Mortgage Brokers

Recommended Insurance Coverages for Mortgage Brokers

Mortgage Brokers are an essential part of the economy i 2019. They act as middlemen helping realtors get home buyers the best solutions to all their mortgage needs. Mortgage Brokers are individual financial institutions that lend the funds for the purchase of property. The properties can be for both business and personal use. Some mortgage companies also service escrow accounts, offer some real estate services, and some even broker or sell mortgage loans to other operations. With each type of service the business offers additional risk is taken on by the financial institution. Here are five types of insurance all mortgage brokerage businesses should consider.

Picture of a house with a Mortgage Broker handing the keys to the new homeowner.

Minimum recommended coverage:

  • General Liability
  • Workers Compensation
  • Errors & Omissions (Professional Liability)
  • Hired and Non-Owned Auto
  • Property Insurance

Answers to your Mortgage Broker Insurance Questions.General Liability

General Liability Insurance for Mortgage Brokers is usually the first type of coverage a broker needs. It protects the broker from common slips, trips, and falls. These incidents can happen at the location of the mortgage broker or at a third party site. A General Liability Policy can cover damage in the form of bodily injury and property damage.

Workers Compensation

Workers Compensation is typically the second policy the owner of a mortgage brokerage service discusses with their insurance agent. This is because General Liability and Workers Compensation are required by law for most businesses in most states. Workers Compensation covers a business for injuries to employees that happen within the normal course of business. The policy covers medical costs and some lost wages for injured employees who are hurt and not able to work. Implementing a well-documented safety program and focusing on ergonomics within the workplace can help limit the amount of injuries your employees experience.

Errors & Omissions (Professional Liability)

Errors & Omissions is frequently referred to as Professional Liability. In other industries it may be referred to as malpractice. This type of insurance protects businesses and their employees from claims of negligence or  inadequate work. Any business that gives professional advice for a fee needs to secure an errors and omissions insurance policy.

Hired and Non-Owned Auto (full commercial auto if vehicles owned)

Car Accident with a red car flipped over lying upside down. Hired and Non-Owned Auto Insurance is designed for when an employee uses their personal car or when an employee drives a rental car for purposes. It is common for a mortgage broker to meet at a third party site for many business functions. When they are driving to and from these appointments, the business is liable for damages occurred when the employee causes a wreck. A Hired and Non-Owned Auto Insurance Policy can protect the business, up to the limits of the policy, from the liability it faces when an employee causes an accident while on company time.

Property Insurance

Commercial Property Insurance is designed to protect any business from both legal liability and property damage related to the building they operate in regardless of whether the business owns or leases the facility. Most commercial property insurance policies provide coverage for a wide variety of damages that usually include fire, smoke, wind, vandalism and civil disobedience. The policies frequently list included and excluded damages. Some common exclusions often include damages resulting from earthquakes and hail. These damages may have a separate deductibles or be excluded from coverage altogether. One thing to ask your agent when purchasing commercial property insurance is the differences between actual cash value and replacement cost.

 

Other coverages to consider for Mortgage Brokers:
Business Personal Property, Extra Expense, Financial Institutions Bond, Accounts Receivable, Computers, Valuable Papers and Records, Directors and Officers Liability, Employee Benefits, Umbrella Coverage, Computer Fraud, Extortion, Cyber liability Insurance (Data Breach Coverage), EPLI and Mortgage Errors & Omissions.

Mortgage Brokers Liability Classification Codes

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

Business Liability Category: Financial Institutions

SIC Business Insurance Codes for Mortgage Brokers:
  • 6162: Mortgage Bankers and Loan Correspondents
  • 6163: Loan Brokers
NAICS Liability Classifications:
  • 522292: Real Estate Credit
  • 522390: Activities Related to Credit Inter-mediation
  • 522310: Mortgage and Non Mortgage Loan Brokers
Business ISO General Liability for Mortgage Brokers:
  • 61223: Banks and Other Financial Institutions
  • 61226: Office—Other Than Non-Profit
  • 61224: Office—Building Occupied by Business Employees
Common Workers Compensation Class Codes:
  • 8810: Office and Clerical
  • 8772: Outside Sales and Messengers

When does a Business need Hired and Non Owned Auto Insurance?

