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What You Need to Know About Truck Insurance

Posted by David Ross on Tue, Oct 26, 2021

Contact the truck insurance pros at American Insuring Group. Serving Philadelphia, Reading, Lancaster, Allentown, Pittsburgh, Erie, PA and beyond.If you own a fleet of trucks, are an independent truck driver, or use trucks for business, you need Commercial Truck Insurance. The right truck insurance helps protect you, your truck, your business, and the public.

State and federal agencies require some types of insurance. For example, the Motor Carrier Act (MCA) of 1980 requires minimum liability limits for trucks over 10,000 pounds ranging from $750,000 to $5 million per accident, depending on what is being transported.

Unfortunately, the minimum insurance requirement is often not enough to keep you in business after an accident, which is why it’s important to consider higher limits and additional types of insurance.

Did you know?

  • The average cost of a large truck crash involving a fatality is $3.6 million per crash.
  • A collision with injuries costs almost $200,000 per crash.
  • The average cost of all large truck crashes is about $91,000 per crash.

Having the proper insurance coverage and the right limits will help keep your trucks on the road.

NOTE: Commercial Truck Insurance is not the same as Commercial Auto Insurance because the risks associated with hauling large amounts of materials across state lines are very different from those associated with a delivery van driving around the city.

Types of Commercial Truck Insurance

Primary Liability Insurance (Aka Trucking Liability Insurance) is the minimum insurance required; however, it only covers injuries to other people or damage to other vehicles in the event of an accident. It does not cover your truck, your driver, lawsuits, etc.

General Liability Insurance covers additional risks, such as customer injuries, property damage, and advertising injuries. It helps protect your business from the cost of lawsuits. This type of insurance is often required for leases and contracts.

Physical Damage Insurance (AKA Collision Coverage) is not required by law but covers the cost of fixing or replacing damaged tractors or trailers. Typically, this type of insurance does not cover damage to cargo, drivers’ personal items, tools, electronics, or any equipment that is not permanently attached.

Cargo Insurance covers cargo in transit. Typically, it covers the loss or damage to cargo caused by collision, fire, heavy weather, equipment breakdown, theft, and running over or striking the cargo. There are usually exclusions for certain types of cargo, such as art, jewelry, live animals, and explosive materials.

Trailer Interchange Insurance covers physical damage for trailers pulled under a trailer interchange agreement and typically covers damage caused by collision, fire, theft, and vandalism.

Bobtail Insurance (Aka deadhead insurance) is a type of liability insurance that provides coverage when you are bobtailing a truck – operating a truck without an attached trailer or semitrailer.

Workers’ Compensation Insurance is required by most employers under Pennsylvania law. It provides medical expenses and lost wages for employees for work-related injuries or illnesses, protects your business from lawsuits, and helps you stay compliant with state regulations.

How to Lower Truck Insurance Costs the Easy Way

Many factors affect insurance premiums, such as where and what you are hauling, the condition of your equipment, etc. However, you can take steps to lower your insurance costs, such as hiring safe drivers, implementing a safety program, increasing deductible amounts, and working with an insurance agent who has experience with the unique needs truck drivers and trucking companies face.

The agents at American Insuring Group have been helping truck drivers and trucking companies for years to ensure they have the right coverage. And as independent agents, they compare the cost of your coverage with several insurance companies to ensure that you get the lowest rates on that coverage.

→ Give us a call today at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848, or connect with us online.

Tags: truck insurance, Commercial Liability Insurance, Trucking Insurance, Cargo Trucking Insurance

Don’t Leave Your Restaurant at Risk: Discover Insurance Coverage Gaps

Posted by David Ross on Sat, Jan 09, 2021

Discover Your Restaurant Insurance Gaps so Your Business is not at RiskEvery restaurant owner or manager knows that accidentally omitting even one key ingredient from a recipe can have a devastating effect. The same is true with Restaurant Insurance. Leaving one gap in your insurance coverage could have a disastrous effect on your restaurant.

Restaurants often face unique risks that other businesses do not, which may require additional layers of insurance coverage. Therefore, you must look at possible risks to determine if there are any gaps in your insurance. In this case, ignorance is definitely NOT bliss.

How to Discover Gaps

The best way to determine if there are any gaps in your insurance is to work with an insurance agent who specializes in Restaurant Insurance. They understand the unique challenges and risks inherent in the restaurant business. They know the right questions to ask to ensure that you don’t have any coverage gaps.

