Pest Control Insurance Needs

Pest Control Companies Face Unique Risks

Pest control companies provide services to commercial and residential customers who have problems with insects, rodents and other nuisances on their property. The fumigator or exterminator determines the type of pest and the most effective method of extermination. These methods should always be the method that will cause the least amount of disruption to the customer, regardless if the customer is an individual or a business. Because these businesses are constantly interacting with customers off-premise and the nature of the chemicals they are using, risks in this industry are high.

In order to manage risks properly, pest control companies need to have thorough training procedures for all employees.  Those training programs should include safety programs to keep the employees and the clients safe at all times. In addition to adequate safety programs, pest control companies need to acquire adequate insurance coverage to protect the business from the unique risks each business faces. Here are six types of insurance coverage every pest control company should have.

Pest Control by Fumigation

Minimum recommended coverage:

  • General Liability Insurance
  • Commercial Property Coverage
  • Business Personal Property Insurance
  • Commercial Auto Coverage
  • Inland Marine Insurance
  • Workers Compensation Coverage

General Liability Insurance

General Liability risks arise for pest control companies when employees travel off-premises in order to applying chemicals. Customers should be given proper instructions on controls regarding anyone or anything that could be exposed to hazardous materials while the application is going on. This is especially important for clients who have children, pets, sick and elderly individuals. In some instances, temporary evacuation is required during application. This may be  followed by a waiting period and re-ventilation to replace the fumigant with fresh air.

Commercial Property Coverage

Commercial  property risks depend on the type of property you own and operate as well as the types of chemicals being stored on the property.  It also depends on the amount of these chemicals you keep on the property and whether or not those chemicals are flammable. Hazards increase if the contractor fails to store the chemicals properly in approved containers, cabinets and rooms, with accurate labeling and separation. Speaking long and honestly with your independent insurance agent is always the best way to properly protect your business. This conversation should include exactly what the employees of your business do on a daily basis, what is the condition of the property you operate, and exactly what chemicals you are storing on the property.

Business Personal Property Insurance

Business Personal Property Insurance provides coverage to small businesses for furniture, fixtures, merchandise, materials and all other personal property owned by you personally and used in your business. The best part about this coverage is that it is generally at replacement cost. Many business owners think this type of loss is covered by their commercial property insurance, but it is not. This coverage can and should be added to most BOP or CPP Packages if there is a need for this coverage.

Commercial Auto Coverage

Automobile exposure in the pest control industry is extremely high due to the amount of time employees spend in their vehicles travelling to clients locations. In addition, there is the fact that the employees are also transporting chemicals throughout their workday. Drivers in some states may need a hazardous materials (“hazmat”) endorsement to transport some chemicals used. Risks increase if the insured lacks spill control procedures and equipment.

Inland Marine Insurance

Inland marine exposures in the pest control industry come primarily from the contractor’s equipment and the transporting of that equipment, chemicals and supplies to the customers’ premises. Equipment is not highly susceptible to damage, but it can be hazardous to both your employees and clients.  This equipment may include tarps, drills, measuring devices and other hand tools. The tarps and plastics used to enclose the areas to be fumigated may be bulky and require attention to folding and tying down. The chemical containers may be vulnerable to overturn or damage that causes leaking, which impacts the auto and premises liability exposures.

Workers Compensation Coverage

Workers compensation exposure can be high for the Pest Control industry. Common hazards include slips and falls during application; minor injuries while using hand tools; lifting injury and back injuries, hernia, sprain and strain. Employees can experience lung, eye, or skin irritations due to the chemicals. The impact of these chemicals can be immediate or long term.  In some Pest Control companies seasonal employees may make safety a challenge. Loss potential becomes severe if the contractor fails to train and supervise employees properly. This is especially important when it comes to the proper use of protective gear by the employees.

