Artisan Contractor Insurance

The category of artisan contractors, also known as casual contractors, includes many occupations that involve skilled work with tools at the customer’s premises. Carpenters, plumbers, electricians, roofers and tree surgeons are some of them. Also included are diverse other skilled service providers, such as interior decorators, piano tuners and exterminators.

Special insurance needs of this group include coverage for equipment and tools that are often moved around and for the value of work done for a customer until it is finished.

For many artisan contractors, the most cost effective and efficient way to obtain property and liability coverage is with a Business Owners Policy (BOP) especially tailored to their needs. Although marketed under a variety of names, these policies will typically have provisions similar to the BOP’s.

Property Insurance

The BOP covers real estate and other property that your business owns that is located at the described business premises. If your business rents or leases its premises, the BOP provides coverage for tenants’ improvements and betterments. These are fixtures, alterations, installations or additions that you have put into the space that cannot legally be removed from the landlord’s premises.

Your biggest personal property loss exposures, however, may involve valuable machinery and equipment that moves around from job to job and is not covered by the standard property insurance. Such movable property is insured by contracts that insurers call “floaters.”

An installer’s floater covers all kinds of machinery and equipment during transit, installation and testing at a customer’s premises. Even building materials may be covered, but the more usual coverage is for equipment or machinery that only contractors install, such as heating or air conditioning. The policy can be written to cover a single job or on a reporting form, meaning that you provide the insurer with information about each new contract you undertake.

A tools and equipment floater covers the insured property wherever it is used and may include such items as hand tools, power drills, hoisting machines and power pumps.

Liability Insurance

Given the possibility of a lawsuit should someone claim to have been harmed by your work, you will almost certainly need liability insurance.

If working as a subcontractor, your customer may require you to have Owners and Contractors Protective Liability (OCP) coverage. This protects either a property/business owner or a general contractor from possible liability arising from the negligent acts of an independent contractor or subcontractor hired to perform work on behalf of the insured. The actual purchaser of the policy is the independent contractor or subcontractor, but the protection is for the benefit of the property/business owner or general contractor for whom the work is being done.

Business Vehicle Insurance

Your personal auto policy probably provides coverage for some business use of your truck, van or other vehicle. A personal auto policy is unlikely to provide coverage, however, if the vehicle in question is used primarily in business. It will not provide coverage for any vehicle owned by a business. For those vehicles you must have a business auto policy.

If you’re driving a truck you own personally for a business purpose and get into an accident for which you are liable, an injured person could sue you personally. Will your personal auto policy have enough coverage to pay all the damages? If not, a lawsuit may be filed against your business. If you use personal vehicles for business, you want to be sure you have high enough limits to protect your business. You should discuss this with your insurance agent.

Workers’ Compensation Insurance

States have varying rules about when an employer must provide workers compensation insurance. If you have three or more employees, you should check with your state department of workers’ compensation to see if you are required to provide workers comp insurance.

Make Your Workplace Safe After COVID-19

As many people are getting back to work, many employers wonder how they can have their employees return safely. Employers are confronted with the complexities of returning employees to work in a manner that is safe and ensures operational continuity.

Now is the time administrators should be building policies and procedures so that when employees and the public return, you will have a plan in place.

Conduct a Hazard Assessment for new protocols/equipment put in place consistent with OSHA rules.

As with all policies and procedures, employers should ensure that any return-to-work protocols are implemented in a fair and non-discriminatory manner.

Develop communication systems for returning workers, ensuring that they are aware of the safety measures in place and how to comply with them.

Make sure that proper personal protective equipment (PPE) and general cleaning materials such as soap and hand sanitizer are available.

OSHA recommends providing tissues, no-touch trash cans, hand soap, alcohol-based hand sanitizers, disinfectants, and disposable towels for workers to clean their work surfaces.

Consider appointing a chief COVID officer responsible for ensuring that all public safety and health guidelines are implemented and that employees follow them.

Intensify cleaning, disinfection, and ventilation.

Stager breaks and recreation times.

Close off common spaces where employees or others are likely to congregate.

Consider what screening procedures are needed for visitors to the school.

OSHA requires employers to provide employees with a safe place to work. Employers may be responsible for workplace safety violations related to the coronavirus outbreak under OSHA’s “general duty” clause, which requires that each employer furnish to each of its employees a workplace that is free from recognized hazards that are causing or likely to cause death or serious physical harm.

 

Business Insurance

We Help You Understand the Risk vs. Reward

We understand that your business is unique.  You serve people first, and foremost.  Just because you are a small business does not mean you are exempt from litigation.  Commercial Liability Insurance from Jewell Insurance offers protection to your businesses.  It covers claims from property damage and/or bodily injury to a third party caused by your business operations, or from your premises.  This general liability coverage may also provide for the legal defense of the insured.

