With a tremendous tourist trade coming for the sun and fun combined with great access to the growing markets of Latin America, Fort Lauderdale, FL is a great place to own a business. That’s also true for more and more high-tech companies, given the advantages of having FIU and Nova University nearby. Owning a business means insuring a business, however, and the coverage that is necessary to protect your company can be very complex. Yet it is absolutely essential in order to have the right insurance policy to protect your company.
The small business climate in Florida is dynamic and growing. Across the state in recent years:
- there were 2,180,556 small businesses operating.
- these employed over 3 million employees.
- the total liability claims amounted to a staggering $19,737,799 in losses.
The first step to finding the right Fort Lauderdale business insurance is to develop a good relationship with an Independent Insurance Agent. Because they understand the area and the laws that govern needs, they can help you navigate your options and find the best quotes for your business needs at a price you can afford. All Fort Lauderdale commercial insurance starts with protection against general liability. This is coverage against claims for injuries by people who are on your property, including delivery personnel and customers. Your insurer will defend you in a court of law if you are sued by anyone claiming a loss.
This is critical because any incident on your property can become very expensive very quickly. A recent Travelers Business Risk summary found that 60 percent of all business said that medical cost inflation is the biggest concern, with over 30 percent responding that they felt unprepared to handle this risk. If an injury takes place on your property, you have to be ready to handle these costs if you are held liable.
For any claims that come from your products, away from your property, you need to have product liability coverage. The issues are the same for this as well. The Insurance Information Institute found that in recent years, 71 percent of product liability awards and 53 percent of medical malpractice awards were for more than $1 million. Protection against these kinds of nearly unlimited costs are critical for any business.
Business Interruption Insurance for Fort Lauderdale Businesses
If for any reason you can’t conduct normal business, this insurance coverage matches your income until you can get up and operating again. It’s based on the revenue you took in when times were good and carries through until the problem is fixed and you are back on your feet. Reasons for business interruption are many. A fire or other damage to your property from a storm is the main reason why you might suffer an interruption. There are also other events such as civil unrest or anything else that you would reasonably not be able to see coming.
Property Insurance for Fort Lauderdale Businesses
In order to get your business back up and operating when there is some event beyond your control, you need to insure your property for the cost of putting it all back together. It’s not just a matter of getting it all fixed up, it’s about making sure it’s done in a timely manner without a lot of hassle. This is a particular concern when there is widespread damage all around from a hurricane or other storm.
Recently, there was a total of 119 official natural disasters across the U.S. With all the damage that they created, only 61 percent was covered by insurance. That left the property owners stuck with $9.7 billion in losses that had to be covered out of pocket. When disasters of any kind strike, the right Fort Lauderdale commercial insurance coverage with good property insurance is critical to getting it all fixed up so that you are back in business in the shortest time possible without having to find the money to do it on your own.
Workers' Compensation for Fort Lauderdale Businesses
Workers' compensation insurance is usually known as “workman’s comp.” It covers the expenses incurred by your employees when they are injured on the job whether by a single incident or from repeated motion over a long time period. Florida state law requires this for every employee that you have, and it pays out whenever they are unable to work. Nationally, this averaged to $1.27 for every $100 in wages in recent years, or an average of $612 per employee.
The cost of this insurance is based on the kind of work your employees do, according to tables developed from claims taken out by employees in similar businesses. When you have a new business, there is a price given to you that is not negotiable, but with time, a lower rate of claims by your employees lowers your rate.
Employee Coverages for Fort Lauderdale Businesses
Beyond the required workman’s comp, there are other forms of insurance that you need or may want in order to cover your employees. These include the following:
- Health Insurance: This is now required by law for companies with 50 or more employees. Even if you don’t have a business this large, you may want to provide this as an option for your employees.
- Life Insurance: It’s important to cover your most important employees should something untimely happen to them. They may also want to at least be able to buy into protection for their families through your business as well.
- Disability Insurance: This is like life insurance, but it pays out when an employee cannot work anymore for any reason.
In previous years, Florida-based businesses paid $3,131,293 for employee health care coverage. The average single person health plan cost $5,408 and a family policy averaged out to $16,070 – both very close to the national average. It’s important to shop around and find a quote for a policy that fits your employees' needs with a price that both you and they can afford.
Cyber Crime Insurance for Fort Lauderdale Businesses
Protecting your business against all unforeseen circumstances is the key to a good commercial insurance policy. There are many areas that you may not be aware need coverage such as protection against losses from cybercrimes. There were 37,059 reported identity thefts in Florida in recent years, making it the top state in the nation for this kind of crime. It is absolutely critical that your business be protected against this rampant and growing problem. If your business's identity is stolen, the potential liability is nearly unlimited if you don’t have the best insurance policy.
For all of your Fort Lauderdale business insurance needs, the most important thing you can do is to contact your independent insurance agent. Once knowledgeable in the many needs of your business, your agent can then help you navigate the complex array of coverage you need to be protected and can then obtain multiple quotes to find the best price for you to compare your options.