With the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) continuing to affect the daily lives of those around the world and those in our local economy, it is imperative to know the implications of coronavirus on insurance policies for businesses.
For business owners, the ever-shifting economy has caused a heightened concern for employee safety, risks of revenue loss, and increased liability risks. Navigating the state laws and regulations for businesses can be challenging, but our experienced agents at Penny Insurance are here to help. We have the knowledge and expertise to assist businesses in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, and Texas with everything from General Liability Insurance, Employment Practices Liability Insurance, Business Auto Insurance and more.
During this time of crisis, reviewing your current policies in Employment Practices Liability Insurance, Excess Liability Insurance, and Business Auto Insurance are among the most important to consider. Employee Practices Liability insurance will provide you as an employer with the protection you need from claims made by employees, former employees, or even potential employees. Excess Liability Insurance, often called an Umbrella Policy is there to provide limits in excess of an underlying liability policy. Basically, if your business should have a crisis or unexpected issue that threatens its financial security, your Umbrella policy comes to the rescue. Lastly, during this Coronavirus pandemic, it’s important to assess your Business Auto Insurance, especially if you are the owner of a restaurant or use work vehicles regularly. Be sure to inform your employees of your state’s policies and procedures, especially when handling food deliveries.
In addition, unfortunately, vacant buildings and offices are more at risk for theft and break ins during this time. If you are able, be sure to regularly check on your office building for any suspicious activity, and shut off the water supply to prevent leaks and water damage, and unplug all appliances to lower the risk of a fire. Keeping these things in mind, review your current insurance policy to be sure you are covered if a break in or other unfortunate event were to occur.
It is also important to remember that laws, requirements, and regulations vary by state, so what may apply to a business in South Carolina may not apply to a business in North Carolina. In addition, many of the companies we work with have amended their policies in an effort to ease the burdens business owners are facing. Depending on your situation, you may be eligible for Business Interruption Coverage, Workers Compensation Coverage, Premium Audits, and more. If you need assistance navigating through new regulation or want to review your current insurance policies, we can help.
We don’t believe that “one size fits all” when it comes to business insurance policies. We work directly with the business owners to learn your unique risks to help design a plan that works for you. The right insurance customized for your business can be crucial to the short-term and long- term success of your business, especially in times of crisis.
Legal, Medical and Emerging Trends Affecting Liability Losses
In the past few years, there are a number of legal and medical issues that, when combined, have driven liability costs even higher. We partnered with our friends at Liberty Mutual Insurance to explain some of the elements that are causing liability costs to rise as well as a few steps to keep you and your loved ones protected at the best value.
Escalating Verdicts—Cases going to trial result in higher paid costs. While headlines have focused on auto liability, we see this impacting general liability as well.
Litigation Funding—Outside investors are fronting legal fees, resulting in more cases going to trial, which can drive up claim severity.
Traumatic Brain Injury—Plaintiff attorneys are including TBI at the onset of claims, leading to more medical costs and life care plans. TBI claims have grown in recent years.
Medical Inflation—In recent years there has been a two percent increase in medical inflation, a 2.4 percent increase in prescription drug inflation and a 5.6 percent increase in hospital cost inflation.
Opioids—Average costs are higher when patients are dependent on opioids. New opioid treatments and other newer risks facing businesses today can create challenges for employers if not managed effectively.
Wellness—The aging population and overall decline of our health and well-being is putting pressure on costs. The increase in co-morbidities and preference for non-surgical and non-opioid treatments are driving use of physical medicine therapies.
Inability to Manage Medical—Unlike workers compensation claims, insurance carriers have little influence on how medical insurance is managed.
Violent Events—Active shooters and other crisis situations are causing organizations to re-assess their risk and readiness.
Technology—Data and technology are disrupting how we do things. From A.I. (artificial intelligence) and autonomous vehicles to data-driven environments, these advancements can help us be safer, but not without risk. Technology-sensor-loaded gear in the form of vests, glasses, gloves and more, may help improve workplace safety and productivity. But, it’s also in its infancy, so you should review information carefully and identify objectives and potential impacts before moving forward.
