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Commercial Property Insurance vs. Commercial Liability Insurance

Posted by David Ross on Sun, Feb 23, 2020

Commercial  Property Insurance vs Commercial Liability Insurance - do you know the difference?Do you think that Commercial Property Insurance has you covered? Let’s go back to June 2019 for a moment.

Do you remember the fire and series of explosions at Philadelphia Energy Solutions? It released 5,239 pounds of deadly chemicals into the air and took more than 24 hours to extinguish. CNBC reported that it sent shock waves for miles and rained debris on nearby neighborhoods, and that “the blast was so powerful that a 38,000-pound barrel was launched 2,100 feet across the Schuylkill River, where it landed on the opposite bank.”

It was determined that the likely cause of the fire was a faulty pipe. Surprisingly, there were no serious injuries or fatalities. Five workers reported minor injuries, and experts do not believe there will be any health impact from the release of chemicals.

This is a prime example of why businesses need both Commercial Property Insurance and Business Liability Insurance. One covers your property, and one covers lawsuits.

In the Philadelphia Energy Solution incident, Commercial Property Insurance would help Philadelphia Energy repair or replace its refining complex. If the explosion was determined to be Philadelphia Energy’s fault, Business Liability Insurance would help cover any damage the explosion caused nearby neighbors or if the deadly chemicals were to have any negative effects on anyone.

According to the Insurance Journal, four out of ten businesses are likely to experience a property or general liability claim in the next ten years, and the average cost of a customer slip and fall claim is $20,000. Reputational harm claims cost an average of $50,000, and if a lawsuit is involved can average more than $75,000 for legal fees, settlements, and judgments. About 35% of all general liability claims result in a lawsuit.

What is Commercial Property Insurance?

Commercial Property Insurance helps repair or replace your physical assets, such as the building, furniture, computers, inventory, etc. if they are damaged by fire, hail, lightning, windstorms, vandalism, and explosions.  Typically, earthquakes and floods are not covered unless they are added to your policy.

The cost of Commercial Property Insurance is determined by the value of your assets, your location, the construction of your building, your industry, and how close the nearest fire hydrant and fire station are.

What is Business Liability Insurance?

There are many types of Business (Commercial) Liability Insurance that cover different liability risks. Business Liability Insurance protects your business from liability claims against your business by a third party, such as customers, suppliers, vendors, and employees.

Types of Liability Insurance

General Liability Insurance helps cover third-party lawsuits, like customers, suppliers, and vendors, but not your employees. It typically helps cover third-party personal injuries, property damage, and advertising injury. For example, if a customer were to be injured after slipping and falling at your business, they could file a lawsuit against you. General Liability Insurance would help cover the costs of that lawsuit.

Workers’ Compensation Insurance is required for most employers in Pennsylvania. It helps pay for medical costs and lost wages if an employee is injured on the job. It also reduces the risk of an employer being sued by an injured employee.

Professional Liability Insurance (A.k.a. Errors and Omissions Insurance) helps protect businesses against negligence and other claims made against them.

Product Liability Insurance helps cover lawsuits filed due to damages caused by a business’s products.

An experienced insurance agent can help you determine the types of business liability insurance that is right for your business.

Here's How to Save on Commercial Property Insurance and Business Liability Insurance

Here are two ways to save on the cost of Commercial Property and Business Liability Insurance:

  • Bundle the two policies into a Business Owners Policy.
  • Work with an independent agent, like the agents at American Insuring Company, who can compare the cost of your coverage with several different companies.

Want to learn more about lowering your Commercial Insurance Costs? Give one of our independent agents a call today at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848 or connect with us online.

Tags: Professional Liability Insurance, Commercial Insurance, Business Insurance, commercial property insurance, Product Liability Insurance, Commercial General Liability Insurance

Top 3 Construction Business Risks and How to Minimize Them

Posted by David Ross on Sun, Jan 19, 2020

Construction Worker on RoofEvery business comes with its share of risk, and a contracting business is no different. If anything, contractors face more than the average risk. Fortunately, there are things you can do to minimize or even eliminate many of those risks. Plus, Contractors Insurance acts as a safety net when, despite your best efforts, something does go wrong.