 

Business Liability Category: Artisan Contractors

SIC Business Insurance Codes:

  • 7342: Disinfecting and Pest Control Services
  • 2879: Pesticides and Chemicals—Not Classified Elsewhere

NAICS Liability Classifications:

  • 561710: Exterminating and Pest Control Services
  • 325320: Pesticide and Agricultural Chemical Manufacturing

Business ISO General Liability:

  • 43860: Fumigators
  • 43470: Pest Control Services

Common Workers Compensation Class Codes:

  • 9014: Janitorial Services by Contractors (Florida—Exterminators)
  • 4828: Chemical Blending and Pest Control Fumigation
  • 9031: California Code—Pest Control—All Operations
  • 0046: Massachusetts Code—Pesticide Application

Law Firms

Law Firms

Attorneys, Independent Lawyers and Law Firms work in many different types of law. Some attorneys specialize in providing legal counsel to financial services companies. Other Lawyers specialize in disability cases. Still other law firms specialize in general practice. Each different type of law brings with it, the possibility to be liable for damages. With each unique type of risk there are specific insurance coverages that a business in the law profession may need. Here are 6 Coverages every all law firms should strongly consider.

Law Firms

Recommended Insurance Programs for Attorneys and Law Firms

Minimum recommended coverage:

  • General Liability
  • Professional Liability (Malpractice Insurance)
  • Property Insurance
  • Hired and Non-Owned Auto
  • Business Income with Extra Expense
  • Workers Compensation

Other coverages to consider for Law Firms:
Business Personal Property, Employee Dishonesty, Accounts Receivable, Computers, Valuable Papers and Records, Employee Benefits Liability, Umbrella Liability, Auto Liability, Building, Computer Fraud, Forgery, Employment Practices Liability (EPLI), Business Auto Liability and Physical Damage.

Insurance needs for Law Firms.

General Liability

General Liability Insurance is needed by all businesses. It is required by law in nearly all states for most businesses. This coverage will protect your business from the risks you face when the open public comes in to your facility. The risk of slips, trips, and falls is low because of the lack of a large volume of customer coming and going from the facility.

Professional Liability

Professional Liability risks are much higher in the Law Profession. Most Attorneys refer to this type of coverage as Malpractice Insurance. This type of coverage protects professionals who provide professional advice and services. This is at the heart of what lawyers do. If law firms offer advice to a client and the outcome is not desirable, the client has the ability to sue the lawyer for that advice. Even if the claims are unfounded, it can take an enormous amount of time, energy, and money for lawyers to defend themselves. This coverage can reimburse law firms for these costs up to the limits of the policy.

Property Insurance

Commercial Property Insurance is necessary if the law firm owns the property you operate your office. It is important to consult with your insurance agent about what exactly is and is not covered under your policy. The coverage will likely cover the building, structure and foundation; but if you have specialized equipment you may need additional coverage. If you live in an area where natural disasters are common (Floods, Hurricanes, Tornadoes, Etc.) you more than likely need this coverage or the damage resulting may not be covered.

Hired and Non-Owned Auto

If your business owns vehicles and you or your employees use those vehicles for business purposes than you need commercial auto coverage. More than likely, you do not own a business vehicle. Still you and your employees may periodically use your personal cars for business purposes. This is when a Hired and Non-Owned Auto Policy is necessary. Because the employee is in the car on business purposes than the liability to third parties is the liability of the business, not the individual. If your employee causes a wreck, the damages occurred as a result of that wreck are the liability of the business. This coverage will help in just these types of situations.

Business Income with Extra Expense

Business Income with Extra Expense Coverage will cover a law firm for loss of income suffered by a business when damage to its premises (by a covered cause of loss) causes a slowdown or suspension of its operations. Coverage applies to loss suffered during the time required to repair or replace the damaged property. The key part of this coverage is the covered loss portion of the policy. If your business is damaged because of a flood or an earthquake and you do not have this coverage, the business income and extra expense policy will not kick in. If the damage is because of a fire and it is covered by your commercial property policy, than the additional policy will kick in. For this reason it is wise to work with one insurance agent and make sure they are dealing with one or a few carrier to provide you optimal coverage. This will prevent gaps in coverage and speed up the time to process your claim.

