There are more than 3,500 businesses located in the city of Hamilton. From the large businesses in Hamilton Enterprise Park to the smaller shops and restaurants that line Main Street, each plays an important role in the community. Business insurance helps these companies stay profitable in times of trouble.
If you are a business owner in this Cincinnati suburb, a local independent insurance agent can help you build an insurance policy package that will provide suitable coverage against all of your company’s potential exposures. Consult an insurance agent in or near Hamilton to learn more.
Why Do Businesses in Hamilton, Ohio, Need Liability Insurance?
Liability lawsuits brought against businesses frequently result in judgments exceeding $1 million. That is why liability insurance is so important. It is designed to cover the various expenses related to liability lawsuits such as court costs, legal defense fees, and financial damages.
All business insurance policies include commercial general liability insurance (CGL) as a standard part of their coverage. This insurance is designed to cover many of the most common liability hazards businesses can face. The coverage offered by CGL includes, but is not limited to:
- Premises liability insurance: This can cover third-party injuries, injuries, and damage that occurs due to accidents on your business property
- Product liability insurance: This can cover third-party injuries, illnesses, and damage that is caused by products your company produces, sells, or promotes.
CGL insurance by itself isn’t enough to fully cover most businesses against all of their liability exposures. Additional liability products may therefore be necessary. Some policies you may want to consider for your business include:
- Cyber liability insurance: This is can cover your company’s liability expenses and financial responsibilities if cybercriminals manage to install skimmers on your credit card readers or break into your company’s computer system and steal customer information like financial, credit, and personal data.
- Liquor liability insurance: This can protect businesses that sell, serve, or otherwise furnish alcoholic beverages. If an intoxicated patron causes injuries or property damage to others, Ohio’s dram shop laws enable the injured party to sue the establishment that provided the alcohol.
- Employment practices liability insurance (EPLI): This can cover your business against accusations of illegal employment practices such as discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and wrongful termination.
- Pollution liability insurance: This can cover cleanup costs, damage, and other financial responsibilities if an accident at your workplace causes toxic substances used, sold, or produced by your company to pollute the environment, including the land, air, or water.
Talk to a local independent insurance agent to learn more about these and any other commercial liability insurance products that may be right for your Hamilton business.
How Does Property Insurance Protect Hamilton Businesses?
Commercial property insurance is designed to cover loss or damage to your company-owned assets including things like computers, office furniture, supplies, merchandise, display cases, and outdoor signs. This coverage is a standard part of every business insurance policy.
Businesses in Hamilton are most at risk for damages caused by accidental fires, property crimes, and severe weather events like storms, gusty winds, tornadoes, hail, 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:
- Inland marine insurance: This can cover your portable business property whenever it is in transit or stored off-site, such as in a warehouse or at a jobsite.
- Boiler & machinery insurance: This can cover repair costs and business losses related to mechanical malfunctions of your essential business equipment.
- Bailees insurance: This can cover valuable property belonging to your customers whenever it is in your business’s custody, care, or control, such as while you are performing alterations, maintenance, or repair work on it.
Talk to your local insurance agent to learn more about your various business property coverage options.
A Word about Flood Damage in Hamilton
Much has been done to protect the city of Hamilton since the historic flood of 1913. While the city is not likely to see a disastrous flood of that magnitude again, flooding is still a concern here, particularly for property owners near the Great Miami River.
As recently as June of 2016, Hamilton residents and business owners experienced flash flooding following heavy rainfalls. Main Street had to be shut down when standing water left motorists stranded and flooded into many businesses.
Be aware that even though damage caused by severe weather events is typically covered by commercial property insurance, damage caused by floods is not. That is why supplementing business coverage with a commercial flood insurance policy is often a good idea.
Flood insurance policies are backed by the federal government and can provide your business with up to $500,000 in structural coverage and $500,000 in property coverage. Talk to a local independent insurance agent for help assessing your flood risk and to get help securing an affordable policy.
Is Business Interruption Insurance a Good Idea in Hamilton, OH?
Tornado activity in the Hamilton area is 75% greater than the national average.
Some of the worst to strike near this city include an F5 twister that touched down 12.6 miles from the city center in 1974 and an F4 tornado that struck 13 miles away in 1990. Each of these tornadoes causes millions of dollars worth of damage to area homes and businesses.
Disasters in Ohio
- Number of federally declared disasters in OH since 1953: 59
- Most common reasons for declared disasters: Severe storms, floods, and tornadoes
- Average number of tornadoes in OH per year: 19.2
A major disaster, like a tornado or an out-of-control structure fire, can necessitate you to shut down your business for several weeks while repairs are made. Business interruption insurance is designed to provide your company with a continuation of income during such times.
This optional insurance enables your business to continue paying monthly bills, loan installments, employee salaries, and other regular expenses without sustaining large financial losses despite the temporary lack of revenue. This coverage can continue until you are able to resume normal operations.
Business interruption insurance is not right for every business. A local independent insurance agent can help you determine whether it is a good fit for your Hamilton business.
Do Businesses in Hamilton Need Workers' Compensation Insurance?
With few exceptions, the state of Ohio requires all businesses to cover their employees with workers' compensation insurance.
If an employee is injured on the job or is stricken with an occupational illness, workers’ compensation insurance can cover the cost of any necessary medical treatments, follow-up care, and prescriptions. It can also provide the injured worker with disability pay while recuperating.
Rates for workers' compensation coverage are based on your company’s overall payroll, the number of employees you have, and the types of jobs they do. The more dangerous the jobs your workers do, the more coverage will cost. Therefore, while they may work for the same contractor, a construction worker would cost more to insure than an architect.
When it comes to workers’ compensation insurance, Ohio is what is known as a monopolistic state. This means that policies can only be purchased through the state-administered fund. Because there is no competition from private insurers in this state, an independent insurance agent will be able you help you secure a policy but cannot shop around to find coverage at a competitive rate.
What about Employee Benefits for Businesses in Hamilton?
As a business owner in Hamilton, you may be considering offering your workers an employee benefits package that includes perks such as a 401k plan, paid vacation and sick time, health insurance, and life insurance.
- Approximate annual amount spent on healthcare coverage by OH businesses: $2 billion
- Average annual cost of health care in OH: $5,886/person or $15,955/family
Even though purchasing healthcare coverage for your employees can be expensive, doing so frequently provides money-saving benefits for your business.
For instance, studies done by human resource professionals have shown that when businesses offer competitive benefits, they find it easier to recruit and retain highly qualified employees. Also, many businesses can benefit from tax incentives when they subsidize healthcare coverage.
There are several different life and health insurance products available for you to choose from. You may therefore find it beneficial to have guidance and advice from a local insurance professional. Your agent can help you find appropriate coverage at a competitive price.
Why Work with an Independent Insurance Agent in Hamilton, OH?
Every business has specific insurance coverage needs, and these needs can vary significantly from one company to the next. The wide range of insurance products and options that are available to business owners makes it possible for you to fully customize your business insurance policy package.
A local independent agent can help you navigate through your many choices as you build your business insurance policy package. That way, you can be sure you are purchasing only the products that are appropriate for your Hamilton business. Contact an insurance agent near you to get started.
TrustedChoice.com Article | Reviewed by Jeffrey Green
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