Your tangible assets such as your building and business contents are at risk of loss each and every day. We can cover your assets under either a business owners policy, often referred to as a BOP, or a package policy. The BOP will combine general liability coverage along with the property to provide a single insurance contract at a discounted rate. There are many benefits to this type of policy which we will provide in detail, however, the BOP is intended for smaller, less risky accounts. If your business doesn’t qualify for a BOP, then a package can provide similar benefits on an a la carte basis.
There are numerous consequences that a business can incur if their property suffers damage. The right insurance policy can make dealing with the loss a lot less painful. Covered claims can involve the following types of property:
Whether you own your own building or rent, you have an exposure should the building be damaged due to fire, wind, or other peril. As an owner, you have made a substantial investment and need to protect this asset for its replacement value. If there is a loss, you want to have your policy respond to put the pieces back together so that your business can operate efficiently. We use the special coverage form on almost all of our policies which gives you the maximum protection against the perils of loss. This form typically covers all acts of God except flood and earthquake (these two perils can be purchased separately). It’s not just what you pay for an insurance policy that matters; it’s what that contract can do for you when there is a loss.
If you are a tenant, the coverage our contracts provide will indemnify you for your improvements and betterments. Most insurance carriers will include this building coverage with your business property limits. Don’t overlook the investment you put into your landlord’s building. You have an insurable interest in the property and your landlord’s policy may not respond to your investment. You should review your lease agreement with your insurance agent to make sure you have the right coverage in place.
If your building suffers a total loss, make sure that you have the proper coverage for debris removal as these costs can be substantial. We include this in all our policies when applicable, and tailor the limits to the size or your building.
Every business owner has a need to protect his personal property from theft or direct damage. However, each company has its own unique risks when it comes to protecting their business contents. This could be one’s inventory or office items such as computers and other forms of EDP equipment. The asset that needs protection could also be in the form of money or valuable papers. The insurance professionals at Hanson & Ryan take the time to become familiar with your needs so that your policy will respond properly.
It is important to make sure your contents are covered at replacement cost rather than actual cash value. This way you will be able to replace the items at their current value rather than suffering the loss of depreciation. The polgicy is intended to restore your business to the level you were operating at prior to the loss.
Some other areas of interest that are often overlooked are what can happen to the contents and where does the loss take place? Many business owners are satisfied that they are insured for the proper property levels only to find out that there are exclusions for theft and/or employee dishonesty. Even worse is when the peril is a covered loss, but happens off premises and the proper endorsements to cover the property away from your location were never put on the policy. Transit and installation coverage under an inland or ocean marine form will solve this issue. Leave it to us to remind you of the important questions of how and where so that you can concentrate on doing what you know best.
Many clients have business contents that are constantly on the move. These items can be scheduled on the policy so that they are protected for damage or loss wherever they are. A list of the exact items including the make, model, serial number, and value are listed ahead of time with the insurance carrier.
By scheduling the equipment, coverage in not limited to the insured location. For example, a contractor normally has his tools within his vehicle overnight. During the day, the tools then go to the jobsite. At times, they may even be left at the jobsite overnight. Rarely are the items ever sitting at the insured’s office where the policy provides standard contents coverage. We can protect this risk by moving these items off of the regular contents limits and insuring them on an inland marine form.
Another type of business that will often schedule their equipment is a technology firm. Many times, there is computer equipment such as a laptop which needs to be covered outside of the office. Once again, the inland marine floater can provide the necessary worldwide coverage. Many insurance carriers will provide extra perils coverage on their form for losses stemming from viruses and other computer related risk factors. Therefore, the equipment can be better protected when scheduled rather than listed as blanket contents.
The bottom line is that your current policy may not be insuring your property according to your needs. The minor cost to set up a schedule for your valuable equipment may be worthwhile to avoid having your claim denied. Let our experienced professionals at the agency help you cover all the bases when protecting your business contents exposure.
Loss of Income
What would you use to pay the bills and get your business up and running again if a fire or severe storm shuts you down? A very important part of one’s property insurance portfolio is the loss of income section. This applies to business interruption due to a covered peril involving a property loss. The insurance policy can provide the owner with his normal profit based upon prior history as well as any extra expenses to get the business back to the point it was at prior to the loss. In other words, the policy will pay the proceeds needed to get you up and running at another location until your original location is restored while any lost profit in between is paid to you!
It is important to note that the specific reason the business is shut down must be covered within the policy. For instance, termites or insect infestation is an excluded peril in regards to property coverage. Also, standard policies might not cover a flood, earthquake, or off premises power outage without a special endorsement for these type of losses.
If your business relies on machinery or energy to power its production, make sure you include boiler and machinery coverage. This is commonly known as equipment breakdown in modern policies and will pay for the loss of income based upon coverage being triggered by the mechanical breakdown.
Let Hanson & Ryan make sure your mortgage or rent bill gets paid and your business survives without you losing any profit should one of these unfortunate incidents strike you where it hurts most---your ability to produce. Some businesses such as a technology consultant might be able to adapt rather quickly to working from a remote location. Our agency will analyze the catastrophic scenarios that could affect your business and make sure you buy only the amount of loss of income protection you need to survive and to rebound.
Loss of income protection costs can vary but are typically inexpensive. However, the common insurance buyer can easily overlook this vital coverage. Without the proper advice from one of the business professionals at Hanson & Ryan, it could be the missing coverage that causes the collapse of the business you worked so hard to build.