Charleston, WV Business Insurance

Do you have the right business policy?

Written by Rene Todd Fields
Written by Rene Todd Fields

Environmental and natural resource advocate and business owner, Rene Todd Fields, has more than 10 years of experience working within both private and public sectors and enjoys helping individuals understand their options and make solid coverage decisions.

Reviewer: Jeffrey Green Reviewed by Jeffrey Green
Reviewer: Jeffrey Green
Reviewed by Jeffrey Green

Jeff Green has held a variety of sales and management roles at life insurance companies, Wall street firms, and distribution organizations over his 40-year career.  He was previously Finra 7,24,66 registered and held life insurance licenses in multiple states. He is a graduate of Stony Brook University.

Charleston West Virginia Business Insurance

Business insurance is a must to protect your business from hefty financial losses, especially when you own commercial or retail property. What business insurance options are available for your business? Would you like to add property coverage to your business insurance policy? If you want to know the answer to either of these questions, then stick around.

In West Virginia in 2019, there were over 113,000 small businesses employing more than 275,000 people, and business insurance claims continue to rise. In fact, the total amount of business claims paid out in 2019 was over $1.7 billion, making business insurance crucial to protecting your business.

Constructing a comprehensive business insurance policy can be complex, but you are not alone. Independent insurance agents in Charleston, WV, can help by pinpointing your business’s specific risks and recommending the right policies to cover against them.

How Does Business Property Insurance Protect My Charleston, WV Business?

Business property insurance is one of the main elements of any business owners policy. Business property insurance protects your building, its contents, and any exterior features, such as outdoor signs or outdoor fireplaces. Business property insurance also protects your business from other losses such as damage from employee injuries, liability, and theft.

If your business does not have a suitable amount of property insurance and it suffers extensive property damage, you may have a difficult time recovering. It is vital that you purchase a defensible amount of business insurance to protect your business from financial losses.

All businesses require different coverage options because each one has their own individual attributes and risks. Thus, it is important that you identify the specific risks your business faces and find techniques to reduce them.

Does My Charleston, WV, Business Really Need Business Liability Insurance?

Business liability insurance is a valuable part of your business insurance policy. It is meant to cover your business’s court costs, legal fees, and financial damages in case of a pending lawsuit. Even if the court finds you not legally responsible, these legal fees can still be pricey.

It is important to buy the right kinds of business liability coverage for your particular business. Following are some of the business liability options available:

  • Pollution liability insurance: This optional insurance covers the cleanup costs and losses if your business is liable for an accident leading to the pollution of the air, ground, or water.
  • Commercial vehicle liability insurance: This coverage is required if your business owns and operates automobiles. It covers your business's added liability risks in case one of your employees causes an accident that results in damage to a third party.
  • Cyber liability insurance: This option covers financial losses and liabilities if hackers gain access to your computer systems and steal sensitive customer data.
  • Product liability insurance: This option covers damage occurring to a third party caused by faults in goods your business produces, sells, or promotes.
  • Employment practices liability insurance: This option covers claims related to accusations of unlawful employment practices such as a breach of contract, discrimination, harassment, and wrongful termination.
  • Premises liability insurance: This option covers damages occurring to a third party due to a mishap on your business property. 

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What Other Business Insurance Options Are Available for My Charleston, WV, Business Property?

If your business is situated close to waterways, such as the Kanawha River, you are more at risk for flooding; therefore, business flood insurance would be a really good idea.

In Charleston, WV, your business property is much more likely to suffer property loss or damage due to dangers such as:

  • Flooding and water damage
  • Severe storms and lightning damage
  • Hurricanes and tropical storms
  • Burglary and other property crimes
  • Heavy snow

Almost all of the threats mentioned above are covered by your business property insurance, which is a standard part of all business insurance policies. It is intended to include your business-owned property and covers your computers, furniture, inventory, and other merchandise.

At times, you may need to add specific business insurance coverages to your policy. Your independent insurance agent may suggest adding one or more of the following insurance options:

  • Flood insurance: Note that business property insurance does not cover flood damage, even if a covered hurricane damages your business property.
  • Equipment breakdown insurance: This option covers the repair or the replacement of damaged equipment and any losses related to equipment breakdowns.
  • Bailee's insurance: This option covers other people’s property when in your business’s care, such as when you are doing repairs or upkeep on it.
  • Inland marine insurance: This option covers your movable business property during transfers or if you store it away from your place of business.

You will also want to make sure your business insurance options are adequate enough to allow you to rebuild, repair, or replace when necessary.

Why Should I Need Business Interruption Insurance in Charleston, WV?

When a severe storm strikes and the damage is extensive, your business may have to temporarily close, perhaps for an extended time, while repairs are being made. Following is data on past declared disasters in West Virginia:

  • Number of federally declared disasters in WV since 1953: 54
  • Most common reasons for declared disasters: Severe storm/20
  • Average number of tornadoes in WV per year: 2

If your business must close for an extended time, it can be financially devastating, especially if you own a small business. Business interruption insurance provides your business with an income until your business can resume regular activities. This allows you to make monthly payments such as utility bills, loan payments, and employee wages when your business is not able to generate an income.

Does My Charleston, WV Business Need to Carry Worker's Compensation Insurance?

As a West Virginia business owner, you are legally required to furnish your employees with a safe working environment to carry out their job duties. However, even when all precautions are taken, employees do get hurt or become ill while working. When you own a business in West Virginia, you must also cover your employees’ financial losses if they become ill or get hurt on the job.

Insurance companies determine their worker's compensation rates based on the sorts of jobs your employees perform and the probability they will get hurt or become ill on the job. Thus, it is extremely important to be suitably insured with worker's compensation insurance.

Are There Insurance Options for Employee Benefits Packages?

Healthcare coverage rates can be steep, and they fluctuate depending on the options you choose for your employee benefits package. If your business offers underwritten health coverage to your employees, it can favorably impact your business. Human resource managers have investigated and decided that businesses that offer a practical employee benefits package have a better chance of luring and keeping good employees.

Many car, health, and life insurance options are available for you and your employees to choose from, and this can make it difficult to figure out which options to add to your employee benefits package. This is where expert advice from an independent insurance agent comes in handy.

Why Should I Work with an Independent Insurance Agent in Charleston, WV?

Insurance companies recognize that every business has its own risks, and they allow business owners to customize their business insurance options. An independent insurance agent can go over the advantages and disadvantages of each business insurance option so you can make an educated choice.

A independent insurance agent can help you determine the coverages you need. Find an independent insurance agent with an office in or near Charleston, WV, to discover more. You can quickly find out how easy it is to build a comprehensive business insurance policy.

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