Unfortunately for every business owner, the chances of getting sued have dramatically increased in the last decade. General Liability insurance can prevent a legal suit from turning into a financial disaster by providing financial protection in case your business is ever sued or held legally responsible for some injury or damage.
General Liability pays losses arising from real or alleged bodily injury, property damage, or personal injury on your business premises or arising from your operations. The Hartford’s liability programs extend far beyond the provisions of typical policies, with broadened coverage and increased limits in over 30 areas.
Broad Range of General Liability Protection
- Bodily Injury, including the cost of care, the loss of services, and the restitution for any death that results from injury
- Property Damage coverage for the physical damage to property of others or the loss of use of that property
- Products-Completed Operations provides liability protection (damages and legal expenses up to your policy’s limit) if an injury ever resulted from something your company made or service your company provided
- Products Liability is a more specialized product liability insurance that protects your company against lawsuits from product-related injury or accidents
- Contractual Liability extends to any liability you may assume by entering into a variety of contracts
- Other coverage includes: Reasonable Use of Force; Borrowed Equipment; Liquor Liability; Non-Owned Vehicles (such as aircraft and watercraft); Fire, Lightning or Explosion Damage; Water Damage Liability Protection; Legal Defense Costs; Medical Payments; Personal Injury; Advertising Injury; and specialized liability protection for specific business types
Commercial Property Coverage
Commercial Property coverage is designed to protect your building and all of the contents (business personal property) contained in the building from loss or damage caused by an insured peril. The policy may be written on one of three forms and coverage levels: Basic, Broad and Special:
BASIC CAUSES OF LOSS COVERAGE:
This coverage is used to provide protection for the following causes of loss: fire, lightning, explosion, windstorm, hail, smoke (except from agricultural smudging or industrial operations), aircraft, vehicles, riot, civil commotion, vandalism, sprinkler leakage, sinkhole collapse, and volcanic action.
BROAD CAUSES OF LOSS COVERAGE:
This coverage is used to provide protection for the following causes of loss: fire, lightning, explosion, windstorm, hail, smoke (except from agricultural smudging or industrial operations), aircraft or vehicles, riot, civil commotion, vandalism, sprinkler leakage, sinkhole collapse, volcanic action, breakage of glass, falling objects, weight of snow, ice or sleet (except for damage to gutters, downspouts or personal property outside of buildings), and limited water damage.
SPECIAL CAUSES OF LOSS COVERAGE: This coverage will protect covered property against direct loss arising from any cause not specifically excluded. The advantage of this form is that the insurance company must prove that a loss is specifically excluded in order to deny coverage under the policy.
A policy may contain a coinsurance clause requiring that the limit of coverage be a minimum percentage (usually 80%) of the insurable value of your property. If the amount of insurance carried is less than what is required by this clause, any claim payment may be reduced by the same percentage as the deficiency. For example, covered property worth $100,000 may require a minimum of 80%, or $80,000, of coverage for compliance with the policy’s coinsurance requirement. If only $60,000 of coverage is carried (25% less than the required $80,000), then any loss payment would be reduced by 25%.
As a business owner, you need the same kinds of insurance coverages for the car you use in your business as you do for a car used for personal travel — liability, collision and comprehensive, medical payments (known as personal injury protection in some states) and coverage for uninsured motorists. In fact, many business people use the same vehicle for both business and pleasure. If the vehicle is owned by the business, make sure the name of the business appears on the policy as the “principal insured” rather than your name. This will avoid possible confusion in the event that you need to file a claim, or a claim is filed against you.
Whether you need to buy a business auto insurance policy will depend on the kind of driving you do. A good insurance agent will ask you many details about how you use vehicles in your business, who will be driving them and whether employees, if you have them, are likely to be driving their own cars for your business.
If your Texas company has opted to NOT purchase Workers’ Compensation Insurance, you are required by law to report the “non-coverage” status to the Texas Department of Insurance Division of Workers Compensation. Click here to read about new online options to satisfy this requirement.
Workers compensation laws were created to ensure that employees who are injured on the job are provided with fixed monetary awards. This eliminates the need for litigation and creates an easier process for the employee. It also helps control the financial risks for employers since many states limit the amount an injured employee can recover from an employer.
Workers Compensation Insurance is designed to help companies pay these benefits. As a protection for employees, most states require that employers carry some form of Workers Compensation Insurance. Workers Compensation Insurance is not health insurance. Workers Compensation is designed specifically for injuries sustained on the job.
In most states, if you have employees, you are required to carry Workers Compensation coverage. Even in non-mandatory states, it can be a very good idea, particularly if you have many employees, or if they are engaged in hazardous activities.
Do I need workers compensation insurance?
Employers have a legal responsibility to their employees to make the workplace safe. However, accidents happen even when every reasonable safety measure has been taken.
To protect employers from lawsuits resulting from workplace accidents and to provide medical care and compensation for lost income to employees hurt in workplace accidents, in almost every state, businesses are required to buy workers compensation insurance. Workers compensation insurance covers workers injured on the job, whether they’re hurt on the workplace premises or elsewhere, or in auto accidents while on business. It also covers work-related illnesses.
Workers compensation provides payments to injured workers, without regard to who was at fault in the accident, for time lost from work and for medical and rehabilitation services. It also provides death benefits to surviving spouses and dependents.
Each state has different laws governing the amount and duration of lost income benefits, the provision of medical and rehabilitation services and how the system is administered. For example, in most states there are regulations that cover whether the worker or employer can choose the doctor who treats the injuries and how disputes about benefits are resolved.
Workers compensation insurance must be bought as a separate policy. Although in-home business and business owner’s policies (BOPs) are sold as package policies, they don’t include coverage for workers’ injuries. Click here for brief overview of Coverage.
Commercial Umbrella or Excess Liability
Protecting your business from unexpected catastrophic loss is an essential piece of your total risk management strategy. A commercial Umbrella or Excess Liability policy can provide limits above the primary Liability coverage forms such as the General Liability, Business Automobile Liability and Employers Liability coverage. Limits for the Umbrella or Excess Liability policy can be purchased in varying increments of $1,000,000 up to any amount needed to adequately protect the assets of the company against potential risk.