New York City’s borough of Staten Island is home to about 30,000 businesses. From small family-run companies to the many stores in the Empire Outlets retail complex, each plays a significant role in the health of the local economy. Business insurance protects these companies in times of trouble.
Building a comprehensive business insurance policy package can be a complex task, but it is not something you have to figure out on your own. Independent insurance agents on Staten Island can help you find affordable policies that are customized to meet your company’s specific coverage needs. Talk to an insurance agent near you to learn more.
Why Is Liability Insurance Important for Businesses in Staten Island, NY?
Liability insurance is an essential part of every business insurance policy package. It is designed to cover expenses related to liability lawsuits including court costs, legal fees, and damages.
It is important to be sure that you have the right insurance products to cover against each of your company’s potential liability exposures.
All business insurance policies include, at a minimum, commercial general liability insurance (often referred to as CGL). This insurance is designed to cover against some of the most common liability risks faced by businesses. It includes, but is not limited to:
- Premises liability insurance: This covers third-party injuries and property damage caused by accidents that occur on your business property for which your company can be deemed responsible due to negligence.
- Product liability insurance: This covers third-party injuries, illnesses, and property damage caused by design flaws or defects in the products your company produces, sells, or promotes.
CGL is very useful, but it is not always enough to cover against all liability exposures. An independent insurance agent can help you identify any additional liability risks your company may have and can recommend the right policies to cover against them.
Here are examples of some of the many commercial liability insurance products you may want to consider buying for your Staten Island business:
- Cyber liability insurance: This covers financial losses, liabilities, and restitution if hackers break into your company’s computer system and steal sensitive information like your customers’ financial or personal data, or if criminals install skimmers on your credit card readers for the purpose of committing identity theft and fraud.
- Employment practices liability insurance: This covers against lawsuits related to accusations of illegal employment practices such as discrimination, harassment, breach of contract, and wrongful termination by current, former, or potential employees.
- Professional liability insurance: Also called E&O (errors & omissions insurance), this covers against lawsuits related to professional mistakes. The most well-known form of professional liability insurance is medical malpractice insurance.
- Liquor liability insurance: This covers against your company’s liability risks if you serve alcoholic beverages. If an intoxicated patron causes injuries or property damage to another, New York’s dram shop laws allow the injured party to sue your business for providing the alcohol.
You can learn more about these and many other commercial liability coverage options by consulting a local independent insurance agent.
Does Staten Island Business Insurance Cover All Your Business Assets?
Commercial property insurance is designed to cover the cost to repair or replace your business property including things like office furnishings, supplies, computers, inventory, tools, and merchandise if it is lost or damaged due to a covered event.
On Staten Island, businesses are most likely to experience property loss or damage caused by hazards like theft, fires, severe storms (including hurricanes, tropical storms, tropical depressions, windstorms, and hail), heavy snows, and freezing temperatures. Fortunately, these hazards are all covered by commercial property insurance.
Some businesses may benefit from supplementing their commercial property insurance with additional, specialized policies. Depending on the nature of your business, your insurance agent may recommend purchasing coverage such as:
- Flood insurance: Although hurricanes and tropical storms are covered by commercial property insurance, the flood damage that often accompanies these storms is not. If your business is at risk, a local independent agent can help you secure an affordable policy through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
- Inland marine insurance: This covers your company’s portable property whenever it is in transit or is being stored away from your place of business, such as in a warehouse or at a job site.
- Boiler & machinery insurance: This covers the cost to repair or replace your essential business equipment if it breaks down. It can also compensate your business for losses sustained due to the machinery malfunction.
- Bailee's insurance: This covers your customer’s property whenever it is in your business’s custody, care, or control. This may be particularly beneficial if your company provides repair, alteration, or maintenance services on very expensive items.
A local independent insurance agent can help you be sure that all of your company’s assets are suitably covered and that your coverage limits are high enough to enable your business to rebuild, repair, or replace lost or damaged property as needed.
How Can Business Interruption Insurance Help Staten Island Businesses?
When Hurricane Sandy tore through Staten Island in 2012, it caused significant widespread damage to area homes and businesses.
Major disasters like hurricanes 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.
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 forced long-term closure can be financially devastating, especially for small businesses that don’t have a lot to fall back on. Business interruption insurance was designed to provide a solution to this problem.
This insurance delivers a continuation of income during the times that a covered event leads to a necessary extended closure. That way, your company will have the funds needed to continue paying regular expenses like rent, loan payments, and salaries, until you can resume normal operations.
Business interruption insurance isn’t ideal for every company. Talk to a local independent insurance agent for help figuring whether or not a policy is a good fit for your Staten Island business.
Do Staten Island Businesses Need Workers’ Compensation Insurance?
Even with safety protocols in place, workers sometimes get injured on the job. That is why, in the state of New York, virtually all employers are required to cover their employees with workers’ compensation insurance.
These policies are designed to cover the cost of hospital stays, medical treatments, prescription medications, follow-up care, disability pay, and other expenses related to workplace injuries and occupational illnesses.
Premiums for workers’ compensation are based mainly on the types of jobs your employees do. The higher the risk that your workers will suffer serious injuries on the job, the more it will cost for you to cover them. For instance, an employee who works with dangerous animals at the Staten Island Zoo would cost more to insure than a professor at Wagner College.
Independent insurance agents can obtain customized quotes from a variety of commercial insurers who provide workers’ compensation insurance. That way, you can be certain you are not overpaying for this mandatory coverage.
What about Insurance Products for Employee Benefits Packages?
According to studies done by human resource professionals, businesses that offer their workers benefits like life insurance, health insurance, paid vacation time, sick time, and 401(k) plans with an employer match find it easier to attract and retain some of the most highly qualified workers.
When you are shopping for policies to include in your employee benefits package, you will find there are many different health and life insurance products available for you to choose from. This can make it difficult to decide which policies are best to purchase.
An independent insurance agent can explain the pros and cons of each of your options and can help you compare rates from competing providers so that you are able to make an informed decision.
Why Work with an Independent Insurance Agent in Staten Island, NY?
Every company has its own specific risks, and these can vary significantly from one business to the next. That is why insurance companies make it possible for business owners to fully customize their commercial coverage.
When you are shopping for commercial insurance products, an independent agent can help. Your agent can offer guidance and advice and can shop around to find the best and most competitively priced policies to cover against all of your business’s exposures.
Talk to an independent insurance agent on Staten Island to 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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