Your first step is to identify potential risks, so here are three of the top risks that contractors need to be aware of and tips to minimize those risks:

  1. Injuries

Construction worksites are full of potential hazards, making construction one of the most dangerous occupations. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), approximately 20% of private-industry worker fatalities are in construction.

However, it isn’t just workers who pose a risk. Non-employees, such as vendors and clients, are often unfamiliar with safety rules, and can also be injured on construction worksites.

Minimize Risk of Injury

OSHA has identified the four biggest construction hazards – called the Fatal Four - as falls, electrocution, caught-in, and struck-by. These four hazards were the leading causes of death in 90% of all construction fatalities.

To minimize the risk of injury, develop and enforce a safety program, and all employees should receive proper safety training.

  1. Equipment Damage or Loss

Tools and equipment are one of a contractor’s most vital assets. From something as small as a hammer to as big as a backhoe, you need them to get the job done. If a hammer is damaged, lost, or stolen, it can be quickly, easily, and fairly inexpensively replaced with a quick trip to Loews or Home Depot.

Unfortunately, the same can not be said for larger equipment such as excavators, bulldozers, tower cranes, dump trucks, etc. These items are just as vital to get jobs done but not as easy – or inexpensive to replace. If one of these items is damaged or stolen, it can put a serious crimp in your schedule… and your bottom line.

Minimize Risk of Theft

More than 11,000 pieces of heavy equipment were reported stolen in 2016, according to Construction Business Owner. Thankfully, there are things you can do to minimize the risk of theft, such as enforcing a theft-prevention policy, securing your job site with fencing, locking up all of your tools, and securing heavy equipment.

Minimize Risk of Damage

Employees should be well-trained in the proper use of heavy equipment and how to use them safely. It’s also essential that you take the time to read the equipment’s owner’s manual and adhere to factory recommendations. There should be a preventative maintenance program in place, and all equipment should be inspected before use – every time.

  1. Faulty Work

You can be held liable for construction defects in completed projects or those that are not up to code. And a client can seek reimbursement if you have not complied with local, state, and federal building regulations. This not only hurts your bottom line but can also harm your business’s reputation.

Minimize the Risk of Faulty Work

To minimize this risk, review the contract’s terms and policy coverage, implement a quality control program, and understand and comply with building codes and regulations.

Insurance: Your Safety Net

Sometimes, despite your best efforts, a piece of expensive equipment is damaged, or a smart thief gets through your anti-theft measures. Repairing or Replacing that equipment can cost your business tens of thousands of dollars. The right insurance can help cover those costs.

Commercial Property Insurance

Your commercial property policy typically covers tools and equipment that are lost or damaged. It may also cover your lost income if you are unable to continue work without the damaged equipment. However, Commercial Property Insurance typically does not cover equipment that is mobile, in a vehicle, or stored at a job site.

Builders’ Risk Insurance (Aka Inland Marine or Course of Construction coverage)

Builders’ Risk Insurance typically protects structures, materials, and equipment that are in transit, onsite, or in a temporary location. Some policies also cover additional costs such as lost sales if construction is delayed.

License and Permit Bond

A License and Permit Bond guarantees that a business will operate in accordance with local, state, and federal laws and regulations. If there is a mistake, this bond will cover damages your client claims.  However, unlike other insurance policies, you are responsible for paying back anything your provider pays for the claim.

Protect Yourself with the Right Contractors' Insurance

Save on Contractor InsuranceUnderstanding these three risks, minimizing them, and having the right insurance is vital for a healthy bottom line and the success of any contracting business.

Because the American Insuring Group specializes in contractors’ insurance, we can help you with all three. Plus, as independent agents, we can ensure that you get the best price by comparing quotes and coverages from multiple insurance companies. So don't delay. Give us a call at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848 or connect with us online.

Tags: Construction Insurance, Contractor Insurance, commercial property insurance, Contractor Safety Management, Builders Risk Insurance

4 Tips to Avoid Theft in Your Business

Posted by David Ross on Sun, Jan 05, 2020

secure_businessEvery business is at risk of a theft occurring. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to protect your assets, such as Commercial Property Insurance.  However, that should not be your first line of defense. Your first step should be to minimize the risk of a theft, with Commercial Property Insurance acting as your safety net if those steps aren’t enough.

