There are currently more than 2.1 million small businesses operating in the state of New York. Nearly 3,800 of these businesses can be found in the upstate city of Schenectady. Businesses in the retail trade and manufacturing industries are most abundant in this city, but companies in a wide range of industries have found success here.
If you are a business owner in Schenectady, you will want to be sure to protect your investment with a comprehensive commercial insurance plan. Contact a local independent insurance agent for recommendations about the appropriate business insurance solutions to protect against each of your company’s exposures.
Liability Insurance for Small Businesses in Schenectady
Liability lawsuits against businesses often end in judgments of $1 million or more. Even if the courts rule in your favor, the cost of legal defense and other expenses related to liability lawsuits can be extremely expensive. That is why liability insurance is a crucial part of your business insurance coverage.
All business insurance policies include commercial general liability insurance (CGL). This basic liability insurance is designed to cover against some of the most common accountability risks businesses face. CGL has two main coverage components:
- Premises liability insurance: Covers third-party injuries, illnesses, and damage that happen on your business property.
- Product liability insurance: Covers third-party injuries, illnesses, and damage caused by products your company produces, sells, or promotes.
Depending on the type of business you own, you may need to purchase additional insurance products in order to be fully covered against all of your liability exposures. Examples of some of the many other commercial liability products that are available to you include:
- Liquor liability insurance: Covers businesses that sell, serve, or otherwise furnish alcoholic beverages in the event that an intoxicated patron causes damage or injury to others.
- Environmental liability insurance: Covers damage and clean-up costs if an accident results in toxic substances used by your business polluting the land, water, or air.
- Employment practices liability insurance: Covers your business against accusations of perceived discrimination, wrongful termination, and other illegal business practices.
- Professional liability insurance: Covers individuals in professional positions if they are sued for damage caused by professional mistakes such as errors in judgement or negligence.
Your independent insurance agent can help you determine whether these or any other commercial liability policies are appropriate for your Schenectady business.
Cyber Liability Insurance for Schenectady Small Businesses
Does your business use computers to record, track, or store your customers’ personal or financial data? If so, did you know that this puts your business at risk? Even when you use firewalls, passwords, and other security measures, determined hackers can often find a way around them.
- Number of identity theft complaints in New York per year: 15,959
- Ranked 17th highest for identity theft complaints in the US
- Only 22% of businesses have a cyber/data breach response plan
If hackers manage to accesses your business computer system, they can use the data they obtain to commit crimes like identity theft and fraud. Those affected can then hold your business liable for their losses. This can get quite expensive.
That is why a relatively new liability product, cyber liability insurance, was created. This insurance can help your business in the event that it is targeted by cybercriminals. Be sure to ask your insurance agent for more information about how cyber liability insurance can protect your Schenectady business.
Property Insurance for Small Businesses in Schenectady, NY
Commercial property coverage is a main component of all business insurance policies. It is designed shield your business’s property against loss or damage caused by property crimes, natural disasters, fires, and other risks.
In Schenectady, the property crime rate is nearly double the state rate, so it is imperative that your business is covered against theft, vandalism, and other property crimes. Furthermore, businesses in the area are at risk for damage caused by heavy snow, freezing pipes, severe storms, and hurricane-force wind.
In some cases, business property needs to be insured by specialized policies, such as inland marine insurance or boiler & machinery insurance. Also, as flash flooding does happen in Schenectady, you may want to strongly consider supplementing your business insurance with a commercial flood insurance policy.
Your independent insurance agent will be able to offer you trustworthy advice so that you can be sure that all of your company’s assets are appropriately protected.
Business Interruption Insurance for Businesses in Schenectady
Natural disasters can be damaging, not just to your business property, but to your bottom line. If your business is forced to close down for an extended period so repairs can be made, the loss of income can be financially devastating. That is why business interruption insurance was created.
- Number of federally declared disasters in NY since 1953: 93
- Most common reasons for declared disasters: Severe Storm, Flood, Heavy Snow
Schenectady businesses may face long closures after severe weather events. While tornadoes are uncommon in Schenectady, they can happen. In 1960, an F3 twister touched down just 2.5 miles from the Schenectady city center, causing more than $5 million in damages. An event like this has the potential to force a business to close for months.
Business interruption insurance is designed to provide a continuation of income when your company suffers a forced extended closure. This insurance, which is usually limited to one year, enables you to continue pay employee salaries and monthly expenses even while no income is being generated. Talk to your local insurance agent to learn more.
Workers' Compensation for Schenectady Businesses
Workers are sometimes injured on the job. Whether your workers suffer a physical injury or they become ill because of exposure to a toxic substance, as their employer, you are responsible for covering the cost of their medical treatment and lost income. Workers’ compensation insurance is designed to cover these expenses.
Nearly all businesses in the state of New York are required by law to carry workers’ compensation insurance. Exceptions are made for sole proprietors and partners with no employees. Failure to carry workers compensation can result in a penalty of $2,000 for every 10 days that you are without coverage.
The cost for workers’ compensation insurance is based on your company’s overall payroll and the likelihood of employee injuries based on the types of job your workers do. It would cost more to cover a worker in one of Schenectady’s many manufacturing plants than to cover a cashier at the local Price Chopper grocery store.
Your local independent agent can help you secure an appropriate policy either through a commercial provider or through the State Insurance Fund (SIF).
Employee Benefits for Small Businesses in Schenectady
Human resources professionals have demonstrated that there are advantages to offering benefits packages to your employees. A good package that includes perks such as paid vacation and sick time, health insurance, and life insurance can help you attract and retain ideal employees. Finding the best insurance products to offer your employees, however, can be challenging.
- Average amount spent on healthcare coverage by NY businesses: $1,568,586
- Ranked 3rd for highest medical insurance costs in the US
- Average annual cost of health care in NY: $6,086/person or $17,530/family
There are several different life and health insurance policy types and options that you can choose from. An independent insurance agent can explain your various choices so you are in a position to make an informed decision about which is the best to purchase. Talk to your local agent to learn more.
Why Work with an Independent Insurance Agent?
There are many different commercial insurance products and options you can choose from when you are building a coverage portfolio for your Schenectady business. This can make shopping for insurance confusing, especially if you are unfamiliar with the ins and outs of business insurance. Independent insurance agents in Schenectady can help.
These insurance professionals can help you find appropriate commercial insurance policies at competitive rates. Find an insurance agent in or near Schenectady to learn more, and you can start comparing appropriately customized business insurance quotes in no time.
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