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Other Types of Business Coverages

Other Types of Business Coverages

The first four coverages discussed below are different types of liability insurance policies available to businesses. The fifth is a form of life insurance. There are also specialized liability policies geared to specific types of businesses. 

1. Errors and Omissions Insurance/Professional Liability 

Some businesses involve services such as giving advice, making recommendations, designing things, providing physical care or representing the needs of others, which can lead to being sued by customers, clients or patients claiming that the business’ failure to perform a job properly has injured them. 

Errors and omissions or professional liability insurance covers these situations. The policy will pay any judgment for which the insured is legally liable, up to the policy limit. It also provides legal defense costs, even when there has been no wrongdoing. 

2. Employment Practices Liability Insurance 

Employment practices liability insurance covers, up to the policy limits, damages for which an employer is legally liable such as violating an employee’s civil or other legal rights. In addition to paying a judgment for which the insured is liable, it also provides legal defense costs, which can be substantial even when there has been no wrongdoing. 

3. Directors and Officers Liability Insurance 

Directors and officers liability insurance protects directors and officers of corporations or nonprofit organizations if there is a lawsuit claiming they managed the business or organization without proper regard for the rights of others. 

The policy will pay any judgment for which the insured is legally liable, up to the policy limit. It also provides for legal defense costs, even where there has been no wrongdoing. 

4. Umbrella or Excess Policies 

As the name implies, an umbrella liability policy provides coverage over and above a business’s other liability coverages. It is designed to protect against unusually high losses, providing protection when the policy limits of one of the underlying policies have been used up. 

For a typical business, an umbrella policy would provide protection beyond Its general liability and auto liability policies. 

If a company has employment practices liability insurance, directors and officers liability, or other types of liability insurance, the umbrella could provide protection beyond those policy limits as well. Cost depends on the nature of the business, its size, the type of risks the business faces and the ways the business implements risk reduction. 

5. Key Person Life Insurance 

The loss of a key person can be a major blow to a small business if that person is the founder of the business or is the key contact for customers and suppliers and the management of the business. Loss of the key person may also make the running of the business less efficient and result in a loss of capital. 

Losses caused by the death of a key employee are insurable. Such policies compensate the business against significant losses that result from that person’s death or disability. 

The amount and cost of insurance needed for a particular business depends on the situation and the age, health and role of the key employee. Key employee life insurance pays a death benefit to the company when the key employee dies. 

The policy is normally owned by the company, which pays the premiums and is the beneficiary. The monies from key person insurance can be used to buy back shares in a company from the estate of the deceased, pay a head hunting firm to find a suitable replacement and cover costs or expenses while the business adjusts to the loss.

Package Policies 

Commercial insurers sell coverages separately and/or offer policies that combine protection from most major property and liability risks in one package. Package policies are created for types of businesses that generally face the same kind and degree of risk. 1

1. Packages for Small Businesses 

Smaller companies often purchase a package policy known as the Business owners Policy, or BOP. A BOP is recommended for most small businesses (usually 100 employees or less), as it is often the most affordable way to obtain broad coverage. 

BOPs are “off the shelf” policies combining many of the basic coverages needed by a typical small business into a standard package at a premium that is generally less than would be required to purchase these coverages separately. 

Combining both property and liability insurance, a BOP will cover a business in the event of property damage, suspended operations, lawsuits resulting from bodily injury or property damage to others, etc. 

BOPs do not cover professional liability, auto insurance, workers compensation or health and disability insurance. Small businesses will need separate insurance policies to cover professional services, vehicles and employees.

2. Commercial Multiple Peril Policies 

Larger companies might purchase a commercial package policy or customize their policies to meet the special risks they face. Commercial multiple peril policies, often purchased by corporations, bundle property, boiler and machinery, crime and general liability coverage together. Larger firms employee a risk manager to help determine the company’s exposure to certain risks. 

3. In-Home Business Policies 

There are several insurance options designed to address the special needs of home businesses. 

  • Homeowners Policy Endorsement: Homeowners may be able to add a simple endorsement or rider to their existing homeowners policy to increase coverage. 
  • In-Home Business Policy : An in-home business policy provides more comprehensive coverage for business equipment and liability than a homeowners policy endorsement. Many insurance companies offer insurance policies specifically tailored to small business. 
  • Businessowners Policy (BOP) : The home business might be eligible for The Businessowners Policy (BOP), see above. The key to whether a business owner is eligible for a BOP is the size of the premises, the limits of liability required, the type of commercial operation it is and the extent of its off-premises servicing and processing activities. A BOP, like an in-home business policy, covers business property and equipment, loss of income, extra expense and liability; however, the BOP provides these coverages on a much broader scale.

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