According to Small Business Trends, nearly 9% of small businesses experienced a burglary or theft in 2016 with an average cost of $8,000 per incident. Burglary and theft can have a serious impact on your bottom line. Protect your assets by lowering your risk with these four tips:

Install a Security Systems

Security systems – alarms and cameras – have become very affordable, and the capabilities of the new technology are incredible. Today, it’s easy to keep an eye on both internal and external threats from your smartphone, PC, or tablet.

The more security you have, the better chance you have of avoiding problems. Often, the presence of a security system is enough to deter thieves and vandals.

Here are a few security measures to consider:

Closed-Circuit television cameras (CCTV) allow you to watch what is happening at your place of business in real-time, both during and after hours. Plus, they can capture images and record what is going on when you aren’t there. They’re a great way to protect your property, valuable items, and your employees. You can even keep an eye on employee productivity.

Place cameras in strategic locations, so you can identify faces of both customers and employees, and store the footage off-site.

Alarm Systems let you know when there is a disturbance at your doors, windows, or outside your place of business when you aren’t there.

Fire Alarms – You should install a smoke and heat detector that have both automated triggers and can be manually pulled.

Make Sure Everything is Secure

Strong locking systems should be installed everywhere. Valuables and cash should be locked up, with a safe being your best option. But remember, the best lock in the world isn’t going to keep someone out if you don’t lock the doors.

Often, businesses (and individuals) are victims of crimes of opportunity. Thieves will typically go where the pickings are the easiest, so they’ll look for unlocked doors or open windows. Make sure everything is locked up securely before leaving the building. This also applies to company vehicles and heavy equipment.

And make sure the keys to those locks are secure. The more people who have keys to your business, the greater risk there is of burglary, so limit the number of keys issued. Keep track of keys issued to employees or anyone else, and make sure employees leave their keys when they leave your company.

You may want to consider installing an access control system so that you can limit access to different people.

Hire Wisely

Safewise reported that 64% of all small businesses fall victim to employee theft. Before hiring anyone, run a thorough background check on them, especially if they will be handling cash or sensitive financial information. SCORE recommends being alert to key indicators of potential employee theft, such as suddenly working late all the time, drug and alcohol abuse, and evidence of compulsive gambling.

Other steps SCORE recommends to avoid employee theft include close supervision, the use of purchase orders, controlled cash receipts, informal audits, managing inventory, and providing a way for employees to report theft.

Purchase the Right Commercial Insurance

If, despite all your best efforts, burglary or theft does occur at your business, the right insurance can help provide reimbursement for loss or damage. If you want the right insurance at the best price, give American Insuring Group a call at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848 or connect with us online.

We will be happy to review your policy to ensure you receive the best coverage, AND we'll compare the cost of that coverage with offerings from other insurance companies to ensure you get the best price on solid insurance protection. Contact us today to learn more!

Tags: Small Business Insurance, Commercial Insurance, commercial property insurance

How Can Business Interruption Insurance Save Your Business?

Posted by David Ross on Sun, Dec 29, 2019

Business_Interruption_Insurance (2)Do you have Business Interruption coverage for your business? No? Let me ask you this… What would you do if there was a fire in your building, and you were forced to shut down while repairs were made?

If your business is shut down, you probably won’t have customers. If you don’t have customers, you probably won’t have any income to pay yourself or your employees. According to FEMA, nearly 40% of small businesses never reopen following a disaster.

That’s where Business Interruption Insurance can help.

What is Business Interruption Insurance?

Business Interruption Insurance (Aka Business Income) is typically an endorsement that can be added to most Commercial Property Insurance policies. It protects your business income that is a direct result of a loss, damage, or destruction of your property that is covered by your Commercial Property Insurance.