Here are a few key questions to consider:

  1. What property – building, signs, equipment, etc. – do you need to cover?

  2. What types of liability might you be open to during the course of doing business?

  3. Do you transport anything off the property?

  4. Does Workers Compensation cover you, the owner?

  5. What types of events – fire, theft, spoilage, etc. – does your Commercial Property Insurance cover?

  6. What are the limits and deductibles that apply to each type of situation?

  7. What would happen if you had to close your restaurant for a period of time because of a fire, flood, etc.?

  8. What would happen if one of the suppliers or wholesalers that you depend on could not deliver?

And as your business changes, so should your insurance coverage. For example:

  • Have you invested in a food truck to expand your reach, which could open your restaurant up to additional liability risks?

  • Have you become a farm-to-table restaurant, which means a shorter supply chain that could place more responsibility for your restaurant's quality control measures?

  • Did you start using an outside delivery service, which takes some of the control out of your hands?

Also, having the right insurance policies isn’t always enough. Make sure you understand and are comfortable with the limits and deductibles on each of your policies.

Common Gaps

Most restaurants understand the need for General Liability, Workers’ Compensation, Commercial Property Insurance, and - if they sell liquor – Liquor Liability Insurance, but here are five often-overlooked Restaurant Insurance gaps:

  1. Cyber Insurance – If you accept checks or credit cards as payment, you have personal information that can put your business at risk for a data breach. Your website and social media sites can also make you a target for cyberattacks. Cyber Insurance helps you recover losses associated with a cyberattack.

  2. Equipment Breakdown – Every restaurant has equipment – fryers, stoves, refrigerators, etc. Equipment Breakdown coverage helps cover the cost of repairing or replacing equipment after a covered incident.

  3. Business Interruption – What if you had to close your restaurant for a period of time while repairs are made after a fire? Could you handle the loss of income that would result? Business Interruption Insurance, which helps cover that loss, is often included under your Business Owner’s Policy but make sure you are comfortable with the amount of coverage and duration of that coverage.

  4. Personal and Advertising Injury –Personal and Advertising Injury Insurance protects you from third-party lawsuits claiming non-physical personal injury, such as libel, slander, copyright infringements, etc. It is typically included in Commercial Liability Insurance; however, every restaurant has different needs. Make sure the coverage in your Liability Insurance is adequate.

  5. Reputation Damage Insurance – There are so many ways your restaurant’s reputation can be damaged – a cyber-attack, a food-borne illness, an alcohol-related accident, etc. Reputation Damage Insurance can help cover losses associated with this type of event.

The Right Insurance Agent Can Make a Big Difference!

American Insuring Group specializes in Restaurant Insurance. Our agents are experts in eliminating the gaps in your Restaurant Insurance. Plus, as independent agents, we will compare prices among many insurance companies to make sure you get the best price on quality insurance protection.

So, call us today at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848 or connect with us online!

Tags: Restaurant Insurance, Liquor Liability Insurance, Commercial Liability Insurance, Restaurant Liability Insurance

Third-Party Food Delivery Liability and Restaurant Insurance

Posted by David Ross on Sat, May 23, 2020


COVID19 food delivery restaurant insurance tips for restaurant ownersThird-party food delivery got a serious boost when Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf ordered all restaurants and bars to close their dine-in facilities to help stop the spread of COVID-19, while still permitting carry-out, delivery, and drive-through food and beverage service. Many restaurants began offering food delivery through apps such as Grubhub and UberEats. 

It's crucial that restaurants understand potential liability and how Restaurant Insurance can help.

At the end of January 2020 - before the ordered shutdown - Upserve reported that 31% of people in a survey said they use a third-party delivery service at least twice a week. Imagine how that number has skyrocketed in just a few months!

The use of third-party delivery services has allowed many restaurants to continue serving food without investing in a driver or other infrastructure while their dining rooms remain closed. On the other hand, it has also opened restaurants up to potential new liability and legal ramifications.

Here are four questions to ask about potential liability when using a third-party food delivery app.

Who is Liable if a Customer Gets Sick After Eating Your Food That is Delivered by a Third-Party?

It may be impossible to discover where things went wrong. The illness could have been caused by cross-contamination in your kitchen, or it could have been caused by the food sitting in a hot car too long.

Food delivery services do not fall under the Food and Drug Administration’s jurisdiction, so you may find your restaurant being held liable regardless. Before deciding to partner with a third-party delivery app, ask them if their drivers are required to follow any food safety standards - such as hygiene or temperature control – and who will be held liable if there is an illness.

Who is Liable for Issuing Refunds or Other Compensation if There is a Problem With the Food?

Beyond food contamination and illness, many smaller things can go wrong when you hand over your carefully prepared food to a complete stranger. Food can go cold. A pizza could get flipped over in the box, leaving all the cheese stuck to the lid.

You have no control over what happens to the food once it leaves your restaurant; however, it’s still your restaurant’s reputation on the line if your customers are disappointed with the quality of the food. Make sure that you provide the right packaging for the food on your menu and perhaps limit the delivery distance.

Who is Liable if the Delivery Person is in an Automobile Accident While Delivering Your Food?

