Commercial Liability Insurance
Commercial liability insurance is a key part of a company's overall financial plan and stands alongside any key man policy that might also be a part of company financial security program. While a corporate office may never face anything more than slip and fall incident within its four walls, the ensuing lawsuit could put a large dent in corporate earnings without the indemnity coverage. The physician faithfully practicing medicine each day cannot function as a business entity unless she has in place her own special commercial liability policy known as malpractice coverage. The auto dealer faces a number of different liability possibilities and must have what is known as a garage policy. And the tree surgeon had better have indemnity coverage every time he or one of his workers cranks up that chainsaw.
No one denies the fact that we live in a highly litigious society. The "I'll sue your socks off if you even blink" mentality oozes out of the pores of many Americans. This is especially true if they can smell the blood of businesses pocketbooks and their insurance companies. Companies have no choices but to have large blanket policies as well as highly specialized and localized ones for certain types of commercial enterprises. Of course the commercial liability insurance cost is directly proportional to the amount of risk the business poses to the public and to its own workers. It may seem like the natural and right thing to do, but Christians are commanded to treat others as we would want to be treated. "But love your enemies and do good, and lend hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for His is kind to the unthankful and to the evil...be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful." (Luke 6:35, 36)
Commercial liability insurance comes in a number of specialized forms for various businesses. This is protection covering claims of bodily injury or property damage. That corporate office can be covered for that slip and fall incident, or perhaps if the elevator malfunctions or if a chair is thrown out a window and lands on a customer's car. This kind of generalized insurance may not cover some very specific incidents, like damage done by a wild elephant stampede, but it will cover not only injury claims, but also a claim of slander or libel. That corporate officer should have never opened his mouth at that luncheon about something he heard privately regarding a fellow officer. That commercial liability policy will probably also cover that advertising injury claim. This might be made when company advertising makes false claims or when a copyright is infringed upon.
There should be some difference made between being bonded and being insured. While they are often interconnected, they do have two distinct roles to play in business. Commercial liability insurance is for incidents that occur with damage while bonding is insuring that a job is completed. The tree surgeon would most likely be bonded so that customers know that the job will be finished, even if it's by another company. Some financial experts even suggest looking at whether coverage can be lowered if a company is already bonded. But no decisions ought to be made until speaking to one's own indemnity agent. So general coverage may be fine for office type settings but there are specific coverages some businesses must have.
An auto dealership will need to have garage liability coverage. This very specific coverage will cover slip and fall for customers, employment discrimination or faulty parts and service claims. It will cover the vehicles owned by the dealership but not customer cars in the garage for repair. Then the specialized commercial liability insurance must be garage keepers' liability coverage and that is usually part of the garage policy, but cannot be assumed. Various professions must also have more than a generalized commercial liability insurance policy. Doctors, lawyers, accountants, architects are all subject to hostile civil and perhaps criminal lawsuits from clients. Without specific indemnity coverage that has been specifically fashioned for that professional, he may not have enough coverage or any at all.
Other professions that make out deal making reports, assessments and prepare documents often seek out commercial liability insurance typically called E and O coverage. Errors and omissions policies can cover those incidents in which key issues are included when they should not have been, omitted, written incorrectly or other similar failures. Home inspectors that miss a structural problem that could cause a homeowner thousands of dollars would be covered under E and O policies. Of course since the cost to commercial liability insurance companies for these kinds of settlements can be quite high. Often a single claim can either make the insurance unaffordable, or cause it to be cancelled.
In tougher economic times, liability insurance is more difficult and expensive to obtain. During these times, Indemnity companies do not have highly profitable resources in which to put customer's premium money, causing a much more painful experience when large claims are made on the company's assets. Company's become more selective about who they cover and are not shy about ending a relationship once a claim has been made. When seeking the kind of insurance you need for your business, shopping around is a good move. And make sure each policy is the same in terms of coverage so you are getting a true comparison.
Employers Liability InsuranceInvesting in employers liability insurance is not only necessary, but in many locations it is mandated by law. These policies offer protection to the employer in the event of an accident, injury or fatality that occurs to employees that are a direct result of performing job duties. Injuries on the job can occur regardless of the kinds of precautions that company owners might take ahead of time. If a worker is hurt in the work place and that injury prevents the employee from returning to work for a period of time, going without a salary during that time can be financially devastating. Paying for medical care in addition to these other economic hardships could send a family into bankruptcy. Since an employee was simply doing their job when the accident occurred, it is obvious that some kind of compensation from an employer is appropriate. On the other hand, if a company must bear such a large financial burden on its own, that company may not be around for long. This is where employers liability insurance comes into play. These policies will kick in when a worker is injured and can't work. Generally, medical expenses and a portion of the injured worker's salary will be paid until the employee is able to return to the job. In the event of a tragedy, the employee's survivors may be entitled to death benefits under this form of coverage.
There are some companies that are not required to take out employers liability insurance. Regulations can vary from location to location, but in some cases smaller companies or businesses that employ only the owner of the organization may be exempt from obtaining such coverage. But if a business hires seasonal or temporary workers from time to time, they must be insured. An injury does not need to occur on company property to be covered by employers liability insurance. If a worker was hurt off site, but the injury occurred as a result of action that was taken to perform duties associated with the job, liabilities will still generally be covered by liability policies. In addition to employees, most coverage will also apply to members of the public who were injured at a place of business or as a result of an incident that had a connection to the insured company. In addition to covering the costs of lost wages and medical treatment, there are other circumstances that could come under the umbrella of a liability policy. If an employee brings a lawsuit based on a claim of negligence on the part of the employer that resulted in injury or death, the cost of this suit could be covered. A wise business will take steps to evaluate and manage any work place risks. Such steps can not only prevent accidents from occurring in the first place, but could also help to reduce premiums.
The need for employers liability insurance is obvious when the high cost of worker injury is taken into consideration. Of course, the cost of premiums can be very high as well. A company would be wise to attain quotes from several providers and perform careful comparison shopping before making a final decision. Another reason for the need for such coverage is that the cost of a legal defense in the event of a lawsuit can be extremely high. Neglecting to attain protection from such costs is foolhardy. Any business that leaves such financial liabilities to chance may face bankruptcy as a result of legal costs or judgments that fall against the company. An employer can be held liable for an illness that strikes an employee as a result of an unsafe work environment. This is particularly true if the employer was aware of the hazard and took no action or did not take necessary advance precautions to protect workers. Additionally, if a company's practices result in harmful pollution that causes illnesses in the surrounding community, this could be grounds for a lawsuit. Attaining employers liability insurance can help to defray the costs of such litigation. Obviously, the best and most cost effective way to do business is to make sure that such hazards are dealt with as they arise or, if possible, before they arise. Negligence that puts workers or members of the community at jeopardy is not only reckless, but can be financially devastating for the organization.
A key question in the area of employers liability insurance can center on the definition of an employee. Basically, anyone who is performing a service for an employer or an organization is considered an employee. This can include part time workers, independent contractors and even volunteers. The security that can come with knowing that there will be financial aide available in the event of an injury is very valuable. The Bible talks about the value of depending on the help of a friend. Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. (Ecclesiastes 4:9)
Small businesses can benefit from employers liability insurance as well. The costs that are associated with employee or client injury can be back breaking. The smaller the business, the more vulnerable that business will be to such expenses. As with any other insurance product, these policies can keep a company afloat if the worst happens. Depending on the nature of the company, even small ventures may be required by law to carry liability coverage. Careful research along with discussions with a reputable agent can help business owners evaluate the level of coverage that is appropriate.