5 Things to Know When Insurance Shopping

Insurance Shopping is a wise thing for a business owner to do if not every year, at least every few years. It is not wise to switch carriers frequently based on a slight drop in premium, but it is wise to look around in an attempt to make sure your carrier is competitive with the marketplace. Here are five things to keep in mind when looking in to insurance shopping.

Digital Graphics implementing how a business goes about insurance shopping.

Understand the Value of an Independent Agent

An independent insurance agent is valuable to a small business owner because they are not attached to any one insurance carrier. The fact that they are independent allows the agent to give business leaders advice about each policy and each carrier. They can show you which policy offers the lowest premium and they can give you additional information about each carrier. Margins within the insurance industry are very small. When one insurance carrier is offering a similar policy for a significantly lower premium, there is usually a reason for the premium being lower and that reason is rarely because it offers more coverage or the carrier provides better service of that policy. An independent insurance agent can tell you what to expect when partnering with each individual insurance carrier.

Bundle Policies

Bundling policies is a good idea for a small business for a number of reasons. First and foremost, bundling all coverages with one insurance carrier in a BOP prevents there being gaps in coverage. A gap in coverage occurs when two policies that deal with a claim have exclusions pertaining to the particular claim. Bundling policies with one carrier allows the agent to make sure these gaps do not exist and your business is properly covered.

Do Not Prioritize Price

Price should be one of a number of factors to consider when deciding which policy and which carrier to go with. Margins in the insurance industry are very tight. When a business owner bases their decision primarily on price, they are taking the risk of purchasing an inferior coverage. When a claim occurs, the business should be prepared for less coverage when they decide to go with a significantly cheaper policy.

Analyze your limits

As your facility and equipment age, it is wise to speak with your agent about what exactly is the value of those pieces of equipment. If a piece of equipment is crucial to or business being able to operate, replacing that equipment quickly is important to the ongoing operation of the business. If this is not the case, it might be better to lower the limits of a policy. This is especially important when it comes to old vehicles or old equipment. If the business owns a vehicle that has a value that is similar to what the deductible might be, it might be better for the business to just deal without the vehicle or purchase a new vehicle. No matter what the situation is for your business, it is worthwhile to discuss lowering your limits with your insurance agent from time to time.

Consider an Umbrella Policy

An Umbrella Insurance Policy is designed to sit on top of all existing insurance policies when the limits of those policies have been exhausted. The coverage provides an additional layer of security to businesses that are at risk for being sued for damages to other people’s property or injuries caused to others in an accident. Many times adding an umbrella policy is a more cost effective way to add additional coverage to your policies.

Gun Clubs and Shooting Ranges.

What are the liability concerns for Gun Clubs and Shooting Ranges?

Gun Clubs

Gun Clubs and Shooting Ranges are businesses that provide places for firearms enthusiasts to practice firing various types of firearms.  Some gun clubs and shooting ranges are indoors and allow shooting primarily with handguns at close distances. Other facilities are much larger. They may include outdoor facilities that allow shooting at long range distances.  A majority of these facilities offer lessons and concealed carry classes for beginning firearms enthusiasts’.  Not all facilities offer sales of weapons and accessories, rentals of weapons and even repair for damaged weapons; but those that do face additional liability.  Still other facilities offer periodic tournaments and competitions. Each of these aspects of the business bring with them additional risks.  Depending upon the business activities of each individual gun club or shooting range the liability needs for each business can be drastically different.

Gun Clubs and Shooting Ranges are rising in popularity. Make sure your business is covered properly by reading myinsurancequestion.com

Workers Compensation Risks for Gun Clubs and Shooting Ranges

Workers Compensation Exposures at gun clubs and shooting ranges are similar to many facilities open to the public, but are different in some aspects. Slips, trips and falls are common causes of injuries in these facilities, but there is an increased level of risk when a firearm is involved.  Injuries that involve a firearm tend to be much more severe in nature.  Businesses that operate in this industry typically have a normal frequency of claims, but those claims do tend to be more severe. Because of this elevated amount of risk, all staff need to be thoroughly trained and required to wear proper safety equipment.