The food delivery app probably requires that its drivers all have automobile insurance, but don’t assume they do. Ask what insurance policies they require their drivers to have and how they enforce and monitor the requirement.

A driver can present proof of insurance one day and lose it the next day for nonpayment. It may not be a bad idea for you to require proof of insurance from every driver each time they make a pickup at your restaurant.

Who is Liable if the Delivery Service is Not Sanctioned by Your Restaurant and Something Goes Wrong?

Some food delivery brands deliver food from restaurants without permission from the restaurant owners. So it’s crucial that you clearly advertise which third-party delivery services you have partnered with and include a disclaimer about potential liability from unsanctioned services.

How Can I Protect My Restaurant From Liability Issues?

The best way to protect your restaurant from any liability issues is with the right insurance. Talk to an independent insurance agent who specializes in restaurant insurance – like the agents at American Insuring Group – to make sure you get the lowest price for that coverage. Give us a call today at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848 or connect with us online.

Tags: Restaurant Insurance, Commercial Liability Insurance, Restaurant Liability Insurance, Restaurant Insurance Costs

Help for Restaurant Owners During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Posted by David Ross on Thu, May 14, 2020

Help for restaurant owners in addition to insurance savings during the Coronavirus pandemicAs specialists in Restaurant Insurance, we typically focus on safety and other ways to lower insurance costs. This blog is a little different but has the same goal - to help restaurants succeed.  

Few industries have escaped the negative impact of the COVID-19 public health crisis, including the restaurant industry. Toast reports that restaurant sales are down 80% since the restrictions on restaurant operations and the shelter in place mandates went into effect.

As a restaurant owner, you may feel powerless, but it’s important to know that there are steps you can take to help ensure the health and safety of your employees, your customers, and your business.

The CARES Act

On March 27, the US government passed a stimulus bill called the “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act” – or CARES Act – in response to the COVID-19 health crisis. Here are some of the provisions of the Act that could be relevant to restaurant owners and employees.

The Paycheck Protection Program provides $349 billion in federally-guaranteed loans to small businesses. The loan can be used to help pay for employee salary or wages, cash tips, group health care benefits, etc.

The Emergency Relief and Taxpayer Protection provides loans, loan guarantees, and other investments for direct lending that meet specific criteria, such as a lack of alternative financing and a business that is a US-domiciled business with most employees located in the US.

The Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) provides a refundable payroll tax credit for half of the wages paid by employers to employees during the crisis. To be eligible, the employer had to fully or partially suspended operations due to the shut-down order and experience a decline of more than 50% in gross receipts.

Businesses can now carry a Net Operating Loss (NOL) from 2018, 2019, or 2020 back five years. Plus, the taxable income limitation is temporarily removed, allowing an NOL to offset income fully.

The federal excise tax is waived on distilled spirits used for or contained in hand sanitizer produced and distributed under FDA guidance throughout 2020.

The tax filing deadline has been extended to July 15, and estimated tax payments can be postponed.

Temporary Policies

Understanding that the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way restaurants are doing business, the FDA has implemented a few temporary policies that are in effect during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

The FDA is temporarily allowing restaurants to sell certain packaged food that is not labeled for retail sale during the COVID-19 pandemic. An example would be ingredients you purchased that can no longer be used to prepare restaurant food.

Restaurants are permitted to sell packaged food that lacks a nutrition facts label as long as it does not make any nutritional claims but does contain other required information, such as an ingredient statement, net quality of contents, etc.

Because many restaurants have switched to takeout only and may be experiencing disruptions in food supply chains, the FDA is also allowing some flexibility to chain restaurants and similar food establishments that are typically required to provide nutritional information on menus.

Employee and Customer Safety

To ensure the safety of your employees, continue to follow established food-safety protocols and CDC and FDA COVID-19 recommendations, including the following:

  • Regularly disinfect and clean all workspaces and equipment with a disinfectant spray or disposable wipes, focusing on surfaces that are frequently touched.
  • Prescreen employees (take their temperature and assess any symptoms before they start work).
  • Provide appropriate PPE, such as gloves, face masks, etc.
  • Ensure that employees follow proper hand hygiene by frequently washing their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds – before, during, and after food prep, after using the bathroom, after blowing their nose, coughing, or sneezing, etc.
  • Practice social distancing.

Tell employees who are sick to stay home. If an ill employee does come to work, immediately send them home, clean and disinfect their workspace, and consider any employees with close contact to that employee as exposed.

Tell employees that if they know they have been exposed to COVID-19 to tell their supervisor and follow CDC-recommended precautions.

How to Save on Insurance During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Every dollar counts right now, so here are a few tips that could help lower your Restaurant Insurance costs during the COVID-19 pandemic. Check with an experienced insurance agent to determine which of these tips apply to your situation.

