Ohio Business Insurance
When insuring your business, you want to make sure you work with an insurance agent that is interested in making sure your business is fully covered and who knows what your particular business needs are. Unlike personal lines insurance which is used to insure homes, personal automobiles, motorcycles, and boats, every business is different, and has different needs when it comes to insurance coverage.
Some of the different types of Ohio business insurance coverage’s include:
- General Liability – the standard commercial general liability insurance policy insuring agreement promises that the insurer will pay for all liability arising from bodily injury or property damage occurring during the policy period and
in the policy territory.
- Professional Liability – designed to protect traditional professionals (e.g., accountants, attorneys) and quasi-professionals (e.g., real estate brokers, consultants) against liability incurred as a result of errors and omissions in performing their professional services.
- Commercial (Business) Auto – a commercial auto policy that includes auto liability and auto physical damage coverage’s; other coverage’s are available by endorsement. Except for auto-related businesses and motor carrier or trucking firms, the business auto policy (BAP) addresses the needs of most commercial entities as respects auto insurance.
- Cyber Insurance – protection against damages resulting from electronic threats to your computer systems or data. These threats can result in things like stolen or damaged information and expensive liability and recovery costs.
- Products & Completed Operations – one of the hazards ordinarily insured by a general liability policy. It encompasses liability arising out of the insured’s products or business operations conducted away from the insured’s premises once those operations have been completed or abandoned.
- Building and Personal Property – a type of commercial insurance policy designed to cover direct physical damage or loss to commercial property and its contents
- Pollution Liability – a contractor-based policy, offered on a claims-made or occurrence basis, that provides third-party coverage for bodily injury, property damage, defense, cleanup, and related defense costs as a result of pollution conditions (sudden/accidental or gradual) arising from contracting operations performed by or on behalf of the contractor.
- Inland Marine – property insurance for property in transit over land, certain types of movable property, instrumentalities of transportation (such as bridges, roads, and piers, instrumentalities of communication (such as television and radio towers), and legal liability exposures of bailees.
- Cargo Insurance – 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.
- Builders Risk – a property insurance policy that is designed to cover property in the course of construction
- Garage Keepers – designed for business owners who offer towing services or operate service stations. It protects a customer’s vehicle when you are keeping it at a covered location for parking or storing, or to perform service.
A business insurance policy may be packaged in the form of a “BOP” business owners policy or a packaged commercial policy. Depending on your business type, you may be eligible for a business owners policy or you may need to get a commercial package type policy instead. BOPs typically include:
- Property insurance for buildings and contents owned by the company
- Business interruption insurance
- Liability protection
BOP’s do not include professional liability, or commercial auto coverage. These coverage’s will need to be purchased separately.
A restoration company that does water restoration may need pollution liability coverage. If you are doing an extensive amount of remodeling to a property you own you will need “builder’s risk” coverage added to your standard Lessor’s risk policy. A beauty salon or barber shop may need “products and completed operations” coverage because you could be sued by a client if you gave them a perm and all of their hair fell out.
Cargo insurance is needed for most dump truck and semi-truck drivers. If you store client’s personal information or sell products online, you may need cyber insurance to protect yourself and your clients should their information be compromised. A mechanics shop owner may need Garage Keepers insurance to cover their clients vehicles in the case of theft, fire, vandalism, or collision while that vehicle is being kept on the shop owners property.
Ohio Business insurance policies typically take a couple of weeks or more to put together because a lot more information is needed on a business policy versus a personal lines policy. Your agent will need to know the nature of your business and a few other things such as:
- Loss Runs (this is a report from your current insurance company listing any losses filed against your current insurance ). It will include information such as the date of the claim, the amount paid, and a description of the event
- How long you’ve been in business
- If company vehicles are involved they will need the drivers licenses of all person’s driving company vehicles, along with their personal information such as: date of birth, address, and social security numbers
- VIN’s for all vehicles
- Owner’s personal information
- Depending on the business type, your agent may need your annual sales receipts and/or payroll information including the number of part-time and full-time employees
- You may need to provide your agent with a copy of your lease to ensure your coverage is meeting your lease requirements
- Pictures will probably need to be taken of the building where you operation (both inside and out)
Other important things to note; If you get two quotes from two different agents and they are substantially different with the same coverage’s, make sure you go over those policies – especially if the difference is in the thousands of dollars range. Although insurance premiums do differ from company to company, huge differences in rates could indicate a lack of coverage.
Many insurers don’t like to insure new businesses, especially if they are high risk businesses. And, they don’t like to insure business that have been in operation with no existing insurance. So your rates will probably be higher and it will be more difficult to find coverage for you if any of these circumstances exist. Other things that may increase your business insurance rates or cause underwriters to deny you coverage are:
- Excessive claims
- Existing claims or hazards that have not been remedied
- High crime areas with no safety precautions in place
- No existing coverage
- Poorly maintained buildings or lots (broken pavement, leaking roofs)
- Lack of security (no fence or security around car lots, no cameras, no alarms)
- No prior experience in the type of business you are insuring
- Excessive accidents or violations for drivers on a commercial auto policy
Although some of these factors may increase your rates or cause some insurance companies to deny you coverage, it is imperative you obtain coverage for your business. It is also important that you have the correct coverage so make sure you work with an agent that is interested in more than just a sale or a cheaper rate. Once you’ve put thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars or more into a business you definitely don’t want to lose it all over a fire or lawsuit.