There are approximately 1,000 businesses in the Astoria neighborhood of New York City. From large companies that employ hundreds of people to small enterprises run out of people’s homes, every business in this neighborhood plays an important role in the local economy. Business insurance helps these companies stay profitable when disasters strike.
Independent insurance agents make it easy to find the right business insurance products. These experienced professionals can help you build an affordable policy package that is designed to cover against all the potential risks your company faces in Astoria. Contact an insurance agent near you to learn more.
Why Do Businesses in Astoria, NY, Need Liability Insurance?
If a customer, vendor, or employee sues your company, the costs associated with these lawsuits can be overwhelming, even if the courts end up ruling in your favor. That is why liability insurance is such an important part of every commercial insurance policy.
Business liability insurance is designed to cover the various expenses related to liability lawsuits, including court costs, legal defense fees, lost wages, and financial damages.
All business insurance policies include commercial general liability insurance (CGL). CGL covers against many of the most common liability risks faced by businesses. Two of its main coverage components are:
- Premises liability insurance: This can cover third-party injuries, injuries, and damages that occur because of accidents on your business property for which your company can be deemed responsible.
- Product liability insurance: This can cover third-party injuries, illnesses, and damages that occur because of design flaws or defects in products your company produces, sells, or promotes.
Most businesses will need additional insurance policies in order to be fully covered against all of their liability exposures. The following are some of the policies an independent insurance agent in Astoria may recommend including in your business insurance policy package:
- Cyber liability insurance: This can cover your company’s liability expenses if criminals install skimmers on your credit card readers or hack into your business’s computer network and steal customer data like credit card information, social security numbers, or personal details.
- Employment practices liability insurance (EPLI): This can cover your business against lawsuits related to accusations of illegal employment practices such as harassment, discrimination, retaliation, and wrongful termination.
- Liquor liability insurance: This can cover businesses that serve alcoholic beverages. This is necessary because if an intoxicated patron causes injuries or property damage to others, New York’s dram shop laws enable the injured party to sue the business that provided the alcohol.
- Professional liability insurance: Also referred to as errors and omissions or E&O insurance, this can cover individuals in professional positions if they are guilty of negligence, errors in judgment, or other professional mistakes that lead to third-party financial losses, injuries, or damages.
A local independent insurance agent can help you determine whether these or any other commercial liability products are appropriate for your Astoria business.
How Does Property Insurance Protect Astoria Businesses?
Commercial property insurance is another important part of every business insurance policy package. It is designed to cover loss or damage to your company-owned property, including things like office furnishings, supplies, merchandise, inventory, computers, tools, and more.
Businesses in Astoria are most at risk for damages caused by accidental fires, property crimes like theft and embezzlement, and severe weather events like hurricanes, tropical storms, tropical depressions, strong winds, heavy snows, and freezing temperatures. Fortunately, these risks are all covered by commercial property insurance.
Be aware, however, that commercial property insurance excludes coverage against floods. When heavy rains fall in the area, the East River can overflow its banks and drainage systems can become overwhelmed. This can lead to problems with flooding for businesses with first-floor or below ground locations.
In order for your business to be covered against this risk, you will need to include commercial flood insurance in your business insurance policy package. A local independent insurance agent can help you secure an affordable flood insurance policy through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
You may also want to consider adding other supplemental policies such as:
- Inland marine insurance: This can cover your company’s portable assets during the times they are in transit or are being stored off-site.
- Boiler and machinery insurance: This can cover financial losses related to the mechanical failure of your essential business equipment.
- Bailee's insurance: This can cover your customers’ expensive property whenever it is in your business’s custody, care, or control.
Talk to a local independent insurance agent to learn more about these and other business property coverage options.
Is Business Interruption Insurance a Good Idea in Astoria, NY?
Would your business be able to handle the financial repercussions if much of it was destroyed in a disaster like a structure fire? Sure, your commercial property insurance could cover the cost to replace damaged property, but what about the weeks or months you will need to stay closed while you rebuild?
Disasters in New York
- Number of federally declared disasters in NY since 1953: 101
- Most common reasons for declared disasters: Severe storms, floods, and heavy snows
- Average number of tornadoes in NY per year: 9.6
Business interruption insurance is designed to provide your company with a continuation of income if your business is forced to remain closed for an extended time due to damages caused by a covered event.
This insurance provides your company with the funds necessary to cover regular monthly expenses like rent, loan installments, and employee salaries until you are able to resume normal operations. Most policies will provide this coverage for up to one year.
Business interruption insurance isn’t ideal for all companies. A local independent insurance agent can help you evaluate whether this optional coverage is a good fit for your Astoria business.
Do Businesses in Astoria Need Worker's Compensation Insurance?
Worker's compensation insurance is designed to cover the cost of medical treatments, follow-up care, prescriptions, disability pay, and other expenses stemming from work-related injuries and occupational illnesses.
The state of New York requires virtually all businesses that have at least one employee to carry worker's compensation insurance. Exceptions are made only for sole proprietors and partners who have no employees.
Rates for worker's compensation coverage are based mainly on the types of jobs your employees do and how dangerous the work is. For example, an emergency room nurse at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital would cost more to insure than an internal auditor at Goldman Sachs.
Worker's compensation insurance is mandatory. Overpaying for it is not. A local independent insurance agent can help you find a great policy at a competitive price.
What about Employee Benefits for Businesses in Astoria?
When you are shopping for these products, you will find that there are several different health and life insurance policy types available for you to choose from. These can include HMOs, PPOs, and managed care plans with different co-pays and levels of coverage.
You may therefore find it beneficial to have the guidance of a local insurance professional who can help you find the best and most affordable policies.
Why Work with an Independent Insurance Agent in Astoria, NY?
Every business has specific insurance coverage needs, and these can vary significantly from one company to the next. That is why, when it comes to business insurance, there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all policy.
Insurance companies enable business owners to fully customize their commercial insurance coverage. When you are shopping for coverage, a local independent agent can help you navigate through your many options and can explain the ins-and-outs of the various policies that are available to you.
Contact an insurance agent in Astoria to get more information and to start comparing customized business insurance quotes.
TrustedChoice.com Article | Reviewed by Jeffrey Green
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