Posted on May 16, 2014
Ohio business owners invest large amounts of time and money into their businesses to make them successful. Just one accident or lawsuit can have a devastating financial effect on company efforts. Putting the right commercial insurance coverage in place offers companies peace of mind in knowing that should misfortune strike, any potential liability will be easily handled by the policy.
Just having commercial coverage is not enough. Because each business is unique, every commercial insurance policy must be customized to meet the needs of the company. Without the proper type and amounts of coverage, companies can be affected just as greatly as if they had no coverage at all. Professional insurance agents and brokers are available to lend their expertise to help Ohio businesses get just the right coverage for the utmost business protection.
Ohio Liability Coverage
Commercial liability insurance is known by many names: business liability, general liability and commercial general liability, to name a few. It can sometimes be confusing to some business owners that are seeking to acquire the best coverage to meet their budgets.
General liability coverage provides protection to Ohio businesses by covering them from any financial loss resulting from bodily injury, property damage, advertising injury, legal defense & judgments as well as personal injury such as libel, slander or copyright infringement. In essence, it provides broad coverage to protect a company from lawsuits or claims by their customers or other third parties.
It is important to note that general liability does not cover a company's employees per se. A customer could file a liability claim for an employee who personally injures that customer or causes damage to the customer's property. But, injury to employees themselves would be covered under workers compensation insurance for injuries or illnesses that occur during their employment.
One form of liability that does help business owners with employee issues is employment practices insurance. This coverage defends companies against employee claims of discrimination, harassment or wrongful termination.
Workers Compensation Coverage
Workers compensation insurance is mandatory in the State of Ohio. Any company with one or more full or part time employees must have workers comp. The only exception to that rule is for sole proprietors, partnerships and corporations without any employees, ministers, and family farm officers. These entities may elect coverage; however, it is not mandatory.
This coverage provides benefits to workers, who in the course of their daily job become injured or ill. The state of Ohio is one of the few states that require all companies to purchase workers comp insurance through the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation.
Think of commercial property insurance as similar to your homeowner's insurance policy. Any type of damage to your business property or contents is protected from damage or losses due to fire, theft or other types of hazards.
Property insurance will cover buildings that are owned or leased as well as any equipment, records or inventory inside the building. In addition, it will also protect the personal property of customers or other third parties when that property is in your care.
There are differing types of property insurance available to meet each individual company's needs. Some companies will need to add additional coverage for perils such as explosions, wind or fire; whereas other business owners will want complete coverage for any and all losses. Determining which coverage to choose will depend on whether your business is low or high risk, an assessment of potential hazards, the business location and safety features of the building like alarms, extinguishers, etc.
Commercial Flood Insurance
For the most broad commercial flood insurance protection, business owners will want to secure a flood insurance policy for both their building and its contents. Many companies learn the hard way after a flood that standard commercial property insurance does not cover flood damage. Taking steps now to protect your business investment from potential flooding is vital since there is a 30-day waiting period for flood insurance to become effective. The National Insurance Flood Program is available for communities located in flood plains that actively participate in the plan. Your insurance agent will be able to give you information about whether your business qualifies, and then help you with applying for coverage. Business flood insurance through the NIFP is available with up to $500,000 of coverage for buildings and $500,000 for contents.
Additional Information on Ohio Insurance
Visit the Ohio Department of Insurance website to learn more about commercial insurance in Ohio. Their site can be found at http://www.insurance.ohio.gov, and you may also reach their hotline at (800) 686-1578.