Saturday November 16, 2013
Many Front Range communities have been hit hard by recent flooding. Unfortunately, many small business owners are unclear about the details of their property coverage. Flood damage can be included in most commercial property insurance policies, but they are often subject to sub-limits and exclusions. Colorado foothills counties have long battled the threat of flooding, but the exceptionally destructive 2013 flooding exposed many businesses to the reality of coverage limitations.
The events of 2013 highlight a major concern that many small business owners overlook: How can I find low-cost small business coverage that protects my property and limits my risk? The answer may be only a phone call away. Whether your business employs one or one-hundred, from micro to mid-size, you can take advantage of the benefits that an independent, fully-licensed insurance agent can provide.
The First Step: Identifying Risk
The first, and most important, step in finding appropriate commercial property insurance is to assess your risk. You don’t have to be a millionaire to at risk for losing your most valuable asset, your business and its real and personal value. The real value of your property includes land, buildings, and materials essential to the physical structure of your business. Personal value may be something overlooked by many beginning entrepreneurs. You need to protect other, often intangible, assets that may include personal property or personal wealth.
Your independent agent can help you take inventory of your total insurance risk. This can protect your business more comprehensively, ensuring that a wide range of losses won’t sink your business or your personal finances. Both real and personal property is subject to a valuation known as ACV, or Actual Cash Value. This is determined by calculating a replacement cost and subtracting for depreciation or working condition.
Premiums That You Can Live With
Navigating the complex world of insurance offers is extremely difficult, and most small business owners want low-cost coverage that fits their financial situation. Sometimes, the cheapest coverage will turn into a very expensive proposition, as limited coverage can lead to more out-of-pocket expenses, and possibly, replacement costs that can destroy the value of your business.
You need to find the right coverage for you. This means identifying the type of coverage that protects you, while maintaining a premium that fits your particular budget. With the help of an independent agent, you can shop around for the insurance that protects your assets with low-cost premiums. The fully-licenses agents at Insurance By Phone provide reputable Fort Collins brokerage, searching from a wide variety of carriers so that you can save time and money, protecting your business from the inevitable dangers cost business owners thousands every year.
Including Specifics in Your General Policy
The effects of economic downturns, as well as destructive acts of nature, can be pervasive in business and in commercial insurance. Many insurance policies include restrictive terms or buried exclusions that you may not be aware of. General commercial property insurance can protect you from losses of real and personal property, but you may need to verify the specifics of your coverage. For instance, certain risks may not be appropriately protected in a general policy. In this case, you may need to keep shopping or ask for additional coverage that can increase your premium.
Commercial property coverage generally covers damage from fire, smoke, lightening, windstorms, hail, and other external threats such as aircraft or vehicle, as well as sprinkler leakage, vandalism and civil unrest. On the Front Range, endless sunny days are often interrupted by inclement weather events. For Colorado residents, the threat from flooding, as well as damage from snow and ice can be costly. It may be prudent to create coverage additions to your general property insurance policy.
How Much Coverage is Enough?
In addition to commercial property coverage, your business probably requires some liability coverage. This protects you from claims of negligence stemming from either accidents that occur on your property, or injuries that result from accidents that occur outside of your property due to faulty goods or negligent services. Your liability coverage helps cover medical expenses, as well as court costs and lawyer fees associated with your defense.
If your business can afford it, you may want to consider umbrella coverage that includes extensive liability and property protection. Very often, you can save money by purchasing umbrella coverage that can keep your business safe from a variety of unforeseen losses. However, finding low-cost small business coverage can be very tricky. Umbrella premiums can vary a great deal, and you need an independent insurance agent that can wade through these disparities, helping you save money with the security of knowing that your business is protected.