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.

 

 

12 terms to familiarize yourself with before your next renewal.

Twelve tips for the next time you purchase Small Business Insurance.

Insured

The person, group, or organization whose life or property is covered by an insurance policy.

Insurer

Insurance company that issues a particular insurance policy to an insured. In case of a very large risk, several insurance companies may combine to issue one policy.

Named Insured

Any person, firm, or organization, or any of its members specifically designated by name as an insured(s) in an insurance policy.  .

Learn these terms to help your business at your next commercial insurance renewal.

Premium

The price or amount paid for insurance.

Claim

A formal request to an insurance company asking for a payment based on the terms of the insurance policy.

Carrier

A company that offers and underwrites insurance policies.

Insurance Carrier

Policy

A document detailing the terms and conditions of a contract of insurance.

Underwriter

The person who decides whether to provide insurance and under what terms.

Agent/Broker/Producer

A person licensed by a state and employed by an insurance company to sell insurance policies on the company’s behalf.

Find out if you really need Umbrella Insurance Coverage at www.myinsurancequestion.com

Umbrella Coverage

Umbrella coverage protects your business when your existing liability insurance policy limits can’t cover all the expenses of a claim.

Hired and Non-owned Auto

A coverage that is commonly added or endorsed onto a commercial auto insurance policy. This endorsement adds additional coverages for the insured in the event there becomes a liability issue for an automobile accident involving a vehicle they don’t directly insure (rentals or employee owned cars).

Experience Modification Rating

An employers’ Experience Modification Rating refers the factor calculated from actual loss experience. It is used to adjust the businesses premiums (higher or lower) based on the businesses loss experience relative to the average underlying manual premiums for workers compensation coverage. The Modifier (Mod) compares the insured experience to the average class experience.

 

5 Myths about Commercial Auto Insurance.

Commercial Auto Insurance can be a tricky coverage for many business owners. Many think it is just like their personal auto coverage and many think it is an all encompassing policy, meaning if something happens to my business car I am covered. Right? That would be wrong and here are five examples of incorrect assumptions, many business owners make regarding their commercial auto Policy.

All of My Employees Are Covered While Driving Company Vehicles

It depends on the policy and the carrier. Some policies require you to name drivers. In some cases companies will exclude some of your employees because of their driving record. Most all carriers have an option to include all drivers. Like in all situations, it is best to consult with your agent about the limits and exclusions to your policy. That way you can be crystal clear what is and is not covered under your particular commercial auto insurance policy.

I Can Cancel My Policy During the Off Season to Save Money

You can choose to cancel your policy in the off-season if your business is seasonal. It can save your business some money on premium if you are able to store your vehicle indoors and in a secure place. If you are planning on doing this you need to be aware that the vehicles are still at risk. If there is damaged you are liable for the repairs. This damage can come from via natural causes like wind and hail damage. Damage can also come from things like vandalism or theft. If you experience any of these problems while not covered you or your business will be responsible for damages.

The Entire Premium is Due Up Front

Most companies allow commercial policies to be paid in monthly installments. Most refer to these policies as Pay as You Go.  If you have the ability to pay the full years amount up-front, many carriers do offer a discount for doing so.

Bundling is Always Cheaper

In many cases this is the case, but it is always a good idea to shop your policy around just in case. Some carriers specialize in certain coverages and some carriers change their appetite for certain industries and types of coverages. This means that if your carriers has recently taken a loss in one industry or in one type of coverage, they may not be as excited about quoting your policy. This may cause them to offer a higher rate for this one policy or for your industry. For this reason, it is important to partner with an agency who has partnerships with many carriers and can quote your policies as a bundle and individually.

If you are self employed you don’t need Commercial Auto Insurance

I drive a company car, so I don’t need my own auto insurance.
The car may be covered, but you may not. Even if your employer has coverage that provides some liability protection, it may not be enough, or you could be sued personally in a bad accident. Also if you borrow or rent a car, you should have your own protection. Being listed on another auto policy isn’t enough to protect you because business use is different. You need to purchase special protection.