Find the answers to your liability questions about Gun Clubs and Shooting Ranges at myinsurancequestion.com

Safety concerns for Gun Clubs and Shooting Ranges

Employees at gun clubs and shooting ranges face both short term and long term risks. Firearms are loud.  Very loud in some cases.  Ear protection is important to protect the long term hearing health of your staff.  Providing the ear protection for your employees and having a program in place to ensure they are actually wearing ear protection is essential to the long term health of your employees and the health of your business. Also, eye protection should be worn when in the presence of live fire. Again, it is wise investment for the business to provide proper safety equipment because it will ensure your employees are wearing the proper equipment.  Additionally, if you require the employees to purchase their own equipment it can develop a bad attitude among the employees about the safety equipment. Spending additional investment on adequate safety and training programs can go a long way towards keeping your staff safe.  A safe staff is a happy and productive staff. Taking additional time to protect your employees will help them be more productive and can prevent a costly insurance claim.

 

NCCI Workers Compensation Class Code 9014

Let’s Break Down Commercial Cleaning Companies

NCCI class code 9014, like most workers comp class codes, includes many different operations.  NCCI stand for the National Council on Compensation Insurance.  It is the main governing body for workers comp codes.  These classification codes generally include a variety of operations.  The classification manual from NCCI is written to include specific operations. It is called the Scopes Manual.   Over time, additional operations are added to each individual classification code.

Find the best answers to your Janitorial business question ( class code 9014 ) at MyInsuranceQuestion.com

Commercial janitorial services is the primary operation contemplated by NCCI class code 9014. Janitorial Services are specifically defined as keeping a building clean.  The businesses do this by routine dusting; mopping, vacuuming, waxing, or polishing floors.  The janitorial businesses also empty trash; clean and wash interior walls; clean, sanitize, and deodorize restrooms.   Office cleaning companies are the easiest operations to get insured (at the most favorable pricing).  It is reasonably easy to get favorable workers comp insurance for commercial janitorial companies.  Especially commercial janitorial companies that clean at retail and other light commercial spaces. It is difficult to get workers compensation insurance for commercial janitorial companies which specialize in cleaning at industrial settings.  Industrial settings frequently lead to the business having to purchase coverage from the state’s assigned risk provider.

Difficult Operations to Quote For Code 9014

Favorable workers comp insurance is more difficult to get for certain operations. For typical commercial janitorial companies, the NCCI class code 9014 allows for maintenance and minor repair work. Most insurance carriers will allow up to 10% of operations to fall into this arena. Floor waxing is another operation which underwriters consider. Some carriers allow as much as 25% of the business activity to be floor waxing.  If it is this amount or less the carrier will still quote accounts. Power washing is disfavored, and most carriers will decline to quote companies offering power washing.  Although it is an operation included in code 9014, at least if performed at ground level.

Code 9014 allows for residential cleaning if it is less than 50% of operations. A different workers comp class code is used for primarily cleaning companies.  That code is  0917. However, the majority of workers comp carriers will decline any account which does any residential cleaning as it is a less controlled work environment.   With that said, at least in some states, The Hartford will still quote commercial janitorial companies with some level of residential cleaning.  Having several years in business is generally an eligibility requirement in this case.

Insurance carriers favor interior operations over exterior operations.  A small amount of exterior operations can be allowed, but work from heights or power washing usually lead to declines from insurance carriers.  NCCI class code 9014 allows for ground level window cleaning.  Class code 9170 must be used for businesses that partake in any window washing above ground level.  This is much more difficult to get quoted by insurance carriers.

Cleaning Company Supplies for Small Business Class Code 9014

Other operations which are included in NCCI workers comp code 9014 include:

Exterminators

Some carriers will offer coverage to these businesses, but many will not.  If there is any live animal trapping provided in services almost all of the insurance carriers will refuse to provide workers comp insurance.

