The city of Ankeny, IA, is home to more than 5,000 businesses. These companies accounted for more than $970 million in taxable retail sales in 2018 alone. Because these local businesses play such an important role in the local economy, it is important that they are protected by suitable business insurance policies.
Buying business insurance can be complicated, but it doesn’t need to be. Independent agents can help by identifying your company’s specific exposures and recommending the best and most affordable policies to cover against each of them. Contact an insurance agent in Ankeny to learn more.
Why Do Ankeny, Iowa, Businesses Need Liability Insurance?
Business liability insurance is designed to cover court costs, legal defense fees, and financial damages if your company is sued for a covered event. No single commercial liability product covers against every liability risk, so you will need to be certain that you carry the right kinds of policies to cover against each of your company’s potential liability risks.
A local independent agent can help you identify all your company’s liability exposures and can recommend the right policies to cover against each of them. That way, you do not need to worry that you have any unintentional coverage gaps.
Some of the many commercial liability products that are available to business owners include the following.
- Premises liability insurance: This is designed to cover third-party injuries, illnesses, and property damage caused by accidents on business property for which your company may be considered responsible.
- Product liability insurance: This is designed to cover third-party injuries, illnesses, and property damage that are caused by defects or design flaws in products that your business produces, sells, or promotes.
- Cyber liability insurance: This is designed to cover your business if cybercriminals install skimmers on credit card readers or hack into your business’s computer system and steal sensitive customer information like social security numbers, financial data, or personal details. This insurance can cover your financial obligations and provide restitution and credit monitoring services to affected individuals.
- Employment practices liability insurance (EPLI): This is designed to cover your business against accusations of illegal employment practices like discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and wrongful termination by current, former, or prospective employees.
- Liquor liability insurance: This is designed for businesses that serve alcoholic beverages. It is important because Iowa’s dram shop laws allow individuals who are injured by an intoxicated person to sue the establishment that provided the alcohol.
- Professional liability insurance: This is designed to cover individuals in professional positions against lawsuits related to errors in judgment, failure to act, and other professional mistakes if they result in another person’s injuries, financial losses, or other damage.
- Environmental liability insurance: This is designed to cover businesses that use, sell, or produce toxic materials in the event that an accident or natural disaster leads to these substances polluting the ground, water, or air. It is designed to cover cleanup costs and damage.
You can learn more about these and other commercial liability coverage options by consulting an independent insurance agent in Ankeny.
What Insurance Products Cover Your Business Property?
Businesses in Ankeny are most likely to experience property loss or damage due to hazards like property crimes, accidental fires, electrical storms, windstorms, tornadoes, hail, heavy snows, and freezing temperatures.
Commercial property insurance can cover your business assets such as computers, furniture, supplies, inventory, merchandise, and tools against loss or damage caused by these risks.
Sometimes, supplementing your commercial property insurance with additional policies is necessary. Depending on the type of business you have, your insurance agent may recommend purchasing products like the following.
- Inland marine insurance: This is designed to cover your company’s portable property whenever it is being transported to or from another location or is being stored away from your place of business, such as at a job site or in a warehouse.
- Bailees insurance: This is designed to cover your customer’s valuable property whenever it is in your company’s care, custody, or control. This is essential if your business provides repair, alteration, or maintenance services on your customer’s expensive items.
- Boiler & machinery insurance: This is designed to cover the cost to repair or replace your business’s essential machinery if it breaks down or malfunctions. It can also cover financial losses your business may sustain because of the malfunction.
- Commercial flood insurance: This is important because commercial property insurance does not cover against flood damage. Floods present a very real risk in Ankeny, particularly when winter snows melt and heavy rains fall, so this insurance can prove invaluable to your company. You can purchase up to $500,000 in both structural and contents coverage for your business when you purchase a policy through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
A local insurance agent can help you be certain that all your valuable business assets are suitably covered, and that your coverage limits are high enough to enable you to rebuild, repair, or replace your business property following damages caused by a covered event.
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Is Business Interruption Insurance a Good Idea in Ankeny, IA?
The risk of tornado activity in the Ankeny area is 111% greater than the national average. One of the worst to strike in the area was an F4 twister that touched down in Ankeny in 1974 causing several millions of dollars worth of damage to area homes and businesses.
Disasters in Iowa
- Number of federally declared disasters in IA since 1953: 72
- Most common reasons for declared disasters: Severe storms, floods, and tornadoes
- Average number of tornadoes in IA per year: 49.2
- Amount paid out in business insurance claims in IA in 2019: $3,644,935,000
A major disaster like a tornado or a structure fire can do more than just damage your company’s valuable property. If the destruction to your business is particularly severe, you may also be forced to shut down for several weeks while repairs are made.
Many small businesses cannot handle the financial consequences of a forced long-term closure following a disaster. Fortunately, business interruption insurance provides a solution to this problem.
Business interruption insurance is designed to provide your company with a continuation of income during the times it must remain closed for repairs due to damage caused by a covered event. Coverage can continue until you are able to safely resume normal operations
Business interruption insurance isn’t ideal for everyone. Consult a local independent insurance agent for help determining whether this insurance is a good fit for your Ankeny business.
Do Businesses in Ankeny Need Workers’ Compensation Insurance?
Unfortunately, workers sometimes get injured on the job. This can happen at your place of business even when you have taken all reasonable safety precautions.
When workers are injured or suffer occupational illnesses due to exposure to toxins in the workplace, their employers can be held liable for the resultant costs. Workers’ compensation insurance can protect both your business and your employees by covering the cost of medical treatments, follow-up care, disability pay, and other related expenses.
In Iowa, nearly all employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. There are a few exceptions. For instance, you do not need to cover the following.
- Sole proprietors and LLC members
- Domestic/casual workers who are paid less than $1,500 a year
- Agricultural workers who are paid less than $2,500 a year
- Agricultural exchange laborers
- Officers and family members of a family farm corporation
Your cost for coverage will be based primarily on the number of people you employ, how much they are paid, and the types of jobs they do. Workers who have a high risk of injury, like a production assembly worker at Deere & Company, will cost more to insure than those with a low risk, like a cashier at Casey’s General Store.
An independent agent can provide you with customized quotes for coverage from a few competing workers’ compensation providers. That way, you can be certain that you are getting this mandatory coverage at a competitive price.
What about Insurance Products for Employee Benefits Packages?
Offering your workers good employee benefits like paid vacation and sick time, an employer-matched 401(k) plan, life insurance, and health insurance can make your company more attractive to high-quality job seekers.
When shopping for healthcare coverage products to include in your employee benefits package, you will find that there are several different policy types and coverage options to choose from.
Healthcare plans may be HMO’s, PPOS, managed care, or hybrid plans. They also typically come with a variety of deductible, co-pay, and coverage options. All this can make it quite difficult to decide which health insurance policies make the best choices for your employees.
An experienced independent insurance agent in Ankeny can explain the pros and cons of each of your alternatives and can help you compare rates from a few competing providers. That way, you can be sure that you are getting suitable coverage at a competitive price.
Why Work with an Independent Insurance Agent in Ankeny, IA?
Independent agents can provide guidance and advice as you consider your many business insurance options. These agents are not tied to a single insurance company, so they are free to shop around to help you find the best and most affordable products to cover against all the potential risks that can affect your company’s bottom line.
Sometimes, this means that the way for your business to get the most affordable coverage is by purchasing products from a few different insurance companies. Don’t worry, you will still have only one point of contact with your local independent agent.
Set up a one-on-one consultation with an insurance agent near you to start comparing business insurance quotes from a variety of highly rated providers.
TrustedChoice.com Article | Reviewed by Jeffrey Green
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