Additional Coverage to Consider

Extended Period of Indemnity

Some policies include a 30-day extension beyond the standard period of restoration; however, you may need more than the 30-day extension. Sometimes, it takes a while to get a business up and running following an extended closure. Therefore, you may want to consider buying an extended period of indemnity option endorsement, which increases that 30-day extension in multiples of 30, up to 720 days.

Extra Expense Coverage

If your property is damaged, you may incur additional expenses to keep your business running. Those expenses could include the cost of moving to a temporary site, leasing equipment, paying overtime, etc. Extra Expense coverage pays for expenses that are above and beyond your normal operating costs but are required to keep your business running after your property is damaged.

Service Interruption Coverage

One in four companies experience a power outage at least once a month, according to Bloom Energy, and it’s estimated to be costing the U.S. economy $150 billion annually.

If a utility company – such as electrical, gas, water, telephone, etc. – experiences damage to a property that is not on your premises but causes an interruption in your business operations, or an actual financial loss, Service Interruption Coverage may kick in.

Contingent Business Interruption (CBI)

CBI covers your business income loss that is a result of loss, damage, or destruction of properties owned by suppliers of goods and services that you need to run your business. The damage must be the type of damage that your Commercial Property Insurance policy covers.

Leader Property Endorsement

This endorsement helps protect your business if an off-premises facility within a certain distance of your property incurs property damage that affects your business. This endorsement is good for restaurants that rely on the customers coming from another venue, such as a casino, stadium, or amusement park.

Interruption by Civil or Military Authority

If a civil or military authority denies you access to your property, this type of policy may cover lost business sustained during the time you are denied access. This type of thing can happen during a hurricane, winter storm, flood, etc.

 

How to Save Big on Business Interruption Insurance

Sometimes it’s hard to think of every risk that your business may face, and insurance policy verbiage can be complicated. This is why an experienced insurance agent is vital if you want to understand your risks and options and protect your business.

The independent agents at American Insuring Group specialize in Commercial Insurance. They can not only ensure that you have the right coverage they can also ensure that you pay the lowest price for that coverage by shopping among many competing providers for you. Give us a call at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848 or connect with us online.

 

Tags: Restaurant Insurance, Commercial Insurance, commercial property insurance, Utility Service Interruption Insurance, Business Interruption 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

8 Business Insurance Tips to Avoid a Workplace Catastrophe

Posted by David Ross on Tue, Feb 28, 2017

Business Insurance for Natural Disasters and More in Philadelphia, Reading, Lancaster, Allentown, Harrisburg, York, Lebanon, Pittsburgh, Erie, PA and beyond.If your company has never been struck by catastrophe, consider yourself lucky! But that doesn’t mean that your luck will hold out forever. There’s always a flood, hurricane, explosion, earthquake, lightning, or terror attack waiting around the bend.

And you and your entire company must be ready for it. With wildfires destroying over ten-million acres last year and winter storms causing $3.5 billion in insured losses earlier this year, businesses cannot afford to assume that they will be exempt from a catastrophe that strikes without warning. Getting the right business insurance is an important first step, but there are many practical things you can do to be prepared and to lower the cost and impact of a disaster.

Consider the following as you prepare your organization for a disaster:

1. Prepare safety equipment, including:

  • Fire extinguishers
  • Fire-fighting equipment
  • Personal protective equipment that includes steel-toe and slip-resistant footwear, hardhats, eye protection, high visibility clothing, gloves, hearing protection, dust masks or respiratory protection
  • First-aid kits
  • Wireless communication equipment

2. Engineering controls

Escape paths, lockout tag-out controls, shut-off valves, guardrails, and exhaust ventilation that will minimize exposure to airborne hazards must be planned and inspected. Battery-powered emergency lighting, strategically placed, must be set up to go on immediately after you lose power.

3. Maintain emergency equipment

  • Check and test the emergency generator
  • Check fuel levels regularly on generators and fire pumps
  • Check all roof-mounted equipment to ensure that it’s securely connected
  • Check roof drains to make sure they are clear and able to handle heavy rains
  • Check the roof and make any repairs, no matter how minor

4. Provide training

Establish an emergency response team with participants from all parts of your organization. Then, conduct disaster management drills to ensure all members of the emergency response team and all other employees know their responsibilities. Conduct daily safety briefings that discuss hazards and controls. Identify and eliminate or control existing or potential dangers that you discover after any disaster. Job performance appraisals should be tied in with compliance on all employee training.