Workers Compensation

Workers Compensation Coverage is required by law in most states for most attorneys. There are some exceptions in some states, so it might be worth your time to check with the proper governing agency in the state your law firm operates. Even if your business is eligible for an exemption it is more than likely beneficial for your law firm to still secure coverage. One expensive injury to an employee can result in a large cost to a business. In many scenarios the losses cause a business to close for good.

The risks associated with workers compensation are fairly low in this industry. Long term Repetition injuries like carpal tunnel may occur from employees sitting at a desk for long periods of time. Having adequate safety programs and offering desks that allow employees to stand may be beneficial to your business. This additional desk may be expensive, but an injured employee who is out of work for three months because of surgery can be significantly more expensive. Partnering with an experienced independent insurance agent can help you determine if you need this coverage.

 

Justice is found through the work done in Law Firms.

Attorney Liability Insurance Classification Codes

Commercial insurance companies use various liability classification systems in order to classify and rate coverage premiums for Lawyers. Here are the most common business insurance classifications for Attorneys:

Business Liability Category: Service Business

SIC Business Insurance Codes:

  • 8111: Legal Services
  • 9222: Legal Counsel and Prosecution

NAICS Liability Classifications:

  • 541110: Law Office or Legal Firm
  • 922130: Legal Counsel and Prosecution
  • 541120: Notary Office
  • 541199: All Other Legal Services

Business ISO General Liability:

  • 66122: Lawyers Offices

Common Workers Compensation Class Codes:

  • 8820: Attorneys—All Employees

Auto Repair

5 Insurance Coverages every Auto Repair Business Should Have

Auto Repair Shops offer a wide variety of mechanical services. These services may include from engine repair and tune-ups. Some businesses specialize in a specific type of sales and repair, like tires, transmissions or brakes. Normally, auto repair shops do not specialize in body work or painting operations. These services are typically performed by specialized professionals. Some operations include the retail sales of automobile parts and tools. Some repair shops are a part of a gasoline or diesel fuel sales operation, or part of an automobile dealership. Each type of operation has its own unique risks and its own unique insurance needs. Here are 5 coverages every auto repair shop owner should strongly consider, in order to properly protect their business.

Auto Repair Shop

 

✓ General Liability Insurance
✓ Garage Keepers Liability
✓ Commercial Auto
✓ Hired and Non-Owned Auto
✓ Workers Compensation Insurance

General Liability

General Liability Exposure can come in many different forms. Like many industries the risk begins with slips, tips and falls by third parties on your premises. This risk starts primarily due to public access to the businesses facility. Risks also arise from having cars parked overnight in the parking lot of the facility.  These areas should be well lit and an ongoing relationship with local law enforcement is advisable.

Garage Keepers Liability

Garage Keepers Liability is usually worded as, “a form of bailee liability designed to cover damage to autos belonging to others while in the insured’s care”. In layman’s terms this is an insurance policy for the liability a business might face related to cars that are stored at their facility for multiple days.  These are other peoples cars that your business is performing a service on that is not able to be completed in one day.

Commercial Auto

Commercial Auto Insurance is needed if your business owns its own vehicles and employees use the vehicle for business purposes. If you own and operate vehicles at your business, it is important to properly train all people who are going to be operating the vehicles. Collecting and documenting these employees motor vehicle records is recommended. Both the training program you have in place and the vehicle records you collect need to be well documented for when you quote new coverage and when a claim arises.

Hired and Non-Owned Auto

Hired and Non-Owned Auto Risks mainly arrive from employees running errands for the business.  If you have employees partaking in these types of activities, all drivers should have valid licenses and their motor vehicle registrations regularly checked. Have these records documented can help you independent insurance agent save you when quoting coverage.

Workers Compensation

Workers Compensation Insurance risks can be significant for auto repair shops. Employees are at risk when performing brake tuning, welding or other repair work. These activities should take place only with appropriate safety equipment. Lifting of a vehicle by hoists, jacks, and other mechanical means can result in injury should the equipment malfunction. Lifting by non-mechanical means can result in back injury, sprains, strains or hernias. Having a documented policy in place for how employees are supposed to do these activities is crucial to prevent injured employees.

