A Primer on Business Owner’s Policies

What Is a Business Owner Policy?

A business with a publicly accessible office or a storefront requires both property and liability insurance. Many insurance companies bundle these two types of coverage into a single policy referred to as a business owner policy (BOP). While it includes all necessary coverage, it typically sells at a premium that costs less than purchasing each policy type individually would.

While you can add coverage as needed to a BOP, the policy you receive has certain standard coverages. The average BOP offers four types of protection:

  • property damage
  • named perils
  • business interruption
  • liability

You can add to the BOP many of the variety of commercial coverages, including crime, fidelity, forgery, inland marine, spoilage of merchandise, etc. Some policies let you add the cost of operating out of a temporary location. The named perils usually include explosion, fire and smoke damage, wind damage, and vandalism. Depending on the area, some frequent storm types, such as tornado and hurricane, may be included.

Not all businesses in Oviedo, FL qualify for a BOP. The Wurzel Agency determines this based upon your business’ location, business class, location size, and annual revenue. If a business does not qualify, it may ask for special considerations providing that it meets eligibility criteria. Typically, small- to medium-sized companies purchase a BOP.

The buildings covered include both those owned or rented. It also includes additions and construction of additions as well as outdoor fixtures. Some BOPs not only cover your property but that of a third-party in your care or control, which means it features to a limited extent one of the components of inland marine insurance.

Contact The Wurzel Agency of Oviedo, FL today to learn more about BOPs and learn if your business qualifies. We can help you get started protecting your business today.

You Can’t Afford to Not Have Professional Liability Insurance

At some point, most businesses are involved in some legal dispute, be it over an alleged physical or property damage to a third party or financial injury to a competitor, client, or vendor.

As a business owner, it’s crucial to have insurance in case you are targeted to help pay for legal costs and any settlements or judgments. The type of liability your business could face will depend on the kind of work you do.

If you’re in a service trade, the chances of your work causing someone physical damage or harm are remote, but you could still be sued for not living up to your part of a contract or if your services caused a client to lose money.

The costs of defending against a lawsuit of that type could quickly mount, even if you come out victorious in the end. Without the appropriate insurance, you’ll be paying these costs out of pocket.

In many services trades, the outcome can be disastrous to your finances. Lawsuits often catch you by surprise — they could even be for work you completed years ago.

The unfunded lawsuit

Here’s a scenario that could leave you scrambling for funds. You run an engineering firm. And a manufacturer sues your business after one of the machine parts that you designed failed, causing one of the client’s machines to seize up, resulting in $58,000 in damage to the device and production downtime.

The lawsuit accuses your firm of negligence. Your business could be facing severe financial hardship as the suit asks for the cost of repairs and the lost production. Here’s what you’re looking at:

  • Attorneys’ fees. Depending on where you live, these can range from $150 to $400 an hour, or more if you go with a topflight law firm.
  • Court expenses. Fees for copying, filing, and other miscellaneous tasks all add up.
  • Other legal fees. You may need to call expert witnesses, as well.
  • Damages or settlements. Even if you try to reach an agreement with your client, they may opt to take the case to trial in hopes of winning the full amount of the damages they are claiming.

You can see how the costs can quickly mount. It the case gets to damage or settlement stage, the costs will increase significantly.

Even if the case were frivolous, you’d still have to pay attorneys to defend it and file motions to have it tossed out of court. That alone could run you at least $5,000 in legal fees — much money to pay out of pocket.

The U.S. Small Business Administration estimated in a recent study that legal costs for litigation ranged from $3,000 to $150,000, and only one-third of small business owners reported spending less than $10,000. 

There can be other fallout, as well. Perhaps word has gotten out about the lawsuit, damaging your reputation and ability to attract new clients and retaining existing ones. If one client has sued, others who may have had similar experiences could also file suit.

Professional liability insurance

Insurance can save you from these significant expenses. This relatively inexpensive coverage is what’s known as “claims-made” coverage, meaning your policy must be active when the alleged incident occurred and when the claim is filed to receive your benefits.

Client allegations that your work caused them a professional liability policy often covers a financial loss. Professional liability insurance can include errors and oversights with your work, as well as legal fees and the cost of settlements or judgments.

Is your business covered?

Essential Commercial Insurance for Oviedo, FL Transportation Business

If you have a transportation business in Florida, there are unique risks that you need to make sure are covered. Your CDL operators are experienced drivers with the right qualifications for the job — but you can’t vouch for other drivers on the roadways. Maybe it’s time to check out the benefits of commercial car insurance specific to your business needs. You may provide transportation, delivery services, or other activities that require a lot of driving. Let The Wurzel Agency representatives help you customize your coverage to your needs.

Commercial Auto Insurance

Commercial drivers or business owners who employ CDL drivers need to be familiar with federal and state laws. For instance, childcare pickups and food delivery services require commercial auto insurance. Personal auto insurance simply doesn’t cover every situation that could arise on the road. At a minimum, discuss bodily injury liability and property damage liability with your agent. Many other options are also available.

Additional Coverage Options

Your agent can provide details on the types of coverage below. However, here’s a summary to get you started: 

  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance covers you for damages to your car caused by an uninsured or underinsured motorist.
  • PIP with medical coverages. Personal injury protection (PIP) provides medical coverage for passengers injured in an accident.
  • Emergency roadside insurance. This is almost a need-to-have coverage for drivers traveling cross-country on a regular basis. It alleviates the burden of high repair bills when you break down on the road.
  • Personal effects insurance. This insurance covers personal belongings that are stolen, lost or damaged.

Contact Us

Contact The Wurzel Agency today to make an appointment for commercial auto coverage required by your Oviedo, FL business.