Hired and Non Owned Auto Insurance is a type of insurance policy that many businesses need and far too many fail to secure. According to the International Risk Management Institute, Hired and Non Owned Auto Insurance is defined as; ‘an auto that is used in connection with the named insured’s business but that is not owned, leased, hired, rented, or borrowed by the named insured’. In layman’s terms this is an insurance policy for a business when an employee of that business uses a vehicle for business purposes that is not owned by that business. This could be an employee driving their personal car for business purposes or it could be an employee driving a rental car while travelling to a conference representing the business. The insurance policy will cover bodily injury and property damage to third parties damaged by an accident that is the fault of your employee.  This policy can be purchased as a standalone policy or as an add on to your commercial auto or general liability insurance policies. Here are some things you need to know about this coverage if you own a small business and have employees who use vehicles the business does not own.

You can purchase it as a standalone policy, or you can add it on as a rider to your General Liability Insurance.

Two cars have crashed wrecked into each other at intersection with very upset man driver looking at the severe damage with wrong way sign in background. If he is driving for work, his employer needs hired and non owned auto insurance.

What exactly does Hired and Non Owned Auto Insurance Cover?

Hired and Non Owned Auto Insurance covers some damages for cars that employees of your business use but the business does not own those cars. These vehicles include rental vehicles, leased vehicles, and employee personal vehicles. The policy covers specifically the damage caused to third parties, but not always the damage to the vehicle your employee is driving.

Examples of when you need this coverage

  • You send an employee on an errand to pick up supplies in their own vehicle.
  • An employee rents a vehicle on a business trip.
  • You send a limo to the airport to pick up an important client.
  • An employee runs out to get coffee or pick up lunch for everyone in the office.

Rental Car Agent with a business man renting a car. THe business man is asking if they offer Hired and Non Owned Auto Insurance.

What is not covered under a Hired and Non Owned Auto Insurance Policy?

A Hired and Non Owned Auto Insurance Policy does not pay for physical damage to your employees vehicle. That damage would be covered by the employees personal auto insurance policy.  It also will not pay for the repair of a rental vehicle that is damaged by in an accident that is caused by your employee.  It does not cover accidents that occur during a commute to work, unless the employee is using a vehicle rented by the business. Another scenario that is not covered by a Hired and Non Owned Auto Insurance Policy is when an employee is running a personal errand during work hours, but they are not doing business operations.

What are the differences between Hired and Non Owned Vehicles

Hired Vehicles refer to car services like a taxi or limousine and rented vehicles your employees use for business purposes. Non Owned Vehicles refer to vehicles that are used by your employees that are not owned by the business. The most common example of this is an employee using their personal car for business related travel.

Commercial Auto and Inland Marine

Where does the grey area exist?  

If you own a business and that business owns and operates vehicles, you need some form of Commercial Auto Insurance. If you rent vehicles or have employees use their personal vehicles for work purposes, you need to secure a hired and non-owned auto policy. If you have a trailer where you move specialized equipment to third party locations’ than you need an inland marine insurance policy. When you have a claim that involves a vehicle there becomes an issue of which policy kicks in to cover what is damaged. This is a time when partnering with an experienced independent insurance agent and purchasing all policies from one carrier can benefit your business immensely.  Here are several tips to help you make sure all of your vehicles and equipment are properly insured.

First you need to know what exactly is covered under each policy.

Commercial Auto

A Commercial Auto Insurance Policy will cover vehicles your business owns that are used for business purposes. If you have a personal vehicle that you also use for business purposes, you still need to buy separate personal and commercial auto insurance policies for that vehicle. If you only have a personal policy and you use the vehicle for business purposes, the liability is taken on by the business. The personal auto policy will not cover the damage to third party vehicles that are damaged in an accident you cause. If you do use your personal vehicle for business purposes, it is important to speak long and honestly with your independent insurance agent about what exactly you use the vehicle for and how best to insure it.

Hired and Non-owned Auto

If you have employees who drive rented vehicles when they travel or who use their personal vehicle for business purposes, you have a need for a Hired and Non-Owned Auto Policy. This policy may be in place of a Commercial Auto Policy or in addition to it. When an accident occurs that is the fault of your employee, if they are in their personal car, the personal insurance policy will cover the damages to the employees vehicle.  Now the property and bodily injury liability to third parties is the liability of the business. This is why you need to strongly consider this policy for your business. One accident that causes a car to be totaled and a third party to spend a week in the hospital can easily result in your business being responsible for tens of thousands of dollars. If you do not have the ability to cover these costs you need an insurance policy to protect your business.

Inland Marine

An Inland Marine Insurance Policy is a policy you would purchase in addition to a Commercial Auto Policy in order to protect specialized equipment that is commonly in transit. A common business who needs this coverage is a landscaping company.  A Commercial Auto Policy will coverage the vehicle your business owns and operates. It will also cover your business for any liability you face to third parties damaged by an accident caused by your business. If you have specialized equipment that is transported on either a trailer connected to your vehicles or in the back of a truck, you need to purchase an Inland Marine Policy.