Auto Repair Shop Insurance Information at My Insurance Question.

Here are the most common commercial insurance classification codes for auto repair shops.  

SIC Business Insurance Codes:

  • 7533: Automotive Exhaust Repair Shops
  • 7538: General Automotive Repair Shops
  • 7532: Body, Paint and Upholstery Repair

NAICS Liability Classifications:

  • 811111: General Automotive Repair
  • 811112: Automotive Exhaust System Repair
  • 811113: Automotive Transmission Repair
  • 811118: Other Automotive Mechanical and Electrical Repair and Maintenance
  • 811121: Automotive Body, Paint and Interior Repair and Maintenance
  • 811122: Automotive Glass Replacement Shops
  • 811198: All Other Automotive Repair and Maintenance

Business ISO General Liability:

  • 10072: Automotive—Quick Lube
  • 10073: Auto Sales, Repair and Service
  • 10075: Automotive Repair Shop—Self Service

Common Workers Compensation Class Codes:

  • 8380: Auto Repair
  • 8393: Auto Body Repair or Paint Shop
  • 9516: Auto Shop—Radio and Equipment

Here is a great video about Auto Repair Shops and Workers Compensation Insurance  from our partners at Employers.

 

Rental Property Insurance

When you own rental property with it comes a certain amount of risk. There are ways to lessen the amount of risk your or your business faces by properly preparing your business and purchasing adequate insurance coverage.  Here are 3 types of insurance you or your business need to secure when you own rental property.

If you own Rental Property, you need to determine what kinds of insurance your business actually needs?

 

If you or your business own rental property, there are certain insurance coverages you need to secure. Find out the best info at My Insurance Question.com

Three Policies every rental property owner should have. 

General Liability Coverage

General Liability Insurance in most cases is the first type of insurance a business or investor purchases. General Liability and Workers’ Compensation Coverage are required by law in 48 out of 50 states. For this reason, most business owners start with these two coverages and later determine if they need additional insurance.  GL Insurance covers a property owner for any liability they might face to thirds parties.  Some liabilities you may face include when a tenant or visitor are injured due to the landlord’s negligence, when a property maintenance issue results in a tenants’ injury or personal property loss or when a tenant is injured as a result of the landlord’s failure to keep the premises safe and in good working order.  Now these are just a couple of the types of liability a property owner may face.  Other risks you or your business face include losses due to fire, storm, tenant or employee theft and even discrimination lawsuits filed by tenants or employees. A lawsuit does not have to be legitimate to cause you or your business to incur enormous legal costs. Having the proper insurance in place can limit the damages to you or your business if you do face a lawsuit.

Commercial Property Insurance

Commercial Property Insurance is frequently the second coverage a property owner will secure.  When looking to acquire a commercial insurance policy it is important to secure an accurate valuation of the property. A Commercial Property Insurance Policy are just a little bit different than a personal home owners policy in that they are sold on either a replacement cost or on an agreed upon value. For most businesses the replacement cost policy is almost always the best type of policy to secure. This type of policy will pay to not only rebuild the property but also to demolish and haul away any and all debris. This additional cost can be substantial.

Business Loss of Income

Business Loss of Income Coverage is the third and final type of insurance all rental property owners should purchase. A business loss of income insurance policy will cover you or your business for the income lost during the period when a rental property is uninhabitable.  For example, if your building is damaged by a hurricane; this coverage kicks in to cover missed rent payments you or your business would have collected while the property is being repaired. Frequently this coverage is paid based upon documented actual revenue, which is good for property owners because you have a lease stating how much revenue the property generates.  Depending upon the policy you can collect payments for lost rent for up to 12 months after a loss.

 

Insurance Tips for Lawn Care and Landscaping

There are many aspects to owning a landscaping business. Many aspects that have nothing to do with the actual work itself. Whether a business owner is dealing with finding the right employees, determining the right price to charge their customers or managing the day to day operations; there are always additional responsibilities pulling the business owner in a different direction.  One aspect that frequently gets looked over is purchasing commercial insurance for your landscaping business.  Here are five tips for finding the best insurance, saving money when purchasing coverage and how best to use your policy when a disaster occurs.

