Posted on May 17, 2014
In today's society, businesses can be sued for just about anything. Having the right amount and type of commercial insurance is necessary for Connecticut business owners if they want to fully protect their companies. Business insurance provides a safety net so that when the unexpected occurs, companies won't be caught off guard without the means to pay for lawsuits or claims for which they are held financially responsible.
To understand what is needed, businesses can rely on their insurance broker or agent to help them evaluate and assess their insurance requirements and then come up with a protection plan that provides the maximum amount of coverage while simultaneously meeting company budgets.
Connecticut Liability Coverage
Most business owners understand that they may be sued at any time for just about any reason. Slip and falls, faulty products, or misrepresentation of advertising are all reasons a customer or visitor might decide to file a lawsuit. The expense of medical treatment, legal defense fees, court costs, property repair and settlements can all add up to large amounts of cash that most business owners simply do not have on hand. General liability insurance takes care of that by protecting businesses from the devastating effects of lawsuits and their costs. This coverage will pay for court costs and property damages along with bodily, personal and advertising injuries for customers, visitors and other third parties.
Employee injuries are covered by workers compensation insurance, but allegations of harassment, discrimination and wrongful termination by employees fall under employment practices liability insurance. Professionals may insure themselves with errors and omissions to protect against any errors or negligence that take place with their clients.
Some companies need liability coverage over and above standard liability policies. Umbrella liability insurance provides additional coverage usually in amounts of $1 million to $5 million to help protect companies that have large assets or are in high-risk industries.
Workers Compensation Coverage
Connecticut companies are required by state law to have workers compensation insurance if they have one or more employees. Exemptions to the workers comp requirements are made for sole proprietorships, partnerships and corporate officers as well as domestic employees with less than 26 hours per work week.
Workers compensation insurance pays for the medical treatment and wage replacement when employees are injured or become ill while on the job. Connecticut is a no-fault state meaning that employees are treated no matter who was at fault for the injury.
When a business property suffers from damage in a fire or hail storm, commercial property insurance is designed to repair or replace that property. This coverage insures both a building and its contents so even inventory, business equipment and computers would be protected from any covered peril. Typical policies provide protection from damage or loss caused by fire, theft, storms and wind.
Landlord property insurance does not insure the personal property of business tenants. Companies that lease their space may choose to purchase property insurance to protect their personal business property. These policies come with limits of coverage and all Connecticut business owners will want to read over them carefully to make sure that the right amount of insurance is purchased to fully protect both real and personal property. Most buildings will need to have replacement cost coverage so that should the building be destroyed by a covered event, the insurance will pay to rebuild the property with like materials at today's costs.
When a covered event such as fire happens, the company may need to close its doors temporarily for repairs. Business interruption insurance may be purchased to help business owners pay their bills while waiting to reopen. This type of coverage can help companies stay afloat even after extreme property damage or destruction.
Commercial Flood Insurance
Connecticut's beautiful shoreline, rivers, and natural water features put the state's residents and businesses at risk for potential flood damage to their properties. Business property insurance does not pay for damage to buildings or personal property due to flooding. With an extensive history of flooding, Connecticut business owners need to purchase commercial flood insurance to protect their buildings, equipment and furniture.
The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) provides affordable flood insurance coverage with up to $1 million of coverage for business buildings ($500,000) and building contents ($500,000). Policies do not become effective for 30 days; companies will want to purchase flood insurance ahead of any potential flooding.
Wind, Windstorm & Hurricane Insurance for Connecticut
Most business property insurance policies will cover wind, windstorm and hurricane damage; however, many of these policies have different and separate deductibles for these weather related events as opposed to the policy's standard deductible for property damage. Business owners will want to review their policies to make sure wind and hurricanes are covered, and then check the policy limits (amount of insurance) and deductibles. Some insurance companies will offer wind and hurricane insurance as a separate policy altogether, or as an added endorsement.
Additional Information on Connecticut Insurance