Posted on May 17, 2014
Opening a new business, or keeping an existing one growing is a challenge West Virginia business owners face every day. With all the time, hard work and resources that go into building successful businesses, protecting company assets becomes top priority. Commercial insurance coverage can accomplish that goal and help business owners rest a little easier knowing they are protected from potential claims or lawsuits that can financially destroy what they have worked so hard to build.
West Virginia Liability Coverage
Commercial general liability insurance protects business owners and their assets from third party claims of negligence, injury or property damage. Businesses work hard to keep their budgets balanced. Just one large monetary award from an injury can often leave uninsured companies facing potential closure. Liability coverage enables business owners to focus on running their business. Policies pay for medical expenses of injured parties, legal settlements or judgments as well as legal expenses.
Workers Compensation Coverage
Workers compensation insurance pays for the medical expenses and wage replacement for worker related injuries and illnesses. The state of West Virginia requires that every employer obtain and maintain workers comp coverage for their employees. The only exemptions to this rule are sole proprietors, domestic workers, agriculture employers with less than 5 full workers, churches, and professional sports employees such as jockeys, trainers and volunteers.
In 2006 West Virginia replaced their near bankrupt state agency, the Workers' Compensation Commission, with a private mutual insurance company, BrickStreet Mutual Insurance. For two years from 2006 to 2008, BrickStreet was the only source of workers comp insurance for West Virginia employers. In July of 2008, the market for private insurance carriers to provide workers comp opened; however, at present, BrickStreet remains the sole source of workers compensation coverage for all state agencies and universities. Beginning in 2013, state agencies will be free to purchase workers comp from any insurance company.
Commercial property insurance is available to West Virginia businesses to handle damage or losses caused by such catastrophic events as fire or theft. This valuable coverage protects not only the actual business building, but also all of its contents such as furniture, computer equipment and inventory. Companies need to review their assets to best determine how much insurance coverage is needed for repairing or replacing damaged property. Property claims are paid in one of two ways: replacement cost value that pays to replace a property using today's prices; and actual cash value that pays based on the property's value minus depreciation.
Commercial Flood Insurance
West Virginia has seen its fair share of flooding over the years. Whether from snowmelt, rising rivers, heavy rainfall or even hurricane, flood damage is something that every West Virginia resident and business owner must prepare for, prior to an event that can potentially cause loss of life and property. Homeowners and business property insurance policies do not cover flood damage. Commercial flood insurance policies must be purchased separately. The federal government subsidizes the National Flood Insurance Program to offer low cost flood insurance in the state. For businesses, they may apply for coverage up to $500,000 for buildings and another $500,000 for contents. Business tenants that lease space can apply for contents only coverage as well. These policies have a 30-day waiting period before they become effective so securing this insurance protection prior to a flood event is important.
Additional Information on West Virginia Insurance