  • Lower your estimated payroll on your Workers’ Compensation Insurance.
  • Drop Workers’ Compensation insurance altogether. Purchase again when employees are rehired.
  • Lower the estimated sales on your General Liability Insurance.
  • Change your vehicle usage to pleasure use on your Commercial Vehicle Insurance.
  • If you currently have Liquor Liability Insurance and are not serving liquor, remove the insurance from your policy. Purchase again when you begin serving alcohol.
  • Remove Employment Practices (sexual harassment, discrimination, etc.) coverage if your business is closed, and everyone is laid off.
  • Remove all “non-essential” insurances.
  • Ask your insurance company for maximum discounting due to the pandemic.
  • Ask an independent agent to make some price comparisons on your coverage. With insurance sales down everywhere, you may be able to find a lower rate for the same coverage.

Start Saving on Restaurant Insurance Today!

These are just some of the ways to save on Business Insurance during this pandemic. If you're ready to start saving then give one of the independent agents at American Insuring Group a call at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848 or connect with us online. We would love to help you save money on your Business Insurance during these uncertain times!

Tags: Restaurant Insurance, Commercial Liability Insurance, Business Interruption Insurance

What You Need About Saving on Contractor Insurance

Posted by David Ross on Sun, Feb 09, 2020

Contractors_InsuranceFor many contractors, talking about Contractor Insurance is probably the equivalent of a root canal, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Finding an insurance agent who specializes in contractor’s insurance – like the American Insuring Group – takes a lot of the guesswork out of purchasing insurance.

However, it’s always wise to have a basic understanding, so you know what questions to ask and understand what your agent is recommending. Here is what you need to know about Contractor Insurance:

Who Needs Contractor Insurance?

Obviously, contractors need contractor insurance. That includes general, concrete, excavation, masonry, sheet metal, and paving contractors. But Contractor Insurance goes beyond protecting contractors. 

Here is a list of occupations/businesses that can benefit from Contractor Insurance:

  • Appliance Repair Technicians
  • Carpenters
  • Debris removal
  • Electricians
  • Handymen
  • Interior construction
  • Locksmiths
  • Painters
  • Plumbers
  • Property preservation
  • Roofers
  • Snow and ice removal
  • Stucco and plastering

What Type of Insurance do Contractors Need?

Many factors go into the type of insurance policies you need, including whether or not you have employees and what outside parties you may be involved with (i.e., lenders, municipalities, etc.) require.

Here are the most common types of Contractors Insurance that help protect your business from injuries (employees, vendors, etc.), damage, lawsuits, and more.

Commercial General Liability (CGL)

Every contractor should have CGL because the construction industry comes with many risks.  CGL covers basic construction risks, such as lawsuits against your company, along with third-party injuries (visitors to your worksite) and property damage.

For example, if a visitor trips over a wire or slips and falls on a wet surface at your place of business or a worksite, you could be blamed for the injury. CGL typically covers attorney fees, judgments against your business, settlements, medical bills, and funeral expenses.

Another example where CGL can come in handy is f your ladder falls on a customer’s TV and damages it. CGL can help pay for the cost to repair or replace the TV. It can also help cover costs if that customer files a lawsuit against you.

Commercial Automobile Insurance

If you or an employee is driving a company-owned vehicle and is in an accident or causes damage, commercial auto insurance can help cover the cost of property damage, medical bills, lawsuits, and other expenses that can result from an accident.

If you drive a construction vehicle, transport tools or equipment, or have employees run errands for you, you should have Commercial Auto Insurance

Builder’s Risk Insurance

Builder’s Risk Insurance (Aka Course of Construction Insurance) can pay for damage resulting from fire, vandalism, or theft of tools, materials, and property while a structure is under construction.

Commercial Property Insurance

Commercial Property Insurance helps pay for repairs or replacement of your building, along with furniture, supplies, etc. if it is lost, stolen, or damaged.

Inland Marine Insurance

Commercial Property Insurance does not protect your property if it is not at the location listed on the policy. This is where Inland Marine Insurance comes in. It covers products, tools, and equipment while in transit or stored off-site (like a job site).

Workers’ Compensation (WC)

In Pennsylvania, most employers are required to carry Workers’ Compensation Insurance for their employees. If an employee is injured while working, WC can help pay for medical costs and lost wages.

Providing WC insurance to your employees also helps protect you against an injured employee suing your company. In most cases, injured employees are prohibited from suing their employers if WC is provided.

Professional Liability Insurance

Professional Liability Insurance (A.k.a., Errors and Omissions Insurance) covers legal expenses if you are sued for things like unsatisfactory, late, or incomplete work.

 

👉 Contact Us to Save on Contractors Insurance!

The cost of contractor’s insurance can vary significantly depending on your coverage and your deductible. Other factors that determine the cost of your premiums include what services you provide, your revenue, your location, and the number of employees.

