If you are a small or medium sized business owner in Florida, you will need commercial or business insurance.  As a general rule, the property-casualty needs of corporations and other business entities are more complex and sophisticated than the insurance needs of individual policy owners.  A wider array of risks and the need for a broader range of types of coverage means that commercial insurance policies usually include a far greater number of forms and endorsements than a non-commercial policy. 

In broad terms, “commercial property insurance” refers to policies that provide security against damage to commercial buildings and the inventory, equipment, and other property inside the structures related to windstorms, theft, fire, and other perils.  These business policies can cover just a single structure or all of the buildings owned by the company.  This blog post provides answers to common questions about commercial and business insurance policies.

How does business or commercial insurance coverage function?

Commercial coverage constitutes a contract between a business and an insurance provider.  The insurance carrier agrees to take financial responsibility for certain business risks in exchange for premium payments from the company.  In the event the business is sued because of a product defect that causes injury to a consumer, or the company experiences property damage caused by specific perils, or some other covered event occurs, the insurer agrees to cover the cost of the loss over the deductible up to the policy limit.  If the business suffers property damage or exposure to a liability claim, an adjuster for the insurer will evaluate the damage and process the claim.  The insurer should provide a defense to the liability claim and pay losses associated with any judgment or settlement.

What entities or individuals are authorized to write commercial insurance policies in Florida?

Commercial policies can be written by all insurance carriers admitted in Florida and Surplus Lines carriers authorized to operate within the state.  Surplus Lines providers are not subject to the requirement that they submit their forms to the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation prior to conducting business or making changes.  This means that Surplus Lines providers might include radically different terms, conditions, exclusions, and limitations in their policies, so policies that are not from admitted carriers should be closely scrutinized.  Policies from these types of insurers also might impose a minimum earned premium on the insured.

How do you determine what types of hazards are not typically covered by a standard commercial policy?

Standard commercial or business insurance policies do not generally cover terrorism, floods, or earthquakes and a wide array of other perils.  A rider might be purchased to protect against a specific risk or to improve the amount of coverage.  An example might include purchasing flood insurance through FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program.  Whether you purchase a rider or a separate policy to obtain coverage for risks or supplemental coverage, careful consideration should be given to losses that otherwise might not be covered under a standard commercial policy.  Speak to your insurance broker about your unique business needs.

You can reach Miami Insurance Claims Lawyer J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo by dialing his direct number at (786) 272-5841, calling the main office at (305) 461-1095, or Toll Free at 1 (866) 71-CLAIM or email Attorney Gonzalez-Sirgo directly at [email protected].

J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo
J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo, P.A.
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