Get the answers to your Lawn Care and Landscaping Insurance Questions at My Insurance Question.com

Partner with an independent agent

Independent insurance agents are unique in that they can quote you policies from many different carriers and not just one or a select few.  The appetites of the carriers change from year to year for certain coverages and especially for different industries.  Some years, your premium may go up simply because the carrier has experienced a lot of losses in your industry of the last year or couple of years. As a result they raise the prices for that classification code.  Another carrier may not have experienced the same losses and may be more hungry to quote your policy.  An independent insurance agent has the ability to force carriers to compete for your business.  In the end this helps you get better coverage at rock bottom prices.

Make sure you are in the right class code

The Lawn Care and Landscaping Industry is an industry that has numerous general liability classification codes. If you do not give enough information to your agent, they are forced to guess exactly how much risk your business takes on. It is in their best interest to always assume more risk. Assuming more risk protects the insurance agency, but may cost your business more in unnecessary premium. These mistakes usually get fixed in the end of term audit, but even when corrected you still have tied up cash in unnecessary premium throughout the year.

What coverages can I do without?

Once you have taken care of finding a good agency to partner with and you have taken the time to make sure you are classified properly, it is important to ask your agent what coverage’s does your business absolutely need and what coverage’s your business may be able to do without.  At this point it is important to remember the agent works for you.  If you are honest with the agent about how much risk you are willing to take, they should be able to give you the proper information to cover your business as you prefer.  It is important to remember that insurance agents not only interact with business owners when they are selling coverage, but also when the worst of the worst has occurred.  The agent may be offering you an extra coverage because they have interacted with a business owner in the past who had a claim occur at their business where they were not covered. Those are never easy conversations to have.  Depending upon the size and severity of the disaster having the right coverage may be the difference between your business closing the doors for a week and never opening again.

Ask for available credits and debits

The best way to find the best price on coverage is to tell your insurance agent what you value in the buying process.  Insurance agents talk with many different people from many different walks of life.  One customer may want to get through the insurance buying process as fast as possible so they can get back to running their business.  Another business owner may not mind if it takes a day and a half of their time in order to save an additional five percent.  Let the agent know early and often what you value.

What do you do when your business has a claim?

It is common for a business owner to think bad things will not happen to their business, but the most successful businesses are those who have a plan in place for when things go wrong.  Part of that plan should be having the proper insurance policy in place.  When an occurrence eventually takes place, there are several steps you as a business owner can take to speed up the process of getting your claim paid and get your business back up to normal operation.

When you do have to make an insurance claim it is important to inform both your carrier and your agency.  Do not be upset if your agency informs you to contact your carrier.  It is the job of the carrier to process the claim, not the agency.  At the same time, it is equally important to keep your agency in the loop.  In the unfortunate case the carrier is not living up to their end of the bargain, the agency can contact them on your behalf.  If you have injured workers, make sure they are going to medical facilities that are properly prepared to process the workers’ compensation system within your state.  Your carrier can help you find the proper facilities.  This can drastically limit the severity of a claim and it can allow your injured worker to get the best care quickly.  The better care they get can result in the getting back on the job quicker and with the least amount of doctors’ visits possible.  Keeping the injured worker on your side is important.  If this process runs smoothly it will make your employee happy and motivated to return to work.  It will also help your insurance carrier by limiting the amount of the claim.  THis will prevent too much damage from being done to your businesses experience modification rating.  The Experience Mod is one of the main ways carriers determine how much they will charge you for premium.

Do not be alarmed if a claim stays open for a period of time after your business has gotten over the claim.  Insurance agents do this in order to not have to open a second claim.  A second claim will also impact your experience modification rating.  The carrier does this because an injured worker may return to work and reinjure themselves.   Sometimes this can happen weeks or even months after the injured worker has returned to work.  If this causes your business to file a second claim it can have a damaging effect on your rating resulting in a higher rate on premium.