Chimney Cleaning

This function is acceptable to most insurance carriers if the service is performed using the vacuum suction method at ground level.  If the service includes work at heights for any employees, it becomes much more difficult to find a carrier who will quote workers comp coverage.

Residential Boiler Cleaning

This type of service frequently involves using vacuum suction equipment.  Any work involving boilers is difficult to get quoted by nearly all insurance carriers.

Swimming Pool Maintenance

A few carriers will quote swimming pool maintenance companies.  When the swimming pool maintenance company adds construction to their list of business operations, it becomes much more difficult to find a carrier willing to quote the business.

Pet Waste Removal Services

Pet waste removal businesses need to have sufficient payroll to find many carriers willing to quote coverage.  There is a small possibility to get this quoted by carriers on the voluntary market.

There are many different operations that can be included in NCCI Class Code 9014.  Especially for purposes of workers comp.

5 Types of Insurance every Daycare Center needs.

Finding good daycare is an enormous concern for families with children under the age of 5.  Compared to the previous generation there is an extremely large amount of families who now have both parents in the work force.  ‘According to the group Child Care Aware, about 11 million children under age 5 spend an average of 35 hours a week in child care’.  Because of this fact, the day care industry has exploded. With this explosion has come many new businesses needing help with their liability needs.  There are many things that can put a day care center at risk.  Here is a list of the 5 most common coverages a day care center should secure.

 

✓ General Liability Insurance
✓ Hired and Non-Owned Auto
✓ Workers Compensation Insurance
✓ Business Income with Extra Expense
✓ Commercial Crime / Employee Dishonesty

 

General Liability Insurance

GL Insurance is required by law in most states. Many business owners unfortunately think this coverage is all encompassing and it is not.  It is the baseline for coverage for your daycare business.  It will cover your businesses liability for normal bodily injuries from things like slips and falls.  It can also cover property damage that occurs to third parties on your property.

 

Hired and Non-Owned Auto Coverage

If your business owns and uses vehicles as a part of your business you will need commercial auto coverage, but if you have employees who use their personal vehicle or rented cars you will need to secure Hired and Non-Owned Auto Coverage.  This will cover the liability your business faces as a result of any accidents you or your employees are in while on company time.

 

Workers’ Compensation Insurance

Workers Comp is another coverage that is required by law in nearly every state in the country.  It is similar to General Liability except it deals with bodily injuries to your employees. When an employee is injured on the because of normal business practices work comp coverage will cover a portion of their salary and any medical costs as a result of the injury.  Each state has their own laws governing how to administer workers’ compensation coverage.  For this reason, it is important for you and a key employee to know the process to properly help your injured employee get the care they need and get back on the job quickly.  Your carrier can help you with this both before you have an injured employee and when a claim occurs.

 

Business Income with Extra Expense Coverage

Business Income with Extra Expense Coverage is a type of commercial property insurance that covers the loss of income suffered when damage is caused to the property by a covered loss and it causes a slowdown or suspension of business operations. Coverage applies to loss suffered during the time required to repair or replace the damaged property and may extend to apply to loss suffered after completion of repairs for a specified number of days. Expense Coverage is an additional type of commercial property insurance that pays for additional costs in excess of normal operating expenses.  These are normally expenses that an organization incurs to continue operations while its property is being repaired or replaced because of damage from a covered loss.  Extra expense coverage can be purchased in addition to or instead of business income coverage, depending on the needs of the organization.

 

Commercial Crime / Employee Dishonesty

Commercial Crime Insurance is a type of insurance that is designed to help businesses deal with crimes committed by their employees. This type of coverage typically covers several different types of crimes, such as: employee dishonesty; forgery or alteration; computer fraud; funds transfer fraud; kidnap, ransom, extortion; and money orders and counterfeit money coverage.  Employee Dishonesty Insurance is an additional coverage for employee theft of money, securities, or property. This type of coverage is written with a per loss limit, a per employee limit, or a per position limit. This is important to speak with your agent about what types of activities your employees partake in.  They can help you determine what type and how much risk you actually face.

