Business Property Insurance helps protect the building your business owns or leases as well as your business personal property, including tools and equipment, inventory, and furniture. A business property policy may also include coverage for assets like accounts receivable, data records, computers and provide the additional benefit of lost income when business operations are suspended due to a covered loss. Your business property insurance coverage should be tailored to protect the assets of your business.
Depending on the terms of the policy, business property insurance may cover damage caused by fire, vandalism, electrical mishaps, many natural disasters, accidents and more. Whether you own a freestanding commercial building, lease an office or even work from home, business property insurance can protect your building and your business’ physical assets.
Here are a few examples of incidents that could be covered by a commercial property policy:
- A fire could destroy your building and the contents inside
- A burst water pipe could damage your documents, drawings or other valuable papers
- A storm could damage your outdoor sign
What you need to know about business property insurance
A complete business property insurance plan is one of the smartest investments you can make in your business. It protects the costly, physical assets of your company such as the building, its contents and any outdoor fixtures such as signs and fencing.
Savvy business owners know that a fire or severe windstorm can shut down a business for an extended period of time, often leading to a permanent closure. But with a comprehensive business property insurance plan, you will have the right coverage and financial assistance to help you recover quickly.
General Liability Insurance
General Liability Insurance coverage helps protect your business from property damage claims, bodily injury claims and personal and advertising injury claims that could put your business assets at risk.
Commercial General Liability insurance (CGL), also known as Business Liability Insurance or General Liability Insurance provides coverage for customer injuries, damage to others’ property, and lawsuits. It can help pay for medical expenses as well as legal costs if an incident leads to a lawsuit.
What Does Commercial General Liability Insurance Cover?
Commercial General Liability insurance helps protect businesses and their employees from the risk of lawsuits
involving claims of bodily injury, property damage, libel, slander, false advertising and more.
For example, Commercial Liability Insurance coverage can help cover the costs related to claims of:
- Bodily injury or property damage – for claims that your business caused someone bodily harm or damaged someone’s property.
- Reputational harm – for claims of malicious prosecution, libel, slander, wrongful eviction, violation of the right of privacy and more.
- Advertising errors – for claims of false advertising or copyright infringement in your advertisements.
- Medical payments – to help cover medical costs if someone sustains an injury at your business.
- Damage to rented property – if property you rent is damaged by fire, lightning or explosion.
Business auto insurance helps protect your business from the financial costs resulting from an auto accident.
This insurance will provide the following types of coverage options for your business.
- Auto liability: Protection if you are sued for bodily injury or property damage caused by an accident involving your business vehicle or by a person driving on behalf of your business
- Medical payments: Payment of medical payments for those riding in your business vehicles
- Collision coverage and Comprehensive coverage for your business vehicles
- Uninsured and underinsured motorists coverage for your vehicle occupants
- Liability coverage for autos you borrow or rent
- Coverage for employees using their cars for the business
Who needs Business Auto insurance?
You need business auto insurance if your business:
- Owns, leases, or rents vehicles for business use
- Has employees who drive their own vehicles to conduct business on your behalf
- Has employees who operate company vehicles that are leased rented or owned
Business auto insurance will help protect you for example, if:
- An employee hits a pedestrian while driving a company truck and the pedestrian requires medical treatment that results in substantial bills.
- You accidentally swerve off the road while driving to work and take out a residential mailbox and have to pay for the damage.
- Your business vehicle accidentally runs into a building.
Workers compensation insurance provides benefits to employees for work-related injuries or illnesses including medical care, wages from lost work time, and more. Workers compensation insurance covers a deceased worker’s family with a financial benefit as well.
Workers compensation insurance can help protect your business and employees in events such as these:
- An employee slips on ice, injures himself while walking up the stairs to the office, and requires an emergency room visit and weeks of recovery time
- An employee injures her back lifting a box of printer paper and requires a doctor’s attention, medication and physical therapy
- An employee returning to the office from visiting a client is injured in a car accident and requires hospitalization
Is Workers Compensation Insurance Required?
In Massachusetts workers compensation insurance is required by law . The requirements for this coverage do vary from state to state. It is extremely important that you keep your agent updated on the states in which you are working so that you have the correct workers compensation coverage.
Here is the link to read more about this Massachusetts requirements for workers compensation insurance CLICK HERE.
Commercial Umbrella Insurance provides businesses with additional liability coverage to protect them against the potentially ruinous costs of covered claims.
As a business owner your assets are at risk when you are the target of a lawsuit.
If the cost of a claim exceeds the limits of your business’s underlying primary insurance policies, your Commercial Umbrella Insurance provides additional liability coverage to further protect your business. Commercial Umbrella policies are not all the same. At Herlihy Insurance Group we review umbrella policy coverage with our business clients to ensure that their umbrella is working for their business.
We also work with our business clients to review their policy limit options. As a business owner you need to know if you need a one, two or ten million dollar umbrella.
Most businesses today have access to or use individuals personal information to conduct their business. This information includes different types of Personal Identifiable Information (social security, driver’s license number, bank accounts), Health Information, Payment Card Information (credit or debit cards) and the business is legally obligated to protect this information.
Data breach insurance and cyber liability insurance helps cover the costs of a data security breach for things like identity protection solutions, public relations, legal fees, liability and additional coverage options. Your business wants data breach coverage in place so that your business may respond quickly if your business is the victim of a cyber attack. When a data breach occurs there are strict laws and regulatory requirements that are imposed upon the business that incurred a breach, this coverage assists with the financial costs associated with any of these requirements.
Your business may also need cyber liability coverage. When your system is compromised there are great risks of civil litigation and other penalties. Cyber liability policies offer a variety of coverage options. Your business should review each optional cyber coverage to determine which is appropriate for your business.
