THURSDAY, JANUARY 10, 2019
If you run a furniture store, you’ll often offer repair services. You might even refinish certain pieces. This might mean working with everything from delicate antiques to malfunctioning contemporary pieces. Clients expect you to make repairs professionally. If you accidentally damage an item, you might place the client (and yourself) in a bind. Why do these risks occur? How can you avoid them?
Property Damage Risks in Furniture Businesses
Repairing furniture means you’ll take a client's belongings into your care. You might repair them in your store, or in the client’s home. The client will expect you to do your job professionally. So, if an accident happens, they might want compensation for their losses.
Think about some of the ways you might damage your clients’ belongings:
- You spill a solvent on an upholstered chair, staining and burning it.
- A fire breaks out in your business, and in the process damages client belongings.
- An antique piece falls off a work bench, splintering beyond repair.
- While visiting a client’s home to pick up an item, you accidentally damage an item. For example, you break a window when trying to move a piece out of the home.
If any of these damages occur, you might have a duty to replace the item, repay the client or both. You might even face legal action by the client.
Any such loss might create particularly high cost burdens. You might even put your business’s finances or assets on the line trying to reach a settlement. Thus, you might want to use your commercial insurance to help ease some of this burden.
If you have property damage liability insurance, you can often file a claim for damage to a client’s possessions. This protection exists to cover damage you cause to others’ belongings. So, since you will handle a lot of client belongings in your business, make sure you have this coverage. Most policies will have financial limits. Therefore, make sure you have enough to cover the value of most items in your care. This will likely amount to several hundred-thousand dollars.
Create a Safety Process
You’ll naturally not want to have to file a property damage liability claim. Create a plan to protect client belongings, and you can often reduce such chances.
Your safety practices will likely vary. However, careful handling should remain front and center. Only follow tried-and-true practices when repairing furniture. Never place these items in harm’s way and make ample use of anchors and shields to keep them safe. With attention to detail, you’ll likely create a better degree of safety for items in your care.
Also Read: Prevent Business Insurance Claims with These Risk Reduction Tips
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 7, 2018
When you have liability insurance, you expect it to protect you from the harm you cause others. However, liability policies can only go so far. At times, this means they won’t cover all your losses. You’ll still want protection, nonetheless. This might mean investing in commercial umbrella insurance. What are these policies? What will they cover?
Commercial umbrella insurance is critical in cases resulting in high liability losses. So, carefully consider how your coverage can help your business.
How Umbrella Policies Work
All basic commercial liability policies have financial limits. Thus, if you face a financial claim above these limits, you’ll might have to pay out of pocket for the excesses. With umbrella coverage, however, you’ll get extra funds for hangover losses left by your original policy limits.
Umbrella coverage, because it provides more money, will often prove instrumental to solvency. Coverage can also insure liabilities not covered by your standard insurance policies. Therefore, protection often offers more security in the end.
Umbrella insurance often can apply to a variety of your commercial liability policies. You might be able to claim funding related to losses on your:
1. Bodily injury liability insurance
If someone gets hurt in your business, coverage can help you pay their medical costs. Umbrella insurance can come in handy in case these costs exceed your liability limits.
2. Property damage coverage
If you damage your clients’ property, this coverage can help you repay their losses. Extra umbrella coverage might help if you damage exceptionally-valuable items.
3. Professional errors/malpractice coverage
Professionals like accountants, lawyers or doctors often carry this coverage. It covers the damage you cause your clients, which often prove expensive. Many umbrella policies will often cover extra losses.
4. Commercial auto insurance
If your company vehicles cause an accident, the harm to others could become costly. With umbrella coverage, losses above the cost of your existing commercial auto liability coverage can have coverage.
5. Advertising/personal injuries
You might accidentally commit defamation, libel or slander, either spoken or printed. You’ll often need a specific liability policy in your commercial plan for these risks. In case you have exceptionally costly losses, see if your umbrella coverage will help.
Keep in mind, umbrella insurance is a fluid world. Therefore, policies will vary in what they cover. Some might not include all the coverage listed above.
Therefore, you should take a close look at your commercial liabilities. Ensure any umbrella policy you obtain pertains specifically to your industry and operations. Don’t forget, these policies will have financial limits as well, so ask your agent to increase coverage as necessary.
Also Read: What to Consider When Launching a New Business
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2018
You have work to do. You rely on your vehicle to make it happen. When you are hauling valuable, special, or high-risk equipment, be sure you have a commercial auto policy that protects it. Your policy should represent the types of risks you face. It should also meet any requirements for transport. Here is how to choose coverage.
Why What Is On Board Matters
Your commercial auto insurance covers the value of your vehicle. It can also sometimes cover the value of the contents of the vehicle. However, you’ll need to specialize coverage for vehicle contents. Depending on the type of car, you may need coverage designed for your load. The value of the items you plan to carry plays a role in how much coverage you need. Here are a few examples.
#1: Your company transports people to and from locations. You carry just the people and their personal belongings. Here, you generally do not have any added contents to worry about. A basic policy usually applies.
#2: Your company transports expensive manufacturing materials to and from locations. They may not be large components, but they are very valuable. An accident could be high risk. Here, those valuable items need protection.
#3: Another example occurs for companies using equipment for their work. For example, your truck contains equipment to allow you to handle tasks at customer homes. Here, your coverage needs to be enough to cover damage to those items.
