Latham, Albany & New York Business Owners Policy
Your NY Business Insurance Source
With decades of experience in business insurance along with direct appointments to the top carriers serving New York State, we can help you with proper protection and price, and love doing it.
A NY Business Owners Policy (BOP) protects your company from liability lawsuit claims as well as covering your business property from damage and loss. A third vital protection included in most BOPs is Business Interruption Coverage. Let’s look a little deeper into these three vital protections.
NY Business Liability Insurance Coverage
We live in a litigious world that some call Sue-Happy, as liability lawsuits continue to rise in number as well as awarded amounts to claimants. Personal injury attorney TV commercials, billboards and radio ads abound and make us consciously aware that an injury can be worth a huge sum of money.
That is why it’s so important for every company to protect themselves from accidents or injuries that may occur on their premises or off-premises depending on what line of work you do.
General liability, also termed “GL” insurance provides a safeguard to your company from these unexpected and often costly expenses. So costly in fact, that it can and does put people in deep financial trouble if they are uncovered or have inadequate limits.
2 Important Protections Provided By NY General Liability (GL) Coverage
- Claim Settlement or Judgment: Accidents do happen, even for business owners that stress and practice safety standards for employees, customers, vendors, or anyone who may have interactions with that entity.
For example you operate a restaurant in a building that you own and take very good care of both the interior and exterior of the establishment. A snowstorm occurs starts blanketing your area and before your employees have a chance to shovel and salt the exterior walkways, a customer slips and falls, suffering a severe injury.
A legitimate $1 million dollar claim is filed with your insurance company and you only have a $300,000 GL limit. What are you going to do?
- Defense Against a Fraudulent Claim: Unfortunately, fraudulent lawsuits for fake injuries occur more often than they should. A man pretending to be a potential customer walks into a retail store and intentionally trips himself on a store display, falling to the floor and screaming in pain. He refuses medical attention and slowly limps out of the store after making a written complaint with store management.
Later on, a claim is filed with the store owner’s insurance company for $2 million dollars for brain and spinal injuries incurred as a result of the fall and the store owner has only $1 million in GL protection.
Your insurance company mounts a defense on your behalf and proceeds with an investigation into the action, reviewing the claimant’s medical records which show no sign of injury. Your insurer also requests the claimant to visit their doctors who verify no signs of brain or spinal injury.
The insurer investigation also reveals that the claimant has several other personal injury lawsuits pending in several states. Fortunately for the store owner, and unknown to the claimant, interior security cameras were present and showed clearly that he intentionally tripping himself.
As a result of the investigation, the claimant’s attorney withdraws the lawsuit and the store owner breathes a sigh of relief as the lawsuit weight is lifted from his shoulders. Without this insurance, the insured would have had to pay up to tens of thousands of dollars in attorney fees to mount his defense with no assurance he would prevail.
The examples mentioned are for a restaurant and a retail store but are just as important for almost any company such as professional offices, contractors, building owners, landscapers, plumbers, electricians, beauty salons, medical offices, veterinarians, carpenters, painters, excavators, grocery stores, bakeries and so many more.
Simply put, General Liability is a safeguard against potential costly lawsuits for bodily injury and/or property damage caused by the negligence of your company. Almost every type of company has exposure whether it’s a professional office or retail establishment, or companies that work onsite at residential homes, commercial properties, or municipal projects.
It also provides an additional protection to the insured by mounting a defense, especially important in fraudulent or frivolous lawsuit actions.
Business Property Coverage
A business owner’s policy (BOP) also protects your company’s property against covered perils. Items such as structures or buildings, equipment, tools, furniture, inventory, supplies and fixtures.
Common perils may include theft, fire, explosions, burst pipes, storms, vandalism, wind, falling objects and lightning. It’s important that you know which perils are included under your policy, particularly for things that can and do happen in your area and/or business type that cause property losses.
In addition to having the appropriate perils on your policy, carrying proper protection limits is very important to avoid gaps in protection. Two common gaps that we encounter are buildings that are not insured to value and undervalued business personal property.
Insuring Your Building to Proper Replacement Cost Value
BOP’s are normally Replacement Cost Policies typically requiring a building to be insured to at least 90% of the structure’s replacement cost, oftentimes at 100%. After a loss, if it’s not insured to the replacement cost value required, a co-insurance penalty is applied.
For instance, you own a $2 million building (replacement cost) with a 100% co-insurance clause and a $10,000 deductible and insure it for $1.7 million. There’s a fire that causes $800,000 in damage. The penalty would be assessed by dividing the actual insured amount by the amount that was required ($1,700,000/$2,000,000) or .85.
The loss of $800,000 x .85 = $680,000 less $10,000 deductible = $670,000 paid by the insurer and $130,000 paid by the insured out of pocket to repair the building.
Unfortunately in so many instances, owners are unaware that they are underinsured. This can be due to a rise in the price of materials and labor, miscalculated initial reconstruction cost estimate, subsequent improvements to the structure unaccounted for, among others. This is why it’s so important to connect with your insurance agent annually to review your policy and re-run reconstruction cost valuations.
