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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

Reduce Risk with Product Liability Insurance

Posted by David Ross on Sat, Aug 20, 2016

The McDonald's hot coffee lawsuit is a powerful reminder of the need for businesses to have proper product liability insurance. We provide product liability business insurance to Philadelphia, Reading, Lancaster, Harrisburg, Lehigh Valley, Allentown, Pittsburgh, Erie, PA and beyond. Call us today.In 1992, 79-year old Stella Liebeck filed a lawsuit against McDonald’s for serving coffee that was too hot. In a product liability case that became known as the “McDonald’s Coffee Case,” the Albuquerque woman sued for injuries she had received after spilling coffee on herself. The basis of the lawsuit centered on insufficient warnings on the cups. After a trial and appeals, the parties settled out of court for an amount of less than $600,000.

This serves as a powerful reminder that having the right commercial insurance in the form of product liability insurance can help cover unpredictable claims.

The damages awarded in this claim, and others like it, include medical costs, compensatory damages, economic damages, and, in some instances, attorneys' fees, costs and punitive damages. While a large company like McDonald’s was in no danger of being financially damaged by the lawsuit, product liability claims can and do put smaller companies out of business.

Product liability is not difficult to understand. Simply put, your small business is responsible for the safety of the goods it provides. And that can be true even if you’re not the manufacturer. No matter where you are in the supply chain, you can be at least partially responsible for consumer safety.

If you are responsible for any of the following, you could be held liable:

  • Design
  • Distribution
  • Retail
  • Wholesale

Be aware of the claims your company could face

There are three types of products "claims" a company may encounter:

  • Manufacturing or Production Flaws: Some part of the production process created an unsafe defect in the product. Included here are dangerous chemicals found in goods imported from China.

  • Design Defect: The design of the product is inherently unsafe. Remember the Pinto owners’ lawsuits against Ford in the 1970's?

  • Defective Warnings or Instructions: The product was not properly labeled or had insufficient warnings for the consumer to understand the risk. The McDonald's coffee case is an example.

Your company’s survival depends on getting your products into the hands of consumers. But you must manage your product liability risk while you’re doing that. What’s the answer?


Product liability insurance protects your business

If your company offers any products to the consuming public, then you need product liability coverage. In many cases, some form of this coverage will be present in the standard commercial general liability or business owners' policy. You will need to confirm this with your insurance professional. Having a clear understanding of your business insurance coverage is essential.

Here are some things to know about your coverage options:

  • General Liability Insurance can help pay your defense costs if a customer sues you because of bodily harm or property damage that your product causes.

  • Product Liability Insurance covers the manufacturer's or seller's liability for losses or injuries to a buyer, user or bystander caused by a defect or malfunction of the product, and, in some instances, a defective design or a failure to warn. You can add this coverage as part of a commercial general liability policy.

  • Recall Insurance helps cover the costs of a recall. Some business owners add it as a rider to their general liability or product liability insurance. It can contribute to paying for client notifications, product disposals, and other costs associated with a recall.

Take steps to mitigate your risk

In addition to being adequately insured, here are some ways to minimize your risks:

  • Inspect any retail stock for defects
  • Make sure warning labels are easy to read
  • Clean and inspect your equipment often
  • Review product instructions for accuracy
  • Have a system in place to track products from the factory to the store


Contact us to get the best product liability insurance to protect your businessGet the Right Product Liability Insurance 

Product lawsuits and recalls can drain your company’s bank account. Talk to us about protecting your business with a Product Liability Insurance policy that will help you manage your risks. We're independent insurance agents who are free to shop among many competing insurance providers to get you the absolute best deal on quality insurance coverage.

Contact American Insuring Group online today, or call us at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848.

Tags: Commercial Liability Insurance, Commercial Insurance, Business Insurance, Product Liability Insurance