What can you do as a Business Owner?

Partner with an independent insurance agent

Partnering with an independent insurance agent is always the best place to start when you are considering purchasing commercial insurance for your business. This is best for you because an independent agent is not restricted to one or a select few carriers. Typically an independent agent partners with anywhere from 10 to 40 carriers. They can use these relationships to force carriers to compete for your business. This will allow you to get better coverage at the lowest possible rate.

Talk with your agent extensively

No matter if you decide to partner with an independent or captive agent, you need to take the quoting process seriously. If you fail to disclose something to your agent or carrier during the quoting process, it can create an enormous headache for you at a later date. The work case scenario would be that your carrier drops you from coverage because of the failure to disclose something about your business. This can cause you and your agent to have to find a new carrier to cover your business mid term. If this process does not go smoothly it can cause you to have a lapse in coverage. Many carriers will not cover a business who has had a lapse in coverage and this may force you to have to buy some coverage’s from the state provider. The state provider is almost always more expensive than buying coverage out on the open market.

Express your comfort with risk to your agent

Insurance agents talk to many business owners throughout each work day. If they are a nationwide agency, they may speak with a restaurant owner from Los Angeles, a dairy farmer in Wisconsin and a commercial fisherman from New Orleans all before lunch. Each of these businesses faces enormously different risks and the people who own these businesses may have dramatically different expectations from their insurance agent. The only way to be for certain that your agent is looking for what is most important to you is to directly tell them. If you value price above all else, let them know. If you want to insure your business to the teeth, let them know this as well. The more you tell your insurance agent, the less likely you are to have problems with that agent.

Listen to your agents recommendations

Listening is a skill most people could do much better. Business owners especially are confident people. They would not have branched out on their own to start a business without confidence, but that confidence can be a hinderance if you think you know more about every aspect of your business than the experts you partner with.  If you find an independent agent with whom you trust and you have a detailed conversation with them, they should be able to find the best package of coverages to fit the needs of your business. If you go through this process listen to the insurance professionals. They interact with business owners not only when selling them a policy, but also when they have to use that policy because something bad has happened to them.  If you trust your agent, they should only offer a policy that you absolutely need. If they recommend it, it is more than likely in your best interest to listen to them.

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.

 

Golf Courses

My Insurance Question - Golf Courses

5 Types of Insurance Coverage all Golf Courses Need

The industry surrounding Golf Courses is a diverse industry. Some of the businesses serve very high end customers and professional tournaments. Other courses serve people with middle-class incomes in a rural setting. Some of the businesses do not have a full course and only offer a driving range putting green. Most of the businesses offer some form of lessons, food and beverage as well as retail offerings. Depending upon which type of golf course you own or operate, the type of insurance coverage you need may vary dramatically. Here are five coverages most golf courses need.

  • General Liability
  • Liquor Liability
  • Commercial Property
  • Hired and Non-Owned Auto
  • Workers Compensation

Golf Courses

General Liability Insurance

General Liability Insurance risks can be substantial due to both the number of visitors and the nature of the activity. Golf is a physical endeavor and not everyone who partakes in the activity is of the highest athletic ability, nor are many in the best physical condition. The safety of the customers is a major concern. Slips, trips, and falls are always are a concern; as are flying golf balls. Golf carts can overturn and that may cause additional risks. If you have employees that are interacting with children, it is important to conduct proper background checks on those employees.

Liquor Liability

Liquor Liability Insurance is commonly referred to as dramshop liability. Most golf courses sell and serve some types of alcohol and in most states this requires them to purchase some form of liquor liability insurance. There are many types of risks associated with alcohol use at a golf course. Those risks include selling to an intoxicated customer, contributing to the over-intoxication of a customer and serving alcohol to a minor. These and many other risks associated to alcohol consumption make liquor liability a necessary coverage for golf courses.

Commercial Property Insurance

Commercial Property Insurance Exposure might be minimal if limited to a clubhouse facility or a maintenance shed, but not all golf courses are this simple. Many golf courses offer retail, food and beverage, restaurant facilities and instruction.  Many golf courses are located in remote areas. These locations add additional risks due to fires and how quick first responders can get to injured employees or customers.

Hired and Non-Owned Auto

If your business owns the vehicles employees are operating as part of their work, a commercial auto policy is necessary. Hired and Non-Owned Auto Liability Exposure is generally limited to employees using their own vehicle for running errands or when an employee is travelling for work and using a rented vehicle. If your employees partake in any of these actions your business needs Hired and Non-Owned Auto Insurance.

