Posted on May 16, 2014
The state of Iowa offers unique business potential to companies looking to grow and expand their products or services. With a large agricultural community, diverse manufacturing, growing green energy industry and solid financial services offerings, business owners experience a relatively stable climate for doing business. Companies protect their business investment by properly insuring their operations and workers to minimize the risk of financially devastating accidents or lawsuits.
Iowa Liability Coverage
Liability insurance policies cover business owners in the case of accidents that cause personal injury or property damage. Without proper insurance, a company can be liable for any monetary compensation awarded in a lawsuit brought by an injured party. General liability coverage pays for any lawsuit awards or settlements, legal defense expense and punitive damages up to the limits of the policy. Besides bodily injury and property damage, standard liability policies will also cover misleading advertising, slander and libel.
For companies needing additional coverage not covered by standard liability, there are several options to consider.
· Employment Practices Liability - insures business owners for employee claims alleging harassment, wrongful termination and discrimination.
· Professional Liability - covers faulty service or failure to provide service by professional such as health care workers, lawyers and financial service agents.
· Umbrella policies - offer extra coverage over and above a standard liability policy. They often add $1 million to $5 million of coverage to protect companies with significant assets.
Workers Compensation Coverage
Workers compensation insurance coverage is mandatory in the state of Iowa. This coverage will pay for medical and disability benefits for workers injured or who become ill while on the job. Employees who are temporarily or permanently disabled receive a weekly wage benefit not to exceed 80% of their regular weekly net income. Rates range from $1306 to $1420 per calendar week and depend on the level of determined disability.
The state imposes civil and criminal penalties for those employers without mandatory workers compensation coverage.
With severe weather and multiple tornadoes regularly occurring each year in the state, Iowans need comprehensive property insurance for their businesses. Commercial property insurance protects business owners from any damage to buildings or equipment. So for instance if lightning strikes and causes a fire inside an office, a property policy will cover valuable inventory, equipment, furniture and documents up to the policy limits. Basic property insurance covers perils such as fire, lightning, wind, hail and explosion. Broad form insurance will cover all damage in a basic policy along with additional issues such as riots or roof collapse from snow or ice.
Commercial Flood Insurance
According to the National Flood Insurance Program about 40 percent of small businesses never reopen after experiencing flood disasters. Why? They are unable to do so because of the unforeseen financial expense. For the five years between 2006 and 2010, the average commercial flood claim was $85,000. Without commercial flood insurance, businesses can experience devastating losses that they probably may not be able to handle. Communities that participate in the National Flood Insurance Program can apply for federally backed flood insurance for high risk, flood plain areas. Commercial coverage is available up to $500,000 for buildings and $500,000 for building contents. Additionally, there are content only policies available for businesses that rent their space.
Crop Insurance for Iowa Farmers
Considered the food capital of the nation, Iowa is home to large agricultural operations that have special insurance needs. While crop insurance is not required by the state, it helps insure farmers against crop damage caused by hail, pests, drought and flood.
Various types of crop insurance exist to help farmers with their specific needs. Two of the more common plans are yield protection and revenue protection. Yield protection covers crops for a range of 50 to 85 percent of production from many natural damaging causes. Revenue protection covers major Iowan crops and provides a guarantee of revenue payments based on the crop yield and future prices. This protection can cover between 50 to 85 percent of a harvest.
Additional Information on Iowa Insurance