 

5 facts about insurance

5 little known facts about insurance, every small business owner should know.

General Liability covers my employees if they are injured at work

This is false. General Liability Insurance covers your businesses liability to third parties injured by the actions of your business. This goes for both property damage and bodily injuries.  One thing a general liability policy does not cover is the injuries that occur to your employees.  For these injuries you need a separate workers compensation insurance policy.  Workers comp will cover your employees for medical care and some lost wages when they are hurt on the job and not able to work.

The only thing that determines your rate for insurance is your loss ratio.  

There are many things that go in to how a carrier determines what you pay in premium for coverage.  First is your classification code.  It is pretty easy to understand that an accounting firm is taking on a lot less risk compared to a roofing company.  The level of risk is going to be represented in the amount those businesses pay for premium.

Your personal auto insurance will cover your car when you are using it for business purposes.  

You may need Hired and Non-owned Auto Insurance.This statement is not true.  If you are using your car for business purposes, it is not completely covered under your personal insurance policy.  The personal insurance policy will pay to cover the damages to your car, but it will not cover your liability to third parties. That liability falls on the shoulders of the business.  For that reason, you will need to secure either a commercial auto policy or a hired and non owned auto policy.

You must pay your insurance premium in full up-front.

This is not true.  Most commercial policies require 25% or more of the premium in order to get coverage in place than you pay 9 monthly payments over the last 9 months of the policy period.  There are also options the insurance industry has developed to help cash strapped companies. This is the Pay as You Go option.  Pay as you go can get coverage in place for only a few hundred dollars and then you pay premium each month based upon the monthly payroll.  This is an excellent option for seasonal or cash straped businesses.

There is no need for Business Insurance if you work out of your home.

This is absolutely not correct.  The liability needs you face are different if you work from home, but there are still risks you need to cover.  If you drive to clients houses you need some form of commercial auto.  If you have specialized equipment you may need inland marine coverage and if you offer professional advice you more than likely need professional liability.  These are just a few coverages you may need for a home office and an experienced insurance professional can help you make sure your business is protected with just a short conversation.  It is important to be thorough and honest during these conversations.

Beauty Salons

How much insurance coverage do Beauty Salons need?

 

There are many Beauty Salons all across the country. Each one has their own unique set of risks depending upon the scope and scale of their operations. THe risks facing a beauty salon are very different from the risks of a real estate agency, a day care center or even an electrician.  All of these industries have their own individual needs and that is why each need their own package of insurance protection.  Here are four insurance coverages’ every Salon should have in order to properly protect their business. There may be more coverages that may be needed based on the actions of your employees. For this reason, it is extremely important to spend additional time speaking with your insurance agent about what exactly your employees do and do not do on a daily basis.

Beauty Salons

 

✓ General Liability
✓ Professional Liability
✓ Inland Marine
✓ Workers Compensation

 

 

General Liability

General Liability Coverage will protect most beauty salons from property damage and bodily injury claims to third party.  Because of the high amount of traffic coming in and out of the business there is a likelihood to have more than average claims due to slips trips and falls.  Keeping the premises clean and not cluttered can go a long way towards limiting these types of claims.

Professional Liability

Professional Liability Coverage is a coverage specifically designed for businesses that provide specialized advice or services.  The need for this coverage will be higher the more high end your business is or if you work with customers around special occasions like weddings, birthdays, religious celebrations, proms, etc.  This policy will cover most legal fees if your business is sued by a customer for not providing the proper service for their occasion.  The lawsuit does not have to result in a judgment against your business to rack up an enormous cost. Even if you are innocent, you still have to hire a lawyer to defend yourself in court and you may have to take time away from your business to defend your reputation.

