Author Archives: ryann2013

Business Insurance Policies are the Total package

A Business Owner’s Policy (also known as a BOP policy) is a package policy, providing both property and liability coverage geared toward small to mid-size businesses. They are worthwhile because, unlike separate property and liability policies, they are bundled to contain extra coverage at a low price. Many companies now offer specialized BOP policies for home based businesses or specific classes of business, like retail stores and small restaurants. These policies offer more comprehensive coverage to business owners who may not be able to afford purchasing coverage a la carte.

Property Coverage

The property section of a typical BOP policy will include but is not limited to office equipment, furniture, leased or rented equipment, and property belonging to someone else damaged while in your care. This also includes additions to your building and premises that you rent. When deciding on your limit of property insurance, don’t forget to include the cost of your build-out and improvements, equipment used to maintain the building, and permanently attached fixtures. Always consult your lease agreement, if applicable, so you can include any items you are responsible for and confirm that these items are covered.

Liability

Liability coverage under the BOP policy covers Bodily Injury and Property Damage claims that you are liable for. A claim can be filed against you for medical bills and expenses resulting from injury, sickness or death caused when you act negligently. If not covered correctly, these situations can drain your financial resources and can result in thousands of dollars out of your pocket.

The most common example is a slip-and-fall accident. These can result from something as simple as spilled liquids, uneven flooring, or narrow stairs. These accidents account for around 17,000 deaths in the United States each year. They are among the most frequently filed claims against small businesses, making it important to carry liability coverage in the event of such unfortunate accidents.

What’s Not Covered by BOP

Several key coverages are not included in the basic policy but may be added to the policy by endorsement. A few of these coverages are Automobile, Disability, Health, Worker’s Compensation and Professional Liability. Each business has different needs, meaning not all of these coverages may apply to you. When buying a BOP policy, carefully review what coverages are included and what are not.
Worker’s Compensation is required by most states for businesses with more than one employee and you may need to purchase a separate policy for this coverage. Talk to your insurance representative about the Worker’s Compensation laws in your state.

Running a Business is Inherently Risky

Buying the right Business Owner’s Policy is a first step in protecting you from the risks inherent to running a business. Carrying this policy may also be a requirement of your rental agreement or leased equipment agreements. By not carrying the right BOP policy, you may be vulnerable to lawsuits or uncovered damages. It is a low cost alternative to out-of-pocket expenses and is packed with coverages which may otherwise be costly.

Ryan Niles is an insurance advisor for NewFirst Insurors, specializing in the development and implementation of risk management strategies for small- to mid-sized businesses in the Texas Coastal region.

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Risk Management for Start-Ups

Starting a new business is often the biggest risk. Particularly in the current economic climate. There are so many risks to consider as you look to find your feet and establish who you are and what you stand for. It may be tempting to remain positive and ignore the risks, but the truth is, you need to know how to handle them if they occur. risk reduction strategy

While the chance of your business going bankrupt may seem unlikely, having a solid financial plan that details procedures for managing debt will help minimise this risk. This is just one example of the functionality of a Risk Management strategy, something every company needs, especially start-ups.

Understanding the risks

While risks can vary from industry and sector, there are a number of risks apply across the board. Once you have an understanding of these risks and the potential damage they can cause, you can set about establishing your Risk assessment plan to ensure the safety of your brand new business.

  • Market Risks – Every market has its risks which refer to whether or not there is sufficient demand for what you have to offer at the price you have set. Take into account your competition and consider what you’re offering and how you can provide a better service than your counterparts.

  • Technology & Operational Risks – While technological risks may apply in some sectors more than others, ensuring that your equipment is sound and data is fully protected and accessible is a vital component of a risk management strategy.

  • Financial Risks – Setting up a Business is the first major financial risk you take, but it doesn’t stop there. Paying for equipment, staff, property as well as insurance follows and at times it may seem like your pockets are getting shorter. Tightening the belt can help get your Business off the ground.

  • People Risks – Surrounding yourself with the right kind of people can greatly help your business to flourish. Surrounding yourself with the wrong people can damage your prospects, indefinitely.

Pragmatic Risk Management

The best way to combat these risks and prevent them from happening whilst preparing for the worst possible outcome, is to sit down and plan out your Risk Management strategy by following these steps:

  • Assess how likely or unlikely each risk is. Equate through high risk, medium, and low potential.