Examples of businesses that should consider this coverage option:
- Business that accepts credit card payments
- Business that bank or complete financial transactions online
- Businesses that uses social media platforms
- Business that has customer or employee Personal Identifiable Information
- Business that monitor or access any client systems
- Business that access or monitor security systems via the internet
Employment Practices Liability (EPLI) protects your business against claims or lawsuits alleging the violation of legal rights of an employee, past employee and even future employee. Common EPLI claims include Discrimination, Sexual Harassment, Wrongful Termination, and violations of federal Acts like Civil Rights Act, Americans with Disabilities Act and Age Discrimination in Employment Act. All businesses big and small are at risk for EPLI claims.
Professional Liability, also known as Errors & Omissions (E&O insurance), protects your business against lawsuits of financial harm due to services provided or failed to be provided by you or your employees. Professional Liability will cover the cost of your defense and damages up to the contract limit of liability. This type of insurance is generally excluded from General Liability Insurance policies. Common businesses that carry Professional Liability insurance include; Technology companies, Law Firms and Real Estate Professionals.
Medical Malpractice Liability protects a physician, medical professional or medical facility from patient claims of suffering harm due to the negligence of the medical professional to competently perform his or her medical duties. The insurance will provide defense and pay settlement and award damages up to the limits of liability. To protect personal assets, all medical professionals should be protected under a Medical Malpractice Liability contract.
Directors & Officers Liability (D&O insurance) protects the personal assets of the company’s Board of Directors and Officers from wrongful act allegations and lawsuits. The insurance provides defense, settlement and other costs associated with claims of Breach of Duty, Misrepresentation, Fraud, and Lack of corporate oversight. If you wish to attract and retain the most qualified executives and board members, your company will need to provide Directors & Officers Liability protection.
Different businesses will have different assets to protect. All businesses have an exposure to loss of their product, money or other funds from the dishonest acts of their employees, partners or unaffiliated people. This could be a physical theft of a tangible or non-tangible asset or even a computer related theft of money, securities or other assets. No business thinks that it is ever going to happen to them, but our experience with some of our business clients proves otherwise.
Crime Insurance policies are individually designed to select the crime coverage that your business needs.
Here are a few examples of different types of crime coverage:
- Employee theft/dishonesty
- Theft of money inside or outside of business
- Fraudulent Funds Transfer
- Forgery or Alteration
- Computer Fraud
- Kidnap, Ransom, Extortion
Doesn’t my business insurance policy cover my business for theft?
Theft may be covered on your property policy for some items but there is a theft exclusion on most policies for the dishonest acts by the business owner, partners, employees and others.
There are also certain types of property that may also have limited theft coverage (money, securities).
Some businesses have exposure to “pollutants” that can cause damage to their property as well as migrating off their property & damage another property. A pollutant could be a chemical, fuel oil, gas, asbestos, etc. Most standard liability policies exclude coverage for damage caused by pollution.
A few examples of who may need to add Pollution Coverage
- Automotive businesses
- Businesses with gas or oil tanks
- Owners of older buildings that contain pollutants (asbestos)
- Property Owners near water sources
As a business owner that sells or serves alcoholic beverages (including restaurants, nightclubs, bars, and social clubs) you may be held liable for damages or injuries caused by intoxicated parties that were served on your premise. Liquor Liability Insurance is a specific type of insurance protection for this type of risk.
Liquor liability insurance will cover your business for personal injuries and property damages for a liability lawsuit. Even if your business is found to have acted properly and the liability suit is dropped, your business could accrue high charges for legal defense fees and court costs. Fortunately, liquor liability insurance covers these expenses as well.
Here are some features to look for when shopping for liquor liability coverage:
- Assault and Battery Coverage: Many claims against bars and restaurants result from fights. Yet, some of these claims may be excluded by the expected or intended injury exclusion that appears in many liquor liability policies. Fortunately, you can buy back this coverage by purchasing insurance for assault and battery claims. A liquor liability policy that does not include assault and battery coverage has limited value.
- Defense Costs: The cost of defending a liquor liability claim can be significant. Be sure your policy pays for defense costs outside the policy limit. That is, the cost of defending claims should be covered in addition to your liquor liability limit. Otherwise, attorneys’ fees and other legal expenses could reduce or exhaust your policy limit, leaving little or no insurance to pay for damages.
- Employees Included: If you serve alcohol, your employees may drink on the job, even if you have forbidden them to do so. Look for a policy that covers employees as patrons. Some policies specifically exclude employees.
- Covers Mental Injuries: Claimants may allege that they were injured in non-physical ways. They may seek damages for stress, mental anguish, or psychological injury. Some policies exclude such injuries. Be sure your policy covers damages for mental injuries.
Providing an affordable comprehensive health insurance program for employees continues to be a major challenge for businesses. For the past 10 years our agency has helped numerous companies navigate through the complex, ever changing world of group health insurance.
Our approach is simple:
- Establish the needs and the objective of your business.
- Review your employee census information and evaluate your current health insurance program.
- Submit your information to various health insurance providers. We utilize such companies as Blue Cross Blue Shield, Fallon, Harvard Pilgrim, Tufts and the Trustmark Insurance Company.
- Analyze your various plan designs and the rates from each insurance company.
- Present you with the “Best Options” along with the complete Market Analysis on an annual basis.
In addition to providing Group Health Insurance for businesses, we assist our clients with establishing and implementing the following:
- Section 125 Plans
- COBRA Administration
- Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA)
- Health Savings Accounts (HAS)
- Flexible Spending Accounts