Inland Marine

Inland Marine Insurance Coverage will protect your property that is highly specialized or frequently in transit.  Exposures to this equipment may come if employees provide their own tools.  If they do, there may be an employees, tools and equipment exposure. If your stylist goes to the client’s premises to perform services, there may be goods off premises or in transit. There may be a bailees exposure with wigs or other hairpieces, or from storage of customers’ goods at all-day events offered by some high-end salons.  If any or all of these exposures exist than your business needs to add this coverage.

Workers’ Compensation

Workers’ Compensation Insurance is required by law in 48 out of 50 states. Depending upon the rules and regulations of your state, you may or may not need to secure this coverage.  How your business is structured and whether or not your employees are W-2 or 1099 employees can impact the requirement for this coverage as well. Workers Comp Coverage will cover your business for most lawsuits that occur from injured workers who were hurt because of a normal business activity. It will provide your employee with medical costs and some lost wages while they are hurt and not able to work.

Garage Liability vs. Garagekeepers

The difference between Garage Liability coverage and Garagekeepers coverage is the difference between liability insurance and physical damage insurance. The first covers the insured’s liability for operations and autos and the other covers damage to customer’s vehicles. All garage risks need both coverages to properly insure their loss exposures.

A typical garage business has an auto exposure (owned, non-owned and hired) as well as premises/operations, contractual and products/completed operations exposures. Rather than writing two separate policies, the Garage policy allows you to combine the coverages into one Policy. Garage Policy is a combination Business Auto Coverage form and a Commercial General Liability Coverage form. Garage liability insurance is an absolute necessity for the owner of a car dealership, a local mechanic, a tire dealer or a company doing oil changes. These policies are for employers who make a living working on cars. These programs are also for companies installing stereos or satellite radios. Do not make the mistake with the assumption believing Garage Liability Insurance would cover the loss of a customer’s auto while in your care. A separate Garage Keeper’s Policy or addendum to the garage (service center) policy already in place must be in place. Under the Garage keeper’s Coverage, there are two options for the auto service operator to consider. One is called direct excess coverage that pays up to the value of the destroyed vehicle above the owner’s coverage, and the other is direct primary coverage in which the service owner’s carrier shares the loss with the car owner’s insurer.

If you have a repair center that has a fleet of tow trucks or dispatched repair vehicles, those assets are covered under Garage Liability Insurance. However, the customer cars sitting outside waiting for service, or inside on that lift are not covered and this is the reason why you need the keeper clause for your protection. Please note that most Garagekeeper’s Policies excludes loss to non-factory installed sound equipment,.

Garage Liability Insurance providers may become extremely discriminatory regarding the requirements for getting the insurance, such as strict loss prevention or risk management efforts by the auto service owner. To cut costs and keep premiums lower, indemnity companies are often refusing to underwrite such things as wind and hail damage for company and customer vehicles. And tolerance by insurers for multiple incidents at a garage is limited.

Make sure every employee and officer of the company is on the policy. Coverage is usually only afforded to the locations and drivers listed on the coverage. Employees that get a DUI or go over their point allowances may be excluded from driving privileges and non-company drivers need to be discussed with the agent.

Getting and keeping garage liability insurance can be daunting. Proper night lighting, well landscaped grounds, well maintained signage and windows as well as a freshly painted exterior as well as clean floors and bathrooms inside can make or break a policy being approved.

 

 

Declaration Page. What is it? Where is it? Is it important?

I am sure at some point in time you have had an insurance agent ask you for your policy declaration page or pages. If you are like most business owners, you think to yourself what are they asking me for. Basically, what these pages represent are the cliff notes of your insurance policy for that particular line of insurance. You will notice that your worker’s compensation declaration page is shorter than your business owners package or general liability. These declarations will not list all of the exclusions in your policy.  It will only list the coverage limits you currently have. Here is the definition of declarations: The front page (or pages) of a policy that specify the named insured, address, policy period, location of premises, policy limits, and other key information that varies from insured to insured. The declarations page is also known as the information page. Often informally referred to as the “dec” or “dec page.”