  • Consider the consequences of a risk manifesting itself.

  • Identify what you would do in the event of a risk manifesting itself. Prepare your strategy based on the above recommendations.

  • Finalize what you have considered and prepare your Risk Management Strategy based on an evaluation of cost, potential and potential damage.

Setting up a business can be difficult in more ways than one. With so much to consider, it’s important that you are aware of the factors to consider and consult your insurance agency to set about preparing for these obstacles. With a clear head, an appetite for success and an awareness of the risks, your start-up will prove successful.

Learn more about Risk Management; ask one of our experts

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6 Vital Ingredients For Your Restaurant Insurance Plan

Espresso

Insurance is necessary for the protection of any business, especially restaurants. Restaurants, due to the number of hazardous situations that can occur to the business or a customer, require multiple types of insurance. Here are the top six types of insurance you need for your restaurant

1. Property Insurance 

Property insurance is important in protecting your restaurant in many instances of damage to physical property or vandalism. Many insurers only cover certain types of damage, so pay close attention when choosing your insurance. Insurers may offer different insurance plans when it comes to natural disasters such as storms and floods.

2. Loss of Business Insurance 

The restaurant business can be very unpredictable, so having loss of business insurance can cover many of the finances lost in the event your restaurant should have to shut down. Loss of business insurance, however, can be costly. Depending on the severity of the loss of finances, you may find yourself breaking even.

3. Food Contamination Insurance 

Food contamination insurance is important for you to have in the event that there is a power outage due to electrical errors or a storm. This insurance will cover the cost of the spoiled foods in the refrigerators and freezers.

4. Workers Compensation Insurance 

Most states require that a restaurant carry some type of workers compensation plan. As an employee in a restaurant you may be exposed to potentially hazardous situations, such as close proximity to fire and chemicals. In the event that a worker incurs a work-related injury, workers compensation insurance will be able to protect your business.

5. General Liability 

General liability covers the large majority if situations where a customer would want to sue the restaurant. There are several scenarios where a customer could fall into harms way, it is important to be prepared.

6. Liquor Liability 

If your restaurant has a liquor license you should have liquor liability to protect your business in the event that a customer consumes too much alcohol and injures himself or others.

Have we answered your insurance question? If not, head over to our website or ask an expert! 

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Restaurant Workplace Accidents Are COSTLY!

We all know that safety is important, but are you aware just how costly a workplace injury can be? According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the average eye injury costs $1,463. It may not seem like much money, but the extra expense to pay for injuries has a powerfully negative effect to our restaurant’s bottom line.

Why is profitability also an important issue to you? The only way that  can stay in business is to operate at a profit, and that ability can be threatened by a serious workplace injury.

The Real Cost of Workplace Injuries

It may be surprising to hear that most companies do not have a high profit margin—3 percent is about average. Expenses take a large chunk of the income, and competition limits how much we charge our patrons.

Each time an accident occurs, the cost of the injury must be subtracted from profits. Consider the following two examples:

  • At a 5 percent profit margin, an extra $20,000 in sales is needed to compensate for a $1,000 injury.
  • If the profit margin is nearer to 1 percent, an additional $100,000 worth of new income is necessary to maintain that profit level for the same injury.

As you can see, that adds up to a lot of extra income just to compensate for a single injury. And we all know that we can’t just find more customers because we need the extra income. Thus, every time a worker gets hurt on the job, other employees are affected, too. The company may be forced to make difficult budget decisions such as cutting hours or jobs, plus some employees will need to work extra hours to make up for the injured employee’s lost time.

Also, recovering from an injury can mean time away from work, reduced compensation, painful rehabilitation and frustrating adjustments to daily life.

Practice Prevention

Though operating at a profit is essential to our success, our top priority is to keep our employees safe and healthy. That’s why we are counting on you to help practice good safety principles, including following all safety procedures, even if they seem unnecessary or slow you down. Safe work behavior will contribute directly to our bottom line as well as to everyone’s job security. By observing safety precautions, we can limit accidents.

It is always wiser to spend a bit more time doing the job safely than to risk getting a serious injury. Be sure to always follow all safety guidelines and stay alert for unsafe conditions

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