It is important for every firm in Healdsburg to carry enough business insurance to protect it from the many difficulties that can arise that are outside the company’s control. The precise kinds of business insurance that a company needs will depend on the nature of the company’s operations and other factors. Failure to have sufficient insurance protection could put a commercial operation at risk of facing severe financial payouts, and could even result in the company going out of business. This article looks at some sorts of insurance designed to protect commercial operations.
MANY TYPES OF COMMERCIAL INSURANCE
Commercial insurance is a general term that refers to insurance policies that are specifically tailored to meet the demands of commercial operations. It should be noted that even a sole trader who trades informally may have to have some form of commercial insurance to avoid issues with the law, or with dissatisfied customers. For instance, a window cleaner who uses a motor vehicle to journey to, from and between jobs could be required to have commercial insurance for that vehicle.
While commercial insurance is an important protective measure for all sizes of enterprises, in many ways it is even more critical for smaller companies with limited resources. The private assets of owners and directors of smaller businesses are often less protected than those of big business owners, making it even more important to have the right level of insurance coverage.
EMPLOYMENT PRACTICE LIABILITY INSURANCE
The coverage provided under employee practice liability insurance (EPLI) protects a company when issues arise that affect the employment process, certain types of work environment scenarios, and the termination process. Employers need this coverage to protect themselves from claims made by job candidates, existing employees, and past employees.
The types of claims that are most commonly seen are those arising from the following issues:
- racial or religious discrimination
- sexual discrimination
- wrongful termination of employment
All staff of a firm, as well as the directors and other executive officers, are covered under EPLI policies.
WORKER’S COMPENSATION INSURANCE
Worker’s compensation insurance is a particular type of coverage designed to aid both Healdsburg employers and their workforce. Many accidents occur in the workplace, and where these result in injury to any employee, the workers can apply for compensation from the employer’s insurance provider.
For employees, it is important to know that claiming from the compensation insurance provider is not like taking a lawsuit against either the employer or the insurance provider. In fact, the scheme is designed to pay compensation without resorting to the courts, and employees who make claims under the scheme must relinquish their right to sue.
This type of coverage benefits employers by protecting them from costly lawsuits, which often result in very high payouts. It also helps to get the difficulties resolved much more quickly. The most typical claims under the scheme are for loss of earnings, and the repayment of medical expenses.
GENERAL LIABILITY INSURANCE
General liability insurance protects firms from a wide range of liabilities. Essentially, it provides coverage to firms when third parties look for compensation due to injuries or damages caused by a company, its products, or by the negligence of its workers.
As an example, a general liability insurance policy for a retail outlet will protect the company from claims by customers who were injured while on the premises.
It will furthermore protect the firm against claims that a product it sold caused damage to property or injuries to people through an integral design flaw or a malfunction. The retail outlet may be able to look for redress from the product manufacturer. Nothwithstanding that, in most jurisdictions, the outlet will be the entity that is sued by the complainant, which is why this type of coverage is important.
General liability insurance normally provides coverage for legal expenses incurred in any lawsuit, medical expenses, and substantial damages or injury payouts.
COMMERCIAL PROPERTY INSURANCE
Commercial property insurance is frequently a part of, but not the same as, commercial insurance. It is a type of insurance that applies specifically to the actual physical property that a business owns or leases. This includes land, buildings, equipment and other items. The most typical claims received under commercial property insurance policies are to do with fire, theft and natural disasters. In some situations, equipment is covered separately from buildings by means of commercial contents insurance policy.
Company owners should be careful to read the policy carefully to ensure there is sufficient protection. Every policy will differ in its specifics, but there are some general issues that need to be taken into account. For example, some policies can provide for replacement of damaged or stolen machinery, or other company asstes. Others will provide financial compensation based on the current value of the property being claimed for.
Many business owners need this coverage to allow them carry on trading with the smallest delay following a loss. Consequently, it is probably best to seek a policy that provides for replacement rather than one that provides for just the value (depreciation will be taken into account) of property.
Clearly, the cost of a commercial property insurance policy will depend on the level of protection required, and expensive policies could prove hardto finance in some companies. Having said that, if a firm is hit by any disaster that means it is unable to trade until the missing or damaged property has been replaced, it is probably best to spend the extra money on an insurance policy that will let them get back in business as soon as possible.
Business entities are obliged by law to take out certain types of insurance policies. For example, it is a legal requirement to carry insurance on commercial vehicles. Other kinds of insurance coverage are voluntary, but it is unwise to decide to trade without proper coverage.
Insurance policies can be complicated, and some Healdsburg business owners may be unaware of whether or not they are fully protected for all possible scenarios. If that is the case, they could speak with an independent, experienced and licensed broker. Brokers are offered commission by insurance providers, and they fund that commission out of their profits, so there is no extra cost to a company that uses a broker to arrange business insurance.