Bay City, Michigan, is home to hundreds of businesses. From the manufacturing plants in the Marquette Industrial Center to the many shops and businesses that line Columbus Avenue to sole proprietorships run out of people’s homes, each business plays an important role in the local economy. Business insurance helps these companies stay profitable in times of trouble.
Independent agents make shopping for business insurance easy. A local agent can help you identify all the risks your company faces and can find the best and most affordable insurance products to cover against them. Find an insurance agent in Bay City to learn more.
What Kinds of Liability Coverage Can Your Bay City, MI, Business Insurance Provide?
It is not uncommon for businesses to end up on the wrong end of a liability lawsuit. If this happens, having the right insurance coverage is necessary for your business to avoid large financial losses. This holds true even if the courts ultimately rule in your company’s favor.
Business liability insurance products are designed to cover expenses like court costs, legal defense fees, and financial damages if your company is sued for a covered event.
All business insurance policies include, at a minimum, commercial general liability insurance (CGL). This insurance is designed to cover some of the most common liability risks faced by businesses. Some of its coverage components include:
- Premises liability insurance: This covers third-party injuries, illnesses, and damages that occur on your business property.
- Product liability insurance: This covers third-party injuries, illnesses, and property damage caused by a defect or design flaw in a product your company produces, sells, or promotes.
- Advertising liability insurance: This covers against accusations of copyright infringement, deceptive pricing, false advertising, and other marketing mishaps.
Many companies have liability risks that go beyond what CGL alone can cover. An independent insurance agent can help you identify your business’s other liability exposures and can recommend the right liability coverage products to protect against them.
Examples of some of the commercial liability insurance products you may want to consider for your business include:
- Employment practices liability insurance: This covers against accusations of illegal employment practices such as discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and wrongful termination.
- Cyber liability insurance: This covers your company’s financial obligations if your computer network is hacked and your customers' personal or financial data is stolen by cybercriminals. This insurance can pay for the resultant damages and can provide restitution in the form of compensation and credit monitoring services for individuals who were affected by the data breach.
- Liquor liability insurance: This insurance protects businesses that serve alcohol if an intoxicated patron causes injuries or property damage to others while under the influence. This is important since Michigan’s dram shop laws allow the injured party to sue the business that provided the alcohol to the offender if the drinks were served to a visibly intoxicated adult or to a minor.
- Pollution liability insurance: This covers businesses that produce, use, or sell toxic substances. It can pay for cleanup costs and damages if an accident or disaster leads to these substances polluting the environment, including the land, air, or water.
Talk to your insurance agent to learn more about these and any other liability products that may be a good fit for your Bay City business.
What Kinds of Property Coverage Does Bay City Business Insurance Offer?
Commercial property insurance is a standard part of every business insurance policy. It is designed to cover the cost of repairing or replacing your company-owned property if it is damaged or destroyed by a covered event.
Businesses in Bay City are most likely to experience property damage caused by severe weather events like tornadoes, severe storms, hail, strong winds, heavy snows, and freezing temperatures, which can cause water pipes to burst. Fortunately, all of these hazards are covered by commercial property insurance.
Depending on the nature of your business, an independent insurance agent may recommend supplementing your commercial property insurance coverage with additional policies such as:
- Commercial flood insurance: This is necessary because commercial property insurance specifically excludes flood damage from its coverage. Many Bay City businesses are at risk for flooding, especially when winter snows melt and heavy rains fall. Businesses in designated flood zones near the Saginaw River are most at risk, but flash flooding can happen just about anywhere in this city.
- Inland marine insurance: This is important for companies that have expensive portable property. It can cover your property whenever it is being transported and when it is being stored away from your place of business, such as at a job site or in a warehouse.
- Bailee's insurance: This is important for businesses that perform maintenance, alteration, repair, or other services on their customers’ expensive property. It can cover these items whenever they are in your business’s custody, care, or control.
A local independent agent can help you be certain that all of your business assets are suitably covered and that your coverage limits are high enough to enable you to rebuild, repair, or replace as needed without incurring a large financial loss.
Is Business Interruption Insurance a Good Idea in Bay City, MI?
Tornado activity in the Bay City area is 9% greater than the national average. One of the worst to hit the area was an F3 twister that touched down just 2.2 miles from Bay City's city center, causing millions of dollars’ worth of damages to area homes and businesses.
Damage to your business-owned property isn’t the only expensive risk your business faces during a catastrophic event like a tornado or a structure fire. Major damage, particularly when it is widespread, has the potential to force your business to remain closed for several weeks while repairs are made.
Disasters in Michigan
- Number of federally declared disasters in MI since 1953: 42
- Most common reasons for declared disasters: Floods, severe storms, and tornadoes
- Average number of tornadoes in MI per year: 16
Business interruption insurance protects against the risk of a long-term closure by providing a continuation of income during the times that your company is forced to temporarily shut down because of excessive damages caused by a covered event.
When your company is covered by business interruption insurance, you can afford to continue paying regular expenses like loan payments, monthly bills, and employee salaries until your business can resume normal operations.
A local independent insurance agent can help you determine whether this optional coverage is a good fit for your Bay City business.
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Do All Bay City Businesses Need Worker's Compensation Insurance?
If you have at least one employee in Michigan, you are required by state law to carry worker's compensation insurance. Sole proprietors are not considered employees and are therefore not covered. In some cases, partners and corporate officers may exempt themselves from coverage.
Worker's compensation insurance is designed to cover medical treatments, disability pay, and other related expenses if your workers are injured on the job or if they suffer an occupational illness because of exposure to toxic substances at the workplace.
Costs for worker's compensation insurance are based primarily on the types of jobs your workers do and how much they are paid. The more dangerous the job, the higher the cost for coverage will be.
Therefore, it would cost much more to insure a trauma nurse in the emergency room at McLaren Bay Region Hospital than it would to cover an accountant in the city government office.
A local independent insurance agent can help you compare rates from a few competing providers that specialize in covering businesses like yours. That way, you can be sure that you are not overpaying for this mandatory coverage.
What about Purchasing Insurance Benefits for Your Employees?
You may be thinking about putting together an employee benefits package that includes perks like paid vacation time, sick time, an employer-matched 401(k) plan, and subsidized health insurance and life insurance options.
While it is true that healthcare coverage in the United States is rather expensive, subsidizing this coverage for your employees can have money-saving benefits for your company.
For instance, studies by human resource experts have repeatedly demonstrated that workers who have access to health insurance tend to use up fewer sick days. Also, offering an attractive employee benefits package helps businesses recruit and retain some of the most qualified employees.
If you are looking for health and life insurance products for your employees, you will find that there are many different policy types and options available to choose from.
You may therefore find it beneficial to have the guidance and advice of an experienced insurance professional. A local independent agent can explain the pros and cons of each of your various choices and can help you find appropriate coverage at a competitive price.
Why Work with an Independent Insurance Agent in Bay City, MI?
Potential risks and exposures can vary from one company to the next. That is why there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all business insurance policy. Because you have a wide variety of products and options at your disposal, you can fully customize a solid insurance policy package that is custom-built for your business.
Independent insurance agents can help you choose the right policies and options to meet your company’s specific coverage needs. Because they do not work for a particular insurance provider, these agents can shop around to find the best coverage at the most competitive prices.
Set up an obligation-free consultation with an insurance agent in Bay City, MI, to start comparing business insurance quotes.