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Business Insurance at a Glance

Are you having doubts about your commercial insurance coverage?  Do you wonder if your business is adequately covered?  Are your contractual requirements being met?   Are your certificates of insurance being rejected?  If the answer to any one of these questions is yes, you need to fire your insurance agent. 

 

There are basic insurance coverages needed for all businesses and then there are additional coverages needed for varying types of exposures.  Regardless of the type of business, a business owner will always need at a bare minimum, general liability, auto liability, and workers’ compensation policies.    If there are business contents or owned buildings, then a property policy will also be needed. 

 

 

In addition, there are professional businesses (where special education or licensing is required), such as doctor’s offices, engineers, consultants, etc.  These businesses have an additional exposure that is called a professional exposure.  The policy needed to cover this exposure is called a professional liability policy.  Depending on the type of businesses, this policy may be called a malpractice policy, an error’s and omission’s policy or a professional liability policy.    

 

Moreover, there are other businesses that are in the oil and gas industry which require pollution coverage.  Trucking in the oil and gas business will also require pollution coverage on the auto policy.  There are other forms of trucking businesses that will also require pollution coverage on the auto policy (for example, asphalt haulers, fertilizer haulers, etc.). 

 

Furthermore, other coverages (depending on the business) that may be required are employment practices liability, director’s and officer’s liability, fiduciary liability, and crime coverage.   If there are employees of any company, then an employment practices liability policy is definitely needed to protect from sexual harassment, wrongful termination, etc. 

 

Following this further, there are contractual requirements for each business.  Contractual obligations can be something as simple as a lease on a building or office space, or a more specialized contract based on the trade of the business owner.  Each contract has its own insurance requirements outside of the exposures of the business.  These requirements are usually satisfied by adding special endorsements to the general liability, auto Liability, and workers’ compensation policies. 

 

All businesses have the same basic exposures, but, there are additional coverages that are available to cover various exposures for specific industries.    There are insurance policies available for the risk associated with each specific industry regardless of what the industry may be.  A commercial insurance professional would be able to evaluate the specific risks associated with a business. 


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