There are more than seven million small businesses in the United States. Whether a grocery store, construction, farm, or other industry they have one common factor. Every business has the ability to be wiped out of business out by a lawsuit or disaster.
When you are in business, one of the first things you need to purchase is commercial insurance. When working with a company like Hummel Group, you will be able to obtain all the coverage you need.
We offer insurance for trucking, logging, construction, manufacturing, farming, or more. We have specialized policies to fit your industry.
If you own a business, keep reading for more information. Proper insurance can keep your business afloat following a disaster.
Types of Insurance for Businesses
Every business needs minimal coverage to meet its basic needs and legal obligations. If you have an operating business, you may want to schedule an insurance review. During the review, your insurance agent will let you know of any recommended adjustments to your coverage.
If you are starting a business, meet with an insurance provider to learn about your options. Your insurance advisor will be able to guide you on what insurance plans provide the best security for your business. Basic insurance needs may include some or all of the following:
Every employer is required to carry workers' compensation coverage in accordance with your state's requirements. This insurance covers medical expenses and wage loss for employees who suffer injuries on the job. It may also provide coverage if the employee sues your company for their injury.
This insurance is mandatory only in the states of California, Hawaii, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Puerto Rico. It is optional in all other states. The insurance provides coverage for employees who are unable to work, even for a non-work-related injury
The company receives protection in the event someone files a lawsuit against the business. Coverage is available for products, employment practices, and professional liability.
Property insurance covers your company's inventory, inventory, equipment, and buildings in the event of theft or damage. It may also cover loss of income if you are unable to conduct business due to a claim. Protection is for accidents such as fire, wind damage, or if a building collapses under the weight of snow.
Commercial Auto Insurance
This type of insurance is necessary if your company uses company vehicles to conduct business. This includes transporting inventory, equipment, or employees.
Cyber Liability Insurance
Protection against internet risks is crucial if your company relies on electronic files to conduct your business. The protection is for cyber-attacks and security breaches.
Errors and Omissions
No matter how careful you conduct your business, from time to time you will have an unhappy client. This insurance provides protection against client claims of negligence or inadequate work.
The IRS allows a business to deduct their insurance premiums as an expense. To receive this deduction when filing taxes the policy must be “ordinary and necessary.” Consult your accountant to learn about acceptable business deductions
In addition to the basic insurance needs, some industries require specialty policies. These special policies provide coverage for areas that are unique to their particular industry.
Insurance for Trucking
There are currently about 15.5 million trucks operating in the United States. Two million of those are tractor-trailers. More than 500,000 trucks are in accidents every year and 68% of those happen in rural areas.
Those statistics show the need for commercial truck insurance. Even a simple "fender bender" can result in thousands of dollars in damage. In a collision with a passenger vehicle, those passengers are likely to suffer severe injury or death.
The impact of an accident may financially bankrupt your business without insurance coverage. Like your personal auto policy, commercial truck insurance covers a broad band of coverage. This includes collision, comprehensive, and liability.
The difference is trucks need coverage amounts that account for the heavier and more costly vehicles. They also need insurance for the value of the cargo they haul.
When purchasing a policy, make sure your purchase meets the federal and state requirements for commercial truck coverage. If your business has trucks operating across state lines, you need to comply with federal law. The government minimum insurance amounts may vary from your state requirements.
Coverage requirements are set forth in Title 49 §387 of the Code of Federal Regulations. They are based on the truck weight and cargo. Heavier trucks and dangerous cargo have higher insurance requirements.
Categories of Trucking Insurance
Most businesses needing truck insurance fall into one of the following categories:
- Motor Carrier—for-hire trucking companies with a fleet of vehicles are responsible for insuring their fleet
- Owner-Operator—an individual that owns and operates their own commercial truck as a business and purchases their own truck insurance
- Private Carrier—people who use their personal automobiles to transport merchandise for their employer and may either purchase their own insurance or receive insurance compensation from their employer
Commercial truck insurance may be purchased by all of the above. One policy may cover a single vehicle or an entire fleet of trucks. When selecting a policy you need to understand policy objectives.