For those hauling large loads in trucks, where the specific task is just moving the equipment, special trucking policies offer load protection. Still, you may need to adjust how much coverage you have here.
What to Do About Coverage
Talk to your business insurance agent. Gather insight into how much contents coverage your policy currently offers – some may not offer any contents coverage upfront. Discuss the valuables you routinely haul. Do you need more protection? Do you need to add a cargo rider to your policy? If so, your team can help you to obtain it. Additional coverage is possible to cover specific items on your truck. Or, you may just need different property insurance from your general commercial insurance.
Commercial auto insurance is flexible. This is why it is so important that your agent understands your business. Be open about how you operate. What do you do? What do you haul? How frequently do you do so? This information allows your agent to provide specific protections. It can make all of the difference if an accident occurs. It may be essential for your company.
MONDAY, OCTOBER 8, 2018
We don’t think of small amounts of water as particularly threatening. However, in the right situations, even puddles might prove dangerous. What if you slip in one at work and fall? Qualifying injuries might qualify you for workers’ compensation coverage. How do water risks fall into this coverage? What can you do to prevent water-borne threats in the business?
Why Water Poses a Workers’ Compensation Risk
Workers’ comp helps employees who have suffered injuries or illnesses during their duties. They can get money to aid them in their recovery and supplement lost income.
If an injury comes about because of standing water or water damage, then the affected party often has recourse. Workers' comp claims from water risks might include slip-and-falls and mold exposure.
Why do Slip and Fall Risks Exist?
Anywhere water puddles, there’s a fall risk. Even a small puddle could cause someone to slip. The resulting injuries might range from a bruised shin to a severe head injury. Standing water and fall risks might originate from:
- Leaking pipes and ceiling leaks
- Spills from coffee pots, sinks or water fountains
- Wet floors following cleaning
- Puddles in entryways or on sidewalks on rainy days
In most of these cases, if a fall occurs, you can qualify for a workers’ compensation claim. For example, if you slip while in the bathroom, you’ll often have protection. Nevertheless, not all falls will equal a claim. If you fall while out of the office to eat lunch, you might not be able to file.
Mold Risks and Coverage?
Anytime you have standing water, you have a mold risk. If mold develops, it might cause breathing problems and other extensive injuries.
Let's look at an example. Mold might grow undiscovered behind a business’s walls. Over the years, you might become ill because of this exposure. As a result, you might be able to file a successful workers’ compensation claim.
Nevertheless, mold is a tricky subject. It’s sometimes hard to pinpoint if your particular illness came from the mold in your workplace. Even so, if you can prove this fact, then your employer’s workers’ comp policy could cover you.
Employers have an obligation to provide a safe workplace and prevent mold growth. If you are in charge of this, consider a few different precautions. These might include:
- Keeping humidity and temperature low and dry
- Having regular mold tests as needed.
- Looking out for any leaks, including hidden leaks. Have these fixed immediately.
- Cleaning up any standing water immediately. Use cleaning supplies that will combat mold risks.
If you have questions about slip-and-fall or mold coverage, contact your workers’ comp insurer. Ask what your policy will cover, and how they cover it. In the meantime, do what you can to prevent workplace accidents.
Also Read: Expanding Your Employee Benefits Package
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 2018
Commercial property damage may cover some roof repairs. This insurance protects instances of damage due to storms or other unavoidable instances. There are limits to coverage, however. Those related to wear and maintenance have no coverage. What should you know about your policy?
Does Commercial Property Damage Cover Your Roof?
In most situations, commercial property insurance provides compensation to you when the structural components of the building suffer during an accident or unavoidable situation. For example, hail damages the roof. This creates areas where the shingles have damage. This could expose the building to mold and mildew problems. The insurance provider often pays for the damage as a result. After all, you likely could do little to protect the roof from a hailstorm.
A tree strikes the roof. The commercial building's flat roof suffers damage from the tree. The business insurance policy may cover the damage to the structure.
When Does Commercial Property Insurance Not Cover Your Roof?
Commercial roofs typically have a lifespan of 10 to 30 years. The type of roof and the overall material used plays a role in this length. Your policy does not cover all repairs. It does not replace the roof when it is too old.
For example, a leak develops as a result of the HVAC system on the roof. The underlying cause is poor maintenance. The policy does not cover it. Or, the roof is 25 years old. The material shows normal wear and tear, but shingles are missing. The roof is no longer watertight. These are simply maintenance issues. The policy is not likely to provide coverage here, either. In these cases, you could have prevented the damage.
What Should You Do If You Need Roof Repair?
Commercial property damage coverage may be able to help with repairs. To find out, call your business insurance agent. The agent will have a roofing inspector come to the location. This individual will look at the roof thoroughly. He or she will pinpoint areas of damage caused by storms, hail or other mishaps.
He or she will then determine if this damage was due to wear and tear or maintenance concerns. If not, the agent will approve the repairs.
It is best to have any commercial building’s roof inspected at least one time a year. Because many roofs are flat, it can be hard to notice damage right away. However, if a storm occurs, leaks inside the property occur, or any type of structural damage happens, call your agent.
The goal of any commercial property insurance is to cut financial loss in unavoidable situations. It can be hard to estimate when this occurs, though. To protect your roof and building, an annual roof inspection is necessary. Make updates or repairs when needed and without delay. This ensures if you need to make a claim later, you get the help necessary.
Also Read: 13 Types of Insurance a Small Business Owner Should Have