Insuring Your Business Personal Property (BPP) To Adequate Limits
We often find company owners who are underinsured for their business personal property, also known as BPP. Everything owned by a company that is not attached to the structure is typically termed as BPP, items such as inventory, equipment, tools, supplies, and fixtures. Anything permanently installed by a tenant is also their BPP and should also be accounted for.
It’s important to note that co-insurance penalties can apply with BPP too, and in the event of a total loss, can result in significant out of pocket costs to replace lost items.
Many factors can cause an undervaluation of BPP, usually occurring after the initial policy was issued. Items such as added inventory, permanent site improvements, company expansion, among others.
Make sure to check your limits, ensuring an accurate current replacement cost amount of protection for your assets. We can help you with this.
Business Interruption Coverage
Sometimes known as Loss of Business Income insurance, helps recoup lost income when your company must shut down due to a covered peril such as fire, theft, wind, etc.
For instance, say you own a liquor store and a burst pipe causes you to shut down for 4 months due to extensive cleanup and store space repair. This endorsement will provide the income that normally would have resulted from regular business activity during those 4 months.
If a total loss occurs and you have to relocate your company, lost income would be reimbursed up to the number of months protection limit you carry on your policy or until you are relocated and operational at your location again.
This protection is critical for most small companies and sometimes included at only a 3 to 6 month limit when 12 months is really needed. We make our clients aware of this vital safeguard and will extend to at least 12 months protection at the approval of our insured if 12 months is not already included in the base plan.
It can literally mean the difference between closing up shop for good or being able to reopen your doors.
Tenants Fire Legal Liability
There are far more companies that rent space, as opposed to owning the building in which their company resides. Just think of all the strip malls and office buildings out there.
If you rent a space for your company, and that space or building burns down, you could be held liable to pay for the damages to your own space. This can occur if it’s deemed that the fire emanated from your space due to negligence.
The Tenants Fire Legal Liability endorsement protects against damage to your rented space and will provide reimbursement up to the limit you carry on your policy.
It’s not uncommon for base policies to provide limits as low as $50,000. If you are only carrying a $50,000 limit on your policy and have a total loss fire in your space that would cost $500,000 to restore, what would you do if you were held liable?
Unfortunately, in many cases, it costs in the $100’s of thousands to bring a space back to original condition as required.
Fires can and do happen and you don’t want to be on the wrong end of the tenant fire legal liability limit if it happens to you. We can help you to determine the adequate amount of protection limits to keep you financially safe.
Choosing The Best NY Small Business Insurance (BOP)
We understand that every business is unique and truly enjoy learning more about your company and you. The more we understand, the better equipped we are to offer you the most appropriate options at the most competitive price. Whether it’s a $500 premium or a $100,000 premium, we are going to do our best for you.
We have Great BOP Options for the following business types, among others:
- Commercial Real Estate
- Financial Services
- Personal Care Services
- Pet Care Services
- Professional Services
- Restaurant and Food Service
- Service Businesses
- Technology Services
- Wholesalers and Distributors
Other Essential NY Commercial Insurance Policies For Business Owners
Workers Compensation Insurance (link to https://nyinsurancehub.com/business-insurance/workers-comp-insurance/) : pays for medical expenses and lost wages for work-related injuries and illnesses. It’s Required in NYS as soon as you hire your first employee.
Commercial Auto Insurance (link to https://nyinsurancehub.com/business-insurance/commercial-auto-insurance/) : coverage for commercial vehicles. It’s required when your company owns the vehicle or you use it primarily for work.
Professional Liability Insurance (https://nyinsurancehub.com/business-insurance/professional-liability-insurance/) : Protect your business from liability risks resulting from professional services, advice or recommendations provided by your company.
We service clients for BOP Policies in the Albany, Schenectady, Troy, Latham, Clifton Park, Saratoga Springs, Cohoes, Watervliet areas as well as the entire state of New York. Each one of our clients is given a dedicated expert to work together to proficiently address all your concerns.
Whether you are simply looking for the Best BOP Insurance quote in New York or want a thorough consultation for your commercial policy needs, we are here to help.
Call one of our professional agents at 518-783-0105 for more about commercial insurance.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for NY Business Owner Insurance
Professional liability insurance is also called errors and omissions insurance or malpractice insurance, depending on the industry. Its coverage focuses specifically on lawsuits that stem from professional services. For instance for things such as providing negligent professional services, failing to uphold contractual promises, substandard work, or making mistakes or omissions in work for a client.
Some insurers do offer professional liability as an endorsement on a BOP, but its for a very small class of business types. Most companies that require professional liability insurance will need to obtain a separate policy for which we can help.
Unfortunately, data breaches and other cyber crimes are becoming way too common and can damage your company reputation and put your customers and/or employees at risk. We can help you with a separate cyber policy.
Basic: Includes common perils such as vandalism, fire, lightning, wind, explosions, vehicle collision, and even volcanic activity.
Broad: Includes additional protection for falling objects that damage the exterior of your property, frozen pipes, ice and snow damage, theft, and accidental water damage.
Special: Usually covers all perils except for specific perils that are excluded in the policy such as earthquakes, floods, neglect, war, nuclear hazard, and intentional acts.
Contact us today at 518-783-0105 to speak with one of our trusted agents about your New York Business Owner insurance & answer any questions you may have and provide you with a quote.