Workers Compensation Insurance

Workers Compensation Insurance Risks can be high for golf courses. If the golf course has employees who do its own grounds maintenance and chemical applications, it can cause the amount of injuries to rise. Other employees face normal slips, falls, strains, sprains and being hit by errant golf balls or equipment.

Golf Courses Insurance Needs

Restaurant Insurance

3 tips to find the best Restaurant Insurance. 

How much insurance do I really need? What are the correct types of insurance for my restaurant? What types of restaurant insurance can I do without? What is the bare minimum I can get away with for restaurant insurance? These are all very common question that insurance agents get asked when a restaurant owner is looking to protect their business for the first time or a seasoned business owner is looking to renew their coverage. The answer to this question is like many things; ‘It depends’. There are many variables that go in to owning and operating a restaurant and those variables bring on many risks. Not every business owner is comfortable with the same amount of risk.  Depending upon how much risk you are willing to take, here are 3 tips to help you make sure you are purchasing the amount restaurant insurance.

Are you classified correctly?

First off, the small business owner needs to make sure their business is classified properly. This applies for both workers compensation and general liability insurance. Each state has their own governing body for these coverages.  The best way to determine if you are properly classified is to ask for help from an experienced independent insurance agent. When talking with your agent, it is crucially important to be honest with them.  This is important for the time you are open, how much and what types of alcohol you serve and what exactly your employees do.  Restaurants are classified different based upon the risks they face. Being properly classified can save your business immensely.

Pay as you go option

Workers comp coverage is required by state law in 48 out of 50 states. getting this coverage in place is an enormous cost.  Pay as you go workers’ compensation is s a great option for seasonal or cash strapped businesses. Pay as you go workers’ compensation allows a business to pay premium based upon the amount of payroll as opposed to an estimate of the monthly payroll. For many businesses they can get coverage in place for as little as a few hundred dollars.

Determine the proper type of Commercial Auto Insurance

Many business owners do not think they need any type of commercial auto insurance. Just because your business does not own vehicles, doe snot mean you do not need to secure some form of commercial auto insurance. If you do own vehicles that are going to be used for business purposes you most definitely need commercial auto insurance coverage. Also, if you have employees who use their own vehicles for business purposes than the business is liable for all accidents. Hired and Non-Owned Auto Coverage is a policy that kicks in when your employees use their own vehicle or a rented vehicle not owned by the company. Regardless of how small the activity may seem, when the employee is using any vehicle to do business activity you are liable.

 

 

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.

My employees drive their own car for work, do I really need separate Commercial Auto Coverage for their Cars?

Won’t their personal insurance plans cover any wrecks they have?

The answer to this question is yes and no.  Like most things in life it depends.  If your employees drive their personal cars for business operations, you do not necessarily need a full commercial auto insurance policy.  There is another policy that will cover just this situation.  The coverage is called Hired and Non-Owned Auto Coverage.  This coverage is specifically for businesses who have employees who either use their personal car for work or drive a rented car at some time for business purposes.

Commercial Auto Insurance

Hired and Non-Owned Auto Liability covers bodily injury and property damage caused by a vehicle you hire (including rented or borrowed vehicles) or caused by non-owned vehicles of your employees. In most cases it does not pay for the physical damage to the vehicle itself; that’s covered by the owner’s insurance. Although this option is available on some policies.

Whether you realize it or not, as a business owner, you at least occasionally find yourself in situations where this coverage is needed. Errands and rental situations always come up. Just a few examples of when there is a need for this coverage include:  When you send an employee to pick up lunch, renting a car while on a business trip, to impress a client, you send a limo to pick them up, or an employee runs to pick up office supplies at the local Sam’s club.

So the answer to the original question: Won’t their personal insurance plans cover any wrecks they have? It may cover damage to their vehicle, but in most cases it will not cover any liability to the other person who’s may be injured or whose car has been damaged. The reason for this is because the only reason the employee is driving at the time of the wreck is because of the directions of the business.  Had the person not been working there is no reason to believe the person would have been behind the wheel at that place in time. For that reason, the liability is the responsibility of the business and not the individual employee. This is why it is important to have the right form of commercial auto insurance.

For this reason, it is crucial to secure hired and non-owned auto coverage for your business.  Not just a commercial auto insurance policy.  It can be added to most business owner’s policies for a minimal amount. No matter what the amount of the premium, it will most certainly be less than the damage to your business if an accident happens and you are not covered.  Uncovered losses involving a vehicle are the types of losses that some businesses are not able to survive.