  • You may lower costs by bundling liability coverages into a package called a Business Owner’s Policy (BOP).
  • You may lower costs by creating a safer work environment that results in fewer injuries and fewer claims.
  • You may lower costs by working with an independent agent – like those at American Insuring Group – who can compare the cost of your coverage with several companies to ensure you’re paying the lowest premiums for the coverage.

Have more questions about saving on Contractors Insurance costs? The independent agents at American Insuring Group specialize in Contractors Insurance and can help you get the best price on the coverage you need, whether you're in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Erie, Berks County, or anywhere in PA or surrounding states.

Give us a call today at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848 or connect with us online!

Tags: Workers Compensation Insurance, Construction Insurance, Contractor Insurance, Commercial Liability Insurance, Commercial Insurance

What You Need to Know About Restaurant Insurance

Posted by David Ross on Sun, Dec 22, 2019

save_restaurant_insuranceWhen it comes to Restaurant Insurance, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Every restaurant has different assets that need to be protected, different risk factors, and different types of liability. And every restaurant owner has different levels of comfort when it comes to those risks and liabilities.

Restaurant Insurance can be very complicated if you aren’t familiar with the risks, your different insurance options, and typical exclusions. Here is some basic information about Restaurant Insurance to help ensure that you get the best insurance for your needs.

Insurance Coverage Your Restaurant May Need

With all the different types of insurance coverage available today, including some rather odd ones like chicken insurance and alien abduction insurance (we kid you not!), it’s best to start with the basics and add additional coverage IF you need it. Here are three basic types of coverage every restaurant owner should consider.

Commercial General Liability (CGL) Insurance

CGL protects your business from bodily injury, personal injury, or property damage caused by your restaurant or on your restaurant’s premises. For example, if someone is injured after falling on your property or becomes sick after eating your food, they can sue you. Commercial Liability Insurance will pay for your legal expenses such as attorney fees and judgments against your restaurant. 

It’s important to consider your risks and determine if your CGL policy will cover it or if it is an exclusion. For example, if you serve alcohol to a customer who then causes a car accident upon leaving your restaurant, you could be held liable for any damage or injury caused by the accident. Most CGL policies won’t cover you in that situation, but Liquor Liability Insurance will.

Property Insurance

Property Insurance protects many of your assets, such as your building and your equipment from fire, storm, or theft damage. It may also include Business Interruption Insurance that covers lost income if damage forces you to close your restaurant temporarily.

Workers’ Compensation Insurance

In Pennsylvania, if you have one or more employees – whether they are full- or part-time, you are probably required to carry WC Insurance for each of your employees. WC covers medical expenses and lost wages if your employee is injured on the job. It also protects you against lawsuits filed by an injured worker.

Those are the basic coverages, but depending on your situation, there may be other types of insurance to consider. For example, if you use a vehicle for business, you should have Commercial Auto Insurance for that vehicle, whether it is owned or leased or even if it belongs to an employee.

An insurance agent who specializes in Restaurant Insurance can help you identify any additional risks and determine the best way to cover those risks.

How is the Cost of Your Restaurant Insurance Determined?

Every restaurant is individually underwritten based on the circumstances of its establishment. You will be asked many questions when you apply for insurance, and insurance companies will do some of their own research before quoting you a price. Your costs will be based on how much risk or liability you restaurant poses, the value of what you need to protect, and the level of your coverage.

To determine your risk (how likely you are to make a claim), insurance companies will look at your loss history, years in business, hours of operation, whether or not you sell alcohol and if so, how much, activities within your restaurant, such as entertainment, ID checkers, etc.

To determine the value of what you need to protect, they will look at the size of your property, the volume of your sales and payroll, the type of property, etc.

The level of coverage will be based on several things, including lease requirements, lender requirements, and how comfortable you are with risk.

When you talk to your insurance agent, be open and honest about the operation of your restaurant. Otherwise, you might find yourself in a situation where you don’t have enough coverage or any coverage when you need it.

How to Save Big on Restaurant Insurance

Because American Insuring Group’s agents have experience in Restaurant Insurance, we can help identify risks that are typical for restaurants as well as risks unique to your establishment to ensure that you have the right coverage to protect your assets. As independent agents, we can check with several companies to ensure that you get the best price for that coverage.

Give us a call at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848 or connect with us online and let us show you how we can lower all your Commercial Insurance Costs!

 

Tags: Workers Compensation Insurance, Restaurant Insurance, PA Workers Compensation Insurance, Commercial Liability Insurance, commercial property insurance, Restaurant Insurance Costs

4 Types of Insurance Every Subcontractor Should Consider

Posted by David Ross on Sun, Nov 17, 2019

AIG 2 construction workersIf you get hired as a subcontractor, don’t assume that the general contractor’s Contractors Insurance covers you. As a subcontractor, you are NOT considered an employee of that contractor, and Contractor’s Insurance rarely covers subcontractors. Often, injury or damage caused by a subcontractor is specifically excluded from contractors' insurance policies.

