The scenic town of Wakefield, MA is a great place for business owners. Whether you run a small business out of your home or you own one of the many shops that line Main Street, business insurance can help your company avoid large financial losses when disaster strikes.
Independent agents in Wakefield can help you build a comprehensive business insurance policy package. These agents can identify the specific risks your company faces and can recommend the best and most affordable insurance policies to cover against each of them. Contact an insurance agent near you to learn more.
Why Do Businesses in Wakefield, MA Need Liability Insurance?
If your business ends up on the wrong end of a liability lawsuit, having the right liability insurance in place is crucial in order to avoid large financial losses.
Business liability insurance is designed to absorb liability-related expenses such as court costs, legal defense fees, and financial damages if your company is sued for a covered event.
All business insurance policies include commercial general liability insurance (CGL) as part of their standard coverage. CGL provides basic liability coverage for some of the most common risks businesses face, including:
- Premises liability insurance: This is designed to cover third-party injuries or property damage that result because of accidents that take place on your business property.
- Product liability insurance: This is designed to cover third-party injuries or property damage that are caused by a defect in a product your company produces, sells, or promotes.
Most businesses have liability risks that go beyond what a basic CGL policy can cover. An independent agent can help you identify any other potential liability exposures your business may have and can recommend the right policies to cover against them.
The following are some examples of the many available commercial liability insurance policies your insurance agent may recommend:
- Employment practices liability insurance: This is designed to cover your business against lawsuits related to accusations of discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination, or any other illegal employment practice.
- Cyber liability insurance: This is designed to cover your company’s financial responsibilities and damages if hackers break into your business’s computer system and access sensitive customer data like financial, credit, and personal information, which can be used for purposes of identity theft, fraud, and extortion.
- Liquor liability insurance: This is designed to cover against damage or injuries caused by an intoxicated patron of your establishment. If your business sold, served, or otherwise furnished the alcoholic beverages, the injured party is permitted by MA dram laws to name your company in their liability lawsuit.
Talk to your insurance agent to learn more about these and the many other commercial liability products that are available for your Wakefield business.
What Are the Property Damage Risks in Wakefield, MA?
Commercial property insurance is another important part of every business insurance policy. It is designed to cover loss or damage to your company’s assets, including merchandise, furniture, computers, tools, supplies, and more.
Businesses in Wakefield are most likely to experience loss or damage due to hazards such as accidental fires, hurricanes, severe storms, gusty winds, heavy snows, freezing temperatures, and property crimes. Fortunately, commercial property insurance is designed to cover against all of these hazards.
There are additional supplemental property coverage products that may also be appropriate for your business, such as:
- Inland marine insurance: This is designed to cover your business’s portable property when it is in transit, at a job site, or stored in a warehouse.
- Boiler & machinery insurance: This is designed to cover your essential mechanical equipment as well as businesses losses related to mechanical failure.
- Bailee's insurance: This is designed to cover your customers’ property whenever it is in your business’s custody, care, or control.
Your local insurance agent can explain all of these coverage options in greater detail and can ensure that all of your business assets are appropriately covered.
What about Flood Damage in Wakefield?
It is important to be aware that coverage against flood damage is excluded by most business insurance policies. Floods pose a significant risk in Wakefield, particularly for businesses near waterways like the Saugus River and the Mill River.
Of course, when hurricanes and tropical storms bring heavy rains to the area, flash flooding can occur just about anywhere. That's why you may want to add commercial flood insurance to your coverage portfolio.
Flood insurance policies are backed by the federal government and can provide your business with up to $500,000 in structural coverage and $500,000 in contents coverage. These policies take 30 days to go into effect, so don't wait until heavy rains are imminent to buy a policy.
How Does Business Interruption Insurance Help Companies in Wakefield, MA?
Occasionally, businesses in Wakefield can be hit by catastrophic events. From major storms like Hurricane Irene in 2011 to the fires that at one time plagued the once-booming Wakefield Rattan Company, these disasters can lead to extensive damage.
Catastrophic events 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
Significant damage from a catastrophic event has the potential to force your business to shut down for several weeks or months while repairs are made. Without an ongoing stream of revenue, many small businesses can be forced into bankruptcy by a long-term temporary closure like this.
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 damage caused by a covered event.
When you have the protection of business interruption insurance, you will be able to pay regular expenses like monthly bills, loan installments, and salaries until you can get back to normal operations.
Talk to a local independent insurance agent for help determining whether business interruption insurance is right for your Wakefield business.
Are Employers in Wakefield Required to Carry Workers’ Compensation Insurance?
With few exceptions, all employers in Massachusetts are required by law to carry workers’ compensation insurance.
Workers’ compensation insurance is designed to cover your employees’ medical treatment, lost wages, and other related expenses if they suffer a work-related injury or are stricken with an occupational illness.
The cost for this coverage is based mainly on the types of jobs your employees do and the likelihood that they will sustain serious injuries while doing them. It would cost far more to cover a tree trimmer than to cover one of the many office workers at Edgewood Park.
You may qualify for significant policy discounts if your business has a long-standing record of employee safety. An independent insurance agent can help you obtain and compare customized quotes from highly rated insurance companies that specialize in covering businesses in your industry.
Are You Looking for Insurance Products for Your Employee Benefits Package in Wakefield?
Some businesses offer employee benefits such as health insurance, life insurance, paid vacation, and sick time. If you are looking to put together a benefits package for your employees, you may need some help finding affordable insurance products to include it in it.
- 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
When you are shopping for health and life insurance products for your employees, you will find there is a wide range of policy types and options available. You may therefore find it beneficial to have the guidance of an experienced insurance professional.
Talk to an independent agent near you to learn the pros and cons of each of your options so that you can make an informed decision about which policies make the best choices for your employee benefits package.
Why Work with an Independent Insurance Agent in Wakefield, MA?
Risks and exposures can vary significantly from one company to the next. That is why insurance companies offer a wide range of policies and options that enable business owners to fully customize their policy packages.
Independent agents in Wakefield can help you choose the right products to meet your company’s specific coverage needs. Because they do not work for a particular insurance company, these agents can shop around to help you find the best business insurance policies at the most competitive prices.
Set up a one-on-one consultation an insurance agent near you to get started.
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