5. Secure your data

  • Copy your valuable papers and records, and put them in a safe place.
  • Make sure that back-ups of computer records are current and kept in a safe location off-site.
  • Confirm that any of your third-party vendors or cloud providers are also prepared for any natural or man-made disasters.

6. Work with your local government before a catastrophe hits

File a copy of your emergency response plan with local law enforcement officials, and provide them with new versions as you update them. Make sure that the local government’s emergency response team has contact information for your company. Give them updates whenever anyone on your team leaves the company or changes roles.

7. Patrol your facility during the emergency

As long as it’s safe to be there, your emergency response team should be patrolling the facility. The team should be concentrating on the following:

  • Make sure all equipment is functioning properly.
  • Repair any structural damage, if possible 
  • Correct any potential fire hazards 
  • Monitor the water pressure for your sprinkler heads.
  • Deploy sandbags if flooding seems imminent.

8. Emphasize workplace safety after the disaster

Once your business has resumed normal operations, it’s important to reinforce standard safety measures:

  • Ensure that your employees are using proper lifting techniques, and provide material handling equipment to keep manual lifting to a minimum.
  • Limit the amount of employee exposure to hazardous conditions. 
  • Minimize exposure to dangerous situations by rotating employees.
  • Make personal hygiene and sanitation your company’s priority, and give workers an area where they can clean up after each shift.

Get the Right Insurance Protection for Your Business - Contact Us to Learn More

Contact us for the right commercial insurance protection for natural disasters and other events.To learn more about preparing and protecting your business with the right types and amounts of commercial insurance, contact American Insuring Group online or call us at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848.

Tags: Commercial Insurance, Business Insurance, commercial property insurance, Disaster Recovery Plan

One or Both? Business Liability vs. Commercial Property Insurance

Posted by David Ross on Thu, Jul 07, 2016

Can you get away with business liability or commercial property insurance, or does you business need both? Contact American Insuring Group for all your business insurance needs in Philadelphia, Allentown, Reading, Lancaster, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, Erie, PA and beyond.Experienced small-business owners know that it’s wise to expect the unexpected. Bad things often happen without warning.

Different insurance policies protect their businesses from surprises in different ways, and it’s important to understand the coverage that is included and the differences between the policies.

Comparing business liability and commercial property insurances is a good place to start! 

Business liability insurance protects you from lawsuits

Anything that your business is legally responsible for is called a liability. When you cause someone a loss, you are legally responsible for replacing the loss, usually with money. And that’s where lawsuits come into play. Business Liability Insurance helps you pay for the cost of lawsuits and other expenses for which you are legally responsible.

For example, let’s say you own a machine shop that mass produces parts for an automobile manufacturer, and one of your parts is recalled because it wasn’t made to specification. What happens now? You’re likely to be sued for your mistake or for negligence, which means you will need to hire lawyers and prepare yourself for the possibility of a lengthy trial. You could amass huge costs.

Since small businesses don't have that kind of money, they invest in business liability policies that offer insurance coverage that includes:

  • Attorney fees
  • Out-of-court settlements
  • Judgments from losing the lawsuit
  • Other court and legal fees

Business liability insurance also helps you deal with the responsibilities you have to the people who come into contact with your business:

  • Employees
  • Customers
  • Suppliers
  • Partners
  • Vendors

Types of commercial liability insurance

It's important for you to know that there are various kinds of business liability insurance that cover different types of lawsuits:

  • General Liability Insurance covers physical injuries, slander, libel, infringement, and property damage lawsuits when someone outside of your business sues you.
  • Workers’ Compensation Insurance covers lawsuits related to injuries and illnesses in the workplace.
  • Professional Liability Insurance, sometimes called Errors and Omissions Insurance, covers lawsuits related to your work. It typically pays for your legal expenses when a client claims your work was negligent.
  • Employment Practices Liability Insurance covers lawsuits arising from wrongful termination, discrimination, or unpaid benefits.

