There are more than 1,600 businesses located in the town of Great Barrington. From sole proprietorships to the many stores that line Main Street, each of these businesses plays an important role in keeping the local economy healthy. Business insurance helps to protect these companies when disaster strikes.
If you are a business owner in this New England town, a local independent insurance agent can help you build a commercial insurance plan that will provide suitable coverage against all of your company’s potential risks.
Set up a one-on-one consultation with an insurance agent near you to learn more. You can start comparing a selection of customized business insurance quotes in no time.
Why Do Businesses in Great Barrington Need Liability Insurance?
Liability lawsuits often result in judgments exceeding $1 million. That is why business liability insurance is a crucial part of every commercial insurance policy. This insurance is designed to cover the various expenses related liability lawsuits, including 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. CGL is designed to cover the most common liability hazards faced by businesses. The coverage offered by these policies includes, but is not limited to:
- Premises liability insurance: This covers third-party injuries, illnesses, and damage that occurs on your business property
- Product liability insurance: This covers third-party injuries, illnesses, and damages caused by products your company produces, sells, or promotes.
Most businesses will need additional liability policies in order to be fully covered against all of their liability exposures. Examples of some of the many commercial liability products you may want to consider include:
- Cyber liability insurance: This covers your liability expenses if cybercriminals install skimmers on your credit card readers or break into your company’s computer system and steal sensitive customer information like financial or personal data.
- Employment practices liability insurance: This covers your business against lawsuits related to accusations of illegal employment practices such as discrimination, harassment, breach of contract, and wrongful termination.
- Environmental liability insurance: This covers cleanup costs and damage if an accident at your company leads to the pollution of the land, air, or water by toxic substances that your business uses or produces.
Talk to a local independent insurance agent to learn more about these and several other liability insurance products that are available. Your agent can help you determine which, if any, are appropriate for your particular business so you can be sure that you are not left with unintentional liability exposures.
How Does Property Insurance Protect Great Barrington Businesses?
Commercial property insurance is another major part of every business insurance policy package. It is designed to cover loss or damage to your company-owned assets including such things as office furniture, computers, merchandise, supplies, outdoor signs, and more.
Businesses in Great Barrington are most at risk for damage caused by hurricanes, severe storms, strong winds, hail, heavy snows, and freezing temperatures. Fortunately, these hazards are all covered by commercial property insurance.
In addition to your standard property coverage, you may also want to consider purchasing supplemental policies such as:
- Inland marine insurance: This covers your portable business property when it is in transit or stored offsite, such as in a warehouse.
- Boiler & machinery insurance: This covers repair costs and business losses related to essential equipment failure.
- Bailee insurance: This covers property belonging to your customers whenever it is in your business’s custody, care, or control, such as if you are performing maintenance or repair work on it.
Talk to your local insurance agent to learn more about your various business property coverage options.
A Word about Flood Damage in Great Barrington
Be aware that even though damage caused by severe weather events, fires, and property crimes are typically covered by commercial property insurance, damage caused by floods are not. This is true even when the flood is the direct result of a covered hurricane.
Floods pose a serious risk in Great Barrington, particularly for businesses located near waterways like Konkaput Brook and the Housatonic and Green Rivers. That is why supplementing your coverage with a commercial flood insurance policy is a good idea for many business owners in Great Barrington.
Flood insurance policies are guaranteed by the federal government and can provide your business with up to $500,000 in structural coverage and $500,000 in property coverage. That way, you will have the protection you need if flood waters damage your business assets.
Is Business Interruption Insurance a Good Idea in Great Barrington, MA?
Tornadoes are rare in Massachusetts, but that does not mean there is no risk. In 1973, an F4 twister touched down 5.2 miles from the Great Barrington city center. And another F4 struck just 3.5 miles from the city center in 1995. Each of these tornadoes caused more than $5 million in damages.
A major disaster, like a tornado or a fire, can force you to shut down your business for several weeks while repairs are made. Business interruption insurance is designed to provide your company with a continuation of income during such times.
Disasters in Massachusetts
- Number of federally declared disasters in MA since 1953: 54
- Most common reasons for declared disasters: Severe storms, hurricanes, and heavy snows
- Average number of tornadoes in MA per year: 1.4
This optional insurance enables your business to have the funds necessary to continue to pay monthly bills, loan installments, employee salaries, and other regular expenses until you can resume normal operations. Most policies will provide this coverage for up to twelve months.
Business interruption insurance is not appropriate for all businesses. A local independent insurance agent can help you evaluate whether or not is it is a good fit for your Great Barrington business.
Do Businesses in Great Barrington Need Workers’ Compensation Insurance?
The state of Massachusetts requires all businesses to cover their full- and part-time employees with workers’ compensation insurance. There are a few exceptions. For example, it’s not necessary to cover sole proprietors, partners, or LLC members, but you can if you want to.
If an employee suffers an occupational illness or is injured on the job, workers’ compensation insurance can cover the cost of their necessary medical treatments, follow-up care, prescriptions, and can compensate them for their lost wages and other related expenses.
Rates for workers’ comp 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, the more coverage will cost. Therefore, a construction worker would cost far more to insure than a receptionist.
A local independent insurance agent help you obtain a competitively priced policy through a commercial provider that specializes in covering businesses that operate in your business industry. Or, with approval, your business may opt to self-insure.
What about Employee Benefits for Businesses in Great Barrington?
- Annual amount spent on healthcare coverage by MA businesses: $1,064,684,000
- Average annual cost of health care in MA: $6,379/person or $17,424/family
Although it’s true that purchasing health insurance coverage for your employees can be quite expensive, doing so may actually have money-saving benefits for your business.
Many companies that subsidize healthcare coverage qualify for tax benefits. Additionally, studies done by human resource professionals have shown that when businesses offer an attractive benefits package, they can more easily recruit and retain the best employees.
If you are interested in learning more, an independent insurance agent can help you find great coverage at a competitive price. There are several different healthcare policy types for you to choose from, so you may find it beneficial to receive guidance from one of these local insurance professionals when you are shopping for coverage.
Why Work with an Independent Insurance Agent in Great Barrington, MA?
Every business has specific insurance coverage needs. That is why when it comes to business insurance, there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all policy. The wide range of insurance products and policy options available to business owners in Great Barrington lets you fully customize your commercial coverage.
A local independent agent can help you navigate through your many options as you build a comprehensive business insurance policy package. That way, you can be sure you are making choices that are appropriate for your particular business. Contact an insurance agent in Great Barrington to get started.
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