Approximately 80,000 businesses can be found in New York’s Hudson Valley. These can range from large employers like IBM and Nyack Hospital to small Etsy businesses run out of people’s homes. If you have a lot invested in your commercial enterprise, you may want to strongly consider protecting it with a comprehensive business insurance policy plan.
Choosing the right products to include in your business insurance policy package can be difficult, but you do not need to do it alone. Independent agents can help by identifying your company’s specific risks and finding the best policies to cover against them.
Set up a one-on-one consultation with an independent insurance agent near you to learn more and to start comparing customized quotes for business insurance.
Why Is Liability Insurance Important for Businesses in the Hudson Valley, NY?
Business liability insurance is arguably one of the most important parts of every commercial insurance policy package. It is designed to cover court costs, legal fees, damages, and other related expenses if your business is sued for a covered event.
All business insurance policies include, at the very least, commercial general liability insurance (or CGL). This standard coverage has a few coverage components, among them:
- Premises liability insurance: This covers third-party injuries, illnesses, and property damage that occurs due to incidents on your business property for which your company can be considered responsible.
- Product liability insurance: This covers third-party injuries, illnesses, and property damage that is 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.
CGL on its own cannot cover against all the potential liability risks that many businesses face. An independent insurance agent can help you identify your company’s potential liability exposures and can recommend the appropriate policies to cover against them.
Some of the commercial liability insurance products you may want to consider adding to your Hudson Valley 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 in a company vehicle.
- Cyber liability insurance: This is recommended for businesses that store important customer 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 recommended for any business that has employees. It can cover against accusations of perceived illegal employment practices such as harassment, discrimination, retaliation, and wrongful termination.
- Pollution liability insurance: This is important for businesses that sell, use, or produce toxic substances. It can cover cleanup 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 the Hudson Valley.
Can Hudson Valley Business Insurance Cover All Your Business Assets?
Commercial property insurance is designed to compensate your business for loss or damage to property like office furniture, computers, tools, supplies, merchandise, inventory, and outdoor signage if the damage is caused by a covered event.
In the Hudson Valley, businesses are most likely to experience property loss or damage due to hazards such as accidental fires, theft, gusty winds, hail, hurricanes, severe storms, tornadoes, heavy snows, and freezing temperatures.
Fortunately, all of these hazards are covered by commercial property insurance.
Sometimes, adding specialized property insurance policies is 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 is designed to cover this property during the times that it is being transported or is temporarily stored away from your place of business, such as a job site or in a warehouse.
- Bailees insurance: This is important if your company performs alteration, 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 if your company has even a remote risk of experiencing flood damage, since this very expensive hazard is not covered by commercial property insurance. In the Hudson Valley, many businesses have an elevated flood risk.
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, as necessary.
How Can Business Interruption Insurance Help Hudson Valley Businesses?
On May 15, 2018, four different tornadoes touched down in the Hudson Valley. These twisters, which impacted Newburgh, Kent, Saugerties, and Patterson, were responsible for widespread power outages and excessive property 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 time while repairs are made. This is particularly true when widespread damage slows down repair efforts.
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
A closure that lasts for weeks, or even months, can be financially devastating, especially for a small company that doesn’t have a lot to fall back on. Business interruption insurance provides a solution to this problem.
This insurance is designed to provide your company with a continuation of income when a covered event leads to forced long-term closure. That way, your business can afford to pay regular monthly expenses such as rent, utility payments, loan installments, and employee salaries even while unable to generate revenue.
Talk to a local independent insurance agent for help determining whether business interruption insurance is a good fit for your Hudson Valley business.
Do Hudson Valley Businesses Need Workers’ Compensation Insurance?
Workers’ compensation insurance is designed to cover the cost of medical treatment, disability pay, and other expenses related to workplace injuries and occupational illnesses. In the event of a fatal work-related injury, this insurance can also provide long-term benefits to surviving family members.
In the state of New York, all businesses with at least one employee are required by state law to have workers’ compensation insurance. Exceptions are made for sole proprietors and partners with no employees and very few other cases.
The cost of workers’ compensation is based mainly on the types of jobs your workers do. The higher the risk that they will suffer significant injuries on the job, the higher the price for coverage will be. Therefore, it would cost more to cover a worker in an industrial plant than it would to cover a financial analyst at a bank.
In New York, businesses can obtain coverage through the state-administered fund or a private insurer. Alternatively, with approval, some businesses are permitted 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 your coverage at a great price.
What about Insurance Products for Employee Benefits Packages?
Studies conducted by human resource professionals have demonstrated that when businesses offer competitive employee benefits like 401(k) plans, paid vacation time, sick time, life insurance, health insurance, and dental 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 insurance products available for you to choose from. For instance, health insurance policies can be purchased as HMOs, PPOs, or managed care plans. This can make it difficult to determine which policies are 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 present you with a few competing plans and rates so you can be sure that whatever you choose to purchase, you are getting it at a good price.
Why Work with an Independent Insurance Agent in New York’s Hudson Valley?
Every business has specific risks and exposures, and these can vary significantly from one company to the next. That is why insurance providers enable you to fully customize your commercial insurance coverage.
Independent agents can offer you guidance and advice as you are shopping for appropriate coverage for your Hudson Valley business. Because they are independent, 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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