And we don’t have to tell you how dangerous your occupation is. The chances of you or one of your employees injuring themselves or causing damage or injury to something or someone else is not out of the range of possibility.

In fact, according to Safety + Health magazine, a construction worker has a 75% likelihood of experiencing a disabling injury and a 1-in-200 chance of being fatally injured on the job. And don’t think because you own a small company that you’re immune to these statistics. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Nearly half of all deaths on construction sites occur in companies with ten or fewer employees or among those who are self-employed.”

While there are no laws that require you to purchase insurance as a subcontractor, you can see why it’s the smart thing to do. Plus, many contractors will require that you have certain types of insurance to work with them.

4 Types of Insurance Every Subcontractor Should Consider:

Commercial General Liability (CGL) Insurance

CGL is one of the most important insurance products for any business. CGL protects your business if you are liable for property damage. It covers the cost of medical and legal expenses and damages if you are found liable. One serious lawsuit can put you out of business if you don’t have the right protection.

Here are three examples of situations where CGL can help:

  • Someone visiting your job site trips and falls over materials and is injured.
  • An employee leaves the water running in the sink of a customer’s home and causes damage to the home.
  • Someone walking by your job site is hit by flying debris and dies.

As a subcontractor, you have two options: you can ask the general contractor to add you as an “additional insured” to their CGL policy, or you can purchase CGL on your own. Most general contractors will require that you purchase your own CGL policy and will very likely include this requirement in your contract and ask you to provide proof of insurance. When you talk to your insurance agent, make it clear that you are purchasing CGL is a subcontractor, not a general contractor.

Workers’ Compensation Insurance

If you are a sole proprietor and are injured on the job, would you have enough money to cover medical expenses? As s a sole proprietor would you be able to continue to provide for your family if you were unable to work for a month or two due to a worksite injury? Workers’ Compensation Insurance will help pay your medical expenses and even lost wages until you are back on your feet.

If you have employees, most states required (with a few exceptions) that you have Workers Comp for each of your employees. WC covers medical expenses, lost wages, and rehabilitation costs if an employee is injured or killed on the job.

Another benefit of workers’ comp insurance is that it covers legal costs if the injured employee were to sue your business.

Commercial Automobile Insurance

If you use a vehicle (which, of course, most in the construction industry do) to conduct business such as transporting materials, equipment, or employees, you should have commercial automobile insurance to help protect you in the event of an accident that causes bodily injury, loss of life, or property damage. 

A personal auto policy may not be enough as certain types of vehicles can be excluded from those policies, and it may not offer high enough limits.

Builders Risk Insurance

Builders Risk Insurance (Aka Course of Construction or Inland Marine Coverage) covers a building under construction along with materials related to the project. It typically provides coverage for damage caused by fire, wind, theft, lightning, hail, explosion, and vandalism. Standard exclusions include events such as an earthquake or employee theft.

We'll Help You Find the Contractor Insurance That's Right for You!

An insurance agent (like those at American Insuring Group) who specializes in Contractors Insurance can help ensure that you have the right insurance to protect your business. The independent agents at American Insuring Group will compare the cost of that coverage with several insurance companies to ensure that you get the best price on the protection you need! Give us a call at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848 or connect with us online.

Tags: Commercial Vehicle Insurance, Builders Insurance, Construction Insurance, Contractor Insurance, Commercial Liability Insurance

Commercial Liability Insurance for Farmers Market Vendors

Posted by David Ross on Sun, Sep 22, 2019

Liability-Insurance-for-Farmers-Market-Vendors-300As the “buy local food” movement continues to gain traction, the U.S. is experiencing an increase in the number of farmers markets across the country.  According to the Farmers Market Coalition, there were less than 2,000 farmers markets in 1994, which has grown to more than 8,600 markets today.

Many vendors have discovered that farmers markets are an easy and economical way to sell everything from produce and honey to cheeses and meats to prepared foods such as jams and pickled items and much more. As with any business endeavor, being a vendor at a farmers market opens you up to liability issues, so you need to make sure you have the right commercial liability insurance to protect yourself.

Farmers Market Vendor Liability Exposure

The two most common types of liability for farmers market vendors are general liability and product liability. General liability involves risks associated with injuries caused by trips and falls, unsecured tents, etc.

Product liability is associated with the food that you sell. The most common product liability issue is food borne illness, but violations in state health regulations – regardless of whether a consumer is harmed or not – can result in a claim.

The good news is that there is plenty you can do to minimize your liability risks and the costs associated with them. Here's how ...

