Hickory, NC is well known in the furniture-making industry and is currently one of the world’s top producers of fiber optic cable. This city is a great place for businesses, which is probably why Transportation Insight has headquartered its corporate offices here. If you are among Hickory’s many business owners, you can protect your investment with commercial insurance.
Buying businesses insurance can be complicated. Fortunately, you do not need to go it alone. Local independent insurance agents can help you identify your company’s risks and can advise you about which of the many available policies can best cover against them. Contact an insurance agent in or near Hickory to start building a comprehensive, yet affordable, business insurance plan.
Hickory Business Insurance Provides Liability Protection
Liability insurance is one of the most important parts of any business insurance policy. It is designed to cover court costs, legal fees, and damages that are associated with certain liability lawsuits. Because liability lawsuits can frequently result in judgments that exceed $1 million, this insurance can prove to be extremely valuable to your business. At a minimum, all business insurance policies include commercial general liability insurance (CGL). Your policy’s CGL has two main coverage components:
- Premises liability insurance: Covers third-party injuries, illnesses, and property damage when they occur on your business property.
- Product liability insurance: Covers third-party injuries, illnesses and property damage when they are caused by products your business produces, sells or promotes.
Your local insurance agent can identify any other liability risks your company may face that are not covered by CGL, and can then recommend the appropriate policies to protect against these exposures. Examples of some of the many other commercial liability insurance products that are available to you include:
- Employment practices liability insurance: Covers employers against accusations of illegal business practices such as harassment, discrimination, and wrongful termination
- Liquor liability insurance: Covers businesses that sell or furnish alcoholic beverages in the event that an intoxicated patron causes injury or property damage to others.
- Environmental liability insurance: Covers businesses that use or produce toxic substances in the event that an accident leads to the pollution of the ground, water, or air. This insurance also pays for clean-up costs and damage.
- Cyber liability insurance: Covers businesses that electronically store their customers’ financial and/or personal data in the event that their computer system is hacked and cybercriminals access this data.
- Errors and omissions insurance (E&O): Covers individuals in professional positions against lawsuits for damages caused by errors in judgment and other professional mistakes
You can learn more about these and other liability coverage options by consulting a local independent insurance agent.
Business Insurance Covers Commercial Property in Hickory
Hickory businesses may experience property loss and damage due to such hazards as accidental structure fires and property crimes like theft and vandalism. Severe weather events can also lead to widespread damage. While Hickory does not experience as many severe weather events as much of the state, it is not immune to hazards like heavy winds and freezing temperatures.
- Number of federally declared disasters in NC since 1953: 58
- Most common reasons for declared disasters: Hurricanes, Floods, and Tropical Storms
Fortunately, all business insurance policies include commercial property coverage. This is designed to compensate your business for loss or damage to your commercially owned property, including computers, furniture, outdoor signs, inventory, tools, and more. Some commercial property needs to be covered by specialized insurance such as inland marine insurance or boiler & machinery insurance. Your local insurance agent will be able to help you be certain that all of your business-owned property is appropriately covered.
The Importance of Business Interruption Insurance in Hickory, NC
Major disasters can do more than just damage property. They also have the potential to force businesses to remain closed for an extended period while repairs are made. During a tornado outbreak in 1989, an F4 twister touched down just 6.5 miles from the Hickory city center. It caused several millions of dollars’ worth of damages and forced some businesses to close for several weeks. A closure that lasts for weeks, or even months, can be financially devastating for a small company.
That is why, in times of disaster, business interruption insurance is so important. Business interruption insurance is designed to provide companies with a continuation of income when a covered event leads to a long-term closure. That way, your business can continue to pay monthly expenses, loan payments, and employee salaries even while it is unable to generate revenue. This coverage is typically limited to one year.
Many Hickory Employers Need Workers’ Compensation Insurance
In North Carolina, businesses with three or more employees are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. Some businesses, such as sole proprietors and certain agricultural employers, are exempt. If in doubt about whether you are required by law to carry this insurance, you can consult an experienced independent insurance agent. Workers’ compensation insurance is designed to cover the costs of medical treatment, lost wages, and other associated expenses if your employees are injured or become ill on the job. This insurance can also provide surviving family members with financial compensation in the unfortunate event of a fatal workplace accident.
Workers’ compensation costs are based on your company’s overall payroll and the types of jobs your employees do. The more hazardous the job, the higher the cost for coverage. You can expect it to cost more to cover a tree-trimmer warehouse worker than it would to cover a cashier at a greeting card store. Let an independent insurance agent in Hickory help you find a competitively priced workers’ compensation policy from a provider who specializes in covering businesses in your industry.
Employee Benefits for Small Businesses in Hickory
Studies conducted by human resource management professionals have shown that when businesses offer employee benefits such as paid vacation and sick time, life insurance, and healthcare coverage, they are better able to attract and retain highly skilled workers. Also, employees with health insurance tend to take fewer sick days. This can result in big savings for your business, despite the high cost of healthcare coverage in this country.
- 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
There are many different life and health insurance products available, and this can make it hard to decide which plans are the best to offer in your employee benefits package. Fortunately, independent insurance agents are available to answer your insurance-related questions and explain the pros and cons of each of your various options. Your agent can then help you review a variety of competitively priced policies. That way, you will be able to make an informed decision when making a purchase.
Why Work with One of Hickory’s Independent Insurance Agents?
Every company has its own specific risks. That is why insurance companies make it possible to fully customize your commercial coverage. An independent agent can guide you in your search for the best insurance to cover your particular business. Because they can work with multiple insurance companies, these agents can find you appropriate policies at competitive prices.
Are you ready to discover how easy it can be to build an all-encompassing business insurance portfolio? Find an independent insurance agent near you to get started.
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