment, less depreciation. Insuring the property for “replacement value” would mean the insurance would cover the cost of replacing the loss at current market costs. That is, taking a building as an example, “replacement value” coverage would pay for replacing it at current construction and outfitting costs, whereas “actual value” coverage would only pay for the loss incurred for the original cost of the building less depreciation. The two are very different, have different payouts and carry different price tags, so this issue deserves careful consideration.

Commercial life insurance can cover the lost value of high-producing and valuable employees, and commercial umbrella insurance can provide extra coverage over and above the normal policy amount for only a small incremental cost for additional risk management purposes.

As for liability insurance, other factors require review and consideration. The areas of activity the business is engaged in, and their attendant potential liabilities, need to be assessed. The business owner needs to weigh potential losses that might be incurred through accidents or oversights resulting from the conduct of the business itself. In which areas is the business open to customer or client lawsuits? Which circumstances or activities could result in injury or loss to third parties on the premises of the business or through the conduct of its business operations? These would be quite different for a physician than for an air conditioning/heating repair service, to use just one example.

Again, an experienced, well informed commercial insurance agent can provide invaluable input and advice in these matters. He or she can often identify areas of the business that might not be included in customary policies and which may require special riders to fully protect a business from huge potential losses which the owner, and even the accountant, may miss. Also a good commercial insurance agent can help in finding the most economical coverage for a particular type of insurance important to the business.

Why Does a Business Need a Commercial Insurance Quote?

A business or commercial insurance quote is necessary in order for a businessman to estimate how covered you are with your insurance liability needs. It must provide good coverage for your negligent acts, accidents or any unexpected event that may happen within the coverage of your company. If your company employs a lot of people who are doing hazardous jobs like going out of their offices to provide service to people, your company will need a commercial insurance policy that must cover your employees and your company’s property so that if anything happens to them somebody is there to assist you and your company financially.

Commercial insurance quotes will help you realize what would be your underlying risk management component so that in case anything happens uneventfully you know where your business’ insurance coverage will be up to. Under the commercial general liability policy, a quote must also proclaim the company’s protection against negligence and accidents and this is especially necessary for companies who give service to people such as van home movement service.

Considering that your business is in van service and need of commercial vehicle insurance policy to cover your business grounds, then better be aware about some commercial vehicle insurance companies who offer incredibly attractive policies because believer or not most of these companies do not care if you will be getting their insurance policies or not. They just want your company’s details and after you give them what they want and send you their commercial van insurance quote then they will begin bombarding you with spam mails in which some of their businesses are involved. As word of advice, before you provide your company’s details, inform the insurance company that you do not want any calls or mails that concern their businesses and products and will only deal with them if their quote passes your requirements.

Choosing A Commercial Insurance Policy

Choosing the correct commercial insurance for your business needs can be daunting enough even for a seasoned businessman or negotiator. For a start-up enterprise ensuring that the business has full and proper protection against all risks, it is an even larger minefield.

There are however some basic rules of insurance, which if born in mind while looking for the right commercial policy, will ensure that the enterprise is neither under or over insured and has the necessary cover in force.

For a commercial insurance contract to be valid the proposer must have what is known in the industry as ‘an insurable interest’ in the object of the cover. This immediately helps define the type of property insurance policy that a businessman might require.

The business risks to be insured under the policy are not the physical object themselves but the financial value of such, which is defined as the interest that a policyholder has in the objects should they suffer loss if the insured risks occur.

Clearly then the type of policy that a business will require depends upon whether the proposer is the owner of the commercial property, or a leaseholder or tenant.

An owner of a commercial premises who lets or leases a building, no matter the type of business activities that may be pursued there, would only have an interest in the buildings fixtures and fittings of the property concerned and any liabilities to the public that may arise from these.

A lease-holders interest in the buildings may be dependent upon contract of lease and should be checked thoroughly with the agreement. Often a contract will make it the responsibility of the lessee to provide cover for the lease term.

Owner occupiers of commercial premises will have a financial interest in both the buildings and contents of the property and will require insurance for both.

Rented commercial property buildings cover is not usually the concern of the tenant who will only have an insurable interest in any contents of the building and in any improvements that they may have made to the property in order to carry out business.

Before getting any commercial property insurance quotes it is necessary for the businessman to calculate the values of all the buildings, contents and stock. Buildings value should be based upon the rebuilding costs following a total loss and allowing for inflation. Accurate annual turnover figures will be required for contents insurance. If high value stock items are kept at the property, then the value of these should be determined individually.

Applying for commercial insurance quotes online might only take a minute or two to complete, however the preparation needed to obtain accurate data to supply to the insurance company could take a lot longer. It is unlikely that even the small businessman has calculated the value of his office contents for replacement purposes.

Ensuring that the information you supply on a commercial insurance proposal form is correct, is not only legally required, but is essential if you wish to avoid problems if a claim has to made at a future date. Problems can quickly arise with disagreements over the value of stock or office equipment values following a major loss, especially where the declared values are not sufficient and an average or proportional reduction to a claim is imposed.

Having established any property risks that a commercial enterprise may be exposed to it is then necessary to look at all the potentialities and risks that the business might be liable for, in the course of carrying out its commercial activities.

Liability insurance is essential for all enterprises, large or small.

Public liability insurance protects the business against any claims from the public for loss or damage suffered, for which the business could be held liable. Employers liability, a type of workers compensation insurance, protects a business against being sued by its employees and is a legal requirement.

Most commercial liability insurance is sold by trade or professional type with risks and covers that are specific to that business type. Additional liability insurance such as professional indemnity insurance which covers professionals against negligent advice or product liability for shops providing goods, are examples of such.

Buying a combined tradesman or professional service stand-alone liability product is today a simple process using one of the many liability insurance comparison websites that exist online.

It is possible to buy commercial insurance for both liability and property combined for any type of business, under what is called a ‘combined commercial insurance policy’. This type of flexible contract allows specific risks to be added and limits of indemnity chosen and is often known as ‘all risks’ cover.

For specific types of commercial insurance risks such as shops and offices, where property values and liability cover can be easily assessed, it is now possible to compare many covers and buy online what are known as packaged policies.

The Internet offers many full ‘all risks’ commercial insurance policies covering every eventuality and consequential loss, which are available from online insurance brokers, comparison sites and direct from commercial insurance companies themselves. If you have any doubts about the necessary cover for your particular business it is advisable to consult a commercial insurance broker who will offer advice and the latest market information.