Protect Your Assets
Property • Disaster Planning • Cybersecurity • Intellectual Property • Insuring People
Your grand opening is still weeks away, and you’ve no doubt already invested considerable time and money in your new business venture. By now, you may have purchased a building (or rented space in one), acquired equipment and/or inventory and hired staff. The doors aren’t even open yet, and already you have a lot to lose. Now is the time to protect these assets so, if the worst does happen, your business can carry on.
Insurance to protect the property — cash, equipment, furnishings, tools and machinery — that is acquired for use in operating your business and is not for sale to customers includes the following types:
Liability Protects a business from loss as a result of injuries, deaths or property damage caused by a business’s operations, employees or products. Three types:
• Premises and Operations coverage pays when a business is legally responsible for an injury claim, if, for example, someone slips and falls on company property.
• Products and Completed Operations coverage, commonly called “product liability,” helps pay for monetary losses that result from injury or damage caused by a company’s product. One type of liability coverage required in Florida is commercial automobile insurance to cover vehicles owned by the company or personal vehicles operated by the company’s employees while on the job.
• Errors and Omissions coverage, also known as “professional liability,” protects your business against malpractice, errors and negligence in provision of services to customers.
Property Protects the value of physical assets. “Replacement cost” coverage pays to replace or rebuild buildings and other property, as long as the property is insured for replacement value.
Windstorm Type of construction, size of structure, proximity to water and location determine the cost and availability of windstorm insurance through private insurers or through Citizens Property Insurance Corp., the state-created insurance provider.
Flood Property insurance does not cover damage from floodwaters, whether from rivers, lakes or oceans. Through the federal government’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), a small business’s building and contents each can be insured for up to $500,000.
Business Interruption Pays ongoing expenses such as rent, utilities and some or all payroll expenses when a business must close because of an insured property loss. “Extra expense insurance” reimburses for special expenses and helps a business minimize losses by getting up and running quickly. For example, if a business can restart operations in a week, rather than a month, by paying a surcharge to ship replacement equipment by air express, the extra expense insurance covers the air express charge. Because most business interruptions occur in the first 30 days after a disaster, be sure to purchase a policy that kicks in within a few days of the event.
Commercial Crime Covers losses caused by employee dishonesty; forgery or alteration; theft, disappearance and destruction; robbery and safe burglary; premises burglary; computer fraud; extortion; and premises theft and robbery.