More than 2,500 businesses can be found in the Detroit suburb of Oak Park. From manufacturing plants to retail stores to sole proprietorships run out of people’s homes, each of these companies helps the local economy so that Oak Park can thrive. Business insurance helps these companies stay profitable when problems arise.
Choosing the right products to include in your business insurance policy package can get complicated, but you don't need to figure it out on your own. Independent agents can help by identifying your company’s specific risks and finding the best and most affordable policies to cover against them.
Set up a one-on-one consultation with an independent insurance agent near you to get more information and to start comparing customized quotes for business insurance.
Why Is Liability Insurance Important for Businesses in Oak Park, MI?
Liability insurance is arguably one of the most important parts of your business insurance policy package. It is designed to cover court costs, legal fees, damages, and other related expenses if your company is sued for a covered event.
All business insurance policies include commercial general liability insurance (CGL). This insurance is designed to cover against some of the most common liability risks businesses face. In addition to covering your business against accusations of libel and slander, it includes the following coverage components:
- Premises liability insurance: This covers third-party injuries, illnesses, and property damage that occur due to incidents on your business property for which your company can be deemed responsible.
- Product liability insurance: This covers third-party injuries, illnesses, and property damage that are caused by defects or design flaws in products your business produces, sells or promotes.
- Advertising liability insurance: This covers against accusations of illegal marketing practices such as copyright infringement, deceptive pricing, and false advertising.
For most businesses, CGL on its own cannot cover against all potential liability risks. An independent insurance agent can help you identify your company’s other liability exposures and can recommend the appropriate policies to cover against each of them.
Some of the commercial liability insurance products you may want to consider adding to your Oak Park business insurance policy package include:
- Commercial vehicle liability insurance: This is mandatory if your business owns and operates vehicles. It can protect against the increased liability costs your business faces if one of your drivers causes an accident while operating a company vehicle.
- Cyber liability insurance: This is ideal for businesses that store sensitive information electronically in databases. It can cover your business’s financial obligations and liabilities if criminals access your company’s computer systems and steal information such as your customer’s financial or personal details.
- Employment practices liability insurance (EPLI): This is ideal for any business that has employees. It can cover against accusations of illegal employment practices such as harassment, discrimination, retaliation, and wrongful termination.
- Pollution liability insurance: This is ideal for businesses that sell, use, or produce toxic substances. It can cover clean-up costs and damage if an accident or disaster leads to these substances getting into the environment and polluting the ground, water, or air.
You can learn more about these and many other commercial liability coverage options by consulting an independent insurance agent in Oak Park.
Can Oak Park Business Insurance Cover All Your Business Assets?
Commercial property insurance is designed to compensate your business for loss or damage to property like computers, tools, machinery, supplies, merchandise, inventory, office furniture, supplies, and outdoor signs if the damage is caused by a covered event.
In Oak Park, businesses are most likely to experience property loss or damage due to accidental fires, property crimes, and severe weather events, including electrical storms, windstorms, hail, tornadoes, heavy snows, and freezing temperatures. Fortunately, all of these hazards are covered by commercial property insurance.
Sometimes, specialized property insurance policies are also necessary in order for your company’s assets to be fully covered. Your insurance agent may recommend that you supplement your commercial property with products such as:
- Inland marine insurance: This is important if your company owns expensive portable property. It can cover this property whenever it is being transported to or from another location or is being temporarily stored away from your place of business, such as at a job site or in a warehouse.
- Bailee's insurance: This is important if your company performs alterations, maintenance, or repair work on expensive items owned by your customers. It is designed to cover loss or damage to this property whenever it is in your business’s custody, care, or control.
- Commercial flood insurance: This is important because flood damage is not covered by commercial property insurance. When persistent, heavy rains fall, drainage systems can become overwhelmed and flash flooding can occur just about anywhere in this city, as many residents and business owners learned in August 2014. Fortunately, business owners can purchase up to $500,000 in structural coverage and $500,000 in contents coverage through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). A local independent insurance agent can show you how.
An independent insurance agent can help you be sure that all of your business assets are appropriately covered, and that your coverage limits are high enough to enable you to rebuild, repair, or replace, if necessary.
How Can Business Interruption Insurance Help Oak Park Businesses?
The risk of tornado activity in the Oak Park area is 34% greater than the national average. One of the worst to strike was an F4 twister that touched down less than 5 miles from the Oak Park city center in 1957. This tornado caused hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage to area homes and businesses.
Major disasters like tornadoes and structure fires 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 closure that lasts for weeks, or even months, can be financially devastating for businesses, especially small ones that don’t have a lot to fall back on. Business interruption insurance was designed to provide a solution to this problem.
Business interruption insurance can provide your company with a continuation of income during the times that a covered event leads to a forced long-term closure. That way, your business can afford to keep paying regular monthly expenses such as rent, utility payments, loan installments, and employee salaries even though it is temporarily unable to generate revenue.
Talk to a local independent insurance agent for help determining whether business interruption insurance is a good fit for your Oak Park business.
Do Oak Park Businesses Need Worker's Compensation Insurance?
Worker's compensation insurance is designed to cover the cost of medical treatment, disability pay, and other expenses related to workplace injuries and occupational illnesses. If a work-related injury is fatal, this insurance can also provide long-term benefits to surviving family members
In the state of Michigan, all businesses with at least one employee are required by state law to have worker's compensation insurance. Sole proprietors are not considered employees and are not covered.
The cost of worker's compensation is based mainly on the types of jobs your workers do. The more likely they are to suffer significant injuries on the job, the higher the price for coverage will be. It would cost more to cover a machine operator in a manufacturing plant than to cover a cashier at a retail store.
In Michigan, businesses can obtain coverage through a commercial provider. High-risk businesses that cannot find an insurance company willing to take them on can purchase coverage through the state-administered fund. Alternatively, with approval, your business may opt to self-insure.
A local independent agent can help you compare rates from a few competing providers so you can be sure you are getting this mandatory coverage at a competitive rate.
What about Insurance Products for Employee Benefits Packages?
Studies conducted by human resources professionals have shown that when businesses offer competitive employee benefits such as employer-matched 401(k) or 403(b) plans, paid vacation and sick time, life insurance, and health insurance, they find it easier to attract and retain ideal employees.
When you are building an employee benefits package, you will find that there are many different health insurance products available for you to choose from. Policies can be purchased as HMOs, PPOs, or managed care plans, and can have varying copays, deductibles, and coverage levels. This can make it difficult to determine which policies make the best choices.
A local independent insurance agent can explain the pros and cons of each of your various options so that you are able to make an informed decision. Your agent can also obtain a variety of policies and rates that you can compare together. That way, you can be sure that whatever plan you choose to purchase, you are getting it at a good price.
Why Work with an Independent Insurance Agent in Oak Park, MI?
Every business has specific risks and exposures, and these can vary significantly from one company to the next, particularly when they operate in different industries. That is why insurance providers enable you to fully customize your business insurance coverage.
When you are shopping for appropriate coverage for your Oak Park business, an independent agent can offer guidance and advice. Because they are not tied to a single insurance company, these agents can shop around to help you find the best and most affordable insurance policies to meet all of your company’s coverage needs.
Find an insurance agent with an office near you to learn more. 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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