Business owners policies are package insurance policies that provide basic insurance coverages many businesses in Vermont need. Here are some particular coverages to look for when selecting a business owners policy for your business.
When Purchasing a Business Owners Policy, What Coverages Should My Vermont Business Look For?
Commercial Property Coverage
Commercial property coverage is included in most business owners policies. This coverage functions similarly to the property protections included in most homeowners policies, providing protection for the property that a business owns. Most commercial property coverage is divided into two distinct sections.
First, “real property coverage” normally insures buildings and permanently installed equipment that a business has. This may include your business’ primary building, any secondary structures that are on land it owns or leases, and any equipment that’s not meant to be moved.
When selecting real property coverage for your business, review each business owners policy’s protections carefully to make sure all the real property your business owns will be covered.
Second, “business personal property coverage” typically insures items that aren’t considered real property. This may include supplies, inventory, movable equipment, furniture, electronics, and many other items. In effect, this coverage protects the “personal property” that a business owns.
When comparing business personal property coverages, you may come across “actual cash value” and “replacement value” options. Replacement value generally offers better protection, as it usually offers reimbursements up to how much it costs to replace covered items. Actual cash value normally only offers reimbursements up to items’ depreciated values.
General Liability Coverage
Most business owners policies also include general liability coverage. This coverage helps protect a covered business from a variety of liability risks that most businesses face. For instance, a BOP’s general liability coverage might offer protection against:
Personal injury lawsuits arising from accidents that occur on company property
Certain property damage lawsuits filed against a company
Slander, libel, and copyright infringement lawsuits filed by competitors
False advertising lawsuits filed by customers or clients
Some other common liability lawsuits
If a business faces a covered claim or suit, general liability coverage will typically help pay for both legal fees and settlements associated with the suit. The coverage will normally cover legal fees even if the business is exonerated and not found responsible. (All coverages are subject to limits and conditions.)
Whether your Vermont business is able to get all the liability coverage it needs through a BOP’s general liability coverage will depend on the risks that your business is exposed to. If your business needs more protection than these package policies afford, there are other liability policies that can be used to supplement a BOP’s general liability coverage.
Business Interruption Coverage
Business interruption coverage may not be as common as commercial property and general liability coverage, but it’s found in many business owners policies. This coverage helps businesses certain drops in revenue. It usually won’t provide compensation for a poor marketing move that leads to decreased sales, but it might help a business survive a financial drought caused by an operations interruption. For instance, if a business’ factory is damaged in a covered fire, business interruption coverage might provide compensation until the business can resume operations and earn revenue again (or up to the coverage’s limit).
If your business would need time to resume operations after a disaster, look for a BOP that has business interruption coverage. This will help ensure that your business can survive the time between an incident, and when your business is up and running again.
Select a Business Owners Policy for Your Vermont Business
For help finding a business owners policy that offers the coverages your Vermont business needs, contact an independent insurance agent in the state. They’ll be able to help you compare different business owners policies’ coverage options, so you can feel confident in the one you choose. An independent agent can even help you find other insurance coverages that you can use to supplement a BOP if your business requires additional protections.
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