Workers Compensation is one of the most important pieces of insurance for any business today. It keeps employees protected from injury and loss of income. It also protects employers from the liabilities of injury to their employees.

Workers’ compensation law is governed by statutes in every state. Specific laws vary with each jurisdiction, but key features are consistent. An employee is automatically entitled to receive certain benefits when they suffer an occupational disease or accidental personal injury arising out of and in the course of employment. Such benefits may include cash or wage-loss benefits, medical and career rehabilitation benefits, and in the case of accidental death of an employee, benefits to dependents. The Negligence and fault of either the employer or the employee usually are immaterial.

During the last decade there has been a drastic increase in annual premiums for this mandatory insurance and many employers are wondering how to offset these costs so they can continue to do business and promote safety on the job.

Business Owners Policies combine protection from all major property and liability risks in one package. A Business Owner Policy, or BOP, is an insurance package that combines the basic coverage required by a business owner in one bundle. It is usually sold at a premium that is less than the total cost of the individual coverage. Business Owners Policies usually target small and medium-sized businesses and typically contain business interruption insurance, which provides reimbursement for up to a year of lost revenue resulting from an insured property loss.

The Commercial Package Policy can be issued to include almost any type of coverage offered, from property and liability to auto, crime, inland marine and professional liability. Packaging coverage allows for great flexibility to design a policy specifically for the needs of your organization. It also enables you to have almost all your coverage in one convenient package.

Professional liability insurance, more commonly known as errors & omissions (E&O) in the US, is a form of liability insurance that helps protect professional advice- and service-providing individuals and companies from bearing the full cost of defending against a negligence claim made by a client, and damages awarded in such a civil lawsuit. The coverage focuses on alleged failure to perform on the part of, financial loss caused by, and error or omission in the service or product sold by the policyholder. These are potential causes for legal action that would not be covered by a more general liability insurance policy which addresses more direct forms of harm. Professional liability coverage sometimes also provides for the defense costs, including when legal action turns out to be groundless.

Directors and Officers Liability Insurance (often called D&O) is liability insurance payable to the directors and officers of a company, or to the organization(s) itself, as indemnifications for certain damages or advancement of defense costs in the event any such insured suffers such a loss as a result of a legal action (whether criminal, civil, or administrative) brought for alleged wrongful acts in their capacity as directors and officers or against the organization. Such coverage can extend to defense costs arising out of criminal and regulatory investigations/trials as well; in fact, often civil and criminal actions are brought against directors/officers simultaneously. It has become closely associated with broader management liability insurance, which covers liabilities of the corporation as well as the personal liabilities for the directors and officers of the corporation.

A Business Auto policy covers a company’s use of cars, trucks, vans and other vehicles in the course of carrying out its daily business. Coverage may include vehicles owned or leased by the company, hired by the company, or employee-owned vehicles used for business purposes.

Product liability insurance protects the business from claims related to the manufacture or sale of products, food, medicines or other goods to the public. It covers the manufacturer’s or seller’s liability for losses or injuries to a buyer, user or bystander caused by a defect or malfunction of the product, and, in some instances, a defective design or a failure to warn. When it is part of a commercial general liability policy, the coverage is sometimes called products-completed operations insurance.

To understand the need for this coverage it is critical to understand the potential liability. There are generally three types of products “claims” a company may face:

  • Manufacturing or Production Flaws – A claim that some part of the production process created an unreasonably unsafe defect in the resulting product. Recent claims against Chinese manufacturers regarding the presence of dangerous chemicals in their products are an example of this type of claim.
  • Design Defect – A claim that the design of the product is inherently unsafe. The most memorable example is the series of Pinto car cases against Ford in the 1970’s.
  • Defective Warnings or Instructions – The claim that the product was not properly labeled or had insufficient warnings for the consumer to understand the risk. The McDonald’s “coffee case” is an example.

The damages awarded in these claims include medical costs, compensatory damages, economic damages, and, in some instances, attorneys’ fees, costs and punitive damages. Product liability claims can and do put businesses out of business – just ask any of the officers from any asbestos manufacturer.

All to often, re-sellers, gray market commercial sellers, and retailers fail to secure this coverage. The logic is that, since they did not “manufacture” anything, the coverage is not necessary. However, manufacturers are not the only ones subject to product liability exposure, retailers and wholesalers are often brought into a lawsuit for alleged negligence by the consumer. Most states follow the “stream of commerce” model of liability. This means that if your company participated in placing the product into the “stream of commerce,” it can be held liable for damages to the end user.

If your company provides any products to the consuming public, then your company needs product liability or completed-operations coverage. In most cases, some form of this coverage will be present in the standard commercial general liability or business owners’ policy. You will need to confirm this with your insurance professional. You will want to have a clear understanding of what is covered (for example, some policies will cover economic damages, but not punitive or statutory damages).

