Once primarily a steel town, the economy in Bethlehem, PA, now relies heavily on businesses in the education, healthcare, and accommodation and food service industries. In fact, the once-booming Bethlehem steel plant is now a resort complete with a casino.
If you are among the enterprising business owners in this city, you can benefit from the many protections offered by business insurance. Choosing the right commercial insurance products can be complicated, but you do not need to do it on your own.
Independent insurance agents can help by identifying your company’s specific risks and by finding the best and most affordable policies to cover against each of them. Contact an independent insurance agent in Bethlehem to learn more.
Why Do Bethlehem, PA, Businesses Need Liability Insurance?
Liability insurance is among the most important parts of your business insurance policy package. It is designed to cover your company’s court costs, legal fees, and damages if your business is sued for a covered event.
You will need to be sure that you have the right kinds of liability insurance to cover against each of your business’s potential exposures. A local independent agent can help you determine which policies your company needs and which it can do without.
Some of the many commercial liability products you may want to consider for your business include:
- Premises liability insurance: This covers third-party injuries, illnesses, and property damage if they occur due to an accident that takes place on company property and your business can be deemed responsible.
- Product liability insurance: This covers third-party injuries, illnesses, and property damage caused by defects or design flaws in products your company produces, sells, or promotes.
- Employment practices liability insurance (EPLI): This covers against accusations of illegal employment practices, such as harassment, retaliation, discrimination, and wrongful termination.
- Cyber liability insurance: This covers your company’s financial losses if cybercriminals install skimmers on your credit card readers or hack into your computer network and steal sensitive client data, such as financial information, social security numbers, or personal details. It can also cover restitution and credit monitoring services for affected customers.
- Environmental liability insurance: This covers clean-up costs and damages if an accident or disaster causes toxic substances used, produced, or sold by your company to pollute the environment, including the ground, water, or air.
You can learn more about these and many other commercial liability coverage options by consulting an independent insurance agent in Bethlehem.
What Insurance Products Cover Your Business Property?
All business insurance policies include commercial property insurance. This is designed to cover loss or damage to your business property, such as outdoor signs, computers, office furniture, supplies, inventory, and merchandise.
Businesses in Bethlehem, PA, are most likely to experience property loss or damage due to hazards such as structure fires, property crimes, and severe weather events like storms, hurricanes, strong winds, heavy snows, and freezing temperatures.
Fortunately, commercial property insurance covers against all of these risks.
Sometimes, additional property insurance products are also necessary. Depending on your business’s coverage needs, your insurance agent may recommend supplementing your commercial property insurance with specialized policies such as:
- Inland marine insurance: This covers your company’s portable property whenever it is being transported or is being stored away from your place of business, such as at a job site.
- Boiler and machinery insurance: This covers the cost to repair or replace broken-down machinery that is essential to your business. It can also cover any business losses associated with these mechanical malfunctions.
- Bailee's insurance: This covers your customer’s property whenever it is in your company’s care, custody, or control, such as if you are doing repair or alteration services on it.
- Commercial flood insurance: This covers against flood damage. It is necessary since commercial property insurance specifically excludes floods from its list of covered events. Bethlehem businesses located near the Lehigh River or Monocacy Creek are most at risk, but flash flooding can happen anywhere in this city, particularly when hurricanes and tropical storms bring heavy rainfalls.
A local insurance agent can help you be sure that all of your business assets are appropriately covered, and that your coverage limits are high enough to enable you to rebuild, repair, or replace, if necessary.
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Why Is Business Interruption Insurance a Good Idea in Bethlehem, PA?
Remember Superstorm Sandy in 2012? What would you do if hurricane-force winds blew the roof off the building where your business is housed and destroyed months’ worth of work? Or what if a large fire broke out at your company?
While your commercial property insurance would cover the cost of replacing lost or damaged items, that is not the only loss your business is likely to face.
When destruction is widespread, it can take several weeks before repairs can be made, so your company may be forced to close for an extended amount of time. Most small businesses cannot withstand a long-term loss of income like this.
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 provides peace of mind by providing a continuation of income during the times your business is forced to temporarily shut down due to damages caused by a covered event. This coverage can stay in effect until your business is able to resume normal operations.
When you have business interruption insurance, your company can afford to pay regular monthly expenses such as utility payments, loan installments, and employee salaries even though it is temporarily unable to generate revenue.
Talk to an independent insurance agent for help determining whether this optional insurance is a good fit for your Bethlehem business.
Do Businesses in Bethlehem Need Worker's Compensation Insurance?
As a business owner in Bethlehem, you are required to provide your employees with a safe and healthy workplace. Unfortunately, even when all reasonable precautions are taken, workers sometimes get injured on the job or contract an occupational illness.
Worker's compensation insurance is designed to protect your business from liability losses related to workplace injuries by covering the cost of medical treatment, disability pay, and other related expenses. If an injury is fatal, this insurance can also provide long-term benefits to the employee’s dependents.
With a few exceptions, if you have at least one employee, Pennsylvania state law requires you to cover them with worker's compensation insurance. Coverage can be purchased through a private insurer, the state-administered fund, or, with approval, your company can self-insure.
A local independent insurance agent can help you find a reasonably priced policy from a company that specializes in covering businesses like yours.
What about Insurance Products for Employee Benefits Packages?
According to studies done by human resources professionals, companies that offer competitive employee benefits find it easier to attract and retain the most qualified workers. Also, many small businesses can benefit from tax incentives for subsidizing healthcare coverage for their employees.
When you are shopping for insurance products to include in your employee benefits package, you will find that there are many different health insurance and life insurance products available for you to choose from. This can make it difficult to determine which policies make the best choices.
An independent insurance agent in Bethlehem can go over the pros and cons of each of your various options and can provide you with customized quotes from a few competing providers. That way, you can be sure that the policies you choose offer a good value to your company and your workers.
Why Work with an Independent Insurance Agent in Bethlehem, PA?
Every business has specific risks and exposures, and these can vary from one company to the next. That is why insurance companies enable business owners to fully customize their commercial insurance coverage.
Independent insurance agents make shopping for coverage easy and stress free. These agents can offer guidance, answer questions, and shop around to help you find the best and most affordable policies to cover your Bethlehem company. Set up a one-on-one consultation with an insurance agent near you to learn more.
TrustedChoice.com Article | Reviewed by Jeffrey Green
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