Expert Witness insurance – what kind and at what cost

Whenever you budget the expenses of your business, Expert Witness insurance must be near the top of the list because you can’t always know exactly what could happen in the future.

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With the protection provided by general insurance and all the other kinds of insurance we will tell you about, you can protect your business and yourself in case something unwanted happens.

Like any business owner, for your Expert Witness enterprise, you must consider how much financial risk you are taking on.

If your Expert Witness business runs without proper insurance, you are taking a tremendous chance not just of losing some money but of a final wipe-out.

This is because the laws in every state are very strict in enforcing liability on the owners of businesses for the results of their actions. 

Expert Witness Insurance

In this article, we are giving very general guidelines for startup businesses to highlight what the main kinds of insurance that you need are, and where available, a rough guide to how much you can expect to pay.

The question is, can you afford to NOT have insurance for your Expert Witness business?

What this means, for any Expert Witness business owner, is that if some customer claims that your business caused them some physical or economic damage, a court can award damages far beyond the total size of your business.

Your Expert Witness business is not sheltered by laws in the same way as states are, where legislation can place a “cap” on the maximum level of liability.

In some states, like New Jersey, there are specific monetary levels that limit the amount an adjudicator can award in any case against the state.

In a court case, it’s purely the privilege of the jury to award whatever amount they deem appropriate, even sometimes giving a plaintiff more than they have claimed.

When you are running your Expert Witness operations, you can’t avoid responsibility for the results of your actions.

Even more importantly, unless you have spent up-front the money necessary to have your business running as a limited liability company, all of that liability belongs to you alone.

What does Expert Witness insurance protect you from?

For your Expert Witness business, the most important kinds of insurance are intended to cover the risks to your business from accidents, from unexpected events, and from mistakes.

As well there are some mandatory kinds of insurance that various states require.

In the next few paragraphs, we will outline the most important points any Expert Witness business owner should know when negotiating the insurance needed.

The main types of insurance for your Expert Witness businesses are liability insurance, commercial insurance, asset insurance and workers compensation insurance.

Liability insurance

General liability insurance

Any Expert Witness business is dealing directly with other people, and that means you usually have the danger that some accident can happen to them bodily or else something of theirs can be ruined.

In such a case, they can demand compensation.

General liability insurance policy for your Expert Witness business covers you against claims coming from injury to customers or damage to their property.

It protects your Expert Witness business from the claims themselves and also to any resulting court costs and legal fees of the lawsuits.

In many cases, it should help you to qualify for extra business from city and state organizations, where contracts insist on proper liability insurance.

The average level of general liability insurance for your Expert Witness business would be with a cap of $1 million for a single event and a total of $2 million for the whole year.

See the table in the costing section below for average prices of general liability insurance for your Expert Witness insurance operations.

Professional liability insurance for your Expert Witness business

In the event where a client alleges some negligence, errors, or omissions in how you conducted your Expert Witness business for them, you can quickly be involved in a court case.

Even if the matter against you is judged in your favor, the cost of defense can be high, and the impact on your reputation can be damaging.

Most small Expert Witness business should have enough professional liability insurance to cover a once-off claim of $25,000, with annual cover of $50,000.

See the table in the cost of Expert Witness insurance section below for average prices of professional liability insurance for your Expert Witness operations.

Product liability insurance

Whatever goods you sell or advice you give about the goods, you are running a risk that clients may claim that the results didn’t meet your description of function, or that your advice was basically incorrect.

You need to know the particular laws of product liability in your own state.

For example, in California, all businesses in the supply chain can be held culpable for damages caused by products claimed to be defective.

To cover yourself against any possible lawsuit, you need Product liability insurance for Expert Witness

Only you can know exactly how much insurance you must have.

Best advice is to consult with experienced insurance agents, brokers or company representatives for guidance.

Commercial insurance

Commercial vehicle insurance for your Expert Witness business

Beware! – almost all policies for private vehicle insurance do not cover any event like theft or accidental damage when the car is being used for business purposes.

The best way to make sure that your vehicle is insured for both its own value, and the valuable contents, is by taking out a direct commercial vehicle insurance package.

Commercial car policies guarantee the value of any vehicle in case of accident, malicious damage, fire, or theft.

Also, in case of any accident, the truck itself, the content and any legal bills, medical expenses, and property damage is guaranteed if your van is involved in an accident.

Most states, other than Virginia and New Hampshire, insist on this type of insurance.

The required value of the insurance is worked-out for the depreciated value of the vehicle, and your intended level of cover of contents. 

Tools and Equipment insurance

Since your Expert Witness business needs unique and expensive equipment, you know how much it can cost to replace it in case of any damage, loss, or theft.

The tools may be subject to malicious damage, deliberate fire, theft, other such unpredicted acts.

Also, acts of nature like lightning strikes, hurricanes, earthquakes, and other highly damaging natural events can eliminate your whole business in one stroke.

Unless you can afford to immediately replace such unique gear quickly out of your own pocket, you need full-level equipment insurance so that you can immediately buy whatever needed to keep your Expert Witness business running.

It is hard to advise how much equipment insurance you need – it’s essentially dependent on how much you have invested in your Expert Witness business’ equipment.

