Business General Liability Insurance
The cost of business general liability insurance premiums will need to be at the top of the list in every company's priorities for its yearly budget expenses. Americans apparently have some special nose for smelling out insurance liability money just ripe for the taking, so at the least little hint of negligence or error the lawyer will be called and the litigation dance will begin. Literally hundreds of millions of dollars are paid out each year in settlements that never reach the trial stage, making liability coverage a necessity for the business owner and an ever increasing burden on the various carriers. For many companies, business general liability insurance which is a blanket policy covering a number of negative circumstances is enough to allow the owners to breathe easier. For some others, there will need to be a number of addendums to that general coverage.
From policy to policy and company to company, effective business general liability insurance will cover four main areas of exposure: bodily injury, property damage, personal injury and advertising injury. Bodily injury coverage will pay for any sickness, injury, or disease that might occur on business property as the result of some issue arising on premises. Personal injury coverage is for instances in which a person is hurt by slander, false arrest, violation of privacy, illegal entry or other action of a similar nature. Advertising injury coverage handles not only slander and libel issues, but ones of copyright infringement. Property damage coverage will meet the losses of property that occur on certain business properties, but with a caveat.
The problem with business general liability insurance is basically the same as a one size fits all jumpsuit. It's an absolute guarantee that the "one size fits all" claim is false. If it was a "one size fits many" claim, okay. But it's the others that are the problem and so some very distinct liability issues are not covered under an umbrella policy. And it is in these non covered circumstances that many companies and many professions must seek additional indemnity protection. Injury and suffering can happen to any of us at almost any time, but God is very interested when His children are hurting because of any circumstance. "Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings (less than a cent) and not one of them is forgotten before God? But even the hairs of your head are numbered...fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows." (Luke 12: 6, 7)
The physician will buy business general liability insurance for the slip and fall occurrences that can happen in his waiting rooms. That same policy will cover the time one of his office workers gets angry with a patient and calls her a neurotic hypochondriac in front of thirty people in the waiting room. But he will need malpractice insurance and perhaps an additional error and omission (E & O) policy when he overlooks a tumor under the armpit of a patient during a routine exam that delays cancer treatment by six months. The attorney will need business general liability insurance for the slip and fall occurrences at his office also, but he additionally need legal malpractice insurance when a client accuses him of not representing him fully during a criminal trial. He will also need E & O coverage for the wrong date put on a legal paper by an office worker which cost a client $100,000 in profits.
That auto dealership down the road needs the blanket protection also. The owner may need that coverage when customers spill hot coffee on them in the TV room waiting on a repair to be completed. But he is going to need special garage owner's insurance for the time he is sued over faulty products his dealership sold to a customer. He'll need that same insurance for work done on the cars, but he'll need garage keepers insurance in case an overnight fire destroys customers' autos inside his dealership. Blanket business general liability insurance coverage for this enterprise owner has lots of holes in it.
When this blanket protection gets very expensive for the small business owner, he may have to bring in a consultant to advise on ways to minimize hazards and dangers so that the indemnity company will recognize the efforts and lower the risk cost. Mandatory safety training for all employees can also aid in rate reductions and if there is danger of slander or libel, workshops on correct communication can also provide lower rates as a result of employees attending. An owner may have to change companies on a regular basis in order to get the best rates, but there is always a danger that the lowest rates are not the best coverage for the money. Side by side comparison of exactly the same kinds of coverage and deductibles is the only way to make smart decisions. There is the reality that in tougher economic times, insurance carriers become more and more selective of which customers will be offered coverage.
The small business person has no choice at all in whether to have business general liability insurance. One incident can completely wipe out a company without enough indemnity protection. And because the small business owner's family well-being is often wrapped up in the health of the enterprise, this priority seems like a no brainer. If there are any doubts about one's coverage, an hour with an attorney can help clear up those concerns. In fact, adding your insurance agent to that conversation with the lawyer would be very helpful.
