Westchester County, which is adjacent to New York City, is a great place to own a business. This county boasts one of the best-educated employee pools in the nation thanks to being home to 28 out of the 100 top school districts in New York State.
From large companies like PepsiCo and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals to small consulting firms run out of people’s homes, every business in Westchester can benefit from the protections of a solid business insurance plan.
Shopping for coverage is easy when you work with a local independent insurance agent. These agents can help you build an affordable business insurance policy package designed to cover against a wide range of potential exposures. Talk to an insurance agent in Westchester County to learn more.
Why Do Businesses in Westchester County Need Liability Insurance?
Liability lawsuits have the potential to bankrupt your business. That is why liability insurance is so important. It can cover the various expenses related to liability lawsuits such as court costs, legal defense fees, and financial damages.
A standard part of business insurance coverage, commercial general liability insurance (CGL) is designed to protect against the most common liability hazards businesses face. The coverage provided by CGL includes, but is not limited to:
- Premises liability insurance: This is designed to cover third-party injuries, injuries, and damage that occurs due to accidents on your business property that can be blamed on your company’s negligence.
- Product liability insurance: This is designed to cover third-party injuries, illnesses, and damage that is caused by defects or design flaws in the products your company produces, sells, or promotes.
- Advertising liability insurance: This is designed to cover your business against accusations of marketing mishaps such as false advertising, deceptive pricing, and copyright infringement.
CGL coverage isn’t always enough to protect all businesses. You may need to purchase additional liability policies for your company to be fully covered against all of its potential liability exposures.
Some of the many commercial liability products you may want to consider purchasing for your Westchester business include:
- Employment practices liability insurance: This is designed to cover your business if a current, former, or prospective employee accuses your company of engaging in illegal employment practices such as discrimination, harassment, retaliation, or wrongful termination.
- Cyber liability insurance: This is designed to cover damage and provide restitution to affected individuals if cybercriminals install skimmers on your credit card readers or break into your company’s computer system and steal sensitive information like your customers’ financial and personal data.
- Liquor liability insurance: This is designed to protect businesses that serve alcoholic beverages if an intoxicated patron goes on to cause injuries or property damage to another while under the influence. This is necessary because New York’s dram shop laws allow someone who is injured by the intoxicated person to name the business that provided the drinks in their lawsuit.
- Commercial vehicle liability insurance: This is designed to cover businesses that own and operate vehicles. It can cover the increased liability risks businesses face if an employee causes an accident while driving a company-owned vehicle.
- Professional liability insurance: This is designed to cover individuals in professional positions if an error in judgment or other professional mistake results in injuries, financial losses, or other damage to clients.
Consult a local independent insurance agent to learn more about these and any other commercial liability insurance products that may be a good fit for your business in Westchester.
How Does Property Insurance Protect Westchester Businesses?
Commercial property insurance is designed to cover loss or damage to your company-owned assets like office furniture, supplies, computers, merchandise, inventory, and tools. This coverage is a standard part of every business insurance policy.
Businesses in Westchester are most at risk for loss or damage caused by accidental fires, theft, and severe weather events like hurricanes, tropical storms, electrical storms, strong winds, heavy snows, and freezing temperatures. Fortunately, these hazards are all covered by commercial property insurance.
In addition to your standard property coverage, you may also want to consider purchasing supplemental policies such as:
- Flood insurance: Commercial property insurance excludes coverage against floods, so flood insurance is important for businesses that are at risk. An independent agent can help you secure an affordable policy through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
- Inland marine insurance: This insurance is designed to cover your portable business 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 is designed to cover repair costs and business losses related to the mechanical failure of your essential business machinery and equipment.
- Bailees insurance: This is designed to cover valuable property belonging to your customers whenever it is in your business’s custody, care, or control, such as if you are performing alteration, maintenance, or repair services on it.
Talk to your local insurance agent to learn more about your various business property coverage options.
Is Business Interruption Insurance a Good Idea in Westchester, NY?
When it comes to major disasters like hurricanes and accidental structure fires, you can be hit with more than just excessive damage to your business property.
If your business must remain closed for several weeks while structural repairs are made, the loss of income during that time can be overwhelming. This is particularly true for small businesses that don’t have a lot to fall back on.
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 during the times it must remain closed for an extended period due to damage caused by a covered event.
This optional coverage provides the funds needed for your business to keep paying regular expenses such as monthly bills, loan installments, and employee salaries until you can resume normal operations.
Business interruption insurance is not a good fit for every company. A local independent insurance agent can help you determine whether it makes sense for your Westchester business.
Do Businesses in Westchester Need Workers’ Compensation Insurance?
With very few exceptions, the state of New York requires all employers to cover their full- and part-time workers with workers’ compensation insurance.
If your employees are injured while doing their jobs or if they come down with an occupational illness due to exposure to toxins in the workplace, workers’ compensation insurance can cover any necessary hospital stays, medical treatments, follow-up care, prescriptions, and other related costs.
This insurance can also provide injured workers with paid time off while they recuperate. Depending on the nature of the injury, workers can qualify for total or partial disability pay. In the unfortunate event that an accident is fatal, the deceased employee’s spouse and dependents can also receive long-term compensation.
Rates for workers’ compensation coverage are based primarily on the number of employees you have and the types of jobs they do. The more dangerous the job, the more coverage will cost. Therefore, a forklift operator at a bottling plant would cost more to insure than a loan officer at a financial institution.
Let a local independent agent match you up with an insurance company that specializes in covering businesses like yours and that offers this coverage at a competitive price.
What about Employee Benefits for Businesses in Westchester County?
As a business owner in Westchester, you may be thinking about putting together a benefits package that includes perks such as paid time off, an employer-matched 401(k) plan, life insurance, and health insurance options for your employees.
Human resource professionals have demonstrated that when businesses offer an attractive benefits package, they find it easier to recruit and retain highly qualified employees, and many small businesses qualify for tax incentives when they subsidize employee healthcare.
There are many different insurance products available to choose from when you are building an employee benefits package. You may therefore find it beneficial to have guidance and advice from a local insurance professional.
Talk to an independent agent near you for help finding the best and most affordable life and health insurance policies.
Why Work with an Independent Insurance Agent in New York's Westchester County?
Every business has specific insurance coverage needs, and these can vary significantly from one company to the next, especially if they operate in different industries. That is why when it comes to business insurance, there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all policy.
A local independent agent can help you navigate through your various coverage options as you build your business insurance policy package. These agents are committed to finding you the policies your company needs at the most competitive prices. Find an insurance agent near you to get started.
TrustedChoice.com Article | Reviewed by Jeffrey Green
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