Why so many questions???

Shopping your Workers Compensation insurance –

4 Tips for the best and fastest results

Shopping insurance can be a daunting task. This is not commonly the case with other purchases. When you buy a couch, you just pick out one that feels comfortable.  One that fits your room or matches your style. You look for one that is in your price range and bam! you have the newest edition to your next super bowl party.

Shopping insurance, as much as we would like it to be, is not like buying a couch. Yes, you shop for a policy that fits your coverage needs and the budget you are able to afford, but there are some distinct differences to shopping for an insurance policy. An important factor to consider is the seller’s motives. When you buy a couch, the sale for all intents and purposes is over. The expense and liability of the company selling the couch is basically the same no matter who they sell the couch to.  When you buy insurance, the company who is providing that coverage doesn’t have the same benefit. Insurance companies use a variety of data to determine the risk of each person or business purchasing from them. The reason this information is used is because it has been shown somewhere in their data that this factor shows a correlation between certain variables and their likeliness of a claim. There are something you can do to help tip the odds in your favor. Here are four tips for making the quoting process easier for you and can help you get you the best price you desire:

Be Presentable: Dress your business up for Sunday church, not casual Friday. Show a clear outline of the purpose of your business and the kind of work you do. Equally importantly is to outline the work you won’t do. Make sure your marketing material and websites match this. There are few objections harder to overcome with an underwriter than a website that says you do something your application says you do not. Having these things in line is the best way to get a great first impression.

Be Open about the biggest risk: Every company has some operations that are lower risk than others. Insurance is as much about preventing claims as it is about paying them. The goal of the industry is to make your business whole after a claim, but wouldn’t it be better if we help you to prevent that claim from happening in the first place. Tell your agent about everything you do. If we don’t know that you are hanging from a rope 50 ft off the ground with a chainsaw in your hand, we can’t help find a better way to protect yourself and your employees in that situation (true story).

Note the details: Sometimes high risks are deal breakers, however sometimes in the right circumstances this can be overcome by showing the amount of this exposure. “Yes, we do work on roofs, however they are only flat commercial roofs and only ones with inside stair access or a permanently attached ladder with walls around the perimeter”. The controls you have in place for the highest risk work will be the most vital controls to focus on.

Don’t be afraid to show your hand: A lot of times people look at an insurance purchase like a poker game. If you are buying insurance as a commodity, then that’s what you should expect to receive when you want that policy serviced.

If you work on the same side of the table with your agent however they can work to get the best pricing possible. There is no better pricing than you can obtain from an insurance company than when the underwriter knows what they are insuring. When the underwriter is confident in your business and knows what price they have be at to earn your business they may be more aggressive with credits and discounts. There is much more savings to be had if you say “this is the premium you have to be at to earn my business” than there is with “show me your best price”.

4 Advantages to Pay as You Go Workers’ Compensation.

Small business owners have a lot to think about. Whether it be finding new clients, efficiently servicing the clients you do have, making sure your employees are paid on time, what type of insurance to offer your employees, to what type and how much insurance coverage is needed to adequately protect the business; a business owner must be involved in all of these decisions. One of the largest fixed costs most small business face is workers’ compensation insurance coverage.  In 48 out of 50 states this is required by law for nearly all businesses to carry this coverage. For this reason, any way to limit the cost of this coverage is helpful to a small business. Especially a start-up, a small business with a seasonal business cycle or a small business with cash flow issues.  Pay as You Go Workers Comp Insurance Coverage is one option to help these types of businesses.

Pay as You Go Workers Compensation is a great way for seasonal and cash strapped small businesses to free up cash.