Commercial property insurance protects your company’s physical assets

When you buy commercial property insurance, assets like equipment, computers, supplies, inventory, offices, and other business property are insured against loss or damage. Your insurance will repair or replace property that was damaged by the specific events that are outlined in your policy, which can include:

  • Fire
  • Theft
  • Vandalism
  • Some weather-related damages
  • Explosions

For example, a fire does serious damage to a building that houses tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of your equipment. Much of the equipment is lost and the building itself needs major repairs. You will need to replace furniture and the cleanup costs will be substantial. 

A commercial property insurance policy will cover all of these expenses, and if you add Business Interruption Insurance coverage to the standard policy, you can cover the income you would lose if your business has to shut down when it suffers too much damage to operate normally.

 

Bottom Line: You need BOTH commercial property and business liability insurance policies!

Small businesses need both business liability and commercial property coverage, because they work together to make sure you have enough money to pay your bills when an incident or loss threatens your business. Either a lawsuit or property damage could wipe out your company’s savings, put you in debt, and require that any new revenue go toward legal bills or repair costs. Meanwhile, your business suffers.

Buy both types of coverage and save! 

The good news is that as a small-business owner, you might qualify for a lower rate if you purchase these two policies together. This insurance bundle, often called a Business Owner's Policy (BOP), offers this discount to qualifying small businesses.

 

Get help for all your business insurance needs right here

Business-Liability-vs-Commercial-Property-Insurance.jpgTo learn more about business liability and commercial property insurance from our independent agents, contact American Insuring Group online, or call us at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848.

As independent agents we're free to shop among lots of competing insurance carriers to find the best policy for your needs at the right price. Call or click today to get started!

Tags: Commercial Liability Insurance, Commercial Insurance, Business Insurance, commercial property insurance

Commercial Property Insurance for Money & Securities

Posted by David Ross on Thu, May 19, 2016

Why you may need Money & Securities coverage on your Commercial Property Insurance policyImagine: you’ve just finished one of the most successful sales in your store’s history. As you’re closing and preparing to take your receipts to the bank for deposit, an armed robber confronts you and leaves with all of your cash. All of your hard work and thousands of dollars leave with him.

After the shock of the armed robbery subsides, you wonder if the loss is covered by your commercial property insurance policy. Unfortunately, if your policy does not include Money and Securities coverage, the answer is no. 

What is included in money and securities insurance coverage?

Money refers to currency, coins and bank notes but also includes regular checks, traveler’s checks, and money orders. Securities are instruments or contracts that represent money or property. Examples of securities are certificates of deposit, tickets, tokens and stamps. These would likely be excluded on a typical commercial property policy. So, if you own or operate a business in which you handle a significant amount of money each day, Money and Securities coverage is vital.

Money and securities coverage: inside and outside the premises

Inside coverage applies to loss of money and securities that occurs within your premises or a bank. Loss must result directly from theft committed by someone who is inside your business or the bank. The loss must result directly from disappearance or destruction.

Some examples:

  • A customer in your store steals cash and money orders from a cash drawer
  • A thief breaks into your office, smashes open a safe, and steals $5,000 in cash
  • A fire in your bank destroys a safe deposit box you rent that contains $1,000

In the second example, both the damage to the safe and the loss of cash would be covered by a commercial property insurance policy with inside coverage. Vaults, cash registers, cash boxes and cash drawers located inside the premises would also be covered if damaged or stolen.

Outside coverage applies to money and securities that are lost outside your premises. The loss must occur while the items are in the custody of a messenger or an armored motor vehicle company. In addition, the loss must result directly from theft, disappearance or destruction. Messengers are any employees that have care and custody of property outside the premises. This also means you, a relative of yours, or any of your partners. 

Some examples of outside coverage:

  • An employee of yours is mugged on the way to your bank to deposit $5,000 in cash. The mugger gets away with the cash.
  • One of your partners is robbed of a company laptop after leaving his office. The loss of the laptop, but not the loss of programs and data on the laptop, will be covered.
  • Two armored car drivers are entering their truck when they are ordered out of the vehicle by three armed robbers. The robbers drive off with the truck, which contains $10,000 of your money.