Finally, the premiums on such policies are based upon the type of product, volume of sales, and the role of the insured in the process. Thus, under-reporting the volume of sales may seem like a good way to lower premiums or the idea may be to insure only a part of the sales. Don’t under report or try to insure less than the actual amount of sales. This is because there are usually substantial under-insurance penalties applied when the insured under-insures. On the other hand, you will want to make absolutely sure that your products are properly identified. For example, if you supply step stools, you do not want them categorized as ladders. Ladders will have a much higher premium because of the risk potential.

Bond insurance (also known as “financial guarantee insurance”) is a type of insurance whereby an insurance company guarantees scheduled payments of interest and principal on a bond or other security in the event of a payment default by the issuer of the bond or security. As compensation for its insurance, the insurer is paid a premium (as a lump sum or in installments) by the issuer or owner of the security to be insured. Bond insurance is a form of “credit enhancement” that generally results in the rating of the insured security being the higher of (i) the claims-paying rating of the insurer and (ii) the rating the bond would have absent insurance (also known as the “underlying” or “shadow” rating).

The premium requested for insurance on a bond is a measure of the perceived risk of failure of the issuer. It can also be a function of the interest savings realized by an issuer from employing bond insurance or the increased value of the security realized by an owner who purchased bond insurance.

Insured securities range from municipal bonds and infrastructure bonds to asset-backed securities (“ABS”), such as residential mortgage- backed securities (“RMBS”) and collateralized debt obligations (“CDOs”) domestically and abroad.

The economic value of bond insurance to the governmental unit, agency, or other issuer offering bonds or other securities is a saving in interest costs reflecting the difference in yield-payable on an insured bond from that on the same bond if uninsured. The economic value of bond insurance to the investor purchasing or holding insured securities is based upon (i) the additional payment source provided by the insurer if the issuer fails to pay principal or interest when due (which reduces the probability of a missed payment to the joint probability that both the issuer and insurer default), (ii) rating downgrade protection so long as the insurer is more highly rated than the issuer, (iii) improved liquidity, and (iv) services provided by the insurer such as credit underwriting, due diligence, negotiation of terms, surveillance, and remediation.

Regulated by ERISA (Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974), executives who administer retirement programs, group health plans, savings or other employee benefit plans must maintain a fidelity bond, and may be personally responsible for losses that arise from any breaches of their fiduciary responsibilities or duties.

To purchase 1,000,000 of coverage through Inside Insurances highly rated carriers could be as low as $1,000 annually. Call us to get a quote today.

Employment Practices Liability is an area that deals with wrongful termination, sexual harassment, discrimination, invasion of privacy, false imprisonment, breach of contract, emotional distress, and wage and hour law violations. Employment Practices Liability is part of professional liability. Many times companies outsource their payroll. In that case the payroll company may provide this crucial coverage for you.

Commercial vehicle insurance is designed for any of the following vehicles used for business purposes (other than commuting):

  • Regular Cars and SUVs
  • Pickup Trucks
  • Vans
  • Snow Plows
  • Trucks
  • Box Trucks
  • Dump Trucks
  • Tow Trucks
  • And More…

Commercial auto insurance policies are similar to a standard car insurance policy, but include higher liability limits and coverage’s specific to your business. Pickup truck insurance, for example, includes optional coverage for a utility trailer, horse trailer, or medium-duty trailer, while box truck insurance offers optional motor truck cargo coverage. And if, for example, you own a landscaping business and only use your vehicles for part of the year, seasonal commercial auto coverage may also be available.

Kidnap and ransom insurance or K&R insurance is designed to protect individuals and corporations operating in high-risk areas around the world, such as Mexico, Venezuela, Haiti, and Nigeria, certain other countries in Latin America, as well as some parts of the Russian Federation and Eastern Europe. K&R insurance policies typically cover the perils of kidnap,extortion, wrongful detention, and hijacking. K&R policies are indemnity policies – they reimburse a loss incurred by the insured. The policies do not pay ransoms on the behalf of the insured. The insured must first pay the ransom, thus incurring the loss, and then seek reimbursement under the policy. Losses typically reimbursed by K&R polices are ransom payments, loss-of-ransom-in-transit and additional expenses, such as medical expenses.

One of the known paradoxes of K&R policies is that those who have them are often not aware, as it can be provided by an employer hoping to protect the company’s assets.

The policies also typically indemnify personal accident losses caused by a kidnap. These include death, dismemberment, and permanent total disablement of a kidnapped person. They also typically pay for the fees and expenses of crisis management consultants. These consultants provide advice to the insured on how to best respond to the incident. It is important to hire the right corporation to create a good plan and provide the best coverage. Even the most basic training for people traveling to dangerous places is not easily provided or is not obtained by small to mid sized companies.

