WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 2020
No one wants to think of an employee stealing from them, but it’s unfortunate risk that all businessowners have to consider. Even with the most strict background checks, the unexpected can happen. If an employee does decide to steal a work vehicle, that vehicle should be covered as long as you have the right insurance.
Commercial auto insurance comes with a lot of different facets of coverage. The main type of coverage is liability, which is required by most states. Liability covers bodily injury and property damage that you may cause someone else.
It is the optional coverages, however, that can prove invaluable to your company. Employee theft won’t be covered by basic liability coverage. Just like with personal auto insurance, theft is covered under comprehensive coverage. Comprehensive coverage provides compensation to your business in case a work vehicle is lost or damaged to fire, hail, wind, theft and vandalism. Thankfully, theft under comprehensive coverage does cover employee theft.
There are a few reasons an employee might steal the vehicle. Some disgruntled employees may hold the vehicle “hostage” and refuse to return it until their demands are met. Other employees may simply not have another mode of transportation, so they refuse to return the vehicle. In a few cases, especially with ex-employees who believe themselves to be wrongfully fired, the employee may steal the company vehicle simply out of anger or spite. Whatever the case, it’s important to notify police if an employee refuses to turn a work vehicle. If the employee causes damage to the vehicle either on purpose or on accident, the damages should be covered under your commercial auto insurance’s comprehensive coverage.
You can hope that your company will never have to deal with this, but it’s best to be prepared no matter the case.
Other optional coverage available under commercial auto insurance includes:
- Collision Coverage: Collision coverage provides compensation if the vehicle is damaged due to a collision with another vehicle or object.
- Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist: This coverage provides compensation if the driver crashes with a motorist who isn’t carrying auto insurance.
- Medical Payments Coverage: Medical payments coverage provides compensation for medical bills for the driver and their passengers no matter who caused the accident.
- Hired and Non-Owned Coverage: This provides coverage for vehicles hired, leased or borrowed by the company in case they are damaged in an accident.
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 31, 2019
Your commercial property insurance policy will cover most of the hazards likely to befall your place of business, but it won't cover everything. There are some common exclusions that you will find in more policies than not. These are as follows:
There may be other exclusions that apply based on your industry, where you live, and who you're buying insurance from. Take the time to read through your policy, ask your insurer any questions you might have, and don't make the mistake of simply assuming something is covered.
- Flooding. Just as with home insurance, your basic policy isn't going to cover floods. You can invest in a commercial flood insurance policy to help cover the gap, of course.
- Earthquakes. This is similar to the scenario with flooding. Most home policies do not cover earthquakes. The same goes for most commercial property policies. Again, you can invest in an additional policy to bridge the gap.
- Commercial auto accidents. Your commercial property insurance policy may cover the store, the warehouse and the office. But it's not going to cover your autos. Insuring vehicles and insuring buildings are two completely different things. Sometimes, a company outfitted to do one might not even be equipped for the other. You might be able to buy commercial auto and property insurance as part of the same package, but they're going to be two separate policies.
- Equipment breakdown. Insurance is intended to cover things that might happen. Equipment breakdown is something that certainly will happen. So, you may find that while your insurer is more than willing to buy you a new pizza oven when yours is damaged in a fire, they're not going to pay for a new one just because the old one is getting on in years. Equipment breakdown is not a risk to be managed. Instead, it’s something that is just about guaranteed to take place over time.
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 19, 2019
Commercial auto insurance is one of the most valuable investments a company can make for their asset. It is generally a must-have financial tool. Yet, when you can file a claim depends on a variety of factors. If a fire occurs, the cause of that fire plays an important role in determining if you have coverage for it. Here is a look at when you have coverage.
What Caused the Fire?
Imagine a commercial vehicle catching on fire on a highway. The damage is significant. Your employee may be okay, but the vehicle is a total loss. This is a big loss for most companies. Will your commercial auto insurance help?
That depends on the cause of the fire and the type of coverage you have. Specifically, fires fall under comprehensive auto coverage. Verify that you have this type of non-collision coverage.
Commercial auto insurance never covers neglect of maintenance and upkeep. It does not cover damage brought on by normal wear and tear, either. In other cases, it can help. Here are a few examples:
The vehicle’s electrical system catches on fire. There’s no known reason for this to happen in terms of maintenance.
Lightning strikes the vehicle during a storm. It creates an instant fire and damage to the vehicle. If you have comprehensive coverage, it may cover these losses.
- A fire occurs as a result of an act of vandalism. Coverage generally applies in this situation.
What happens if the engine’s overall health was the cause of the fire? In this case, the commercial auto insurance may deny a claim. It may not cover any instance in which the cause was due to poor upkeep.
