Altoona, PA is home to nearly 3,000 businesses. From Sheetz convenience stores to the various retail stores that draw consumers from several nearby towns and cities, each company plays an important role in the health of the local economy. Business insurance protects these companies and helps them stay profitable.
If you are a local business owner, an independent insurance agent in Altoona can identify your company’s various exposures and can help you find the best and most affordable policies to cover against each of them. Set up a one-on-one consultation with an insurance agent near you to learn more.
Why Do Businesses in Altoona, PA Need Liability Insurance?
In our litigious society, liability lawsuits against businesses are common. If your company is sued, having the right liability insurance in place is important. Business liability insurance can cover expenses like court costs, legal fees, and financial damages if your company is sued for a covered event.
All business insurance policies include commercial general liability insurance (CGL). It provides coverage for some of the most common liability exposures businesses face. It includes:
- Premises liability insurance: This can cover third-party injuries or property damage that occur due to accidents that occur on your business property.
- Product liability insurance: This can cover third-party injuries or property damage caused by a defect or design flaw in a product your company produces, sells or promotes.
- Advertising liability insurance: This can cover against lawsuits related to accusations of illegal marketing practices like copyright infringement, false advertising, and deceptive pricing.
Many businesses have liability risks that go beyond what CGL can cover on its own. An independent agent can help you identify any other liability exposures your business may have and can recommend the appropriate insurance products to cover against them.
The following are examples of some of the many available commercial liability insurance policies that may be a good fit for your business:
- Cyber liability insurance: This is important for businesses that use computers to store their clients’ information. If cybercriminals hack into your business’s computer network and access information like your customers’ financial and personal data, this insurance can cover damages, restitution, and credit monitoring services for those who were affected.
- Employment practices liability insurance: This is important for businesses that have employees. It can cover against accusations of illegal employment practices such as wrongful termination, discrimination, breach of contract, or retaliation.
- Liquor liability insurance: This is important for businesses that sell, serve, or otherwise furnish alcoholic beverages. If an intoxicated patron causes property damage or injuries to others, Pennsylvania’s dram shop laws enable the injured party to sue the establishment that provided the alcohol.
Talk to your insurance agent to learn more about these and any other commercial liability products that may be a good fit for your Altoona business.
What Are the Property Damage Risks in Altoona, PA?
Commercial property insurance is another important part of every business insurance policy. It is designed to cover loss or damage to your company’s assets, including merchandise, inventory, office furniture, computers, supplies, tools, outdoor signs, and more.
Businesses in Altoona are most likely to experience loss or damage due to hazards like theft, accidental fires, severe storms, gusty winds, heavy snows, and freezing temperatures. Fortunately, your commercial property insurance is designed to cover against all of these hazards.
It may also be a good idea to add a few supplemental property insurance products to your policy package. If appropriate for your business, your insurance agent may recommend:
- Commercial flood insurance: This is important, since flood damage is excluded from commercial property insurance coverage. Businesses located near waterways like Brush Run, Mill Run, and Spring Run are most at risk, but when heavy rains fall, drainage systems can become overwhelmed and flash flooding can occur just about anywhere.
- Inland marine insurance: This is important for businesses that have expensive portable property. It can cover these items whenever they are being transported or when they are being stored away from your place of business, such as at a job site or in a warehouse.
- Boiler & machinery insurance: This is important for businesses that rely on essential machinery. It can cover this equipment if it breaks down or malfunctions.
- Spoilage insurance: This is important for businesses that store perishable items like food or medicines that must be kept refrigerated. It can cover the resultant losses if a long-term power outage or mechanical failure leads to the spoilage of these items.
- Bailee's insurance: This is important for businesses that perform maintenance, alteration, or repair services. It can cover your customers’ valuable property whenever it is in your business’s custody, care, or control.
An experienced independent insurance agent near you can explain all of these coverage options in greater detail and can help you be sure that all of your business assets are suitably covered.
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How Does Business Interruption Insurance Help Companies in Altoona, PA?
Major natural disasters are rare in Altoona. However, risks like severe windstorms or accidental fires have the potential to cause significant damage. This, in turn, can force your businesses to shut down for an extended period while repairs are made.
Without an ongoing stream of revenue, many small businesses can face unmanageable financial losses during a forced closure.
Disasters in Pennsylvania
- Number of federally declared disasters in PA since 1953: 62
- Most common reasons for declared disasters: Floods, severe storms, and hurricanes
- Average number of tornadoes in PA per year: 16
Business interruption insurance protects against this risk by providing a continuation of income during the times that your company must temporarily shut down because of damage caused by a covered event.
This insurance can provide the funds necessary for your business to pay regular monthly expenses like bills, loan installments, and salaries until you can get back to normal operations.
Talk to a local independent insurance agent to learn more about business interruption insurance and for help determining whether this coverage is a good fit for your Altoona business.
Are Employers in Altoona Required to Carry Worker's Compensation Insurance?
With few exceptions, all employers in Pennsylvania are required by law to carry worker's compensation insurance. This is true even if your only employee is a family member who works for you part-time.
If your workers suffer a work-related injury or occupational illness, this insurance can cover their medical care, including ambulance rides, hospital stays, physical therapy, medication, follow-up care, and other related expenses.
Additionally, worker's compensation insurance can provide employees with disability pay and compensation for serious injuries such as those that cause disfigurement. In the worst cases, this insurance also offers long-term benefits to surviving family members.
The cost for worker's compensation coverage is based mainly on the types of jobs your employees do and the likelihood that they will sustain significant injuries while doing them. You may qualify for discounts on your coverage if your business has a long-standing record of employee safety.
When you are ready to purchase this mandatory coverage, a local independent insurance agent can help you compare rates from a few competing insurance companies that specialize in covering businesses in your industry.
Are You Looking for Insurance Products for Your Employee Benefits Package?
Some businesses offer their employees benefits like health insurance, life insurance, paid vacation and sick time, and other perks. If you are looking to put together a benefits package for your employees, you may need some help finding affordable insurance products to include in it.
When it comes to health insurance products, you have a wide range of policy types and options available to you. Each has its pros and cons, and the cheapest policy is not necessarily the best choice. This can make it hard to decide which to purchase.
You may therefore find it beneficial to have the guidance of an experienced insurance professional. Talk to a local independent agent for help deciding which policies are the best to include in your employee benefits package.
Why Work with an Independent Insurance Agent in Altoona, PA?
There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all business insurance policy. This makes sense, since coverage needs can vary significantly from one business to the next, especially when they operate in different industries.
Insurance companies offer a wide range of policies and options. This enables business owners to fully customize their policy packages. Independent insurance agents in Altoona can help you choose the right products to meet all of your company’s specific coverage needs.
Because they do not work for a particular insurance company, independent agents can shop around to help you find the best policies at the most competitive prices. Find an insurance agent near you to get started.