The policies may be written to cover families and corporations. Some policies include kidnap prevention training.

Inland marine insurance indemnifies loss to moving or movable property and is an outgrowth of ocean marine insurance. Historically, ocean marine insurance held the transporter responsible for property loss before, during, and after the completion of the voyage. In the 19th century the non-ocean portion of the journey grew as cargoes were transferred to non-ocean vessels (such as barges) and the term “inland marine” was coined. Despite the word marine, most inland marine coverages are for property on land, with property transported by water insured under ocean marine.

In the United States, inland marine insurance comprises about 2% of total premiums but account for a higher percent of the profit. Like ocean marine insurance, inland marine insurance has been traditionally less regulated in the United States.

Inland marine policies became known as “floaters” since the property to which coverage was originally extended was essentially “floating.” The coverage has grown to include property that just involves an element of transportation. The property that is insured under inland marine coverage is typically one of the following:

  • Actually in Transit
  • Held by a Bailee
  • At a fixed location that is an instrument of transportation
  • A movable type of goods that is often at different locations

The following coverages represent a wide range of the types of coverages typically called “inland marine”:

  • Accounts Receivable
  • Bailee Customer’s Goods
  • Builders’ Risk
  • Camera and Photographic Equipment
  • Communication Towers and Equipment
  • Computer Coverage
  • Contractors Equipment
  • Commercial Floaters
  • Dealers
  • Exhibitions
  • Fine Arts
  • Furriers
  • Golf Equipment
  • Guns
  • Installation
  • Jewelers
  • Leased Property
  • Mobile Medical Equipment
  • Motor Truck Cargo
  • Museums
  • Musical Instruments
  • Processing Risks
  • Rigger’s Liability
  • Scheduled Property
  • Transportation
  • Trip Transit
  • Valuable Papers
  • Warehouse Legal

Motor Truck Cargo insurance (Cargo) provides insurance on the freight or commodity hauled by a For-hire trucker. It covers your liability for cargo that is lost or damaged due to causes such as fire, collision, or striking of a load. If your load is accidentally dumped on a roadway or waterway (Removal Expenses coverage), our coverage pays for the cost to remove debris or extract pollutants caused by the debris. It can also pay for costs related to preventing further loss to damaged cargo (Sue and Labor Coverage), legal expenses in the defense or settlement of Claims’ and even freight charges the customer loses because of not delivering a load (Earned Freight Coverage).

Service stations, garages and other businesses that run towing services, or services where they take custody of a vehicle, must be particularly conscious about liability. As such, they are accountable for their customers’ cars, during the course of their everyday work. Cars, of course, are a valuable asset and a number of things can go amiss with a car while it is in a garage’s care. Garage owners and other people who hold custody of a car have to consider damage from sources like fire, bad weather, theft and vandalism.

Fortunately several insurance companies offer what is known as Garage-keepers Legal Liability Insurance for those who are concerned about liability when keeping stationary cars. Designed especially for garage owners, service stations and other people who will regularly and temporarily keep other people’s cars in their possession, Garage-keepers Legal Liability Insurance generally covers damages to vehicles up to a set amount specified by the policyholder. For example, a garage mechanic who works on luxury sports vehicles or who operates in an area with a heavy criminal presence might decide on a higher liability limit than one who operates on family sedans in a fairly tranquil neighborhood with little pedestrian traffic.

When taking out a Garage-keepers Legal Liability policy, the garage owner must also specify a deductible. The lower the deductible, the higher the amount of premiums the garage owner will pay in order to keep the policy current. But the higher the deductible, the more the garage owner must pay out of pocket when an insurable event occurs.

It is vital to remember that holding a Garage-keepers insurance policy may not let the garage owner off scot free in certain instances. For example, situations like theft by the insured party, substandard parts, shoddy work, misplaced items inside the vehicle or equipment (i.e. CBs, radio equipment, radar detectors, etc.) are usually not covered by Garage-keepers insurance. Garage-keeper insurance was designed to insure against accidents, and should not be used to cover disagreements over workmanship, warranties or parts, such as faulty parts being used in engine repair.

Being accountable for an expensive item like a car, truck, motorcycle or other vehicle is a grave affair. A Garage-keepers insurance policy can help business owners limit their liability if something untoward happens to a car in their custody.

Many of our clients have owners with airplanes. Covering that risk is no small task and making it affordable is even harder. Aviation insurance is insurance coverage geared specifically to the operation of aircraft and the risks involved in aviation. Aviation insurance policies are distinctly different from those for other areas of transportation and tend to incorporate aviation terminology, as well as terminology, limits and clauses specific to aviation insurance.