Westminster, Maryland, is home to about 1,800 registered businesses. From the many shops, restaurants, and offices that line Main Street to sole proprietorships run out of people’s homes, each business plays an important role in the local economy. Business insurance helps these companies avoid bankruptcies and 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 Westminster to learn more.
What Kinds of Liability Coverage Can Your Westminster Business Insurance Provide?
Businesses sometimes end up on the wrong end of a liability lawsuit. If this happens, being protected by the right insurance policies is necessary for your business to avoid large financial losses. This is 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, settlements, judgments, and other financial damages if your company is sued for a covered event.
A local independent insurance agent can do a complete liability risk assessment of your business to help you identify all of its potential exposures. Your agent can then help you find the best and most affordable policies to cover against each of them.
Some of the many liability insurance policies that your agent may want to discuss with you include the following.
- Premises liability insurance: This covers third-party injuries, illnesses, and damage if they occur on your business property and your company can be considered responsible.
- Product liability insurance: This covers third-party injuries illnesses and property damage if they are caused by a defect or design flaw in a product your company produces, sells, or promotes.
- Employment practices liability insurance: This covers against accusations of illegal employment practices such as discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination, and retaliation.
- Cyber liability insurance: This covers your company’s financial obligations if criminals hack into your business’s computer network and access your customer’s personal or financial data.
- Commercial vehicle liability insurance: This is required if your business owns and operated motor vehicles like cars, trucks, vans, or buses. It can shield your company from its increased liability risks if one of your drivers causes an accident in a company vehicle.
- Pollution liability insurance: This covers businesses that produce, use, or sell toxic substances. It can pay for cleanup costs and damage if an accident or disaster at your place of business 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 Westminster business.
What Kinds of Property Coverage Does Westminster Business Insurance Offer?
Commercial property insurance is a standard part of every business insurance policy. It is designed to cover the cost to repair or replace your company-owned property if it is damaged or destroyed by a covered event.
Businesses in Westminster are most likely to experience property damage caused by severe weather events like hurricanes, tropical storms, electrical storms, windstorms, hail, heavy snows, ice accumulation, and freezing temperatures. Fortunately, all of these hazards are covered by commercial property insurance.
In order for your business's property to be fully covered, you may need to supplement your commercial property insurance with additional policies. If appropriate, your insurance agent may recommend products such as the following.
- Commercial flood insurance: This is necessary because commercial property insurance specifically excludes flood damage from its coverage, even when the flooding is the direct result of a covered hurricane or tropical storm. Fortunately, a local independent agent can help you acquire an affordable flood insurance policy through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
- Inland marine insurance: This is important for companies that own expensive portable property. Inland marine insurance can cover these items when they are being transported and when they are 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 work such as maintenance, alteration, repairs, 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.
How Can Business Interruption Insurance Protect Companies in Westminster?
Although the risk of tornado activity in the Westminster area is only 17% greater than the national average, it is a hazard for which area business owners must be prepared. For instance, in 1996, an F3 twister touched down just 5.4 miles from the Westminster city center causing more than $5 million in damages to area homes and businesses.
Disasters in Maryland
- Number of federally declared disasters in MD since 1953: 36
- Most common reasons for declared disasters: Floods, hurricanes, severe storms
- Average number of tornadoes in IL per year: 10
- Amount paid out in business insurance claims in IL in 2019: $7,567,341,000
Fortunately, tornado damage is covered by your commercial property insurance, but property damage isn’t the only expensive risk your business faces if it is impacted by a catastrophic event like a tornado or a structure fire. Major damage also has the potential to force your businesses to remain closed for several weeks while repairs are made.
Business interruption insurance protects against this risk 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, it can afford to continue paying regular expenses like loan payments, bills, rent, and employee salaries until you can once again resume normal operations.
A local independent insurance agent can help you determine whether this optional coverage is a good fit for your Westminster business.
Do All Westminster Businesses Need Workers’ Compensation Insurance?
Even when all reasonable precautions have been taken, workers sometimes suffer serious injuries on the job. That is why, with few exceptions, if you have at least one employee in Maryland, you are required by state law to carry workers’ compensation insurance.
Workers’ compensation insurance is designed to cover medical treatments, follow-up care, medications, 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.
Workplace injuries are more common than you may think. According to the Maryland Workers’ Compensation Commission, in 2019, there were 620 workers’ compensation claims filed just in Carroll County.
Costs for workers’ compensation insurance are based mainly 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 cover a roofing contractor than it would to cover a professor at McDaniel College.
A local independent insurance agent can help you compare customized quotes 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.
Are You Thinking of Subsidizing Insurance Benefits for Your Employees?
You may be thinking about offering your workers 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.
Although subsidizing healthcare coverage for your employees can be expensive, doing so 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 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. For instance, healthcare policies come in the form of HMOs, PPOs, and managed care plans, and can have varying co-pays, deductibles, and prescription plans as well as many different levels of coverage.
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 suitable coverage at a competitive price.
Why Work with an Independent Insurance Agent in Westminster, MD?
Potential risks 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. With a wide variety of products and options at your disposal, you can build a solid business insurance policy package that is custom-made for your Westminster business.
Independent insurance agents can help you choose the right policies and options to meet your business’s specific coverage needs. Also, because they do not work for a particular insurance company, these agents can shop around to find you great coverage at a competitive price.
Set up an obligation-free consultation with an insurance agent near you to get more information and to start comparing business insurance quotes.
TrustedChoice.com Article | Reviewed by Jeffrey Green
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