Owners of small businesses and business startups often must make difficult decisions regarding the allocations of resources. One of the most important investments a business owner can make is to purchase business insurance that will protect its company from property damage, business interruptions and liability claims. The type and amount of coverage you need will be predicated on the magnitude and nature of risks that your business faces and the amount you are prepared to pay in the event of a loss. As an experienced Miami business insurance lawyer, I recognize that business owners must confront tough choices regarding the allocation of funds, so we have provided an overview of the types of business insurance coverage business owners might want to consider.
Coverage for Real Property, Personal Property & Intangible Property
Commercial insurance coverage for property damage can cover the full spectrum of types of property loss caused by wind, theft, fire, vandalism and a wide area of other perils. In the event of a financial loss caused by a covered peril, you can seek reimbursement based on the cost of repair/replacement or market value depending on the type of insurance policy. Property damage coverage provides compensation for buildings and structures as well as personal property like office furniture, equipment, inventory and machinery. This form of coverage also applies to other types of tangible property, such as contracts with customers and accounts receivable. Many intangible forms of property will also be covered which may include trademarks, business goodwill and copyrights. There also are perils like toxic chemical spills and certain natural disasters that fall outside a standard commercial policy unless an additional premium is paid.
Coverage for Defective Product Litigation
When businesses manufacture or distribute products, they will want to consider the purchase of product liability coverage. This form of commercial coverage can provide the cost of defense and money to pay a settlement or judgment arising from injury, death or property damage caused by a manufacturing or design defect. The amount of coverage that is appropriate will depend on the nature of the business. For example, a magazine publisher might not need the same level of coverage as a manufacturer of heavy machinery. The laws and regulatory structure of the states where a company operates also must be considered when evaluating the amount of coverage that you need.
General Liability Coverage
If your business is faced with judgments arising out of routine business debts, general liability coverage does not apply to this type of loss. However, judgments or settlements arising out of personal injury or wrongful death lawsuits fall within this type of coverage. These claims might include a fall on the premise of the business or a car accident caused by an employee while engaged in job-related tasks. This form of coverage provides compensation for legal expenses, property damage and bodily injury. If the business is a professional practice, such as a medical practice, special malpractice insurance is necessary.
Whether you are facing property damage or liability claims, the failure of your commercial insurance carrier to fulfill its promises can jeopardize the financial security of your company. My law firm represents policyholders in commercial claims disputes in Miami and throughout Florida. The Law Firm of J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo, P.A. offers free consultations and case evaluations with an experienced Miami business insurance claims attorney. No Recovery, No Lawyer Fees. Call 305-461-1095 or Toll Free 1-866-71-CLAIM.