Improves Cash Flow

Most Workers Compensation Policies require a portion of the policy up front to establish coverage.  After this initial payment the company pays 9 monthly payments beginning 3 months in to the cycle. The amount that is due up front is typically 25 or 30% of the entire premium. With the Pay as You Go Option most businesses, depending on revenue, can get policies in place for only a few hundred dollars. This allows the business to free up cash for more immediate business needs.

Increases Payment Accuracy

Pay as You Go Billing allows businesses to accurately pay what they owe each month based on real time payroll amounts. In a traditional work comp policy the payroll amounts are an estimate and during an audit at the end of the period they either are offered a refund for overpaying or they are charged for the additional amount of premium owed. Pay as You Go lessens this burden by allowing companies to pay a more accurate amount each month in real time.

Simplifies the Auditing Process

Because the amount of premium is paid in real time based on the payroll each month there are less inaccuracies during the auditing process. Typically the biggest problem during the auditing process stems from the business being improperly classified. This can cause a dramatic over or under payment if the business is supposed to be in a classification code that is dramatically more or less dangerous. A good example of this is related to driving risks. If a company has employees drive to many different locations to do a job as opposed to do a similar job at only one location without the employees operating a vehicle those are two class codes that are dramatically different risks and premium is dramatically different for those two businesses.

Allows the Business to Budget more effectively

When a business has a more accurate assumption of what their premium will be from month to month and throughout the entire year they can more accurately budget for other expenditures. This is important for new or growing businesses. If you are adding on to your location, thinking of buying new equipment or adding new employees than what you pay in premium will determine what and how much you can spend on these other parts of your business. Businesses that use a traditional workers comp policy may have to be more conservative in their growth because they need to keep more cash on hand for the auditing process.

 

General Liability Insurance

General liability insurance protects a company’s assets and pays for obligations. For example, it covers medical costs incurred if someone gets hurt on your property or when there are property damages or injuries caused by you or your employees. Liability insurance also covers the cost of your legal defense and any settlement or award should you be successfully sued. Generally, these include compensatory damages, non-monetary losses suffered by the injured party, and punitive damages. General liability insurance can also protect you against any liability as a tenant if you cause damage to a property that you rent, such as by fire or other covered loss. Finally, it can also cover claims of false or misleading advertising, including libel, slander, and copyright infringement.

General Liability Insurance

Getting liability insurance is a wise investment that doesn’t cost much – annual premiums could range from $425 and up on your line of business and coverage needs. That’s certainly a lot less than the thousands, if not millions, of dollars you may need to spend fighting your case in court. General liability insurance can be purchased on its own, but it can also be included as part of a Business Owner’s Policy (BOP) which bundles liability and property insurance into one policy. If you have a BOP, check it to see what your liability coverage limit is. You may find that it is quite low, in which case you may need additional coverage through a separate policy. There are specific liability products catered to contractors that you can add some tools and equipment coverage making it into a BOP that costs the same if not better than just getting liability coverage by itself. The coverage you need depends on the type of business you are in and the perceived risk associated with it.

How general liability insurance works is the same as many insurance plans, your general liability policy will outline the maximum amount the insurance company will pay against a liability claim. So, if your small business gets sued for $250,000 for medical costs associated with an injury caused by a worksite hazard, plus an additional $100,000 in legal fees, but your coverage maxes out at $300,000, then you are responsible for paying the difference of $50,000. If you are on the higher end of the risk scale and already have general liability insurance, you can also opt for umbrella insurance that increases your coverage limits. This will cover you in situations in which you’re worried that your existing coverage won’t cover all your costs should someone file and win a claim against you. The most commonly asked limit we have found is $1,000,000 per occurrence with a $2,000,000 aggregate.

Find out if your business needs a commercial umbrella policy at myinsurancequestion.com

 If an incident occurs that may lead to a claim, you should notify your insurance company or agent immediately. Be prepared to explain what has happened in detail including the time, date, the names of any witnesses, and any other pertinent information.