5 Tips to Protect Your Farmers Market Vendor Business

Safety Training

Knowing how to handle and prepare food safely will help minimize your exposure to product liability, and food safety training for all employees might even lower your insurance premiums. Training should include why cleanliness (of hands, tools, prep space, etc.) is so important, how to prevent food cross-contamination, safe food temperatures (see below), and food allergies.

Keep Produce Clean

If you’re selling produce, it’s essential to make sure it is as clean as possible at all times regardless of where it came from or how it was grown (organic, pesticide-free, etc.). Thoroughly clean everything before setting up shop and continue to clean it throughout the day as it is exposed to dust, insects, and people.

Know Your Produce

Consumers are becoming smarter and more particular about the food they’re eating. If you’re selling produce, you should know your product – where it was grown, what (if anything) your produce has been treated with, and whether or not it is organic, pesticide-free, or GMO-free. You’ll need to be able to answer those questions if a consumer asks.

Pay Attention to Temperature

Temperature is one of the most critical elements of food safety. If you want to help ensure the safety of your customers, keep inspectors happy, and keep your insurance costs down, you need to follow food safety temperatures  – during preparation and storage.

The temperature danger zone is between 41 and 135°F. The longer food sits in that temperature range, the higher the risk of bacteria.

Maintain and keep your refrigeration equipment clean, and regularly check to ensure that it is keeping your food properly chilled.

Purchase the Right Insurance

Many farmers markets will require you to have general liability insurance to protect your business and the market. Even if they don’t, it’s a smart business move. Despite all of your best efforts, accidents do happen. Without the proper protection, one lawsuit from someone who trips and falls at your stand or gets sick after eating your food could mean the end of your business.

The farmers market may also require that you add the market and/or the municipality as an “additional insured.” An additional insured enjoys the benefits of the policy you purchase. There may be an extra fee for an “additional insured.”

Want to Ensure You Get the Best Price on Insurance?

Contact one of the experienced agents at the American Insuring Group. Not only do we specialize in Commercial Liability Insurance to ensure that you get the right coverage, but as independent agents, we can compare the cost of that coverage with multiple carriers to ensure you get the best price. Give us a call at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848 or connect with us online.

Tags: Restaurant Insurance, Commercial Liability Insurance, Commercial General Liability Insurance, Restaurant Safety

National Food Safety Month and Restaurant Insurance Costs

Posted by David Ross on Sun, Sep 08, 2019

food-safety-restaurant-insurance-300As a restaurant owner, your number one priority should be ensuring the safety of the food you serve. Beyond the human element of food safety, foodborne illness can result in negative publicity, huge fines, possible jail time, lawsuits, and higher Restaurant Insurance costs.

In 2016, there were 5,353 cases of food borne illnesses in the U.S. attributed to sit-down dining establishments, 4,139 to fast food restaurants, and 3,116 to catering or banquet facilities.

September is National Food Safety Education Month making it the perfect time to focus on food safety in your restaurant. 

What is a Food borne Illness?

The FDA defines food borne illness as “a common, costly, sometimes life-threatening – yet largely preventable – public health problem.” The two most common food borne pathogens that cause food borne illness are bacteria (Salmonella, Listeria, E. coli) and viruses (norovirus or hepatitis A).

Anyone can get a food borne illness, but pregnant women, young children, and older people have weaker immune systems, which means they are at a higher risk.

Symptoms can range from mild discomfort to life-threatening illness. The most common symptoms are diarrhea and vomiting. Other symptoms can include abdominal cramps, nausea, fever, aches, and fatigue.

Tips to Prevent Food Borne Illness

Pay attention to these three areas - Cleanliness, keeping certain foods separated, and cooking and storage temperatures – to prevent food borne illness:

Cleanliness

Eliminate illness-causing germs by keeping everything in your kitchen clean. That includes food, utensils, cutting boards, work surfaces, and your hands.

  • Wash fruits and vegetables, poultry, eggs, or bagged produce marked “pre-washed.” Cut out damaged or bruised areas on fruits and vegetables and rinse under running water (without bleach, soap, or commercial produce washes). Scrub firm produce with a clean produce brush fruit and vegetables with a paper towel or clean cloth.
  • Wash all utensils, cutting boards and surfaces after each use with hot, soapy water, and frequently wash dishcloths in the hot cycle of your washing machine.
  • Wash your hands frequently including before, during, and after preparing food, after using the bathroom, and after handling garbage. Use plain soap and water to wash your hands thoroughly, including the backs of your hands, under nails, between fingers, etc. Then rinse and dry with a clean towel.

Keep Certain Foods Separated

Keep raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs separate from other foods while storing and during preparation. Use different plates, utensils, and cutting boards for cooked and raw foods. Use one cutting board for raw meat, poultry, and seafood and another for produce and other foods that won’t be cooked before consumption.

