What if you were running one of the world's most dangerous businesses and you didn't even know it?
This is the reality for modern American loggers. Research has shown that nearly 150 loggers die every year from traumatic workplace injuries. In fact, logging fatality rates are 23 times higher than in the average workplace.
A job this dangerous requires the right insurance. However, commercial insurance is often very different from personal insurance. And you may not know where to start when it comes to protecting your business, your workers, and yourself.
To help you get the protection you deserve, we put together this ultimate guide of insurance for loggers. Keep reading to discover answers to all of your questions!
Why Insurance Is So Important For American Loggers
We already covered the main reason that insurance is so important for loggers: simply put, it is very dangerous work. But there are other reasons why your business needs the protection that comes from good insurance.
Liability is a major example. Without the right insurance, a single lawsuit from an employee or site visitor could sink your business. Even if the court rules in your favor, nobody wants to deal with all those legal fees.
Let's take a closer look at liability insurance and what it can do for you to help you understand why good insurance coverage is so important.
The Importance of General Liability Insurance
Every good commercial insurance provider offers general liability among other types of insurance. "General liability" typically refers to a combination of bodily injury, property damage, and personal injury.
General liability coverage protects you against claims that others make against you. For example, think about how easy it would be to accidentally cause property damage with some of your specialized logging equipment. With general liability insurance, you are protected against property damage claims others may bring against you.
At first glance, you might think that "bodily injury" and "personal injury" sound similar. But they refer to two very distinct claims that general liability can protect you from.
In a bodily injury claim, someone else is expecting you to pay for things like medical bills related to an injury they think is your fault. The exact dollar amount is easy to calculate, and general liability coverage means you won't be paying out of your own pocket.
Personal injury refers to broader damages related to a potential workplace incident due to negligence. For example, "personal injury" may include the cost of someone's physical rehabilitation if they were injured by a sawmill. And insurance for sawmills may also include the loss of income and (in the event of death) burial and funeral expenses.
With the right policy, you can protect yourself and your business from all of this and more!
Business Property Insurance
Business property insurance is a fairly straightforward concept. This type of insurance protects both your buildings and the content within those buildings. It can also protect your business from accidents and from loss of income.
Before getting insurance for loggers, it's important to take note of what's covered and what's not. For example, while a typical policy protects against fire damage and wind damage, it probably doesn't protect against floods. If you think floods will affect your business, you need to get a separate policy.
It's also important to know how much coverage you need. If you rent your business building(s), you should refer to your contract to review what is and is not covered. If you own the building(s), though, you'll need to decide what kind of coverage you need.
You must typically choose between replacement value and actual cash value. Actual cash value insurance is cheaper because it pays out the actual cash value of a potentially-depreciated building. Meanwhile, a replacement value policy pays whatever it will cost to construct an entirely new building.
No matter which types of insurance you get, it's important to secure the right coverage amount. Be sure to discuss your needs with the insurance provider before buying anything!
The Need for Commercial Auto Insurance
Some businesses struggle with deciding whether they need commercial auto insurance or not. For American loggers, this insurance is a real "must-have."
That's because the average logging business is using vehicles (often specialized vehicles) every day. And every moment that an employee is behind the wheel is a moment that you need good insurance coverage!
Commercial auto insurance can offer coverage for when your vehicle collides with other vehicles. But you can also purchase a more comprehensive policy that protects your vehicles from something other than collision (for example, logging accidents).
Commercial auto insurance comes with its own liability protection. So if someone driving one of your vehicles is at fault in an accident, your insurance will pay for any bodily damage they cause. Similarly, it will pay for property damage that the employee causes if they are at fault.
Insurance for loggers is so important because your business involves moving big trees with big equipment. This can lead to very expensive accidents, but with the right insurance, these accidents won't put you out of business.
Special Protection For Your Equipment
Protecting your equipment is important for every business. However, few businesses rely on their equipment as much as loggers.
The majority of logging equipment lost each year is destroyed in fires. The right insurance for sawmills can help you prevent these losses and, worst case, repair or replace anything affected by the fire.
In addition to fires, your equipment is always at risk of damage due to falling objects. Workplace accidents may damage or destroy your equipment, and even inclement weather poses a major risk.
You can protect your equipment with good insurance for loggers. And you can also protect yourself from workers' compensation claims.
Understanding Workers' Compensation
We covered how insurance for loggers is so important to protect you against the claims of others. Given how dangerous logging is, the likeliest source of these claims is going to be your own employees!
All of the threats to your business equipment are also threats to your employees. Fires and accidents involving equipment can hurt or even kill your employees in very short order. Employees are also in perpetual danger of "slip and fall" accidents and being hit by various objects.
Workers' compensation is legally required for businesses in most places and is definitely worth the investment. Otherwise, all it takes is a lawsuit from a single disgruntled employee to completely destroy your business.
The Expertise You Deserve
Choosing commercial insurance is a very important decision. Before you make the decision, it's important to see what others have to say about an insurance provider.
One way to do this is to reach out to the insurance agency you are interested in. You can ask them to provide testimonials from current or previous clients. Doing so will give you a better idea of whether the insurance agency is a good fit for your own business.
A second way to do this is to see what people are saying about the insurance agency online, including across social media. Think of insurance for loggers like anything else: if a carrier has a good reputation, that reputation should precede them.
You're not just getting insurance for yourself. You're also getting coverage for your employees. And it's worth taking some extra time to make sure everyone gets the protection and expertise they deserve.
Finding A "One-Stop-Shop"
There are many differences between personal insurance and commercial insurance. However, they do overlap in one very important way: you're better off finding a provider that can serve as a "one-stop-shop" for your insurance needs.
One reason for this is that it simplifies things and saves you time. Why go through two or three insurance agencies when you could make things easier for yourself and only use one provider?
Another reason for this is that it can save you money. You can save money when you bundle your home insurance and your car insurance through the same carrier.
You can cover multiple personal and business needs with the right insurance agency. You can have your home insurance, car insurance, and business insurance (including commercial auto) through the same agency. This will save you time and money while helping you focus on growing your business.
Get the Insurance Protection You Deserve Today!
Now you know everything you need to know about commercial insurance. But do you know where you can find an insurance provider that understands the needs of American loggers?
Here at Hummel, we offer the kind of insurance you need to protect your business and your employees. To discover the kind of coverage and competitive prices you've been looking for, contact us today!