FAQs for Business Owners

Q. I run a business out of my home. Am I covered under my homeowner policy? 
A. Many homeowner policies provided a limited amount of coverage for home-based businesses. Review your policy and take a good inventory of your business property and assets – computers, data, equipment, tools, etc. – and compare that to the coverage limits of your homeowner policy. Do you use your personal car for business? Do you own any valuable papers or books necessary for your business? Even a small business can have greater insurance needs than many realize.

Q. What types of damages will my business insurance cover? 
A. Generally speaking, a basic property insurance policy will cover losses caused by fire and the cost to remove equipment, furnishings, or other inventory from a damaged building. Other events, such as windstorms, hail or vandalism are also usually covered. It’s important that you speak with your insurance agent about the needs of your business. Your agent can help you determine if you need to be covered for all risks, or if you need coverage for specific risks or special causes.

Q. How much commercial property insurance do I buy? Do I need to insure everything? 
A. Every business has unique needs. The first thing to do is take a full inventory of your property, determine the value and then decide what needs to be insured.

Review the list below for some ideas of the types of property to insure.

  • Buildings and other structures (owned or leased)

  • Furniture, equipment and supplies

  • Records of accounts receivable

  • Improvements you made to the premises

  • Machinery, boilers, data processing equipment and media (including computers)

  • Valuable papers, books and documents

  • Cars, trucks, equipment

  • Outdoor property not attached to a building, for example signs or fences

  • Leased equipment

Tell your agent about the types of property you own and their uses. Some things may already be covered, while others can be added by an endorsement, or rider.

Q. Is all business insurance coverage the same? 
A. As you know, businesses vary a great deal, and as a result, so do the insurance needs of different businesses. Some, such as restaurants, wineries, wholesales, or garages have special liability needs that can’t be met with standard policies, so they may need endorsements or supplemental insurance policies to cover all of their needs.

A Business Owners Policy (BOP), used by many small businesses, includes a variety of coverages that combine property, liability, loss of income, or business interruption coverage. Generally these policies provide a more complete coverage at a price lower than if each coverage were purchased separately. Your business is unique – talk to your agent about your specific needs and find out what coverage is best for you.

Q. Do I need additional insurance to cover products I’m shipping? 
A. The value of the goods you are shipping may be higher than the coverage available to you from the shipping company or firm you hire to transport your goods. When considering options for shipping, check the coverage provided by the shipping company to be sure it’s enough, and thoroughly review the contract. Also, ask the carrier about their claims processing. You may need “property in transit” coverage, also known as an inland marine policy.

Q. What can I do to keep my insurance costs down? 
A. The cost of insurance is based on risk, or the potential for a loss. By taking steps to safeguard your business, you may also be eligible for lower insurance rates. Most things you’ve probably already thought of such as adequate lighting, keeping everything in good repair, installing smoke and fire alarms and security devices.

Take a look at the list below for more ideas and ask your insurance agent for more information.

  • Hiring employees with good driving records.

  • Maintaining good inventory and accounting records and having a second set of records stored at another secure location.

  • Educating employees in proper safety procedures and use of safety equipment.

  • Being aware of and following local safety or environmental regulations.

Your agent may be able to offer you access to educational programs, safety checklists and other tools that will help you protect your business and make it a safe place. You may also want to consider hiring a risk manager who can advise you and talk to your employees about safety.

For more information about all our services call 585-586-3060 or contact us 
through email. We will gladly give you a free quote on any our your insurance needs.