Business Liability InsuranceSmart owners' business liability insurance coverage provides quality protection that recognizes the need to protect their firm against catastrophic events, service interruptions, cover vulnerable aspects of the employer-employee relationship, and perhaps most importantly: maintain the smoothest possible flow of income. "Then the five men departed, and came to Laish, and saw the people that were therein, how they dwelt careless, after the manner of the Zidonians, quiet and secure; and there was no magistrate in the land, that might put them to shame in any thing; and they were far from the Zidonians, and had no business with any man." (Judges 18:7).
There are a number of occurrences that business liability insurance protects against, such as: fire, theft, vandalism, various accidents, and lawsuits. For instance, if there is partial or entire destruction by fire one needs to rebuild the environment before business can continue. When items are stolen by thieves or employees, not only must they be replaced, but the loss of their function must be compensated. In the case of vandalism, graffiti for example, repairs must be made and sometimes this procedure can be costly: especially if it entails replacement. Also, customers, employees, vendors and delivery personnel must be covered, especially in case of accidents on the premises. And a disgruntled employee who, for instance, decides to sue must be dealt with during what may turn out to be a lengthy process. And speaking of employees, naturally one wants to live up to the obligation of continuing their wages. Therefore, a quality liability plan covers these and other possibilities.
The legal term 'duty of care' refers to the concept of vicarious liability. In reference to an employer this term means, for example, that if a careless employee harms someone in the course of job performance, then the employer is vicariously liable and can be charged. One is also legally responsible for providing a safe and healthy environment for workers as they go about their occupation. All of which illustrates the Latin term respondeat superior which means 'let the master answer.' In this sense, employees are regarded as the employer's legal representatives so it is the employer who suffers any damages. Without business liability insurance, there is vulnerability to any significantly negative event and therefore the firm would probably not survive very long. In essence, the legal doctrine of respondeat superior means that employers are held responsible for the careless actions of even a part time or temporary employee.
First, before obtaining business liability insurance, a wise person only determines their coverage limits after examining recent settlements in relation to one's particular concern. Keep in mind the specific hazards that are relative; also, estimate the risk involved with conducting the daily effort. Next comes searching for the least expensive group rates that most favor one's economy. Various groups and clubs encourage low group rates, and there are expert brokers who can advise any level and type of owner. Of course, discussing the subject with associates and comparing notes is an excellent way to uncover current relevant facts. Then, having researched both the industry and peers' experiences and recommendations: the next step is an Internet search for the appropriate company.
Of course, there are various ways for obtaining quotes concerning the type and amount of business liability insurance coverage required. The best way to go about choosing a policy is to first make a list of what the plan does and does not cover. Naturally, what one firm in the same area needs can be very different from another. Thus it seems that the 'devil is in the details', and only careful thought and consideration lead to the correct insurance vendor. Bear in mind that the usual positive aspect of buying in bulk also holds true in this case. That is, it is usually best to purchase all your insurance from the same source. Cheaper rates are a great advantage of choosing this course of action. Business Owners Policy, also known as BOP, is a package deal consisting of certain insurance plans. If possible, buying insurance policies in bulk will help to keep the liability coverage rates down.
In conclusion, it is extremely important for owners and operators to correctly assess and fulfill the specific need their company has for business liability insurance. And this even applies to those running a concern from their own home. Actually, such owners run the risk of losing all the coverage they previously paid for. That is, if their home insurance company is unaware, until the worst happens, that business has been conducted within the home. In short, every type of owner in every branch of every business has a great and pressing need to prepare for unforeseen circumstances. And, in addition to regular business liability insurance, an owner may very well need to obtain coverage for errors and omissions. In fact, this kind of coverage is recommended before starting service at all. Therefore, if a customer is dissatisfied with one's service in any way the firm is covered for damages. Of primary concern, not only damages but also expensive legal costs are covered by errors and omissions insurance. Because this type of coverage duly recognizes the common sense fact that some amount of human error is unavoidable. Of course, there are many Internet websites where one can search for swift, free quotes for this kind of business liability insurance, as well. Incidentally, a comparative Internet search for quotes is also advisable for owners before renewing a policy. All in all, providing one's firm with an intelligent insurance umbrella is the wisest step they can take in preparation for unexpected adverse events.