This coverage also applies to loss of or damage to other property outside the premises in the care and custody of a messenger or an armored vehicle company resulting directly from an actual or attempted robbery. Other property means property other than money or securities, not including computer programs or electronic data.

Exclusions to Money and Security Insurance Coverage

Money and Security coverage does not apply to losses resulting from theft by you, your company principles, or your employees. Thefts committed by employees can be insured under separate Employee Theft Coverage. Also excluded are losses resulting from voluntary parting with property or any money operated devices.

Contact Us for Help with Money and Securities Coverage Within a Commercial Property Insurance Policy

Contact us for a commercial property insurance policy complete with money and securities coverage. Serving business insurance needs in Reading, Philadelphia, Harrisburg, Allentown, Lehigh Valley, Pittsburgh, Erie, PA and beyond.You’ve worked hard to make your business successful. Be sure to protect it thoroughly by including Money and Securities coverage. Contact us online or give us a call at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848 for more details.

Tags: Commercial Insurance, Business Insurance, commercial property insurance, Money and Securities Insurance

Major Disaster? Have Business Interruption Insurance?

Posted by David Ross on Mon, Mar 28, 2016

Sobering Statistics on Business Interruption Insurance

Business-Interruption-Insurance-350.jpgA recent national survey of small businesses yielded some sobering statistics. It found that 66 percent of these businesses do not have business interruption insurance—even though an estimated 25 percent of them will not be able to reopen following a major loss, such as a fire, a break-in, or a storm.

That same survey also revealed that three out of four small business owners do not have a disaster recovery plan, yet more than half of them admit that it would take at least three months for them to recover from a disaster.

 

Most small business owners are at risk of disaster, but they are least likely to have disaster recovery insurance or a plan in place to help them recover. About a third of the owners say it is not important for their business to have a disaster recovery plan, and they give interruption insurance a low priority.

Business interruption insurance can be as vital as fire insurance

It’s unlikely that anyone would ever consider opening a business without buying insurance to cover damages from fire or windstorms. But many small business owners don’t give serious consideration to how they would survive if a fire or other disaster damaged their business premises and rendered them temporarily unusable. A business that has to close down completely while their buildings are being restored may lose out to competitors. A quick resumption of business after a disaster is essential.

A few key points about business interruption insurance

  • Business interruption coverage is not sold separately but is added to a property insurance policy or included in a package policy. 
  • It compensates you for lost income if your company has to vacate the premises due to disaster-related damage that is covered under your property insurance policy.
  • Business interruption insurance covers the revenue you would have earned, based on your financial records, had the disaster not occurred.
  • The policy also covers any operating expenses that continue even though your business activities have temporarily stopped.
  • The price of the policy is related to the risk of a fire or other disaster damaging your premises.

 

A disaster could halt your business—even if your property remains undamaged

You have purchased a standard loss of business income policy, and you may think that you are totally protected from a disaster. Unfortunately, most policies do not cover utility interruptions—power, water, and communications--that originate away from your premises (for instance, the utility generating station may have been damaged or transmission lines could be down).

Losing these services for an extended period can be financially devastating. The first step is to evaluate the exposures facing your company. Will being out of power for hours or days adversely impact your operations and profits? If you come to the conclusion that it will, you should consider an endorsement that extends your coverage to include utility services interruptions.

Get back in business quickly with a Disaster Recovery Plan

In addition to the right insurance, a Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP) - a plan that describes how work can be resumed quickly and effectively after a disaster – is another element to ensure that a disaster doesn’t shut your business down. It consists of the precautions taken so that the effects of a disaster will be minimized and the organization will be able to either maintain or quickly resume critical functions. Typically, disaster recovery planning involves an analysis of business processes and continuity needs; it may also include a significant focus on disaster prevention.

Plans vary from one type of business to another, depending on the processes involved, and the level of security needed. Disaster recovery planning may be developed within an organization or purchased as a software application or a service. It is not unusual for an enterprise to spend 25% of its information technology budget on disaster recovery.

