Posted on May 16, 2014
Montana business owners work hard each day to develop new products and services to meet consumer needs while simultaneously growing sales and profits. Protecting this vital investment requires commercial insurance policies that will take care of unexpected events that could result in expensive losses to buildings and inventory as well as injuries to workers and clients.
The State of Montana only mandates that companies with employees have workers' compensation insurance while other forms of commercial insurance coverage are optional. To protect your business, it is necessary to take the time to study the different types of coverage available in the marketplace today that are specially designed to offer the most protection to fit your business needs.
Montana Liability Coverage
Every Montana business needs the added protection of general liability insurance. Should someone be injured or property damaged, there is the potential that the business may be legally liable for those damages. Without liability insurance, companies would be required to pay for the damage out of their own pocket. Depending on the extent of harm or property damage, the award could potentially bankrupt a small business.
Many small businesses choose to combine both liability and property insurance into one package called a business owners policy; however, business owners will want to evaluate if a package policy will best suit their needs. Business owner policies typically cover bodily injury, property damage and advertising injury up to policy limits. In some cases, these standard policies are appropriate for most businesses.
Special endorsements can be added to customize the contract even further by adding coverage for employment practices and employee benefits. Additionally, some companies will need umbrella liability policies, errors & omissions or directors & officers added to obtain the most comprehensive coverage available.
Workers Compensation Coverage
Montana requires that every company with employees purchase and maintain workers compensation insurance. Montana is a no-fault state meaning that no matter how an employee's work injury or illness occurred, wage and medical benefits for that injured worker will be paid.
Most business owners are familiar with the need for property insurance since many own homes and require homeowner's insurance for their personal residences. Commercial property insurance is similar to homeowner's in the sense that it provides coverage for commercial buildings on a replacement or actual cash value basis. Commercial property policies also provide additional protection for personal business property such as inventory, furniture and equipment. As with other commercial lines, special endorsements can be added to basic property policies to cover other business needs such as business interruption coverage and electronic data processing. Montana business owners enjoy peace of mind knowing that both their business building and its contents are protected from damage with these types of policies.
Commercial Flood Insurance
The State of Montana is situated in an area of the country where heavy snowmelt and spring rains can bring widespread flooding. In order to obtain flood insurance, Montana residents need to live in a participating community situated in a flood plain. These high risk areas are part of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Low risk areas can also apply for flood insurance with NFIP or private insurance carriers. Because there is a 30-day waiting period for NFIP policies to go into effect, companies that own their business buildings need to make sure they purchase flood insurance long before floods are imminent.
Additional Information on Montana Insurance
Visit the Montana Commissioner of Securities & Insurance site at http://www.csi.mt.gov/consumers/consumers.asp to learn more about commercial insurance in Montana or give their CSI Consumer hotline a call at (800) 332-6148.