The beaches and mild climate of the Florida Panhandle call to more and more tourists every day. With nearby Eglin Air Force Base and a thriving hospitality industry, Fort Walton Beach, FL is a great place to start a new business. That means having the best insurance to cover all unforeseen circumstances so that you can rest assured that you can concentrate on what you do best. The small business climate in Florida is dynamic and growing. In recent years:
- there were 2,180,556 small businesses operating.
- they employed over 3 million employees.
- their total liability claims amounted to $19,737,799 in losses.
Fort Walton Beach commercial insurance is absolutely required for any small business. The best place to start is by having a close relationship with your local Independent Insurance Agent. Your agent will get to know your business and help you to navigate the complex options to find the coverages that you need. By obtaining multiple quotes from several different agencies, you can compare the rates and pick the one that is most affordable for your business, too.
The first consideration for any business insurance is general liability. This covers you for any injury that takes place on your premises by customers or visitors or during deliveries. The liability that you take on simply by opening your doors is nearly unlimited due to the potential cost of an injury as medical bills keep rising.
You never know just how expensive an injury might be. The Travelers Business Risk summary found in recent years that 60 percent of all business felt medical cost inflation was their biggest concern, with over 30 percent responding that they felt unprepared to handle this risk. General liability insurance covers you for accidents that lead to customer injuries.
Similarly, product liability coverage or professional liability covers you for any injuries that come from your products or services. The Insurance Information Institute found that 71 percent of product liability awards in previous years and 53 percent of medical malpractice awards were for more than $1 million. If you provide a product or service, you have to be protected from these claims.
Business Interruption Insurance for Fort Walton Beach Businesses
You never know when you might not be able to conduct business as usual. An extended power outage can keep you shut down for days, especially if it comes from a hurricane that blows in off the otherwise placid Gulf of Mexico. Fires and water pipe breaks are other unforeseen situations that might keep you from operating for an extended period until the damage is fixed.
While you are down, business interruption insurance pays you based on the revenue you would have brought in during that time. It’s calculated based on your revenues while you are up and operating and usually covers all the costs that are ongoing even when you aren’t. This coverage is usually the difference between being able to survive a disaster and not, so it is critical for every Fort Walton Beach business.
Property Insurance for Fort Walton Beach Businesses
After covering the losses from being unable to operate, the next most important thing is to get your property fixed up so you can start up again. A good policy pays out without a lot of hassle after an event so that you can get back on your feet quickly. Hurricanes are still the most common reason for an extended business outage in Fort Walton Beach. There was a total of 119 natural disasters across the U.S. in recent years. Of the damage that resulted, only 61 percent was covered by insurance. Property owners had to cover $9.7 billion in losses on their own as a result. Without the right property insurance, your business might not be able to afford to reopen after a hurricane or other storm.
Workers' Compensation for Fort Walton Beach Businesses
Generally known as “workman’s comp,” workers' compensation insurance covers employees when they are injured on the job, whether by a single incident or from repeated motion over a long time. It pays out for the period when they cannot work. Florida state law requires this for every employee. Nationally, the cost for workman’s comp came to $1.27 for every $100 in wages in recent years, an average of $612 per employee.
The cost of this insurance is based on the kind of work your employees are performing. Over time a lower rate of claims by your employees will earn your business a lower insurance rate. Depending on your insurance company, there are many things that you can do to keep your rate low including having ergonomic equipment available and special employee training on how to avoid injury on the job.
Employee Coverages for Fort Walton Beach Businesses
There are other kinds of insurance coverage you need for your employees.
- Health plan 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.
Florida-based businesses paid $3,131,293 for employee health care coverage in recent years. The average single person health plan cost $5,408 and a family policy came to $16,070. These rates are very close to the national average. Rates and benefits for employee plans vary widely from one provider to another, so it’s important to shop around for the coverage that meets both their needs and your business’s budget.
Cyber Crime Insurance for Fort Walton Beach Businesses
Finding the right coverage to protect your business requires a deep understanding of all the potential liabilities. You may not be aware of the many areas you need coverage for, such as protection against losses from cybercrimes. In recent years, there were 37,059 reported identity thefts in Florida, the highest for any state in the nation for this crime. It is critical that your business be protected against this growing problem. The potential liability in fraud cases is limited only by your available credit once someone steals your identity.
For all of your Fort Walton Beach business insurance needs, the most important thing you can do is to contact your independent insurance agent. Once your agent gets to know the many needs of your business, the 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.