The city of Midland is home to more than 3,500 businesses. From large corporations like Dow Chemical Company, to the retail stores in the Midland Mall, to small businesses run out of people’s homes, each plays a significant role in the health of the local economy. Business insurance helps these companies stay profitable in times of trouble.
Building a comprehensive business insurance policy package can be complicated, but you do not need to tackle this task on your own. Independent insurance agents in Midland can help you find appropriate and affordable policies that are customized to meet your company’s specific coverage needs. Talk to an insurance agent near you to learn more.
Why Is Liability Insurance Important for Businesses in Midland, MI?
Liability insurance is an essential part of every business insurance policy package. This insurance is designed to cover the various expenses related to liability lawsuits, including court costs, legal fees, and financial damages.
It is crucial that you have the right insurance products to cover against each of your company’s potential liability exposures.
All business insurance policies include, at a minimum, commercial general liability insurance (CGL). This insurance is designed to cover against some of the most common liability risks businesses face. It includes:
- Premises liability insurance: This covers third-party injuries and property damage caused by accidents that occur on your business property for which your company can be deemed responsible due to negligence.
- Product liability insurance: This covers third-party injuries, illnesses, and property damage caused by design flaws or defects in the products your company produces, sells or promotes.
- Advertising liability insurance: This covers against accusations of copyright infringement, deceptive pricing, false advertising, and other marketing mishaps.
CGL is very useful, but for many businesses is not enough to cover all potential liability risks. An independent insurance agent can help you identify any additional liability exposures your company may have and can recommend the right policies to cover against each of them.
The following are examples of some of the many commercial liability insurance products you may want to consider including in your business insurance policy package:
- Cyber liability insurance: This covers financial losses, liabilities, and restitution to affected individuals if hackers break into your company’s computer system and steal sensitive information like your customers’ financial or personal data. It can also cover damages if criminals successfully install skimmers on your credit card readers.
- Employment practices liability insurance (EPLI): This covers your businesses against accusations of illegal employment practices such as discrimination, harassment, or wrongful termination by a current, former, or potential employee.
- Liquor liability insurance: This covers against your liability risks related to serving alcoholic beverages. If an intoxicated patron causes injuries or property damage to another, Michigan’s dram shop laws allow the injured party to sue your business for providing the alcohol if the drinks were given to a visibly intoxicated adult or to someone who is under the age of 21.
- Professional liability insurance: This covers individuals in professional positions if they make an error in judgment or another professional mistake that leads to financial losses, injuries, or emotional damage to their clients. These policies can cover professionals ranging from doctors to financial advisors to hairdressers.
You can learn more about these and many other commercial liability coverage options by consulting a local independent insurance agent.
Does Midland Business Insurance Cover All Your Business Assets?
Commercial property insurance is designed to cover loss or damage to your business property, including office furniture, supplies, computers, merchandise, inventory, tools, and outdoor signs, as long as the damage is caused by a covered event.
In Midland, businesses are most likely to experience property loss or damage due to hazards such as theft, fire, windstorms, electrical storms, hail, heavy snows, ice accumulation, and freezing temperatures. Fortunately, all of these hazards are covered by commercial property insurance.
Some businesses may benefit from supplementing their commercial property insurance with additional, specialized policies. Your local independent agent may recommend:
- Flood insurance: Flood damage is not covered by commercial property insurance. Unfortunately, most businesses in Midland are at risk, as many learned in May 2020 when the Edenville and Sanford dams were breached, and the city experienced historic flooding. A local independent agent can help you secure an affordable flood insurance policy for your business through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
- Inland marine insurance: This covers 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 in a warehouse or at a job site.
- Boiler & machinery insurance: This covers the cost to repair your essential business equipment if it breaks down. It can also compensate your business for losses sustained due to the machinery malfunction.
- Bailee's insurance: This covers your customers' valuable property whenever it is in your business’s custody, care, or control. This may be crucial if your company provides repair, alteration, or maintenance services on very expensive items.
A local independent insurance agent can help you be sure that all of your company’s assets are suitably covered and that your coverage limits are high enough to enable your business to rebuild, repair, or replace lost or damaged property as needed.
How Can Business Interruption Insurance Help Midland Businesses?
Tornado activity in the Midland area is near the state average, but 10% higher than the national average. This is just one of many risks that businesses in this city need to be prepared to handle.
Major disasters like structure fires and tornadoes can do more than just damage your commercial property. They also have the potential to force your business to remain closed for an extended period 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
A forced long-term closure can be financially devastating, especially for small businesses that don’t have a lot to fall back on. Business interruption insurance provides a solution to this problem.
This insurance delivers a continuation of income during the times that a covered event leads to a necessary extended closure. That way, your company will have the funds needed to continue paying regular expenses like loan installments, rent, and employee salaries until you can resume normal operations.
Business interruption insurance isn’t ideal for every company. Talk to a local independent insurance agent for help figuring whether a policy is a good fit for your Midland business.
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Do Midland Businesses Need Worker's Compensation Insurance?
Even with all reasonable safety protocols in place, workers sometimes get hurt on the job. That is why, in the state of Michigan, most employers are required to cover their employees with worker's compensation insurance.
Employers in Midland must purchase this insurance if they meet any of the following criteria:
- They employed at least one person for 35 hours or more per week for 13 weeks or longer during the previous year.
- They are a private employer that regularly employs three or more people at a time.
- They are an agricultural employer that employs three or more workers for 35 or more hours per week for 13 or more consecutive weeks.
- They are a household that employs domestic servants for 35 or more hours per week for at least 13 weeks per year.
- They are a public employer.
These policies are designed to cover the cost of hospital stays, medical treatment, prescription medications, follow-up care, disability pay, and other expenses related to workplace injuries and occupational illnesses.
Premiums for worker's compensation are based mainly on the types of jobs your employees do. The higher the risk that your workers will suffer serious injuries on the job, the more it will cost for you to cover them. An employee who works with toxic substances at a chemical plant would cost more to insure than a cashier at a clothing store.
Independent insurance agents can obtain customized quotes from a variety of worker's compensation insurance companies. That way, you can be certain you are not paying more than you have to for this mandatory coverage.
What about Insurance Products for Employee Benefits Packages?
Human resources professionals have demonstrated time and time again that when businesses offer attractive employee benefits like life insurance, health insurance, paid vacation time, and employer-matched 401(k) plans, they find it easier to attract and retain highly qualified workers.
When you are shopping for policies to include in your employee benefits package, you will find there are many different health and life insurance products available for you to choose from.
Healthcare coverage plans can be PPOs, HMOs, or managed care plans. They also come with varying copays, deductibles, and coverage limits. This can make it difficult to decide which policies make good options for your workers while still being affordable for your company.
An independent insurance agent can explain the pros and cons of each of your options and can help you compare rates from competing providers. That way, you will be able to make an informed decision about which to purchase.
Why Work with an Independent Insurance Agent in Midland, MI?
Every business faces its own specific risks, and these can vary significantly from one company to the next. That is why insurance companies make it possible for business owners to fully customize their company’s insurance coverage.
When you are shopping for the right commercial insurance products for your Midland business, an independent agent can help. Your agent can offer guidance and advice and can shop around to find the best and most competitively priced policies to cover against each of your company’s exposures.
Set up a one-on-one consultation with an independent insurance agent in Midland. You will soon discover how easy it can be to build a comprehensive, yet affordable, business insurance policy package.
TrustedChoice.com Article | Reviewed by Jeffrey Green
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