Contact Us for Help with Your Business Interruption Insurance Needs

A DRP, along with business interruption coverage, constitutes the business continuity planning that could rescue your business after a disaster. Depending on your particular business, properly planning for your business interruption insurance needs can be complex, but the well-trained staff at American Insuring Group can help. Click here to contact us or give us a call at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848.

Tags: Business Insurance Reading PA, Commercial Insurance Allentown PA, Commercial Insurance, Business Insurance, Commercial Insurance Philadelphia PA, commercial property insurance, Business Interruption Insurance, Disaster Recovery Plan

3 Types of Restaurant Insurance Coverage

Posted by David Ross on Tue, Aug 25, 2015

The best restaurant insurance for PA businesses in Philadelphia, Reading, Allentown, Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, Lancaster, PA and beyond.All businesses are at risk for some type of damage, liability or loss, and need to ensure that they have the right commercial insurance to protect themselves, their business, and their employees from those risks. 

Food service businesses – whether it’s a café, diner, or gourmet restaurant - are no different and actually present some unique risks that need to be addressed.

Often the most cost-effective way to protect a restaurant is with a Business Owners Policy (BOP) that is tailored specifically to the needs of the restaurant business. That's what we mean by  restaurant insurance.

Here are the Three Main Categories of Business Insurance for Your Restaurant

Restaurant Insurance Category #1: Property Insurance

Property insurance protects… well… property. That could include the actual building that your restaurant is located in if you own the property and all of the property within the building (whether you rent or own), such as equipment, dishes, food, and furniture. In the event of a fire, flood or other damaging event, property insurance allows you to replace those items so that you can resume business.

Many BOPs also include Business Interruption Insurance and Business Income Insurance. Interruption insurance helps you recover as quickly as possible by paying extra expenses caused by the interruption in your business —such as rent for temporary quarters.    Business Income Insurance helps pay for ongoing expenses – such as rent - incurred while your business is closed. 

As a food service business, you carry the added risk that your food could cause food poisoning or transmit a communicable disease, which makes a Food Contamination Endorsement Insurance a good idea for many restaurant owners. Typically, this endorsement helps pay for lost income if the business is shut down by a government authority, clean up expenses, food replacement, and additional advertising expenses required to restore your restaurant’s reputation.

Other property insurance coverages you may want to consider as a food service business owner include…

  • Spoilage
  • Mechanical Breakdown
  • Outdoor Signs
  • Burglary and Robbery
  • Employee Dishonesty

Restaurant Insurance Category #2: Business Liability Insurance  

Commercial liability insurance helps protect your business against lawsuits – from someone breaking their leg walking up your steps to claims of libel or slander. We live in a very litigious society, and you never know what your restaurant could be liable for. Remember the woman who sued and won the lawsuit against McDonalds because she spilled hot coffee on herself? Even if you win the lawsuit, the cost of defending yourself can seriously affect your bottom line. Liability insurance helps protect you and your business.

If your restaurant has a liquor license, you should also include a Liquor Liability Endorsement to help cover the cost of your defense in the event of a lawsuit and any damages awarded if you are found liable.

Restaurant Insurance Category #3: Workers Compensation Insurance

Worker’s Compensation Insurance is a type of small business insurance that is mandatory in most states and covers employees for work-related injuries. A typical "workers comp" insurance policy pays an employee lost wages and medical expenses incurred due to a work-related accident, while also protecting the employer against accident-related lawsuits. 

Need Better Restaurant Insurance?
We Can Help! 

Contact us for help in finding the best restaurant insurance in Pennsylvania and beyond.Whether you own a sandwich shop or an elegant restaurant, the independent insurance agents at American Insuring Group can help find the right insurance at the right price for your food service business. Because we're independent, we're free to shop around for the best deal among many competing providers of restaurant insurance based on your particular needs.

So give us a call at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848, or click here to Contact Us today.

Tags: Workers Compensation Insurance, Restaurant Insurance, Business Insurance Reading PA, workers comp, workers comp insurance, Commercial Liability Insurance, Commercial Insurance, Business Insurance, Pennsylvania Business Insurance, Commercial Insurance Philadelphia PA, commercial property insurance