Posted on May 16, 2014
Building a successful business requires time, resources and hard work. Protecting a successful business investment against potential losses is vital to business owners. Indiana companies will find that having the right commercial insurance policies in place goes a long way in providing security and peace of mind.
Business insurance plays an important role in protecting companies from the risk of lawsuits and liability for accidents. Every company has its own unique concerns when it comes to insurance coverage and therefore, finding an insurance professional to help assess and evaluate those needs is the first step in fully protecting your business.
Indiana Liability Coverage
General liability insurance offers businesses protection from financial losses that might occur from a broad range of accidents or misfortunes. Whether protecting a client's property or covering injuries a customer experiences on a business premises, liability insurance will pay for damages or medical expenses when your business is held responsible. Plenty of companies have closed as the result of an extensive lawsuit reward that could have easily been prevented had the business owners maintained general liability coverage.
Common incidents that liability insurance will cover are accidents resulting in slip and fall injuries, or even compensation for clients becoming sick after eating food prepared by business.
Workers Compensation Coverage
Indiana requires that all companies with employees must provide and continuously maintain workers compensation insurance. This insurance provides medical benefits and disability compensation for employees that become ill or are injured during the course of employment. Indiana business owners may purchase workers comp insurance through a private insurance company, or choose to self-insure by paying work injuries out of their own funds. In order to be self-insured, companies must first be authorized by the Workers Compensation Board.
The only exemptions to the state workers' comp requirements are for railroad employees, federal workers, real estate professionals, independent contractors, scholarship athletes, volunteers, and youth coaches of nonprofit corporations.
Uninsured employers are subject to court action and penalties. In addition, the court may order an employer to pay for all of the injured employee's medical expenses, attorney fees, plus double compensation. A court may also order companies to cease business operations until proof of insurance is provided.
When business property is stolen, damaged or destroyed, commercial property insurance takes care of the loss. With property insurance, business owners can have peace of mind that if fire, explosion or theft occurs, their building will be covered. Standard Indiana property insurance covers more than just the building itself. It will also protect any other structures on the property, outdoor signs, landscaping, business inventory, furniture, computer equipment and valuable records.
When it comes to choosing commercial property insurance, Business owners have a choice between replacement cost or actual cash value. While the replacement cost basis usually costs more in insurance premiums, it will replace the damaged property at the actual replacement cost, brand new. Actual cash value, on the other hand, only pays the value less depreciation. For buildings in particular, replacement cost value will provide better protection to have the building replaced.
Commercial Flood Insurance
Flooding is common in Indiana, especially after particularly heavy spring rains. Many property owners are not aware that their standard property insurance does not cover damage caused by floods. In order to obtain flood insurance, business owners will need to apply for a separate policy with the National Flood Insurance Program through their insurance agent or carrier. As long as a business is located in a community that participates in the NFIP, it can apply for this coverage. Businesses may insure for coverage up to $500,000 for buildings and $500,000 for building contents. Also because there is a 30 day waiting period before coverage will go into effect, it is vital for business owners to apply early. Once storms and flooding begin, it is too late to seek coverage.
Tornado and Extreme Weather Coverage
When it comes to tornadoes and high winds, Indiana is most prone to this type of violent weather. Having the right commercial property insurance gives assurance that when a storm strikes, any damage or loss will be taken care of by the policy. Most standard property insurance will cover weather related damage; however, it is important to review coverage to make sure wind, hail, tornadoes and such are covered prior to any storms. Business owners will want to make sure that specific perils like ice, snow and roof collapse are part of, or added to existing policies so that they have the most protection available from these conditions.
Additional Information on Indiana Insurance
Contact the Indiana Department of Insurance at (800) 622-4461 or visit their website at http://www.in.gov/idoi/index.htm.