General Liability Insurance should be the foundation of your insurance program.  General Liability Insurance provides the following coverage:

Bodily Injury – Bodily Injury to a third party.

Property Damage – Damage to a third party’s property (equipment building etc.).

Personal Injury – Injury to the mind or emotions, as opposed to an injury to property.

Advertising Liability – Damages arising out of advertising, libel, slander, or invasion of privacy.

Products and Completed Operations – Liability arising out of products or business operations and services conducted, excluding professional services.

Premises – Covers liability arising out of injury to third parties while on your premises.

Medical Payments – A general liability coverage that reimburses others, without regard to the insured’s liability, for bodily injury while on your premises.

General Liability Insurance is designed to cover defense costs as well as judgments.  It is an important part of your recommended insurance program.

 

Have You Just Started A New Business?

Business Insurance

Startup businesses are exposed to a wide variety of issues including business insurance, risks, and concerns. There are many different decisions that, as a new business owner, you need to make, and selecting the right commercial insurance is one of them.

The first thing you need to do is hire the right agent to help you through the process of obtaining the right kind of commercial insurance. We recommend you choose an independent agent to help you. Independent agents have access to many different markets and can provide the right combination of commercial insurance products and services.

The purchase of business insurance is an essential investment for business owners. Insurance policies protect the business from the financial consequences of accidents and mishaps that could erode profitability and threaten continuity of the operation.

Property- Damage or loss of buildings and equipment

Liability- Injury or claims from customers or other third parties

Workers’ Compensation- Injury to employees as outlined by state statutes

Automobile- Direct damage to your vehicles and liability for the operation of your vehicles

Insurance for business operations is complex, and when considering the purchase of insurance it’s vital to take into account all of the risks that face a business. It is also important to remember that insurance needs change over time as a business grows or diversifies its operations.

Commercial insurance is one of the most important products a new business needs. Our agency can help you review your risks and guide you through the process of securing the right combination of coverage and price.

Why It Is Important to Have Us Review Your Lease Agreements

siness Insurance Update

Most businesses enter into lease agreements from time to time. These agreements might involve equipment, buildings or other products and or services.  Every lease agreement has insurance provisions.  Your commercial insurance may or may not respond to the lease requirement, so it is important for you to understand how your business insurance relates to your lease agreements.

The lease agreements state who is responsible for insuring what. If you are leasing a building and the lease requires you to insure the building, it will need to be added to your business property policy.

There may need to be improvements made to the leased building for which you are also responsible.

Many leases also require some level of commercial liability insurance.  If you do not have the correct terms and limits you could jeopardize the lease.

Certain leases also have care custody and control provisions. Your business insurance may need to be modified to protect all parties.

Typically, all leases have some sort of subrogation clause which puts legal requirement on your insurer.

It is important for businesses of all types to have this important type of coverage in order to protect their financial interests. Without a commercial property insurance policy, businesses are fully responsible for the costs associated with property damage and loss.

Is Your Business Ready For 2020?

The world is changing, and we understand the issues your business faces every day. There is constant competition for your customers, there are challenges in attracting and retaining top employees, and your cost of goods keeps going up. Part of your planning should include an annual commercial insurance review. Your business changes, and so do your exposures. Here are some of the major kinds of coverage found in most commercial insurance programs.

Commercial Insurance for Businesses

Liability Insurance– Covers your business against claims of negligence that resulted in loss or injury to a customer or visitor to your business.

Worker’s Compensation– Protects your business when an employee becomes injured on the job. It is required by law.

Commercial Auto– Covers against loss for your business vehicles and any liability your business incurs as a result of an accident.

Property– Insures against loss for your buildings and equipment.

Employment Liability– Covers your business and managers from claims of harassment, discrimination and other civil rights as afforded under state and federal laws.

Cyber Liability– Protects your liability interests when data or sensitive client information is stolen or accidentally lost by your business.

Professional Liability-Protects your business when a third party accuses your business of being negligent or making a mistake in providing professional services.

An Independent Agent Who Understands Commercial Insurance

When you purchase business insurance through an independent agent you are working with a licensed professional who specializes in the products and services you need. We have access to many insurance companies and know which ones are designed just for your business. Independent agents are local business owners who employee your neighbors to serve your needs.

 

Save On Your Next Business Insurance Renewal

 

Business Insurance Renewal

Your business insurance should be an important part of your overall risk management program. It is important to have the best possible insurance coverage, competitive pricing and the right insurer. We have found a number of factors that could be important to manage when renewing your business insurance program. Give one of our professional a call today, we can help you find the best possible combination of coverage, price and service.

Business Insurance

A business insurance program should generally include commercial property, auto liability, professional liability commercial general liability, employment practices liability, workers’ compensation, flood insurance, and excess or umbrella liability.

Insurance Renewal Tips

Provide complete information about your operation to your agent and insurer.

Consider increasing your deductibles to save money.

