Businesses work with other businesses on a daily basis to complete joint projects. For example, when a contractor builds a home, they use the work of sub-contractors for materials and labor for the project. These businesses sign contracts or agreements prior to any work being completed. So, how does business insurance work to protect against the risk of some other company, vendor, or sub-contractor causing damage to people or property of a mutual customer?
This is where the additional insured status comes in. One party will add the other party as an “additional insured” on their commercial liability insurance policy.
By adding an entity to your policy as an additional insured you are protecting that entity against your company’s negligence. By having another entity add your business as an additional insured that company is protecting you against their negligence. For example, general contractors often require subcontractors to name the general and the owner on the subcontractor's policies. In this way, if the general contractor or owner is sued due to accidents arising out of the work of the subcontractor, the subcontractor's insurance will protect the general contractor and owner.
Additional insured status must be added by certificate and endorsement. That means there is a formal process to follow with your insurer and you must make sure those businesses you work with who claim to have added you have actually done so. Demand to see the actual endorsement and not just “proof” of insurance.
Additional insured status DOES NOT mean the additional insured does not need insurance. It means the additional insured has controlled the risk of others’ negligence and can rely on their own business insurance policy to protect against their negligence.
Additional insured status does not give the same rights under the policy terms as a “named insured” or “insured” and these are technical distinctions that need to be reviewed with your local insurance agent.
Whenever your business enters into a project with another business or contracts with another business on an endeavor follow these four general principals.
The cost of adding an additional insured to a property or liability insurance policy is generally low, as compared to the costs of the original premium.
EMERGE INSURANCE AGENCY
First and most importantly you need General Liability Insurance. Every business, even if home-based, needs to have liability insurance. The policy provides both legal defense costs and damages if you, your employees or your products or services cause or are alleged to have caused Bodily Injury or Property Damage to a third party. If your company primarily is engaged in business-to-business transactions, you will probably be asked for proof of general liability insurance. And if your business is a tenant in building, the build owner may require proof of a general liability policy.
Next you need to consider Property Insurance, If you own your building or have business personal property, including office equipment, computers, and inventory or tools you should consider purchasing a policy that will protect you if you have a fire, vandalism, theft, smoke damage etc. You may also want to consider business interruption/loss of earning insurance as part of the policy (especially if you own a restaurant) to protect your earnings if the business is unable to operate.
There is a single policy that combines both general liability and property insurance. It is a Business owner’s policy or (BOP). A business owner policy packages all required coverage a business owner would need. Often, BOP’s will include business interruption insurance, property insurance, vehicle coverage, liability insurance, and crime insurance . Based on your company’s specific needs, you can alter what is included in a BOP. Typically, a business owner will save money by choosing a BOP because the bundle of services often costs less than the total cost of all the individual coverage’s.
You may also need Commercial Auto Insurance. Commercial auto insurance protects a company’s vehicles. You can protect vehicles that carry employees, products or equipment. With commercial auto insurance you can insure your work cars, SUVs, vans and trucks from damage and collisions. If you do not have company vehicles, but employees drive their own cars on company business you should have non-owned auto liability to protect the company in case the employee does not have insurance or has inadequate coverage. Many times the non-owned can be added to the BOP policy.
Another coverage that has become essential for businesses is Cyber Liability Insurance. Cyber insurance generally covers your business' liability for a data breach involving sensitive customer information, such as Social Security numbers, credit card numbers, account numbers, driver's license numbers and health records. Remember this type of loss is not covered under a company’s general liability policy.
If you are a lawyer, accountant, consultant, notary, real estate agent, printer, own a hair salon, therapist, or a technology provider you will need Professional Liability Insurance. This type of insurance is also known as Errors and Omissions Insurance. The policy provides defense and damages for failure to or improperly rendering professional services. Your general liability policy does not provide this protection, so it is important to understand the difference.
These may be the only coverage needs your business has, or you may have others. As an independent insurance agency Emerge Insurance Agency will work with you to assess all the risks that may impact your business. We will then work on your behalf to mitigate those risks with insurance policies the cover your risk at the lowest premiums we can find.
Call us and let us get to work earning you as a client.
Home based business opportunities are everywhere: There are 38 million home-based businesses in the U.S. and home-based companies are generating significant dollars — with total annual revenue of $427 billion per year. And 20 percent of home-based businesses make $100K-$500K per year. However 44% of home-based businesses have $5,000 or less in revenue.
If you own a home-based business, you want to be sure to put some sort of home-based business insurance in place. Do not make the mistake that many small business owners have made: do not assume that your homeowners insurance will cover your business claims.
