Category Archives: Professional Liability

Business Insurance for Young Entrepreneurs

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Congratulations, you started a YouTube channel and one of your videos has gone viral and you have morphed into an entrepreneur.  You now have a product or service to sell; you are on the right path to building a successful business.

As a business owner you realize you have a multitude of moving pieces that must be taken care of – one being the need to insure your new venture and assets.

Important components to insure:

  • Your property
    • Your computers, office furniture, equipment, and any other business personal property you need to run your business
  • Your space
    • Home-based operations? Your homeowners or renters  insurance may not cover you if you are operating a business
    • Renting space? Your landlord may require you to submit a certificate of insurance and name them as Additional Insured
    • Purchasing a building or condo for your business operations and taking out a mortgage?  You will be required to purchase insurance prior to the closing. And if you do not have a mortgage, it is important to insure your investment
    • Whether you are renting or purchasing you must insure your location
  • Your liability
    • Insurance will protect and provide you with defense against lawsuits arising out of you or your employee’s negligence. For example:  personal injury or property damage claims such as your product causes injury to someone or an entity,  someone trips and falls while visiting your business location, or your product damages someone else’s property.

You can bundle these valuable coverages into one policy, often referred to as a Business Owners Policy (BOP) or a Commercial Package Policy (CPP).

Other components:

  • Workers’ compensation– If you have employees, you are legally required to carry Workers’ Compensation insurance. This covers lost wages and medical costs due to an on the job illness, or injury.
  • Disability benefits insurance – covers lost wages due to an off-the-job injury or illness.
  • Professional Liability– Do you give professional advice or provide a professional service? If so, you should consider purchasing Professional Liability insurance.

Has this got you thinking?  Getting all your answers from Google may not be as easy as you think.  Google does not know your business.  However, by contacting an Independent Insurance Agent  like ourselves, will connect you with an insurance consultant that will provide you with ALL your answers !

Please don’t let your dream be destroyed by an uninsured event.   Think about it and contact us today!

What Kind Of Insurance Do I Need As An Accountant?

accountantDear Sherri: I am an accountant with one employee and a small office with 2 desks, 2 chairs, and 2 computers. What kind of insurance do I need? Please keep in mind that I am just starting out and I don’t have a lot of money to spend on insurance
Sincerely,
Poor Accountant in Ridgewood

Dear Poor Accountant,
The better question is: how much insurance can you afford to be without? With one employee (even if they are part-time), the State will fine you $2,000 for every 10 days you are without Workers’ Compensation! What if someone sues you for an error in their tax filings to the Government? Without Professional Liability, you’d be on your own and you know how expensive it is to hire a lawyer! These are the insurance policies that are essential to most businesses.

You will need a Businessowners Policy to cover your desks, chairs and computers as well as your general liability should someone come to your office and become injured while on your premises.
Workers’ Compensation and Disability are needed for your employee should they get hurt.
Professional Liability is needed to cover you for any Errors or Omissions you make as a professional accountant. This is because your liability policy will not provide coverage for any professional endeavors.
In today’s litigious society with multi-million Dollar lawsuits, once you begin to make more money, you will want to consider purchasing additional liability coverage in the form of an Umbrella policy.

However, this is just a brief outline of the available coverages. You should really contact your insurance broker for a detailed analysis of your insurance needs. This is usually done free of charge.

What Is Miscellaneous Professional Liability & Why Does My Company Need It?

miscMiscellaneous Professional Liability is a type of insurance designed for all businesses that specialize in some type of service to the general public. That is, when a company sets itself above the lay population by claiming to know some type of information that sets them apart from others. When a company or individual “provides a service for others” there can be mistakes, errors or omissions, – that is what this insurance is designed to cover.

A professional can make a mistake, misstate information, use information improperly or be guilty of malpractice just like any other person. When a professional acts accordingly, they can be sued.
In a litigious society such as ours, nobody can escape litigation for either a legitimate or perceived mistake. Such actions often turn into allegations on the part of the general public.
Who needs this protection?:

• Accountants
• Lawyers
• Financial consultants
• Realtors
• Providers of technology services or a human resources administrator
• Anyone who is compensated for the services they provide

Nowadays, typically lawsuits are in excess of $1,000,000. And a multi-million dollar lawsuit can virtually bankrupt a company, or damage its finances dramatically, even if an award isn’t rendered in a court of law. We are finding that defense costs can be more expensive than actual settlement amounts.

We recommend that anyone who signs a contract with their clients purchase this important protection.
If you do decide to purchase this insurance, here are some important provisos to look for:

• World-wide coverage;
• Duty To Defend wording;
• Inclusion of services performed via the Internet;
• Claim definition to include written demands for non-monetary relief;
• The inclusion of Punitive Damages where permitted by law;
• Broad definition of the word “Insured” to include any subsidiaries, spouse, heirs, domestic partner, etc;
• Coverage for Personal Injury;
• Defense costs in addition to the limit of liability wherever possible.

Please, we urge you not to try to decipher policy terms and conditions on your own. We recommend that you leave it to an independent insurance representative who is well versed in policy language and how coverage applies to your individual needs.

If you are a professional, don’t wait until you need the coverage. Get it now because it will offer you peace of mind and hope that you never have to use it!

– Karen Skoler, CPCU