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Coverage For Startups

JOHN DOETZER: There are probably as many insurance policies as they are different types of businesses. Some policies are very broad in nature. They referred to as Business Owners Policies. That would be typical for the small retail store and a shopping center. Other businesses have to buy all their insurance on an ala carte basis.

EDWARD HILLER: And you want to get a good an insurance agent, who will understand the nature of your business and what your risks are.

JOHN DOETZER: Specifically you need to look at Property Insurance, Liability Insurance, Workers Compensation Insurance, and Automobile Insurance right out of the shoots.

EDWARD HILLER: Most important is to have a Liability Insurance.

JOHN DOETZER: Every business needs to protect them selves from claims from other people for bodily injuring or property damage as a result of their operation.

EDWARD HILLER: In a commercial space, your landlord is more than likely going to require you to have your own insurance.

JOHN DOETZER: You need pursuance a General Liability Policy.

EDWARD HILLER: You are going to require the Liability Insurance. They are going to require that you care your own Personal Property Insurance because their policies is not covered what is inside the store.

JOHN DOETZER: A Landlord General Liability Policy will cover claims for bodily injury and property damage that occur in the common areas, the lobby, the elevator that sort of thing. Once the general public walks into your suite or through your office doors, if they trip over a power cord that is going to be clearly on your shoulders.

EDWARD HILLER: If you are operating out of your home. The home based business is not typically covered then a Homeowners Policy. You need to add some type of rider to your Homeowners Policy.

IRWIN KRAMER: And if you plan to ride your car for business, you are going to need a rider for that as well.

JOHN DOETZER: And generally it is about a 30% increase in premium in order to have that vehicle classified for business use.

IRWIN KRAMER: If your business owns a vehicle, you need a Business Auto Insurance Policy for it. Your personal auto insurance will not cover a car titled with the name of your business.

JOHN DOETZER: One of the most important coverage is to consider is Business Interruption Insurance, it is tied to the property policy and continues the income stream to the business during the restoration period. Most business fail to get back-end, because they fail to buy Business Interruption Insurance.

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So Many Policies, So Little Time

When you decided to open up that flower shop or web design firm, you probably weren't thinking, "Gee, this is great. I'll finally get to buy myself one of them fancy, shmancy business insurance policies!"

Welcome to the business world -- a world of unexpected expenses and unexpected risks. That's why sound business insurance is so critical. Without proper protection, misfortunes like the death of a partner or key employee, embezzlement, a lawsuit, or a natural disaster could spell the end of a thriving operation. Ranging from indispensable worker's compensation insurance to the relatively obscure executive kidnapping coverage, insurance is available for nearly any business risk. Considering the multitude of available options, business owners must carefully weigh whether the cost of certain premiums will justify the coverage for a given risk.

General Liability

Many business owners buy general liability or umbrella liability insurance to cover legal hassles due to claims of negligence. These help protect against payments as the result of bodily injury or property damage, medical expenses, the cost of defending lawsuits, and settlement bonds or judgments required during an appeal procedure.

Product Liability

Every product is capable of personal injury or property damage. Companies that manufacture, wholesale, distribute, and retail a product may be liable for its safety. Additionally, every service rendered may be capable of personal injury or property damage. Businesses are considered liable for negligence, breach of an express or implied warranty, defective products, and defective warnings or instructions.

Home-Based Business Insurance

Contrary to popular belief, homeowners' insurance policies do not generally cover home-based business losses. Commonly needed insurance areas for home-based businesses include business property, professional liability, personal and advertising injury, loss of business data, crime and theft, and disability.

Internet Business Insurance

Web-based businesses may wish to look into specialized insurance that covers liability for damage done by hackers and viruses. In addition, e-insurance often covers specialized online activities, including lawsuits resulting from meta tag abuse, banner advertising, or electronic copyright infringement.

Worker's Compensation

Required in every state except Texas, workers compensation insurance pays for employees' medical expenses and missed wages if injured while working. The amount of insurance employers must carry, rate of payment, and what types of employees must be carried varies depending on the state . In most cases, business owners, independent contractors, domestic employees in private homes, farm workers, and unpaid volunteers are exempt.

"Criminal" Insurance

No matter how tight security is in your workplace, theft and malicious damage are always possibilities. While the dangers associated with hacking, vandalism, and general theft are obvious, employee embezzlement is more common than most business owners think. Criminal insurance and employee bonds can provide protection against losses in most criminal areas.

Business Interruption Insurance

This one's a biggie! Some businesses may wish to acquire insurance that covers losses during natural disasters, fires, and other catastrophes that may cause the operation to shut down for a significant amount of time.

Key Person Insurance

In addition to a business continuation plan that outlines how the company will maintain operations if a key person dies, falls ill, or leaves, some companies may wish to buy key person insurance. This type of coverage is usually life insurance that names the corporation as a beneficiary if an essential person dies or is disabled.

Malpractice Insurance

Some licensed professionals need protection against payments as the result of bodily injury or property damage, medical expenses, the cost of defending lawsuits, investigations and settlements, and bonds or judgments required during an appeal procedure.

Law Can Be Stranger than Fiction

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