What happens if your driver is in an accident that causes a fire? In this case, several things can happen. If your driver caused the accident, your policy may help cover the losses. This is the case if you have collision insurance. There are limits here (such as the employee’s action and use of the car). If the other driver caused the accident, that driver’s liability insurance should provide financial compensation.
What to Do if an Incident Occurs
If there is such an incident, call the police. Get help immediately. Then, call your business insurance agent. Discuss what happened, why, and what claim options are available. Your agent will need information about the fire to file the claim.
THURSDAY, JULY 11, 2019
A lot of things about running your business have to do with upkeep, both on the building’s interior and exterior. One of your most-important assets likely is the building’s exterior signage. After all, it is an important part of your advertising and marketing strategies. If something were to damage your company signs, would you have help available?
In many cases, a business owners policy (a BOP) would help you cover the costs related to your damaged signage. However, talk to your agent about the exact types of signs you have, and where they are located. They can then better ensure that you receive the right coverage.
Signs on Business Properties
a variety of signs throughout businesses.
· Multiple types of signs within the building can help with advertising, decoration or safety instruction.
· Signs can attach to the outside of the building as a type of attraction or advertising scheme.
· Many businesses place signs near the street. These might be elevated signs, or ground-level signs. Some might be lighted.
Regardless of where you place the business’s signs, they will all face risks of damage or losses. A fire might damage the signs inside or on your building. A severe storm might blow over detached signs, or cause signs attached to the building to topple. Detached signs might even fall victim to damage if a car hits them.
BOP Property Insurance
The good news is that in many cases, BOP coverage can help you pay for the damage to your signage. Most BOPs contain property insurance, which will cover damage to your commercial property in cases of unavoidable or unanticipated damage.
So, if a fire were to occur, damaging one of the signs, then BOP coverage could help you pay for the repairs or replacement of the item. When it comes to signs attached to the building, then your regular property coverage will likely apply to the value of the items, up to a certain limit.
When it comes to detached signage, you might need to tell your agent that these assets exist on the property. In some cases, you might need to add outdoor signs coverage to the policy to help apply to damage to these items.
Keep in mind, sign damage will likely only have assistance from your insurance in cases of covered damage. A covered loss might be anything from a fire, to theft, vandalism or severe weather. Simple neglect or wear and tear to the sign won’t have coverage. Contact us now for more information on signage insurance for commercial properties.
WEDNESDAY, MAY 15, 2019
All businesses pose liability risks to other parties. All liability risks could potentially devastate your business. However, the most-significant of these are the most likely to lead to trouble. So, standard liability insurance might not prove effective in the most serious cases. It is these cases that might merit the use of a commercial umbrella insurance policy? How can it help you?
Most businesses carry general liability insurance policies. They might carry other specialized coverage, too. So, if the business causes harm to a third party, liability insurance might be able to help the business compensate those affected. It might cover various costs the person might claim as well as the business’s legal fees in case of lawsuits.
Yet, nearly all liability policies will have policy limits and exclusions present. They will only pay a maximum dollar amount for claims; many will not cover certain claims at all. If you don’t have coverage, you might therefore have to pay a client’s liability claim out of your own pockets. That is bad news for any business.
It is umbrella insurance that might be able to help you out. This coverage acts like an umbrella, or extra protection, for the costs that a standard policy won’t cover. So, if someone files a claim above a policy's limits, this coverage might pay the difference. If your liability policy doesn’t cover a claim, umbrella coverage might.
Extra Covered Costs
Perhaps your general liability insurance contains a $500,000 policy limit. Yet, a customer who falls in your store could sue you for $750,000 in medical bills, lost income and other damages. Your liability insurance might pay only the first $500,000 of that claim. However, your umbrella coverage might be able to step in to cover some or all of the remaining $250,000.
The umbrella policy will have its own limits. However, these usually start with extremely high values. Please note, though, sometimes you must carry the highest available limits on your standard liability policies to qualify for umbrella coverage.
Additional Covered Liabilities
Sometimes, your standard liability policies will not cover certain types of damage. Umbrella policies might. Whether this is true will depend on the type of incident. Policies usually will not cover illegal or intentionally harmful acts committed against others.
Please note, you cannot simply apply all liability costs to your umbrella policy if you don’t have a policy to cover them. What we mean is, if you have a data breach in the business, you might need help from cyber liability insurance. You'll use it before turning to umbrella coverage. You might not be able to make an umbrella claim for the losses unless you have cyber liability coverage to start. Yet, umbrella coverage might apply if a claim exceeds the cyber liability limits.
If you ever have questions, contact Insurance Planning Service. We can help you determine the right course of action.
Also Read: Five Losses Covered by Commercial Umbrella Insurance