Whether you’re contemplating starting a new business or already have an established one, it is essential to have business insurance to protect your assets, your reputation, and your livelihood. Many people are not aware of the diverse types of insurance their business may need. This is why it makes sense to have a professional insurance advisor in your corner, one who keeps current with all available business insurance companies and their various policies. Without guidance, you may very well spend too much money on business insurance you don’t really need, or worse, come up short on the coverage when an emergency arises.
In New Jersey, Blue Lion Insurance Advisors, LLC is well-prepared to guide you through the process of insuring your business, whether it is a small shop or a corporation, a retailer or service provider, a professional office or a franchise operation. The following are some important questions for you to ask your insurance advisor.
What does the business liability insurance cover?
Even though not every state requires it, every business needs business liability insurance to cover:
- Premises liability — if someone suffers physical injury on your property due to negligence
- Property damage that occurs due to your mistake or negligence
- Reputational damage — if someone sues you for verbal denigration (slander) or written defamation (libel)
- Advertising errors
- Damages to a property you rent
The damages awarded for a single severe slip and fall injury on your company’s slippery floor could bankrupt your small business. No matter how rare you believe such incidents to be, and no matter how carefully you oversee your premises and your staff, it is necessary to be proactive about averting such a financial catastrophe.
Does New Jersey require that I purchase liability insurance for my business?
In New Jersey, your business must have commercial liability insurance. Such insurance pays for property damage and personal injuries involving customers, visitors, subcontractors, and vendors.
Work-related injuries or illnesses of your employees, however, may be covered by workers’ compensation. You should be aware that you must pay into workers’ comp in New Jersey whether you are a partnership, an LLC, a corporation, or a sole proprietor, even if you have just one employee. In reality, this is fortunate because it means that your business can not have to bear the burden of exorbitant medical bills and lost income if anyone on your staff is hurt or becomes ill for job-related reasons.
What can determine whether I need more than general liability insurance?
The specifics of your business, such as what you do and where you do it, can help shape your insurance needs. For starters, consider the following:
- The nature of your business (construction company? law practice? nursery school?)
- The size of your company — how many employees, stores, or offices you have
- How long you have been in business
- Whether your employees travel for business purposes
- Whether you frequently use subcontractors
- How much your money your business generates
- Your firm’s location
When thinking about your firm’s location, your insurance advisor can help to evaluate it in terms of weather, environmental changes, criminal activity in the area (e.g. theft or vandalism), and dangers inherent in your business itself (e.g. construction accidents, assembly line mishaps, surgical mistakes).
What doesn’t liability insurance cover?
In deciding what other kinds of insurance your business should have, a savvy insurance advisor can help you obtain coverage for potential calamities general liability insurance doesn’t cover, such as:
- Vehicular damage to company cars or employee vehicles used during work
- Professional negligence, misconduct, or malpractice
- Punitive damages awarded for egregious conduct by you or your staff
- Cyber attacks that may steal or destroy data or documents
- Flood or fire damage
- Intellectual property lawsuits (e.g. regarding patents, copyrights, and trademarks)
What is Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI) and why do I need it?
If you haven’t noticed, our society is extremely litigious (prone to filing lawsuits). In the #MeToo era, sexual harassment and abuse have become a big part of discrimination and mistreatment claims. These days, no matter how small your company, or how much you trust your employees, it is necessary to have an EPLI policy.
This policy can be invaluable if you are sued for discrimination based on a protected category, such as sex, race, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, or disability. In recent years, lawsuits for wrongful termination, harassment, wrongful discipline, failure to promote, improper working conditions, unfair evaluation, and other employment issues have become common. A strong insurance advisor can help ensure that your business is shielded against such accusations.
Why do I need an insurance advisor?
Because the future is unknown, it is essential to fortify your business with appropriate insurance beyond the liability policy required by New Jersey law. The reason you need a knowledgeable insurance advisor is that you can’t predict the type of threat you may face. At Blue Lion Insurance Advisors, LLC, we have the expertise to weigh your risks and help you make the best choices to protect the business you’ve worked so hard to build. Call us today at 732-649-1600 to consult with our knowledgeable Insurance Advisors!