Commercial Auto Insurance
Commercial Auto Insurance Information
As a business owner, you need the same kinds of insurance coverages for the car you use in your business as you do for a car used for personal travel -- liability, collision and comprehensive, medical payments (known as personal injury protection in some states) and coverage for uninsured motorists. In fact, many business people use the same vehicle for both business and pleasure. If the vehicle is owned by the business, make sure the name of the business appears on the policy as the "principal insured" rather than your name. This will avoid possible confusion in the event that you need to file a claim or a claim is filed against you.
Whether you need to buy a business auto insurance policy will depend on the kind of driving you do. A good insurance agent will ask you many details about how you use vehicles in your business, who will be driving them and whether employees, if you have them, are likely to be driving their own cars for your business.
While the major coverages are the same, a business auto policy differs from a personal auto policy in many technical respects. Ask your insurance agent to explain all the differences and options.
If you have a personal umbrella liability policy, there's generally an exclusion for business-related liability. Make sure you have sufficient auto liability coverage.
Unfortunately for every business owner, the chances of getting sued have dramatically increased in the last decade. General Liability insurance can prevent a legal suit from turning into a financial disaster by providing financial protection in case your business is ever sued or held legally responsible for some injury or damage.
General Liability pays losses arising from real or alleged bodily injury, property damage, or personal injury on your business premises or arising from your operations. The Hartford's liability programs extend far beyond the provisions of typical policies, with broadened coverage and increased limits in over 30 areas.
Broad Range of General Liability Protection
Bodily Injury, including the cost of care, the loss of services, and the restitution for any death that results from injury
Property Damage coverage for the physical damage to property of others or the loss of use of that property
Products-Completed Operations provides liability protection (damages and legal expenses up to your policy's limit) if an injury ever resulted from something your company made or service your company provided
Products Liability is a more specialized product liability insurance that protects your company against lawsuits from product-related injury or accidents
Contractual Liability extends to any liability you may assume by entering into a variety of contracts
Other coverage includes: Reasonable Use of Force; Borrowed Equipment; Liquor Liability; Non-Owned Vehicles (such as aircraft and watercraft); Fire, Lightning or Explosion Damage; Water Damage Liability Protection; Legal Defense Costs; Medical Payments; Personal Injury; Advertising Injury; and specialized liability protection for specific business types
Commercial Bonds Information
If you are a contractor, you want to promise your clients you’ll look after them if you can’t complete your work. One of the most assured ways to do so is through offering surety bond options. Bonds function as guarantees of compensation if you can’t keep your promises.
What is a surety bond?
A surety bond is like a guarantee of financial protection that a contractor promises clients.
Let’s say, for example, that you cannot complete a job. Any number of reasons might lead to this failure on your part. However, by failing in your contract, you might have an obligation to compensate the client for their losses. You aren’t the only one who stands to lose out, after all. With a bond, you’ll essentially guarantee your customer you’ll repay them.
With a commercial bond, a party in need will file a claim with the bond company. The company will then process the claim, and issue payment. In this way, a bond will function a lot like an insurance claim. Your clients won’t have to suffer because of your mistakes, so to speak.
How a bond differs from standard insurance
Still, there are some important ways that bonds differ from insurance. While they will offer a settlement to affected parties, they don’t necessarily guarantee financial protection to the bond carrier.
If a bond company pays a claim on your behalf, you still have a financial obligation. You must repay the bond company for the cost of the claim. So, in that regard the bond is different from your standard insurance. Rather than getting off scot-free, you’ll still face a potential for financial loss because you must repay your client.
Who are the parties in the Bond?
Bonds involve three parties:
The principal is you, the party who must carry a bond.
An obligee is generally your client, or another party who requires a bond.
The surety is the company issuing the bond.
Each party will interact differently in case of a claim. In some cases, the obligee files the bond claim, while in other cases it is the principal. In other situations, the surety company will pay the obligee directly, while others will pay the principal. The principal will then pay the obligee. Afterwards, the principal and surety will work together to settle the outstanding costs.
The benefits of carrying bonds
If you decide to carry a bond, you’ll create a better financial reputation for yourself and your company:
You’ll be able to promise your clients more compensation in case you can’t follow through with a contract. That will likely make you more trustworthy.
Many potential clients require businesses with whom they work to carry bonds. Therefore, to increase your ability to make contracts, consider bonded options your key.
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