The city of Lakewood is home to more than 4,500 businesses representing several different industries. From the small companies run out of people’s homes to the many businesses that line Detroit Avenue, each plays an important role in the local economy. If you own a company in this vibrant city, business insurance can help it stay profitable in times of disaster.
Building a comprehensive business insurance policy package can be a challenging task, but you do not need to do it alone. Local independent insurance agents can help you find affordable policies that are suitable to meet your company’s specific coverage needs. Talk to an insurance agent in Lakewood to learn more.
Why Is Liability Insurance Important for Businesses in Lakewood, Ohio?
Liability insurance is an essential part of any business insurance policy package. It is designed to cover the various expenses related to liability lawsuits such as court costs, legal fees, and damages.
It is imperative that you have the right kinds of liability insurance to cover against each of your company’s exposures.
All business insurance policies include, at a minimum, commercial general liability insurance (CGL). CGL is designed to cover against many common risks faced by businesses. It includes, but is not limited to:
- Premises liability insurance: This is designed to cover third-party injuries, illnesses, and property damage caused by accidents that occur on your business property.
- Product liability insurance: This is designed to cover third-party injuries, illnesses, and property damage caused by design flaws, defects, or other problems with the products your company produces, sells, or promotes.
CGL is very useful, but it is not always enough to protect against all liability risks. An independent insurance agent can help you identify any additional exposures your company may have and can recommend the right policies to cover against them. Examples of some of the many other liability insurance products you may want to consider include:
- Employment practices liability insurance: This is ideal for companies that have employees. It can cover against lawsuits related to accusations of illegal employment practices such as discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and wrongful termination.
- Cyber liability insurance: This is ideal for any company that accepts credit cards or stores customer data electronically. It can cover your company’s financial obligations if criminals successfully install skimmers on your credit card readers or hackers break into your computer system and steal sensitive information.
- Environmental liability insurance: This is ideal for any company that uses, sells or produces toxic substances. It can cover cleanup costs and damage if an accident at your place of business leads to the pollution of the ground, water, or air by these substances.
- Liquor liability insurance: This is ideal for any company that sells, serves, or otherwise furnishes alcoholic beverages. It can cover your company’s liability expenses if an intoxicated customer cause injuries or property damage to others. This is necessary because Ohio’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 Lakewood Business Insurance Cover All Your Business Assets?
Commercial property insurance is designed to cover the cost to repair or replace your business property if it is lost or damaged due to a covered event. This covers a wide range of assets such as office furniture, computers, inventory, tools, supplies, shelving, and outdoor signs.
In Lakewood, businesses are most likely to experience property loss or damage caused by hazards like theft, accidental fires, and severe weather events like windstorms, hail, and freezing temperatures.
Because of its proximity to Lake Erie, this area is frequently subjected to lake effect precipitation. This can lead to torrential downpours, ice storms, and heavy snows, which can also damage business property.
Fortunately, all these hazards are covered by commercial property insurance.
Some businesses may benefit from supplementing their property coverage with specialized policies such as:
- Commercial flood insurance: This is important because floods are not covered by commercial property insurance. In Lakewood, businesses near Rocky River are most at risk. But when heavy rains fall, which they frequently do in this city, flash flooding can happen just about anywhere.
- Inland marine insurance: This is designed to cover your company’s portable property during the times that it is in transit or being stored away from your place of business, such as in a warehouse or at a job site.
- Bailees insurance: This is designed to cover your customer’s property whenever it is in your business’s custody, care, or control. This insurance is essential if your company provides repair, alteration, or maintenance services on particularly expensive items.
- Boiler & machinery insurance: This is designed to cover repair or replacement costs if your company’s essential equipment malfunctions or breaks down. It can also compensate your business for losses sustained due to these machinery malfunctions, such as if you lose perishable food when a freezer malfunctions, or if you must close to customers due to lack of heat in the winter.
A local independent insurance agent can help you be sure that all of your company’s assets are suitably covered by appropriate policies.
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How Can Business Interruption Insurance Help Lakewood Businesses?
The tornado risk in the Lakewood area is relatively low. In fact, it is 5% smaller than the national average. This is not to say, however, that tornadoes are not a concern in this city. For instance, in 1953 an F4 twister touched down just 4.4 miles from the Lakewood city center, and in 1965, another F4 struck just 10 miles away. Would your business be able to survive if a tornado wiped it out?
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
Disasters like tornadoes 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. Most small businesses cannot financially handle long-term forced closure.
Fortunately, business interruption insurance offers a solution to this problem.
This insurance can provide your business with a continuation of income during the times that a covered event leads to a long-term forced closure. That way, your company will have the funds necessary to continue paying regular monthly expenses 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 deciding whether a policy is a good fit for your Lakewood business.
Do Lakewood Businesses Need Workers' Compensation Insurance?
With few exceptions, all employers in Ohio are required to carry workers' compensation insurance. This insurance is designed to cover the cost of medical treatment, ambulance rides, hospital stays, disability pay, and other expenses related to workplace injuries and occupational illnesses.
Your price for workers' compensation will be 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. Therefore, a nurse in the emergency room at Cleveland Clinic Lakewood would cost more to insure than a busboy at Aladdin’s Eatery.
Ohio is what is known as a monopolistic state. This means that all workers’ compensation policies must be purchased through Ohio’s state-administered fund.
Because there is no competition from private insurers in this state, independent agents cannot shop around to find you the most affordable policy. They can, however, help you secure the policy you are required to have when you are building your business insurance policy package.
What about Insurance Products for Employee Benefits Packages?
Are you considering putting together an employee benefits package for your workers? Doing so may be a good idea.
According to research done by human resource professionals, businesses that offer their employees benefits like health insurance, life insurance, paid vacation time, and sick time find it easier to attract and retain highly qualified workers.
- 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
When you are looking for the best policies to include in your employee benefits package, you will find there are many different products available for you to choose from. This can make it difficult to decide which policies to purchase. Fortunately, you can turn to a local independent insurance agent for guidance.
Your agent can explain the pros and cons of your various options, such as PPO, HMO, and managed care plans so that you are able to make an informed decision.
Why Work with an Independent Insurance Agent in Lakewood, OH?
Because potential risks can vary significantly from one business to the next, insurance companies enable business owners to fully customize their business insurance coverage.
A local independent agent can offer guidance and advice and can help you find the best and most competitively priced policies to cover your Lakewood business. Find an insurance agent near you 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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