Remember General Liability Insurance just like all other kinds of insurance are designed to help you in a time of need. Make sure you review your policies with your insurance agent on a regular basis.  This can help you make sure you are up to date on coverages and that you have the limits that best suit your business. This is important because your business has probably changed a great deal from the first time you took a policy out when you open your doors.

Carriers Appetites

Carriers Appetites change dramatically from year to year. This goes mostly for different industries, but it can also apply to different coverages as well. For business owners looking for coverage this can be a frustrating and puzzling part of their insurance experience. They are simply trying to obtain proper coverage for their business. Depending on many things external to the business, carriers may change how much they desire certain coverages and industries.  The prices businesses pay for coverage changes accordingly. The main way to navigate this issue is to partner with an agent you trust and an agent who works with many different carriers.

My-Insurance-Question-Carriers_Appetites

When carriers change their appetite for your industry or the coverage you need, it is because they are looking for their ideal client. Carriers want to make it as appealing as possible for those clients to purchase coverage from them and they want to make it less appealing for clients they deem a higher risk.  Industries with high risk tend to pay more and struggle to find coverage while industries that carriers have a stronger appetite for are typically ones that have high premium and tend to have a low rate of claims.

In most cases, carriers are willing to be more aggressive with credits and discounts when your business is in one of these low risk industries.

 

If you are in a high risk industry don’t worry. There are some things you can do to combat the lack of appetite carriers may have for covering your business. First and foremost, you should find an insurance agent who partners with many different carriers and not one or a select few. This way they can shop around to find a carrier who does have an appetite for your industry.  If your agent partners with one carrier or a select few, they may not be able to find the carrier who has an appetite for your industry. There are a lot of carriers who like to find a niche where they can offer to one industry and do it well. Because of this, these niche carriers may have an appetite for your industry where a major carrier will steer clear of those risky industries.

This is common in trucking and construction industries. These industries typically are a higher risk. Any business that has employees driving tend to have more claims and the claims tend to be higher cost. Because of this, some carriers specialize in these industries because they believe they can offer expertise in this niche industry where a larger carrier just does not have the time or the desire to take a risk on covering these businesses. This may be true of certain coverages too. For example, flood insurance is a coverage that is only needed in certain parts of the country. When their is a flood in an area there are typically a lot of claims within a short period of time. Some carriers jump out of the market for a few years when this occurs. Some carriers jump in, in an attempt to capitalize on these areas.

The most important thing any small business owner can do to insure their business properly is to partner with an independent agent who partners with as many carriers as possible. This will allow them to shop around for you in an attempt to find those carriers who do have an appetite for your industry. Any time you see a spike in premium you should speak with your agent about other carriers who may offer more aggressive credits or discounts. If the agent partners with many carriers they should have good knowledge of which carriers do have an appetite for your industry and they are able to leverage that to get your business better coverage and the lowest rates possible.

Should I Buy Workers Comp Insurance Online?

Should you buy workers comp insurance online?

Over the last 10 years or so, more and more insurance providers are starting to show up online. Additionally, even many traditional brick and mortar agencies are at least starting to have a website presence. There are many things to look for in a commercial insurance agent. Among the things that first come to mind are adequately protecting your business from risk of loss, providing well-priced insurance and providing good customer service/being available for customers. Online based insurance providers often perform well at many of the things that are important to insurance buyers, but do they provide the same service?

Online insurance providers are typically high volume agencies. That can benefit customers in a number of ways. First, many of these online providers have access to many different insurance carriers which can allow substantial price shopping. Additionally, due to having a high volume, these online providers generally have good relationships with numerous insurance carriers. Those relationships can often be leveraged to benefit clients when appropriate. Furthermore, due to volume, the online providers often have substantial experience and expertise in the coverages they are offering.