Most homeowner’s policies do not cover business-related losses unless you have negotiated a rider with your insurer which changes that. Keep in mind, however, that a rider will only be effective if you have a very simple business, such as one which uses just a computer or a phone.
But if you are manufacturing products or doing repair work of some sorts it is likely that you will need something more substantial, such as specific commercial insurance. And, of course, unless you live and work in Texas, you may need workers compensation insurance.
Think for a moment about the risks a home-based business has: theft, natural disaster, damage or perceived damage to a client, and, of course an accident involving your vehicle. Most importantly without commercial/business insurance a home-based business owner it personally responsibility for attorney’s fee, court costs, and financial damages if a judgment are levied against them.
If you have a home-based business, you should contact a licensed commercial insurance professional as soon as possible. You will want to work with that professional to determine which insurances you need.
EMERGE INSURANCE AGENCY
All caterers need insurance. No matter if you are a full-fledged 7 days a week caterer or a summer time for small local events type caterer. You will need insurance.
You do not simply need insurance because your agent wants you to have it. It is there to protect you from a number of different risks that could destroy the business you love.
This blog post will help you to understand your insurance needs a little better and ultimately help you find the best fit for insurance.
What is at risk for caterers?
Before we get into the actual insurance details, it is important to know what is at risk. You are probably thinking what can really happen? But a number of things can happen, either by accident or by forces out of your control.
Have you ever thought about if a group you served got sick - even if it was not your fault? What if the brand of meat you used had something wrong with it or an employee forgot to wash their hands after handling raw meat in the kitchen?
What if you got your event orders mixed up and both parties refused to pay?
What if you caused an accident on the road with your delivery van? Even worse, what if it was a multiple car accident and people were severely injured?
What if at an event in which you serve alcohol, things get out of hand and a fight breaks out? Property is destroyed, people are injured, the event is ruined and your client claims it was your entire fault?
In all of these scenarios, you will likely find yourself at fault.
Can you afford to come out of pocket if a couple clients refuse to pay because they were not satisfied with your services?
What about covering the costs of damages if someone is too drunk?
Are you prepared to tackle a lawsuit without the help of insurance? This is why insurance for a caterer is a necessity and not just a good idea.
Buying the right insurance
Insurance is going to be different for every caterer. Every caterer runs their business differently. Some caterers run their business from their home as a side income, while some are full blow catering companies that can do multiple events a weekend.
As a caterer you know that everyone's menu and service needs are going to be different. Well insurance is no different. Your insurance policies and the agent's services will need to match your needs as a caterer.
So, when buying insurance you need to think about two things: 1) Do I have confidence I am getting the right insurance I need? 2) Is my agent giving me the service I need?
Let’s explore what that looks like.
1) The right insurance
Here are a few examples of common insurance policies for caterers:
· General liability insurance
· Professional liability insurance
· Business property coverage
· Commercial vehicle insurance
· Workers Compensation
This is a good start as most caterers will need these policies but there are more to consider if your business does anything unique. Here are some examples:
· Liquor liability if you will serve/sell liquor
· Food spoilage for those with a large amount of stored food
· Cyber insurance for the tech savvy caterer or those with an internet presence
You need the right insurance. There is no way to avoid this without the potential for serious regret if something ever happens to your business.
2) Getting the service you need
Every insurance agent runs their agency differently.
· Some are available to talk in the evenings and weekends.
· Some utilize technology which may make your insurance shopping and reviews easier.
· Some provide resources to help you stay compliant and/or to increase profitability.
· Some may provide coverage in multiple states for larger or growing caterers.
· Some are able to give you quotes from multiple companies or help you switch if need be.
You get the idea. Insurance is more than finding the cheapest insurance policy. Insurance does not have to cost you an arm and a leg but it has to match your needs.
Let your agent serve you
With your services, your client is able to sit back and enjoy their event without having to worry about food or beverages for their guests. Well when it comes to insurance, you should be able to do the same.
You may have an idea of what you need (just as your clients have an idea of what they want) but the real value comes from us doing the hard work for you. We know where to go to find everything, and how to put it all together then deliver it in a professional package.
EMERGE INSURANCE AGENCY
All businesses that sell and serve alcohol need comprehensive Liquor Liability coverage, especially in today's litigious environment. Emerge Insurance Agency offers Liquor Liability coverage for all types of hospitality risks, including hard-to-place bars and nightclubs, along with Assault & Battery coverage and liability limits up to $1,000,000/$2,000,000.
Restricted Exposures - options available
Call us for a quote or with any questions
EMERGE INSURANCE AGENCY
Cecil Williams -