The economy in Chapel Hill, NC is driven in large part by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and UNC Health Care. However, it is the thousands of small businesses in this city, particularly in the food and entertainment industries, that give Chapel Hill its vibrant edge. If you are a business owner in Chapel Hill, you will want to be sure to protect your investment with a comprehensive business insurance plan.
A local independent insurance agent can help. A business insurance policy is designed to absorb the various expenses — such as court costs, legal fees, and damages —associated with covered liability lawsuits. Lawsuits against businesses frequently exceed $1 million in costs, so this coverage can prove invaluable. All business insurance policies include commercial general liability insurance (CGL). It has two major coverage components:
- Premises liability insurance: Covers third-party damage, injuries, or illnesses that occur due to an accident on your business property.
- Product liability insurance: Covers third-party damage, injuries, or illnesses caused by a defect in a product your company produces, sells or promotes.
Businesses often have additional liability risks that go beyond what CGL insurance can cover. Fortunately, there are several other types of commercial liability insurance available so each of these exposures can be covered. Examples of some of the liability products you may want to consider include:
- Cyber liability insurance: This covers your business if your electronic data is hacked and cyber criminals access personal or financial data regarding your customers. It can pay for damages and compensation to those who were affected by the data breach.
- Employment practices liability insurance: This covers your business against accusations of illegal business practices such as wrongful termination, discrimination, and harassment.
- Environmental liability insurance: This cover your businesses for clean-up costs and damages related to the accidental pollution of the land, water, or air.
- Liquor liability insurance: This covers businesses that sell, serve or otherwise furnish alcohol in the event that an intoxicated patron causes injury or property damage to others.
- Professional liability insurance: This covers individuals in professional positions in the event that errors in judgment or other professional mistakes cause third-party damage.
An independent insurance agent can help you customize your business insurance policy with the liability products that are appropriate for your Chapel Hill business.
Businesses in Chapel Hill Need Property Insurance
All business insurance policies also include commercial property insurance. This is designed to cover your company-owned property—including merchandise, machinery, computers, tools, office furniture, outdoor signs, and more—in the event that is damaged or destroyed by a covered event such as a fire or a windstorm.
- Number of federally declared disasters in NC since 1953: 58
- Most common reasons for declared disasters: Hurricanes and Tropical Storms
Businesses in Chapel Hill are most likely to experience significant losses due to damage caused by hurricanes and sudden freezing temperatures. Hurricanes can bring powerful destructive winds, and freezing temperatures can lead to frozen pipes and water damage. It is important to be aware that although your business insurance policy may cover against hurricane damage, it will not cover the flooding that often accompanies these storms. If your business is at risk for damage caused by rising waters and flash flooding, your local insurance agent can help you supplement your coverage with a commercial flood insurance policy.
The Importance of Business Interruption Insurance in Chapel Hill
Damage to your business-owned property isn’t the only expensive risk you face during a catastrophic event. A major disaster like a structure fire could potentially force your businesses to remain closed for weeks—or even months—while repairs are made. Without a steady stream of revenue, many businesses could sink into bankruptcy or suffer unmanageable financial losses. Business interruption insurance protects against this risk.
It provides a continuation of income during the times that your company is forced to temporarily close down because of damage caused by a covered event. Business interruption insurance enables your company to pay expenses, like loan payments and employee salaries, until you are able to resume normal business operations. This coverage is frequently limited to twelve months.
Workers' Compensation Insurance for Chapel Hill Employers
Your business is responsible for covering the costs associated with workplace injuries and illnesses. Workers’ compensation insurance is designed to cover these expenses. It pays for your employees’ medical treatment, lost wages, and other related expenses if they are hurt or become ill while doing their jobs. In North Carolina, businesses that have three or more employees are required by law to carry workers’ compensation insurance. Exceptions are made for:
- Sole proprietors, LLC members, and partners
- Agricultural employers (unless the business has 10 or more non-seasonal agricultural workers)
- Domestic workers and other household servants
Your independent insurance agent can help you find appropriate, competitively priced workers compensation insurance coverage for your businesses.
Employee Benefits for Businesses in Chapel Hill
Health insurance is costly. However, providing subsidized coverage to your employees has money-saving benefits. Studies by human resource professionals have demonstrated that workers who have health insurance take fewer sick days and that offering an attractive benefits package helps companies recruit and retain capable employees.
- Average amount spent on healthcare coverage by NC businesses: $1,568,586
- Ranked 41st for highest medical insurance costs in the US
- Average annual cost of health care in NC: $5,310/person or $15,023/family
If you are shopping for health and life insurance policies to include in your employee benefits package, you will find that there are many different policy types and options available for you to choose from. If you are not familiar with all the ins and outs of these insurance products, navigating through your many options can be time-consuming and can leave you with more questions than answers. You may, therefore, find it beneficial to have the guidance of an experienced insurance professional. Local independent agents will be happy to help you find suitable coverage at a competitive price.
Why Work with an Independent Insurance Agent in Chapel Hill, NC?
Insurance companies offer a wide variety of commercial insurance products and options so that business owners can fully customize their company’s insurance portfolio. Independent insurance agents can help you navigate through your many options so you can choose the right policies to meet your company’s particular coverage needs. Because they do not work for a specific insurance company, these agents are able to work with several different providers when they are searching for the best insurance coverage for your company.
Contact an independent insurance agent with an office in Chapel Hill to start comparing customized business insurance quotes.
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