Another advantage of online insurance providers is that they tend to be consistently available during business hours. It is often the case that traditional agencies may be more involved in your community and you may not meet your online provider face to face. However, due to their business model, online providers are typically available in their office during most business hours, which generally allows customer needs to be met promptly. Additionally, online providers are typically licensed in all states, so they are generally set-up to help if out of state insurance needs arise.

With workers’ comp insurance, most of the benefits are determined by statute/laws in particular states. Thus, if a reputable carrier is used and information and business information is fully disclosed, most business owners should be able to be confident that their business is adequately protected by the insurance they purchase. With other lines of insurance, like general liability and professional liability, it is possibly more important to establish a level of trust with your insurance provider. It is important to make sure your business information is reviewed, so that coverage gaps can be analyzed to make sure your business is protected. Establishing this level of trust can often be done over the phone as well as it can be done in person.

Another thing to consider is that online insurance providers may be more closely aligned with the direction of the insurance industry. Many insurance carriers are continuing to develop more and more technology. Online insurance providers are generally also tech savvy. They focus on technology development and utilization. Online agencies may be better able to pass on carrier technology to their clients, while also providing their own technology to clients.  All of this is designed to make issues related to business insurance more efficient for you the business owner.

There are numerous reasons it may be beneficial to consider buying workers’ comp and other business insurance online. Prices are often very competitive. Online providers are generally available for customers and generally have substantial expertise in the insurance products they provide. Additionally, online providers are typically among the most tech savvy agencies in the industry, which is in line with marketplace trends and benefits customers. There are many things to consider in choosing an insurance provider, but online providers stack up well in many factors which are typically considered.

Liquor Liability Insurance

Get the best answers to your liquor liability insurance questions at MyInsuranceQuestion.com

Liquor liability insurance is a coverage that all restaurants, bars, clubs or any establishment that sells alcohol needs to have in place. This coverage is very important because when you sell or serve alcohol you open yourself up to be liable for damages or injuries caused by intoxicated people. These types of damages could include fights, automobile accidents, etc. When we first think of who is at fault the initial reaction is to blame the intoxicated person, but what happens if an accident occurs and someone is severely injured or harassed. The victim or victim’s family may get a lawyer involved and then all of sudden they will look at all the events that led up to the incident. If the establishment played a part in serving a clearly intoxicated person they could be held liable and be sued.

Liquor Liability Insurance is a coverage that protects your business from personal injuries and property damages resulting from a liability lawsuit. The good thing about this coverage, is that it covers the cost to defend. Since legal fees and court cost generally are high even if you are found not to be held liable. One key that you want to make sure of is that assault and battery coverage is included in your liquor liability insurance coverage.  Since this would cover fights that occur at your establishment or if a bouncer handles a situation in an aggressive manner resulting in injury to the person they are making leave. In some policies it will even cover someone that is not involved, but the bouncer pushes through them to get to the fight.

What about Underage drinking? Underage drinking is something that all establishments are aware is illegal. It is very important to check ids, train staff to do so and including training on how to handle fake ids. This is very important because coverage is EXCLUDED for anything resulting from an underage person causing injury or a fatal accident resulting out of drinking at your bar, restaurant, etc. This could essentially put you out of business since you are picking up the entire cost of the incident when it involves a minor who obtained alcohol at your establishment.

Where is this coverage located in my policy or how can I add it? Most states require this coverage if you are serving alcohol at your establishment. Because of this it is an easy coverage to get and it does come at varying levels with different limits of coverage. You can purchase the coverage on a stand-alone basis. This is not always the most cost effective.  Probably the best place to add the coverage is with your general liability or business owners’ insurance policy if at all possible. It is generally cheaper if you package it with those policies. Depending on the % of alcohol sales though you may have to purchase it separate from those. An example of this would be a bar with 100% alcohol sales usually has to purchase separately.

There are companies that specialize in this coverage so it is good to look around before purchasing or when shopping your insurance coverage every few years. You can get this coverage for special events such as weddings, parties, festivals, etc. I recommend contacting your agent or insurance professional for any help.