Posted on May 16, 2014
Protecting your Oregon business with the best commercial insurance is easy when you have the right information available at your fingertips. Sorting through the wealth of information online to find what insurance is required for Oregon businesses can be quite a challenge. Right here, you can find all you need to know about commercial insurance in Oregon to help you manage risk and protect your commercial assets.
Workers compensation insurance is the only state mandated insurance coverage for every employer in Oregon. Building contractors in the state are required to carry general liability insurance along with coverage for products and completed operations. Most business owners understand that insurance coverage is necessary to cover every aspect of their operations from the risk of claims or legal action. Individual plans of general liability, property and other specialty insurance coverages can be customized to fit the needs of a business to provide the most protection.
Oregon Liability Coverage
When accidents happen or property is stolen, general liability insurance helps to replace or compensate for damage and losses. Many companies face lawsuits from clients despite the fact that they have done everything to provide superior service and products. It is just the nature of our litigious society. Paying damages out of pocket for an injury on business property can devastate a company's budget. Many business owners understand the fact that general liability insurance coverage is needed to help mitigate loss and pay for those claims without bankrupting their business. General liability insurance covers personal injury, property damage, advertising injury and even legal defense costs.
The State of Oregon requires that all building contractors carry general liability insurance along with additional coverage for products and completed operations. In fact, all contractors must provide proof of this insurance for issuance or renewal of their license with the Construction Contractors Board. Required limits depend on the specific license category within the construction industry.
Workers Compensation Coverage
Workers' compensation insurance covers employees in the event of an injury or illness that occurs while on the job. This coverage pays for all medical expenses and wage payments for those workers who are temporarily or permanently disabled. All Oregon employers are required to purchase workers' compensation insurance prior to hiring employees.
Business owners may purchase workers' compensation insurance through private insurance companies, the state owned Oregon Insurance Plan, or they may be self-insured. The Oregon Insurance Plan is available so that all employers may obtain this required insurance, particularly if they have been turned down by another carrier.
Certain workers are exempt from this mandated coverage including sole proprietors, partnerships, workers in private homes, casual labor when payroll is below $500 in a month, corporate officers and temporary out of state employees.
Many companies purchase business owner policies to receive discounts for their commercial insurance. While most BOPs will combine general liability and property insurance, there are certain gaps that these policies have in terms of what is covered. Typically, these package policies will insure named perils such as robbery or rain damage; however, the coverage is limited to those two events. Having a separate commercial property insurance policy will usually provide additional coverage other than just named perils. Property insurance may be customized to cover the actual business building, inventory, supplies, electronics, computer equipment, furniture and even outdoor signs.
Commercial Flood Insurance
Significant rainfall and winter storms in Oregon create the potential for serious flooding throughout the state. Most commercial property insurance policies do not cover flood damage so it is important for business owners to determine their potential risk and take steps to protecting their business investment before flooding occurs. High-risk flooding areas participate in the National Flood Insurance program, which provides up to $1 million in coverage for non-residential buildings and building content. Businesses that rent their office or retail space are eligible to apply for contents coverage of up to $100,000.
Earthquake Coverage for Oregon
Commercial property insurance policies do not cover earthquakes, and businesses that need this coverage must purchase a separate policy. According to the Oregon Insurance Division, only 20 percent of residents in Oregon have earthquake insurance. The primary seismic activity areas in the state lie in the Klamath Falls and Portland metro areas. Earthquake insurance covers direct property losses from an earthquake but not from erosion, landslides or volcanic eruptions.
Additional Information on Oregon Insurance