Sharing Economy—The lack of clarity in where coverages begin and end in the sharing economy is driving the need for custom insurance solutions.
What Can You Do?
Partnerwith an insurance carrier who understands your industry and your unique risks and can create a tailored solution specific to your business.
Get extra protectionwhen you need it most. Make sure you have appropriate umbrella and excess liability coverage.
Disaster preparedness planningcan help you identify vulnerabilities and dependencies in the event disaster strikes.
Expert claims managementfor the best possible outcome can impact your total cost of risk.
Risk control resourcesand a packed calendar of webinars and in-person training to help you identify and mitigate risk. Topics include contractual risk transfer, industry-specific risk improvement tools, product liability and more.
With an ever-evolving landscape, liability insurance can be difficult to navigate. Here at Penny Insurance Agency, your peace of mind is our priority. Give us a call today to connect with a Penny Insurance agent to discover your best liability coverage options.
Thinking about starting your own small business? Opening your own business can be exciting, rewarding, and let’s face it, downright scary. You put a lot of time and money on the line in an effort to pursue a goal or a dream, and it can all seem fine when things go well. But the truth is, sometimes everything doesn’t work out exactly as you plan. Business or commercial insurance can help protect you when life throws you a curveball, and can keep you afloat when you might have otherwise had to shut down.
Watch the video above to learn the basics of business insurance. When you’re ready to learn more, give one of our agents a call.
Insurance agents have the ability to work from anywhere in the country. Not only is insurance a universal need no matter where you live, but in this day and age many have found ways to telecommute and serve a large area from a distant office. At Penny Insurance Agency, however, we have found that not only do we enjoy serving our local community of Hendersonville, Tryon and the surrounding areas, but we also believe in the value of serving customers from an office that is right down the road from where they work, live and play.
In the world of smart phones and tablets, it’s not uncommon to hear other agencies advertise the ability to interact solely through mobile communication. However, we enjoy turning off the Facetime app on our phones and instead, sitting down with our clients in person to have actual face time. By meeting in person, our clients feel comfortable asking questions without feeling rushed. Our clients know that they can always just stop by our office in Hendersonville or Tryon to find an answer, that they don’t have to sit on hold for hours on end waiting for an operator with a script to finally pick up the phone. It may be an “old” way of doing things, but we think it works just fine. (more…)
Business insurance, like all insurance, can seem overwhelming and often costly. You don’t want to pay for too much coverage but you certainly don’t want to end up underinsured either. So whether you are starting a new business or just re-evaluating your current plan, you’ll need to understand your risk and the policies that are available to cover it.
Carefully consider your business services, your employees and clients. There are many variables to consider such as the type of business you own, the state in which you live, if you have employees or not and the structure of your business – a corporation or LLC. Many business owners believe that the protection provided by their business structure sometimes eliminates the need for business insurance.
However, while company structure can protect your personal assets, it does not protect the business itself. Your insurance needs will obviously be dictated, in part, by North Carolina state regulations which will determine basic insurance requirements; among the commonly required policies are NC business insurance and North Carolina workers’ compensation. However, it’s important to keep in mind that these insurance components may not be enough. North Carolina business insurance packages can include a combination of any of the following coverage options: (more…)
The New Year brings with it new business relationships.
If you’re a subcontractor on a larger project, you may be asked to enter into a contract that requires insurance coverage for any damages that may be sustained while working on that project. This usually means you’ll be asked for something called a certificate of insurance. So what is it, how is it used, and when is it necessary?
A certificate of insurance is not an insurance policy; it simply describes your policy to the other party, including particulars like effective date of coverage, types of insurance coverage, and the dollar amount of any liability.
Often the “certificate holder” (the party requesting the certificate) will ask to be added to your policy. This way if any damage or suit is incurred, both you and the certificate holder will be covered by your insurance. This is called “making an endorsement to the policy” (not “endorsing the certificate of insurance,” as it’s often mistakenly put). (more…)