Posted on May 16, 2014
Pennsylvania business owners seek commercial insurance coverage as a means to protect their significant business investment. In cases of lawsuits or property damage, they can rest easily knowing that their insurance company will handle the expense of a loss. Commercial insurance allows companies to focus on growing their business. Any risk or exposure to a business is handled by liability, property, commercial auto, and workers' compensation policies.
Insurance agents and brokers can help businesses determine the best level of coverage needed to meet business needs and budgeting. The only required business insurance coverage in Pennsylvania is workers' compensation insurance, but in order to protect commercial assets, most business owners purchase policies that include general liability and property as well.
Pennsylvania Liability Coverage
Business owners in Pennsylvania have several options when it comes to liability coverage. For small businesses, business owner policies or BOPs cover general liability claims that result from clients being injured on site or if an employee causes property damage or injury at a customer's location. Professional liability, sometimes called errors & omissions insurance, covers companies for lawsuits that award economic damages to someone because of negligence or improper advice. This coverage is typically available for professional service companies such as real estate or financial service firms. Another form of liability coverage is Employment Practices Liability, which protects companies should an employee make allegations of harassment, wrongful termination or discrimination.
Workers Compensation Coverage
Workers' compensation insurance is required coverage for Pennsylvania employers. Any company with at least one employee, part or full time, must maintain coverage in case of worker injury or illness while on the job. Most companies will need to obtain coverage from a private insurance carrier while certain eligible businesses may choose to self-insure. Rates are based on industry classification, and some companies offer deductibles to reduce premiums. Workers' compensation insurance pays employee medical expenses and lost pay for work related disability. The weekly wages are based on employee's income and are set at 66 2/3% of gross wages.
Property insurance for businesses in Pennsylvania is commonly combined with general liability into a packaged business owner's policy, but all policies may be customized and purchased separately. Commercial property insurance protects property, inventory and assets from loss or damage caused by accident or theft. In many policies, the insurance will replace or repair the property, and in cases where the property cannot be replaced, the policy will compensate for the loss.
Many businesses do not own the buildings where their business is located. Fortunately, property insurance provides valuable coverage for inventory, fixtures, furniture and office equipment so that business owners can rest assured that if accidents or tragedy do strike, their commercial assets are covered and they can actually stay in business.
Commercial Flood Insurance
While many businesses may not realize the value of commercial flood insurance, the fact remains that flooding is a prevalent hazard that affects every state in the U.S. In fact, flood insurance protects against damage caused by heavy rain fall, storm surge, blocked drains and melting snow. For businesses located in high-risk zones, the National Flood Insurance Program provides coverage of up to $500,000 for business buildings and $500,000 for building content. In areas where there is low to moderate risk of flood, companies can purchase Pennsylvania flood insurance from private insurance carriers.
Additional Information on Pennsylvania Insurance
Visit the Pennsylvania Insurance Department website at http://www.ins.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/insurance_department/4679 to learn more about commercial insurance in Pennsylvania. You may also call them at (877) 881-6388.