The small city of Columbia, TN is home to more than 2,500 businesses. They range from large companies like the Maury Regional Medical Center to small ventures run out of people’s homes. If you own a business in Columbia, you can protect the investment you have made in your commercial enterprise by purchasing a solid business insurance policy package.
Selecting the right commercial insurance products can be complicated, but you don't need to do it on your own. Independent insurance agents in Columbia can help you build a solid business insurance package by identifying your company’s specific risks and recommending the policies that can best cover against them. Contact an insurance agent near you to learn more.
Why Do Columbia Businesses Need Liability Insurance?
Liability insurance is one of the most important parts of every business insurance policy package. It's designed to pay your company’s court costs, legal fees, and damages if your business is sued for a covered event. You'll need to be sure that you have the right kinds of liability insurance to cover against each of the specific risks faced by your Columbia business.
Depending on what your company does, some commercial liability products will be appropriate while others will be unnecessary. A local independent agent can help you determine your company’s specific needs.
Some of the many commercial liability products that are available to you include:
- Premises liability insurance: This covers third-party injuries, illnesses, and property damage if they occur due to an accident on your business property.
- Product liability insurance: This covers third-party injuries, illnesses and property damage if they are caused by defects in products your business produces, sells, or promotes.
- Cyber liability insurance: This covers against financial losses and liabilities if cybercriminals install skimmers on your credit card readers or hack into your computer system and steal sensitive customer data such as financial information, Social Security numbers, or personal data.
- Employment practices liability insurance: This covers lawsuits related to accusations of illegal employment practices such as discrimination, harassment, breach of contract, and wrongful termination.
- Environmental liability insurance: This is beneficial for businesses that use or produce toxic substances. It can cover clean-up costs and damages if an accident leads to the pollution of the ground, water, or air.
You can learn more about these and other commercial liability coverage options by consulting an independent insurance agent in Columbia.
What Insurance Products Cover Your Business Property?
All business insurance policies include commercial property coverage, which is designed to compensate your business for loss or damage to your commercially owned property. This insurance covers a wide range of assets, including outdoor signs, computers, furniture, supplies, merchandise, inventory, and more.
Businesses in Columbia, SC are most likely to experience property loss or damage due to hazards such as structure fires, severe storms, high winds, hail, and tornadoes. Fortunately, your commercial property insurance is likely to cover against all of these risks.
Sometimes, additional property insurance products are necessary. Depending on your business’s scope and location, your insurance agent may recommend adding:
- Inland marine insurance: This covers the valuable portable property your business may own whenever it's in transit or stored away from your place of business, such as on location at a job site.
- Bailee's insurance: This covers your customer’s property whenever it's in your care, custody, or control, such as if you are offering repair or maintenance services.
- Boiler & machinery insurance: This covers the cost to repair or replace a broken-down furnace or other machinery and can also cover any business losses associated with mechanical malfunctions.
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.
A Word about Flood Damage in Columbia
Businesses located near the Duck River and Bibgy Creek are most at risk for experiencing floods, but flash flooding can happen anywhere in this city when heavy rains fall. Floods can lead to extremely expensive damage to your business. However, commercial property insurance will not cover flood damage.
Fortunately, you can supplement your business insurance coverage with a commercial flood insurance policy through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). As a business owner, you can purchase up to $500,000 in structural coverage and up to $500,000 in contents coverage.
Talk to a local independent insurance agent to learn more about this government-backed coverage and for help securing a policy. Flood insurance policies do not go into effect until 30 days after you buy them, so don't wait until heavy rains are imminent to make a purchase.
Why Is Business Interruption Insurance a Good Idea in Columbia, TN?
In 1998, an F5 twister touched down just 9 miles from the Columbia city center. This powerful tornado caused more than $13 million in damage to area homes and businesses.
A major disaster like a fire or a tornado can do more than just damage your business’s property. If the damage is particularly severe, it could also force your business to remain closed for several weeks while repairs are made. This can be financially devastating for many small businesses.
Disasters in Tennessee
- Number of federally declared disasters in TN since 1953: 72
- Most common reasons for declared disasters: severe storms, floods, and fire
- Average number of tornadoes in TN per year: 29.1
Business interruption insurance provides a solution to this problem by providing your company with a continuation of income until you can resume normal operations.
When you have this insurance, your business can afford to pay regular monthly expenses such as utility payments, loan installments, and employee salaries, even though your business is temporarily unable to generate revenue. Business interruption insurance is not right for every business. Consult a local independent insurance agent for advice about this coverage.
Do Businesses in Columbia Need Workers’ Compensation Insurance?
As a business owner in Columbia, you are required to provide a safe and healthy workplace for your employees. Unfortunately, even when precautions are taken, workers sometimes get hurt. Your business is responsible for covering your employee's financial losses in the event of a workplace injury or occupational illness.
Workers’ compensation insurance is designed to protect your business from liability losses by covering the cost of medical treatment, lost wages, and other expenses related to these workplace injuries. In the event of a fatal work-related injury, this insurance can also provide long-term benefits to surviving family members and dependents.
If your business is in the construction or coal mining industry, or you employ at least five workers, you are required by Tennessee state law to carry workers’ compensation insurance. A local independent agent can help you review your costs and can match you with an insurance company that specializes in covering businesses in your industry.
What about Insurance Products for Employee Benefits Packages?
Although health insurance can be expensive, offering subsidized coverage to your employees may have cost-saving benefits. The businesses that offer competitive employee benefits packages find it easier to attract and retain the most qualified employees, according to various studies conducted by human resources professionals.
- Annual amount spent on healthcare coverage by TN businesses: $808 million
- Average annual cost of health care in TN: $5,198/person or $15,214/family
There are many different life insurance and health insurance products available for you to choose from. This can make it difficult to determine which policies are the best to include in your employee benefits package. An independent insurance agent in Columbia can go over the pros and cons of each of your various options so you can make the most informed decision.
Why Work with an Independent Insurance Agent in Columbia, TN?
Every business has it's own specific risks and exposures. That's why insurance companies enable business owners to fully customize their commercial insurance coverage. Independent insurance agents in Columbia make shopping for coverage stress-free by offering guidance and by shopping around to help you find the best and most affordable policies to cover your business.
Find an insurance agent with an office in or near Columbia to learn more. You'll soon discover how easy it can be to build a comprehensive business insurance policy package for your company.
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