Business insurance plays an indispensable role in the world economy by protecting companies from different forms of financial loss and damages. It assumes the risks that come with the production and delivery of goods and services, shielding enterprises from failure. Why is it important to insure your business and what are the common types of commercial insurance in North Carolina?
Learn more about protecting your company in this business insurance and commercial property insurance guide.
What is Commercial Insurance?
Commercial insurance is insurance coverage that businesses purchase for protection against financial loss due to common events such as property damage, asset theft, employee injury, liability claims, and business interruption. Having the right business policies, whether you’re a startup or a well-established enterprise, can enable you to survive and recover from severe loss due to a covered hazard.
Different Types of Commercial Insurance Lines
There are two main categories of commercial insurance lines: property and casualty insurance.
This insurance covers your physical business assets against loss or damage due to covered events like theft or fire. Different types include:
This policy may cover your physical business buildings, equipment, and personal belongings used in your business premises. Covered events include fire, explosions, and vandalism.
Covers your business properties for damage while in transit.
Boiler and Machinery
Covers losses or liability due to the malfunction of this equipment.
This policy can cover money, securities, real property, and other business assets against loss due to forgery, theft, embezzlement, etc.
Casualty insurance covers your business liability exposures in covered events that result in property damage or injury to other persons or parties. Common examples are:
It gives injury liability and physical damage protection for your commercial fleet, including trucks, cars, and vans.
Commercial general liability
Provides protection against a broader range of business liability for accidents, injuries, and property damage.
Provides coverage beyond the limits on your standard business liability insurance and can shield you from paying excess liability judgments out of pocket.
This insurance provides benefits to your workers when they are injured or become sick at work.
Protects against liability lawsuits for customer or employee data breach, denial of service, etc.
How to Purchase Commercial Insurance
The best way to get your business insurance is via a licensed broker or agent. Having a working relationship with an experienced agent is vital to ensuring that you find the perfect coverage based on your insurance needs. Also, a broker or agent works closely with you, often in person, to advise and evaluate your unique commercial insurance requirements.
You can find a reputable commercial insurance broker or agency in the following ways:
- Asking around, especially among business contacts in your industry.
- You may reach out to licensed brokers or agents via professional entities such as the Insurance Brokers and Agents of the West (IBA West) or the Western Insurance Agents Association (WIAA Group).
- Online listings, such as the local yellow pages, can also provide phone numbers and other contact information for licensed commercial insurance brokers.
What Types of Insurance Does Your Business Need?
Every business has a unique risk profile, and certain insurable interests vary from industry to industry. That’s why it’s a good idea to enlist an insurance agent in assessing your business’ unique risk characteristics. Involving a professional can help you find the comprehensive commercial insurance coverage that’s right for your type of business operations.
Be sure to ask your agent about policy limits, deductibles, and other insurance coverage requirements that may vary from state to state. You may not need to purchase all available commercial insurance policies, but there are specific minimums you must have. Examples include workers’ compensation and commercial auto liability insurance.
What You Need to Know About Commercial Claims
What you do immediately after suffering a covered loss or damage will determine the success of your claims process. Usually, it’s better to work closely with your agent from start to finish if you’re considering filing a claim. Avoid the mistake of reporting the claim late. Delaying reporting a claim can jeopardize the chances of receiving the compensation amount you’re entitled to.
When you report the claim via your insurance agent early enough, you let your insurer start processing and investigating the claim promptly. Also, by acting swiftly, you can prevent any situation that could cause an increase in loss, which mostly happens with liability claims. Call your agent about any claims as soon as possible and don’t try to resolve the issue on your own. Delays and lack of professional help during the claims process may expose you to lengthy and costly litigation from third parties.
How to Locate Insurance for Your Business
Finding the right commercial insurance for your business should be easy and straightforward, especially if you’re working with a competent and licensed agent. However, an insurer may turn you down if they view you as a high-risk business. In that case, you may still find alternative insurance coverage with the help of your agent, such as:
1. Surplus Line Insurance
You can apply for this coverage through a CDI-licensed surplus line broker once a commercial insurance carrier has rejected your application three times.
2. California FAIR Plan
This plan is available to property owners that can’t obtain insurance from traditional commercial insurance carriers.
Finding the ideal commercial insurance coverage for your business in North Carolina is an important part of owning a business. For more questions on commercial insurance, contact our experts at Pittman Insurance Group, LLC. Our dedicated team is eager to help you with your questions.