Commercial Property insurance

Any Expert Witness business that owns or rents space in a building needs a commercial property insurance policy.

If you own the space, you certainly have a substantial capital investment, in addition to a big liability if there’s a mortgage.

Your physical building location needs to carry insurance coverage for the value of the premises and contents against accidental occurrences like fire and storms, and against deliberate damages like theft and vandalism.

If your Expert Witness business deals in areas of high risk, like Texas or North Carolina, additional coverage may be needed for earthquakes and hurricanes or tornadoes.

In other states like Washington, where unlimited cold snaps can cause damage to outer coverings of Expert Witness business premises, there is a need for more additional cover than in warmer climes.

Because the level of cover depends completely on the value of the property, it’s not possible to say what cover your need, but we have been able in the table in the cost of Expert Witness insurance section below to give some estimate of the average prices per million dollars of property insurance for your Expert Witness business.

Temporary insurance by month, week or day for your Expert Witness business

Is your Expert Witness business working part-time or casually, or is the level of business seasonal?

Using short-term insurance makes excellent sense. Business insurance by the month, day, or week – temporary insurance for Expert Witness – are special policies where you can cover a nominated period when you want to be covered.

By only paying for that period of cover, you will save by having less premiums but still having identical risk cover.

The key feature of short-term insurance is that you pay for the cover for a defined period – a nominated date, or a week or month starting on a specific date, for example for 30 days beginning on the specified date.

When you are expecting periods of better business activity, get the existing cover raised.

Talk to your insurance agent, broker or the company’s representatives to see what options you have.

Business Owners Policy BOP for your Expert Witness business

You have the chance to combine several of the important kinds of small business insurance in one policy that is known as the business owner’s policy – BOP.

A BOP combines commercial property and public liability insurance by incorporating these coverages into one insurance policy, which can save you money.

BOP insurance will protect you if any claims of injury or property damage are made.

It is frequently the right choice for small and medium-sized Expert Witness businesses, such as yours.

There are two limits that will rule whether BOP is suitable for your own business.

BOPs do not cover your professional liability or commercial vehicle policies.

Also, the size of your business will rule whether you are permitted to take out BOP cover.

The normal business that is eligible for a BOP policy must have less than one hundred employees, and maximum five million dollars in annual sales.

In addition, you must separately take out the required worker’s compensation, health and disability insurance as determined for your state.

Workers Compensation insurance for your Expert Witness business employees

In most states, it is mandatory to have workers compensation insurance when your Expert Witness business has one or more employees.

Workers compensation insurance covers the operation against any costs that arise if any hired hand experiences an injury or becomes sick as a result of work.

The benefits include medical expenses, death benefits, lost wages, and vocational rehabilitation.

Failure to meet a state’s regulations in this regard can leave you as the employer having to pay penalties levied by the states.

Some states, such as North Dakota, Ohio, Washington, West Virginia, and Wyoming only authorize coverage from the government-run monopoly state funds.

In these states, you can’t get your workers compensation obligations from private insurance corporations.

Workers compensation premiums are worked out based on the employee’s pay, and usually come out at around $1.00 per $100 per month.

However, you must consult the relevant authorities in your state.

Average costs of these types of insurance

Although every Expert Witness insurance need is unique, there are enough examples of usual quotes from insurance companies for us to give approximate guidelines, including what are the cheapest rates offered.

Of course, you should always check with an insurance representative what’s relevant for your business.

The list below is of annual premiums we have collected for the main types of insurance your Expert Witness businesses needs.

Types of insurance Price range
Product liability insurance $323 – $654
General liability insurance $621 – $1248
Public liability insurance $256 – $643
Equipment insurance $388 – $1448
Commercial insurance $1101 – $2251
Commercial vehicle insurance $1924 – $3337

Cost of insurance for your Expert Witness operations depends on many different factors.

We have estimated these figures for small independent Expert Witness businesses.

In larger states like California, premiums are generally about 20%-30% higher than national averages, while in smaller states like Oregon, they will be about 20%-30% less.

The location and size and type of your Expert Witness business can have a big effect on the cost of different policies.

You should consult with professional insurance agents and brokers, or insurance company representatives.

In addition you can let the internet do the work for you by searching for insurance companies near where your business is located.

Another good source of information is the local Better Business Bureau in your city.

FAQ

What is small business insurance for Expert Witness operations?

This is a general term used to describe standard insurance policies designed to protect Expert Witness business owners from risks like bodily injury, property damage, claims of negligence.

Does my Expert Witness business have to have insurance?

Some of the types of insurance are not mandatory for you to open your business, but they can protect you from risks in your business operations.

Several other forms are required by state law, such as workers compensation and vehicle insurance.

What does a small Expert Witness business insurance policy cover?

Liability insurance provides coverage against lawsuits or claims filed by a customer for bodily injury, property damage, or negligence.

The specific cover will vary based on your own operations.

See the table in the costing section above for average prices of the recommended policies for Expert Witness insurance.

How much will Expert Witness business insurance cost?

As well as the size of the business, several other factors, such as location and claims history, are used to determine your policy’s cost.

You should talk to professional insurance agents and brokers, or insurance company representatives.

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