The coverage portion of your policy lists the expenses, incidents, and damages the policy will cover. The monthly premium is the amount the business must pay every month to keep the insurance active.
If you file a claim the deductible is the amount of money the business will need to pay toward the repair. The insurance policy will pay the difference. The policy limit is the maximum amount of claims the insurance will pay.
Claims are usually only paid when the vehicle involved is listed on the policy. The driver operating the truck must be listed on the policy, and the incident must take place while conducting business.
Insurance for Loggers
The logging industry faces a unique group of risks. This includes sabotage from those who oppose the cutting of forests.
This labor-intense operation using high-powered equipment increases the risk to equipment and workers. Once out of the forest there are problems that may arise at the storage facility or during shipment.
Coverage needs will vary depending on the way you conduct operations. You may need to consider insurance for premises liability, fire, and nuisance hazards against equipment and wood. There is also the risk of environmental impairment exposure.
Businesses using helicopters to move logs from harvesting to loading have additional risks. There are additional insurance considerations when this is part of your business operation.
The logging industry incurred 655 fatal accidents between 2006-2015. During that same time period, 8,380 loggers incurred non-fatal injuries and illnesses.
You need to make sure you have sufficient insurance for workers in addition to standard logging insurance coverage. In addition to operating heavy equipment and power tools, workers are subject to environmental concerns. This includes falling trees, insects, snakes, animals, and exposure to weather conditions.
Insurance for Farmers
When you operate a ranch or farm for business, you need insurance that provides coverage in all areas of this industry. Depending on the operations of your business you may find yourself needing coverage for some or all of the following:
- Confinement operations
- Pollution liability
- Mixing feed
- Custom spraying
- Hauling or storing grain for neighbors
- Equipment breakdown
- Trucking and transportation
- Processing, packing, or selling agricultural and food products
- Pumpkin patches, hayrides, and other agritourism and agritainment activities
- Buildings insured to value
- Peak season
- Business interruption
- On-farm retail stores
- Specialized insurance program for dairy, grain, fruit & vegetable, livestock, hog, poultry, aquaculture
You may also need special insurance if your farm or ranch participates in truck and tractor pulling competitions.
The farming and ranching industry is always at risk from destruction by storms or natural disasters. This includes loss of crops, destruction of fields and buildings by fire, insect infestation, drought, and more.
In 2020 there were 58,000 crop-insurance policyholders who had a liability of about $6 billion dollars in loss. The cause of this loss was a storm with hurricane-force winds that hit 57 counties in the state of Iowa. During the storm damage was done to 5.6 million acres of soybeans and 8.2 million acres of corn.
Because of the storm damage, the crops on the ground were susceptible to disease. Harvesting was difficult because the corn was bent. Combines were only able to run in one direction, and there was a risk of hidden storm debris in the fields damaging the combines or other equipment.
Insurance for Construction
When you own a construction business, you need to consider all the areas of business that put you at risk of loss. The type of insurance you need may change with each construction project. Determining factors include your relationship to the project. This means whether you are the property owner, contractor, subcontractor, etc.
Depending on your position in the project, insurance considerations include:
- Builder's Risk Insurance—coverage for buildings and other instructions under construction
- Commercial and Contractor General Liability—coverage for bodily harm or property damage
- Commercial Auto/Truck Insurance—for all vehicles used in the business
- Inland Marine Insurance—coverage for tools and equipment used by contractors and developers
- Contractor License Bond—guarantees compliance with regulations
- Construction Bond—guarantee certain aspects of a construction project
- Workmans' Compensation—required in all businesses
Construction insurance policies are sold independently. Every policy varies in coverage and cost as necessary for that project.
Consideration factors include the business credit history and contractor experience. Other factors are the size of the project and its location. Each project will have different coverage limits and deductibles.
Get an Industry Targeted Insurance Quote Today
Whether you need insurance for trucking, farming, logging, or any other type of business, Hummel Group can fill insurance needs. We offer customized risk management plans in a variety of niche markets.
Call us toll-free today at 800-860-1060 to obtain an insurance review and coverage recommendation. You may also request an online quote. Don’t risk an unexpected loss destroying the financial stability of your business. Call today!