 

The next thought most business owners have is, where do I find the declaration page. The declaration page or pages can be found in the front 3rd of your insurance policy. Most of the time it’s within the first 10 pages. This is especially the case for worker’s compensation. For your general liability and business owners package policy it may be a few further pages in. The key to identifying it is when you start to see wording such as limits or premium. When you see that and how the premium pricing is broken down then you are in the right place. It will show your experience mod from the current term, premium discounts, state taxes, fees, expense constant, and a few other items on there. Some of this will vary on what type of policy it is.

 

This information is important to insurance agents for a wide variety of reasons. Most of the time a business owner thinks we only want to see these pages so that we can beat the price on your current policy. Yes, that is helpful information to use but it doesn’t necessarily mean that our carriers will just price it below your policy just in order to win your business. Our underwriters like to know pricing information so they can compare it to other policies that are either doing the exact same type of business or something very similar, and offer you a quote accordingly. If they generally don’t know what you are paying, then they will go on the conservative side and offer a policy that is in the average of pricing for that industry based on where they have priced and written the type of business you are doing. I feel, the most important reason for this to me is that I like to view these pages to give you an apples to apples comparison of the two policies. Also, I can check to see if you are truly covered correctly.  If their may be gaps that are missing some key coverages or are underinsured in areas that you would not want to be underinsured in.  Thus we can present you with a quote exactly like the one you have with the same coverage and limits. This will also enable us to present another quote option, if necessary.  Typically this option is where we think your limits should be and additional coverages that you may not have that most people in your line of work have. The key to remember when being asked for your declaration page or pages is that we as insurance producers are wanting to make sure your covered correctly and at a fair price. We are here to get you a fair price, but we are also here to make sure you do not have any gaps when a claim does occur.  We don’t like audit surprises or coverage gaps at the time when you think you are covered just as much as you do. The declaration page is so much more than just a price to beat.

What Do My Workers Compensation Limits Mean?

We get this question a few times a week because most business owners don’t quite understand their workers compensation limits. They try to compare them to their general liability limits and that is where some of the confusion sets in. The Limits on your workers’ compensation insurance policy provide coverage for a business against lawsuits arising from employment-related injuries or illnesses.  For example, if an injured employee is not satisfied alone with medical and loss of wage benefits because they feel their employer purposefully put them in harm’s way on the job or were grossly negligent, and as a result they were injured, they may sue for punitive damages.  In some cases, even the employee’s family can sue for the same damages. This is where Part II of a workers’ comp policy would kick and provide coverage.

It is important to note that employers’ liability coverage is limited, unlike medical benefits or loss of wages.  This is the spot that a lot of business owners or anyone starts to get confused. They see limits on their workers’ compensation policy and naturally think that is the max that would be paid in an injury scenario. A workers’ compensation policy will pay out whatever it takes to rehabilitate an injured employee. Employers liability or Part II will not pay out unlimited amounts on behalf of employers who were charged with gross negligence or knowingly placing their employees in harm’s way.  Employers’ liability coverage in most states starts at $100,000 each employee, $100,000 each accident and at $500,000 per policy limit for disease- these limits are statutory or minimum limits that come with the purchase of a policy.  These coverage limits can be raised for a nominal additional premium percentage on most policies.  Many businesses opt for increased employers’ liability limits.  They do this because of a need for peace of mind or because their work contracts often require higher limits than statutory requirement.

To give you an idea on how these limits work, think about it in this manner. An employee working in a manufacturing plant is exposed to lead on a daily basis. The employer does not have proper ventilation or does not always check on the employee to make sure they are wearing proper attire. Whether that is long sleeve shirts and pants or to have a respirator so they are filtering the air quality they are breathing. The employee gets injured on the job after many years of never missing work. It is also discovered that they have come down with a serious illness that may be caused by years of lead exposure. The employee and his family are not satisfied with the level of benefits workers compensation is providing and has decided to sue the Employer for negligence. This is where the limits in Employers Liability or Part II would kick in. There are many other scenarios that could come into play outside of illness, but this is just one example of how a 3rd party may potentially bring suit against your company. The best thing to do is always be proactive with safety, etc. which can be hard for a small business.  Because your time is very invested in the day to day activities of the business.