Commercial insurance, also called commercial liability insurance, is insurance that covers damage or injury expenses in the event of an accident that is deemed to be the fault of the business. Commercial insurance can also protect the business in the event that a lawsuit is filed. If a lawsuit is filed, the commercial insurance company will cover any legal fees that are associated with the lawsuit. If any judgments are made against the company, the liability insurance may cover all or a portion of expenses.
Why is Commercial Insurance Necessary?
Commercial insurance is very important for businesses to have. Accidents that the company is liable for may be caused by employees, faulty equipment, products, or many other factors. Employees or customers that get hurt on the property can sue the company for slipping on a wet floor or running into something that is on the wall. Chair springs can pop and cause injury.
There are thousands of reasons that a company can be sued. It is virtually impossible to prevent every single accident or problem that may occur. Commercial insurance can help businesses to retain funding and stay in business in the event of an accident that results in litigation. Without commercial insurance, a company is responsible for any damages or expenses from errors and accidents. The company is also responsible for any medical or legal expenses incurred, as well as any judgments that may be made against the company.
Who Carries Commercial Insurance?
Most types of businesses carry commercial insurance. Nearly any business can benefit from purchasing a commercial insurance policy. From restaurants to office buildings to construction sites, commercial insurance can protect businesses against a wide range of incidents that may occur. Smaller business may still benefit from carrying commercial insurance; the policy would just be less expensive.
Types of Commercial Insurance
There are a few different types of commercial insurance available. If a company utilizes vehicles, commercial vehicle insurance should be purchased. If there are employees, a business would be well advised and may be required to purchase workers’ compensation insurance. When businesses refer to commercial insurance, though, usually it is general liability commercial insurance that is being referenced.
General liability insurance policies differ in the scope of coverage. Some of the things that general liability insurance typically covers include property damage, bodily injury, and damage to a reputation. There are also many additional options for coverage, such as pollution liability insurance, data breach insurance and crime insurance that may be necessary for certain business or locations. Businesses should be sure to review common incidents that occur in the area of the business, as well as accidents that are common to the type of business, to be sure that the business will be covered for incidents that carry a high probability.
Amount of Commercial Insurance Coverage
The amount of coverage that is necessary depends on the particular aspects of the business itself. A company that has very expensive products that are easily damaged would want to have a higher amount allotted to property damage. A company that runs a high risk of bodily injury would want to invest more money into that category.
Larger companies may be required to purchase a higher dollar commercial insurance policy to ensure there will be enough coverage in the event of a major catastrophe. Likewise, smaller businesses may carry smaller requirements. Deciding upon the proper amount of insurance is a balancing act. Businesses must decide upon an amount that will supply a reasonable amount of money to cover costs, while carrying a premium that is realistic for the business to pay monthly or yearly.
Mitigating Risk of Litigation
Businesses that carry a higher risk of accidents, or that have a record of accidents, will have to pay higher premiums than businesses that are considered safer. In order to lower the risk of having to use the commercial insurance, businesses should aggressively seek to make business conditions safer. This can be done by altering products to make them less prone to causing illness or injury, fixing or replacing old equipment, and working to identify and correct other possible sources of injury or damage.
“Business Insurance.” SBA.gov Small Business Administration. SBA.gov, n.d. Web. 16 Sep 2013. <http://www.sba.gov/content/business-insurance>.
“Professional Liability Insurance.” Florida Office of Insurance Regulation. Florida Office of Insurance Regulation, n.d. Web. 16 Sep 2013. <http://www.floir.com/Sections/PandC/ProfLiab/default.asp&xgt;.