Posted on May 16, 2014
Buying commercial insurance in Missouri allows companies to fully protect the time, resources and money they've invested in building their business. Strategic planning to control expenses while generating a profit is the primary focus of most business owners, but what do those same companies do when the unexpected happens?
With commercial insurance, companies can rest easy knowing that their business investment is protected, and any potential injury or damage claims are taken care of by their insurance coverage. Without adequate amounts of insurance, companies are liable for any financial claims made against them. With a large lawsuit award, disaster or injury, paying out of pocket could spell financial disaster.
Determining which insurance coverage is best means thoroughly analyzing potential risks to the business as well as evaluating the assets and income that need protection. The following outlines Missouri commercial insurance requirements and options that will benefit many companies in the Show Me State.
Missouri Liability Coverage
Each business has its own unique set of insurance needs. When it comes to liability coverage, pretty much every company will benefit from having this broad insurance protection. In today's litigious society, it isn't uncommon from companies to be hit with multiple lawsuits ranging from personal injuries that occur on business premises to property damage caused by a company's employee at a customer's home. When claims or lawsuits happen, general liability coverage will pay the legal defense expenses as well as any medical expenses or compensation for repairs should the company be held financially responsible for the injury or accident.
Small businesses often choose a business owner's package or BOP. This package combines two or more policies like general liability and property into one policy usually at a lower cost.
Another form of liability coverage is employment practices coverage. This type of liability insurance covers employers when an employee alleges wrongful termination, harassment or discrimination.
Workers Compensation Coverage
Workers compensation insurance handles the claims of any employee injuries that may occur while an employee is on the job. Missouri requires workers' compensation insurance for companies with five or more part time or full time workers. Construction companies must carry the coverage by having more than a single employee. The no-fault system pays employees medical costs, lost wages and disability if needed for injuries or illnesses that occur while on the job.
Exemptions from the workers comp requirement include farm workers, domestic employees, real estate agent, direct sellers and commercial motor carriers. Sole proprietorships and partnerships may elect coverage although it is not required. Family members employed by a company are covered unless they choose to opt out of coverage.
When business owners think about commercial insurance, they primarily focus on property insurance. Commercial property coverage protects companies from unexpected damage caused by many events such as fire, wind, lightning or theft. Not only does this insurance protect a business building, it also protects inventory, office equipment, landscaping and signs. When misfortunes happen and a building is damaged, the cost of claims can be significant. Commercial property insurance pays for any needed repairs or replacements. In fact, some Missouri businesses choose to also add business interruption insurance to their protection plans. This coverage will help businesses pay the bills when the company must be closed while being repaired for a covered claim.
Commercial Flood Insurance
The potential for flooding in Missouri lasts almost all year long. Spring rains and heavy winter snow commonly create conditions ripe for flood damage. Many business owners are not aware that their commercial property insurance does not cover flood damage to buildings or personal property. Flood insurance must be purchased through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) ahead of time. With a 30-day waiting period for coverage to become effective, it is essential to take care of applying for coverage before flooding is imminent. The NFIP offers coverage up to $500,000 for buildings and structures as well as $500,000 for contents of buildings. For those who do not own their business property, contents only coverage is also available.
Tornado Insurance for Missouri
With the 2011 devastating tornadoes in Joplin and St. Louis, many Missouri residents in other parts of the state are concerned about the potential for tornado damage in their areas. Of particular concern is whether homeowners or business policies provide coverage for damage caused by tornadoes and severe storms. While most policies do cover damage, it is important to review current policies to make sure these types of weather related events are covered. If not, then it is something to definitely add prior to stormy seasons.
Earthquake Insurance in Missouri
Earthquake coverage is not typically covered in most commercial property insurance policies, and while most people do not associate Missouri with earthquakes, it actually is considered to be within an area at risk for large scale earthquake activity. Of course, the best time to investigate earthquake insurance is before any seismic activity happens. Most policies will simply add the coverage as endorsement to the policy. This insurance will cover direct physical damage to insured property including cracking and burst pipes. Many policies have 10 to 15 percent deductibles.
Additional Information on Missouri Insurance