Pay Attention to Storage and Cooking Temperatures

Bacteria that can cause food illness multiply the quickest between 40°F and 140°F, so keep your refrigerator at to 40°F or below and your freezer to 0°F or below. Put perishable food in the fridge within two hours. Foods exposed to temperatures above 90°F should be refrigerated within one hour. Thaw or marinate foods in the refrigerator, not on the counter.

Using a food thermometer, cook food to the right internal temperature.

Pay attention to these three areas, and make sure that your staff is adequately trained on food safety to avoid food borne illness. Your customers and your bank account will thank you.

Want to Save More on Restaurant Insurance?

Another way to save on restaurant insurance is to work with an independent agent like the experienced agents at the American Insuring Group who can compare your restaurant insurance costs with several companies to ensure that you get the best price on your Restaurant Insurance. Give us a call at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848 or connect with us online.

Tags: Restaurant Insurance, Commercial Liability Insurance, Restaurant Liability Insurance, Restaurant Safety

What is Commercial Liability Insurance and Do You Need it?

Posted by David Ross on Sun, Sep 02, 2018
Business-Liability-Insurance-2018-Tips-300Every business – no matter how big or how small – faces liability, but do you need general liability insurance? Regardless of how careful you are, accidents can (and do) happen causing damage to property and/or injury to employees, customers, vendors, etc.

And a close cousin to liability is litigation. According to a 2013 poll, 43 percent of small-business owners have reported being threatened with or involved in a civil lawsuit. And the cost of those lawsuits wasn't small. Business owners who have had to pay legal damages, often say the costs nearly put them out of business.

What is Liability?

Liability is defined as "the state of being responsible for something, especially by law." If your business is responsible (or even perceived to be responsible) for an employee slipping, falling, and hurting themselves, your company is liable. If one of your business vehicles causes an accident and damage is caused, your business is liable. And when your business is liable for something it means that it is responsible for paying for injuries, damage, and possibly more.

What is General Liability Insurance?

General Liability insurance – also called Commercial General Business Liability Insurance, Commercial Liability Insurance, or Business Liability Insurance - pays for your businesses obligations if your business is responsible for an injury, accident, etc. It pays for things like medical costs and the cost of repairs. Liability Insurance also helps cover the cost of your legal defense and any settlements you may be required to pay if you are sued.

At an annual cost of $750-$2,000, Commercial Liability Insurance is a good investment for any business when you consider the alternative. Lawsuits can cost thousands if not millions of dollars, or worse – the loss of your business. The actual cost of your premiums will vary depending on how much coverage you need, the perceived risk of your business (i.e., contractors will pay higher premiums than bookstore owners), and where your business is located (some states are known to award more damages to plaintiffs claiming personal injury).

If your business faces excessive risk, you can choose excess or umbrella insurance, which will increase your coverage limits.

You may be able to save on Liability Insurance by bundling it with other insurance policies into what is known as a Business Owner's Policy (BOP), but liability coverage with a BOP can sometimes be quite low, so make sure that you have enough coverage.

Other Types of Liability Insurance


Sometimes businesses face unique types of liability that aren't generally covered under General Liability Insurance. Here are five different types of Liability Insurance:

Professional Liability Insurance

Also known as Errors & Omissions (E&O) or Professional Indemnity Insurance, Professional Liability Insurance addresses negligence claims due to harm that results from mistakes or failure to perform. This insurance is pretty standard for doctors, lawyers, architects, etc.

Workers' Compensation Insurance

This insurance covers medical costs and lost pay for an employee who is injured on the job. It also helps cover legal fees if the employee sues. WC is required for most businesses that have employees in Pennsylvania.

Product Liability Insurance

If a product that you manufacture causes damage or injury Product Liability Insurance can help pay for repairs, medical costs, and/or litigation fees. 

Automobile Insurance

You may not think of this as liability insurance, but if a vehicle that is owned by your company causes an accident, you are liable for any damage or injuries caused. Automobile Insurance can help cover these costs.

3 Simple Steps to Buying Liability Insurance

• Assess your risks
• Find a reputable licensed independent agent
• Re-assess every year

Our Experienced Independent Agents Can Help!

Tip: Contact us to save on Business Insurance in Berks County, Philadelphia, Lancaster, Harrisburg, Lehigh Valley PA and beyond!What type of liability insurance and how much coverage you need to protect your business is very unique. But you don't have to go it alone!

The experienced agents at American Insuring Group can help determine the best insurance to fit your needs, and as independent agents, we're able to shop among many competing insurance carriers. We're relentless in seeking the best insurance to meet your specific needs, and to get it at a great price. 

So give us a call at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848 or find us online.

Tags: Small Business Insurance, Commercial Liability Insurance, Business Insurance