Business owners should not overlook liability insurance |  Insurance

Business owners should not overlook liability insurance | Insurance

Choosing the right liability insurance is a must for business owners. No matter how many precautions a company takes, there is always the risk of unforeseen events, and the safety net of liability insurance helps keep them safe even in the strangest of situations.

Bill Haas, Haas President, Haas + Associates in Chardon, and Hazana Rivers, Client Manager, Hylant in Independence, discussed why liability insurance is critical and what a business owner should look for in the market for coverage.

Haas explained that liability insurance is critical in the event of unforeseen losses or problems with the products the company supplies. He added that it is also important to protect the company’s assets.

When seeking the help of an insurance industry expert when purchasing liability insurance, Haas advised a business owner to look for an “experienced and well-trained professional.”

Some of the mistakes people make when shopping for liability insurance are choosing the cheapest coverages, Haas said.

“They’re probably going to have trouble coming up with a claim,” he noted. “In other words, you get what you pay for.”

A common misconception about liability insurance is that a business doesn’t need it if they’ve never had a problem with their product or facility or been sued, he explained.

“You should periodically review your insurance with an experienced insurance professional,” Haas advised. “The needs of your business are constantly changing, so the sums insured and the types of coverage are changing as well.”

According to Rivers, there are several reasons why a business should carry commercial general liability insurance.

“A general liability policy usually covers bodily injury and property damage, including legal fees,” he explained.

He gave the example of a customer falling on the company’s premises, noting that they could sue the company for medical expenses and if the company had liability insurance, it would help them pay the lawsuit. Liability could also include copyright infringement and personal and publicity damages, Rivers added.

When looking for an industry professional, Rivers suggested finding an agent with access to multiple markets.

“Given that we’re in a tough market, it’s important that your agent has access to multiple markets to provide competitive quotes,” he explained.

Rivers noted that while customers do a good job of discussing their needs with insurance agents, a common mistake people make is signing contracts before the agent reviews the insurance portion.

“I would encourage all business owners to check with their agent first to review the insurance portion of the contract before signing to make sure it meets the requirements or to see what additional costs there might be, if any,” Rivers advised.

He further advised companies to consider obtaining cyber liability insurance due to the increase in cyber liability claims.

“Statistics show that every 39 seconds there is a hacker attack,” Rivers noted. “43% of these attacks target small businesses. We encourage business owners to reevaluate their preventative measures to protect their businesses.

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