There are more than 5,000 businesses in the city of Waukegan. From the many shops and restaurants that line Grand Avenue to sole proprietorships run out of people’s homes, each plays an important role in the local economy. Business insurance helps these companies avoid bankruptcy in times of disaster.
Independent insurance agents make it easy to find the best policies to cover your business. These agents work for you, not for a particular insurance company, so they can shop around to find the policies your business needs at the most affordable prices. Contact an insurance agent near you to learn more.
Why Do Businesses in Waukegan Need Liability Insurance?
We live in a litigious society so every business owner should be prepared for the possibility of a liability lawsuit. These lawsuits can often result in judgments exceeding $1 million. That is why liability insurance such an important part of every business insurance policy package.
Business liability insurance is designed to cover the various expenses related to liability lawsuits such as court costs, legal defense fees, and financial damages.
All business insurance policies include commercial general liability insurance (CGL) as a standard part of their coverage. This insurance is designed to cover many of the common liability hazards businesses can face. The coverage offered by CGL includes:
- Premises liability insurance: This is designed to cover third-party injuries, illnesses, and damage that occur due to accidents on your business property for which your company can be deemed responsible.
- Product liability insurance: This is designed to cover third-party injuries, illnesses, and damage that are caused by products your company produces, sells, or promotes.
- Advertising liability insurance: This is designed to cover against accusations of illegal marking practices such as copyright infringement, deceptive pricing, and false advertising.
CGL insurance on its own is not enough to cover most businesses against all of their liability exposures. Purchasing additional liability products may therefore be necessary. Some supplemental policies your insurance agent may discuss with you include:
- Cyber liability insurance: This is designed to cover your company if its computer system is hacked and cybercriminals steal sensitive data like your customers’ credit card details, Social Security numbers, or personal information. It can pay for related expenses such as the requirement to provide restitution and credit monitoring services to affected individuals.
- Liquor liability insurance: This is designed to cover businesses that sell or serve alcoholic beverages. It is important because if a patron becomes intoxicated and then goes on to cause injuries or property damage to another, the Illinois dram shop laws permit the injured party to sue the establishment that provided the drinks.
- Employment practices liability insurance (EPLI): This is designed to cover businesses that have employees. It can cover your company’s defense and damages if a current, former, or prospective employee accuses your business of engaging in illegal employment practices like discrimination or wrongful termination.
- Professional liability insurance: This is designed to cover workers in professional positions in the event that they make errors in judgment or other professional mistakes that cause their clients to experience financial losses, injuries, or other damages.
Talk to a local independent insurance agent to learn more about these and any other commercial liability insurance products that may be right for your Waukegan business.
How Does Property Insurance Protect Waukegan Businesses?
Commercial property insurance is designed to cover loss or damage to your company-owned property, including computers, furniture, supplies, tools, and inventory. This coverage is a standard part of every business insurance policy.
Businesses in Waukegan are most at risk for damage caused by accidental fires, property crimes, and severe weather events like electrical storms, windstorms, hail, heavy snows, and freezing temperatures. Fortunately, these hazards are all covered by commercial property insurance.
You may also want to consider supplementing your commercial property insurance by purchasing additional policies such as:
- Commercial flood insurance: This is important because commercial property insurance does not cover against flood damage. Waukegan businesses located in flood zones near Lake Michigan are most at risk, but when heavy rains fall, flash flooding can happen just about anywhere in this city. An independent insurance agent can help you obtain an affordable flood insurance policy through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
- Inland marine insurance: This is designed to cover your business’s portable property whenever it is in transit or is being stored off-site, such as in a warehouse or at a job site.
- Boiler & machinery insurance: This is designed to cover repair costs and business losses related to mechanical malfunctions of your essential business equipment and machinery.
- Bailee's insurance: This is designed to cover your customers’ valuable property whenever it is in your business’s custody, care, or control. You may want to strongly consider this coverage if your business performs services such as alterations, maintenance, or repair work on expensive items.
A local independent insurance agent can help you rest assured that all your company’s valuable assets are appropriately covered.
Is Business Interruption Insurance a Good Idea in Waukegan?
Though the risk is lower than the Illinois average, tornado activity in the Waukegan area is 24% greater than the national rate. One of the worst to strike in the Waukegan vicinity was an F4 twister that touched down in 1972, causing about $2.5 million in damage to area homes and businesses.
Disasters in Illinois
- Number of federally declared disasters in IL since 1953: 63
- Most common reasons for declared disasters: Severe storms, floods, and tornadoes
- Average number of tornadoes in IL per year: 54
- Amount paid out in business insurance claims in IL in 2019: $16,998,439,000
If a major disaster like a tornado or an accidental fire impacts your businesses, property damage isn’t the only expensive risk you need to worry about. If the resultant destruction is excessive, your company may need to remain closed for several weeks while repairs are made.
Business interruption insurance offers a solution to this problem. This optional insurance is designed to provide the funds necessary for your company to continue paying regular expenses like rent payments, monthly bills, loan installments, and employee salaries even while your company is not generating any revenue.
This insurance can continue to provide coverage until repair work is completed and your business is able to resume normal operations. A local independent insurance agent can help you determine whether business interruption insurance is a good fit for your Waukegan business.
Do Businesses in Waukegan Need Worker's Compensation Insurance?
If an employee is injured on the job or comes down with an occupational illness due to exposure to toxins in the workplace, worker's compensation insurance can cover the associated costs.
This insurance can shield your company from potential liability lawsuits by paying for any necessary medical treatment, follow-up care, and prescription medications and by providing injured workers with disability pay while they are recuperating.
With few exceptions, the state of Illinois requires all employers to carry worker's compensation insurance. This coverage can be purchased through a commercial provider or, if your business is approved to do so, you can opt to self-insure.
Rates for worker's compensation coverage are based on your company’s overall payroll, the number of employees you have, and the types of jobs they do. The more dangerous the job is, the more your coverage will cost. It would cost more to insure a nurse in the emergency room at Vista Medical Center than to cover an accountant at the Lake County Administration Building.
A local independent agent help you compare policies and quotes from a few competing providers that specialize in covering businesses like yours.
What about Employee Benefits for Businesses in Waukegan?
Good employees are the lifeblood of any company. You may therefore be considering making your company more attractive to highly qualified workers by offering a competitive employee benefits package that includes perks such as an employer-matched 401(k) plan, paid vacation, sick time, life insurance, and health insurance.
There are several different kinds of health insurance products available. These include HMOs, PPOs, and managed care plans as well as policies with different deductibles, copays, and coverage limits. This can make it difficult to decide which policies are best to include in your employee benefits package.
You may therefore find it beneficial to have the assistance of a local insurance professional. An independent agent can help you find suitable, yet competitively priced, health and life insurance policies to subsidize for your employees.
Why Work with an Independent Insurance Agent in Waukegan, IL?
Because of the many insurance products and options that are available, it is possible for you to fully customize your company’s insurance coverage. However, these many choices can also make building a comprehensive policy package complicated if you do it alone. You can simplify the process by asking a local independent agent for help.
These experienced insurance professionals are available to offer guidance, advice, and support as you navigate through your many options. Your agent can also obtain customized quotes from a variety of top-rated insurance companies on your behalf. That way, you can be sure you are purchasing suitable coverage at a competitive price.
Set up a one-on-one consultation with an insurance agent near you to get started.
TrustedChoice.com Article | Reviewed by Jeffrey Green
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