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IPS / Lighthouse Insurance Group Blog: liability insurance

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risk management tableThe general liability insurance policy you have for your company provides financial protection for many risks. Among them is the risk of customers or other people falling on your property. When this happens, you may be responsible for paying for the losses an individual suffers. To avoid this, it is best to have a comprehensive liability policy in place. However, its important to know how to prevent fall risks. Here’s some insight to get you started.

First, Understand Your Coverage

In nearly all situations, general liability insurance provides coverage for instances in which a person falls on your property, and you are responsible for their injury.

There are many restrictions on this, however. For example, it covers only those who do not work for you who suffer a fall that you might have otherwise been able to prevent. As a result of this, it becomes critical for you to know how to prevent these types of occurrences. They can help you avoid a lot of legal risks.

Preventing Risk Factors at Your Business

It is not possible to avoid all types of risks associated with falls. In many situations, falls are going to happen because accidents occur. However, these tips may prevent many of those risks from occurring.

  • Remove clutter. One of the most common causes of injuries like this is clutter. Be sure there is nothing impeding the movement of a person through the location. Signs, items on the floor, spills or even equipment in the way can cause a fall.
  • Improve lighting. If the lighting in an area is low, this can create an increased risk of a fall on your property. Improve both interior and exterior lighting especially in high-risk areas.
  • Avoid providing step stools or other types of equipment that encourage people to climb. Never leave stocking systems out. Avoid allowing any room along shelving in which people can step up onto it.
  • Keep floors dry. Though this can be difficult, it is critical to do what you can to prevent wet floors. And, be sure to use a wet floor sign. Having the sign present limits your liability.
  • Keep steps easy to use. Avoid placing anything on steps. Do not place carpeting on steps either. Be sure that there are handrails in place. Always fix broken steps.
Look at previous claims for general liability insurance. What caused slips or falls previously? Be sure to fix these concerns to eliminate the risk that someone will suffer an injury.

Have more questions about general liability insurance? Contact Insurance Planning Service today to get your questions answered.

Also Read: Five Losses Covered by Commercial Umbrella Insurance

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 placeimage of furniture being painted 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


College StudentIt won't be long before students return to college once again!  

Did you ever stop to think about what happens to your belongings that you take with you to college in the event of loss caused by theft, vandalism, fire or any number of causes?  Are your things insured or will the cost of your loss simply need to be paid out of pocket?  The answer is:  "It depends!"

Most often, the parents' homeowner policy will extend to cover the student's property as long as the student resides ON CAMPUS - in a dorm, for example.  If you have a son or daughter heading off to school, you will want to read your policy or check with your insurance agent to be sure, and to understand how your particular insurance company would respond to this type of loss.

Now days, it is common for a student to join with others and rent a house, apartment or condominium that is located OFF CAMPUS.  When this happens, one thing is for certain...the parents' homeowner policy will not provide insurance for the student's belongings!  It is important to purchase a renter's insurance policy to provide insurance for the student's property AND to give liability protection.

Take a couple minutes to view this video and see why Justin recommends renter's insurance.

Call us at 800-220-5582 or contact us online if you have questions about renter's insurance.  You will be amazed at how little good protection can cost!

Image source: stockimages / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Umbrella

Owning a business is a difficult task. As a business owner, you worry for the future of your company in a time when many businesses are going under. In addition to making sure the company is growing, you must also plan for mistakes or accidents that could potentially devastate your business. The best way to protect against a potential lawsuit is through Umbrella Liability or Excess Liability insurance.

This form of liability insurance is called an “umbrella” because it provides an additional layer of insurance that spans above your firm’s general liability, auto liability and employer liability insurance.  It protects your business for catastrophic issues that threaten its security.

An Umbrella Liability policy offers 3 main benefits:

1. Increased coverage limits that kick in when a claim is made against you that exceeds the amount of your primary liability coverage

2
. It fills in when General Liability aggregates are exhausted

3.
 It can provide coverage for unusual claims that are not covered by underlying policies.

Excess Liability insurance is similar to an Umbrella Liability policy except that it is designed to follow the coverage terms in the underlying policies.  In that respect, it only provides higher coverage limits that are excess of the primary underlying policies.


If you have questions about your business insurance, call INSURANCE PLANNING SERVICE at 800-220-5582 or contact us on the web today!


image of man building a houseIt's important for every business owner to have Michigan general liability insurance for their company. This ensures that they will have protection if someone is injured or suffers property damage due to an accident related to the premises or certain operations of their company. It is imperative, however, for a business owner to recognize how much general liability insurance they should have. Without knowing this, they run the risk of paying too much or not being properly covered if an accident does occur. Either of these instances can be detrimental to a business of any size.

Company Location

It may seem strange to consider, but where a company is located should play a big part in how much coverage a business owner decides to get. While it would seem as if a broken leg, or any other injury, would receive the same amount of compensation anywhere, this is simply not the case. There are some states, and even localities, that end up rewarding far more substantial damages to those injured by a company's perceived negligence. This includes not only compensatory damages, but punitive damages as well.

Amount of Risk

Maybe the most important thing a business owner needs to consider when deciding their coverage needs is just how much risk their company actually presents. This isn't to say that a specific company is dangerous, but there's no doubt that some industries present more of a perceived risk than others. If an accident at a company is likely to cause serious injury or death to a person, it's extremely beneficial for that company to get more coverage than a company that only presents minor risks.

Consider other Policies

There are several types of insurance policies that every company should have. Considering other policies, however, doesn't mean that general liability insurance shouldn't be purchased. What a business owner can do, however, is consider simply purchasing a "business owner policy" (BOP). This policy will actually combine all of a business owner's necessary coverages into a more simple policy. This will allow a business owner to really assess their risk and coverage needs when speaking with their insurance company. Additionally, it's very likely to save them money as well.

There's no doubt that every business will need different amounts of general liability coverage to keep themselves and their business safe. A construction company, for instance, will usually require far more coverage than a company that simply sells bracelets over the Internet. Recognizing potential risk is the most important step in ensuring proper coverage. Once this is handled, a business owner can usually rest comfortably. 

If you need more information on what amount of coverage is enough to protect your business, give Insurance Planning Service a call today at 734-421-9900.


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Lighthouse Group Main Office in Grand Rapids, MI
Mailing Address | P.O. Box 530009, Livonia, MI 48153

Phone: 734.421.9900 | Toll Free: 800.220.5582 | Fax: 734.421.9911

Also serving these Detroit area communities in Michigan: Livonia, Farmington Hills, Ann Arbor, Southfield, Plymouth, Canton, Westland, Northville, Novi, Dearborn, South Lyon & Walled Lake