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California Insurance Blog

Commercial Insurance and Employee Travel

Commercial insurance, also called commercial general business liability, protects company assets and liability items, such as a customer’s medical bills if they’re injured on company property or by you or your employee. It may also cover attorney and settlement costs, if someone sues the company successfully, or if you, as a commercial tenant, cause damage to your landlord’s property, and against claims of libel, slander, false or misleading advertising, and/or copyright infringement. You may need additional coverage if the initial liability coverage amount is low. You can purchase commercial general business liability insurance separately or in a business owner’s policy (BOP) that also includes property insurance which covers damage or loss to real and personal property on business premises.

Two important items not covered by commercial insurance, employee travel, and commercial vehicles, require separate policies. You need auto insurance on each commercial vehicle your company operates. Just like the auto insurance you purchase for your personal vehicle, the level of coverage depends on your choice. Check with your state department of motor vehicles to find out the minimum coverage required, but it’s smart to go beyond that. Obtaining all coverages means carrying liability, collision, comprehensive, personal injury protection, medical payments, uninsured/underinsured motorist and rental reimbursement.

Your company may also need inland marine insurance. It covers both property in transit and other people’s property in your company’s possession – whether in a commercial vehicle, at your place of business, or in the possession of an employee.

Business interruption insurance covers lost income and company expenses resulting from property loss or damage. This applies to your place of business and vehicles.

Every business needs commercial insurance, but it doesn’t cover everything. Talk with THINK Insurance & Financial Services to determine the best coverage for your business.

Does my home-based business need commercial insurance?

If you own a home-based business, then you know how easy it is to mix your home and business life.  When your home shares office space with your business, it’s next to impossible not to.  Too often, however, business owners assume that they can use their home owner’s insurance policy to cover their business.

In fact, this is one of the most dangerous things you can do.  Many homeowner’s policies specifically exclude inventory and equipment used in a home-based business, and trying to make a claim on these items can invalidate your policy.  That means that in the event of a disaster, your business has no protection.

Similarly, it can invalidate a personal car insurance policy if the insurance company discovers that the car is being used for business purposes.  While one or two business errands is usually acceptable, a car that is primarily used for a business needs to have a separate insurance policy.

Fortunately, it’s possible to cover your home-based business with separate insurance that won’t break the bank.  These policies are written so that they are tailored to each business that they cover.  That means you won’t pay for coverage that you don’t need.  An insurance agent will review your business and identify needs that you have, such as insurance for a loss of inventory or a policy that can provide funds to make up for the loss of income after a disaster.

When you decide it’s time to buy a commercial insurance policy, call the agents at THINK Insurance & Financial Services.  They can help you find a policy that will protect your growing business while not breaking your budget.

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