Binghamton, NY, is home to more than 3,500 businesses. Not all will be as successful as Dick’s Sporting Goods, which was founded here in 1948, but from sole proprietorships run out of people’s homes to the many stores and shopping centers that line the Vestal Parkway, every business plays an important role in the local economy.
Whether your business is large or small, business insurance can help it stay profitable in times of trouble.
Independent agents in Binghamton can help you build a solid business insurance policy package by identifying your company’s specific exposures and recommending the best and most affordable insurance products to cover against them. Contact an insurance agent near you to learn more.
Why Do Binghamton, New York, Businesses Need Liability Insurance?
When companies face lawsuits, things can get costly. That’s why liability insurance is one of the most important parts of every business insurance policy package. It can cover court costs, legal defense fees, financial damages, and other expenses if your business is sued for a covered event.
You will need to be sure that you have the right kinds of insurance to cover against each of the specific liability risks your Binghamton business faces. A local independent agent can help you determine which policies your company needs, and which it can do without.
The following are some of the many commercial liability products that your agent may recommended including in your business insurance policy package:
- Premises liability insurance: This covers third-party injuries, illnesses, and property damages that occur due to accidents on your business property for which your company can be considered responsible.
- Product liability insurance: This covers third-party injuries, illnesses, and property damages that are caused by defects or design flaws in products that your company produces, sells, or promotes.
- Cyber liability insurance: This covers the resultant costs if criminals install skimmers on your credit card readers or hack into your computer system and steal sensitive customer information such as financial details, social security numbers, or personal data. It can cover restitution and credit monitoring services for affected individuals.
- Employment practices liability insurance (EPLI): This covers against accusations of perceived illegal employment practices such as harassment, discrimination, retaliation, and wrongful termination.
- Commercial vehicle liability insurance: This covers your company’s financial obligations if one of your employees causes a collision while driving a company-owned vehicle. This insurance is required if your business owns a vehicle or fleet of vehicles.
- Liquor liability insurance: This covers companies that serve alcoholic beverages. In New York, it is illegal to serve alcohol to a visibly intoxicated person. If such a person is served and then goes on to cause injuries or property damage to another, New York’s dram shop laws allow the injured party to sue the business that provided the drinks.
You can learn more about these and other commercial liability policies that are available to you by consulting an independent insurance agent in Binghamton.
What Insurance Products Cover Your Business Property?
All business insurance policies include commercial property insurance. It is designed to cover the cost of replacing lost or damaged business property such as merchandise, inventory, supplies, office furniture, computers, tools, and outdoor signs.
Businesses in Binghamton, NY, are most likely to experience property loss or damage due to hazards such as accidental structure fires, property crimes, and severe weather events like electrical storms, windstorms, hurricanes, heavy snows, and freezing temperatures. Fortunately, commercial property insurance covers against damages caused by all these risks.
Sometimes, additional property insurance products are needed. When reviewing your company’s coverage needs, an independent insurance agent may recommend supplementing your commercial property insurance with products such as:
- Flood insurance: This is important because commercial property insurance does not cover against flood damage. Businesses located near the Susquehanna and Chenango Rivers are most at risk, but when prolonged heavy rains fall in the area, flash flooding can happen just about anywhere in Binghamton.
- Inland marine insurance: This is important if your business has expensive portable property that will be moved around. It can cover this property whenever it is in transit or when it is being stored away from your place of business, such as at a job site.
- Bailee's insurance: This is important if your business provides repair, maintenance, or alteration services on expensive items owned by your customers. It is designed to cover your clients’ property whenever it is in your company’s care, custody, or control.
A local 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 that your company can afford to rebuild, repair, or replace, as necessary.
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Why Is Business Interruption Insurance a Good Idea in Binghamton, NY?
One of the worst storms ever to hit Binghamton was Hurricane Hazel in 1954. This storm brought winds of up to 94 miles per hour. Throughout the city, trees were uprooted, roofs were blown off, and buildings were torn from their foundations. The area also experienced extensive power outages.
When disasters like this strike, it can take a long time before businesses can complete repairs and reopen for business. Most businesses would not be able to financially withstand a long-term closure such as this. Would yours?
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 offers a solution to this problem by providing your company with a continuation of income until it is able to resume normal operations. This coverage is only applicable if your company is facing a forced closure due to a covered event.
Business interruption insurance enables your company to continue paying regular monthly expenses such as utility payments, loan installments, and employee salaries without sustaining a large financial loss, even though it is temporarily unable to generate revenue.
Talk to an independent insurance agent for help determining whether this optional insurance is a good fit for your Binghamton business.
Do Businesses in Binghamton Need Worker's Compensation Insurance?
If you own a business in Binghamton, you are expected to provide a safe and healthy workplace for your employees. Unfortunately, even when employers take all reasonable precautions, workers are sometimes injured on the job or are stricken with an occupational illness.
Worker's compensation insurance is designed to cover the cost of medical treatments, hospital stays, follow-up care, disability pay, prescription medications, and other expenses related to workplace injuries. This not only protects your employees from large financial losses related to these injuries, it also shields your company from potential liability lawsuits.
All employers in New York are required to cover their full- and part-time employees with worker's compensation insurance. The only exceptions are for sole proprietors or partners who have no employees, but they can cover themselves if they wish to.
Coverage can be purchased through a commercial provider or through New York’s state-administered fund. Approved businesses are permitted to self-insure. A local independent insurance agent can help you compare policies and rates so you can be sure you are buying great coverage at a competitive price.
What about Insurance Products for Employee Benefits Packages?
Are you thinking about offering employee benefits packages to your workers? Although healthcare coverage can be rather expensive, subsidizing it for your employees may have cost saving benefits for your company.
According to studies done by human resources managers, companies that offer competitive employee benefits packages find it easier to attract and retain some of the most qualified employees. Also, some small businesses can benefit from tax incentives for purchasing healthcare products for employees.
There are many different health insurance and life insurance policies available for you to choose from. This can make it difficult to determine which are best to include in your employee benefits package.
An independent insurance agent in Binghamton can help by explaining the pros and cons of each of your options and by providing you with customized quotes from competing insurance providers.
Why Work with an Independent Insurance Agent in Binghamton, NY?
Every company has its own specific risks and exposures. That is why insurance companies enable business owners to fully customize their business insurance policy packages.
Independent agents make shopping for coverage easy and stress-free by providing guidance and by shopping around to help you find the best and most affordable policies to cover your business. Set up an obligation-free consultation with an insurance agent nearby in Binghamton to get started.
TrustedChoice.com Article | Reviewed by Jeffrey Green
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