Use an independent agent like us. We are equipped and prepared to provide you with the best combination of coverage, price, and service.

Let us market your program to a number of different insurers.

Combine your business property, auto, and liability with one insurer into a package or business owners package. You will receive package additional premium discounts.

Develop a safety program.

Provide safety incentives for having no losses over time.

Follow all OSHA regulations.

Putting a little extra effort into your next business insurance renewal can offer many rewards that include better coverage and lower premiums. We hope you and your team will join us on this risk and insurance journey, and in the end know that there is a better way to buy commercial insurance and have true peace of mind.

How to Develop a Better Understanding of Business Liability Insurance

How to Develop a Better Understanding of Business Liability Insurance

A Commercial Insurance Update

Your business keeps you running from dawn to dusk. You have many decisions to make every day in order to keep your business profitable. Our job is to be your business insurance resource and to provide you with the best combination of coverage, price, and service.  A commercial liability policy can protect your company from actions by yourself and employees if a third party is damaged or injured.

Basic Questions for a Better understanding of Commercial Liability Insurance

What Does a Commercial Liability Policy Cover?  – This coverage is intended to cover your business and employees from injury or damage to third parties resulting from your negligence.  This might include damage to property or injury to others.  If your products or services cause a loss to a third party, a commercial liability policy will respond.

How Do I Determine What Limits I Need? – How much coverage you need depends on your industry and the size of your company.  We usually recommend at least $1,000,000 in coverage to start with.  If you are in construction or similar industries, we might recommend higher limits.

Is Commercial Liability Insurance Expensive? – Insurance premiums are based on a number of factors including revenues, industry, number of employees and other factors.  For a small business commercial liability premiums are not expensive.

What Is the Best Way to Obtain Commercial Liability Insurance?  –The best way to secure commercial liability insurance is to use an independent agent like us. We would combine your commercial liability along with commercial property coverage to get the best combination of coverage, price, and service.

Cyber Risk Update

Over the last several years, cyber liability coverage has evolved from just insurance for information technology companies to coverage that nearly every class of business should have if they don’t already. From retailers, banks, contractors, distributors, restaurants and medical offices, many businesses are unaware of the great security technology exposure they face. Recent state laws require companies that have experienced a security breach to notify all customers that could be affected by the breach that their information has been compromised, even if the information hasn’t been used. In most cases, the notification also requires an option of one-year credit monitoring services and a new card or account number for the customer. Costs can be as much as $250 per individual breach.

In Oregon, a private company experienced online bank fraud and lost $75,000 in one day. This new cybercrime is directed to small and medium businesses. The scam is called pushing and involves unsuspecting companies being lured into installing malicious software. This download looks likes it is coming from a bank or other financial institution. The malicious software hides and records everything the person does on their personal/business computer. It records usernames and passwords for every kind of transaction, including wire transfers The software will then forward the stolen data along with digital certificate information to the thief who will promptly use the information to transfer funds out of the organization’s bank account. As of October 2015, U.S. small businesses have had over $100,000,000 in losses.

Most business insurance policies do not cover computer fraud by a third party or the liability arising out of a cyber-attack. The good news is solutions are available. Make sure your crime policy has electronic crime and fraud coverage with appropriate limits.

Cyber Insurance

We can provide your firm with the right combination of pricing and coverage. Cyber insurance is available at very reasonable premiums. Many of our companies offer coverage to help protect your business from loss.

Employment Practices Liability Insurance

If you have employees, you are exposed to potential employment liability claims. Employees know their rights, and it is time for all employers to be more informed about how to protect their companies. There are many reasons why you need to make Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI) part of your commercial insurance program.

EPLI covers the company and board

An EPLI policy covers claims made against directors, officers, employees, the company, and its subsidiaries. The policy can cover a long list of claims including wrongful dismissal/termination, sexual/racial/disability harassment, sexual/racial/disability/religious discrimination, employment related libel, slander, defamation and invasion of privacy, wrongful failure to employ or promote, and retaliation

Increased claims

It’s becoming harder to ignore the “me culture” which continues to gather momentum. Small and medium sized businesses saw the largest increase in employment practice liability claims in 2013; up 33% according to human resources experts. The average claim cost is over $150,000 and is growing yearly.

Company reputation

A company’s reputation in the marketplace can be severely damaged by employment practice claims. The negative publicity may be followed by potential reluctance of your clients and/or suppliers to trade with your company.

Free legal help

Most EPLI policies provide free legal resources for firms to use. You can call an attorney to help you through a tough issue.

Cost is very competitive

EPLI premiums are not as high as you might think. Premiums can run much less than the cost of defending just one occurrence.

We can design a specialized package according to your property, liability, and casualty needs. We are also proactive in identifying any factors that may increase your premiums or change your risk, and provide consulting and risk management options to protect your business. We are ready to help you better understand your risks. Please call our office today.