If your business faces some unusual risks, you should consider taking out umbrella insurance in Norfolk. It can provide an extra level of protection that may not be covered by standard insurance.
Most businesses in Norfolk recognize the need to have proper insurance against the risks that all commercial operations face. One of the most common problems is to get the balance right between the levels of cover provided relative to the specific risks that you face in Norfolk.
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Most insurance companies are nationwide operations, and their policies represent the average across the whole country. Even state-based insurers will have a broad mix of risks that the policy must cover. For your business in Norfolk there can always be specific differences.
Often, the insurer will only offer the ability for you to expand the levels of all your insurance policies so that every one of the risk levels is covered. In the end, this means that in total, you are over-insuring your common areas of cover just so that the high-risk areas are adequately protected.
In the end, you are paying far too much in premiums and this is where umbrella insurance in Norfolk can step in to save you money.
But most insurance companies have built-in limits and conditions that may expose your specific type of business in Norfolk to uncovered risks. The purpose of umbrella insurance is to allow you to plug any holes or gaps directly.
It is essential to understand that umbrella insurance for your business in Norfolk is not a stand-alone policy. Umbrella insurance is taken as an add-on to your other cover, not as a separate stand-alone policy.
Understanding the high-risk parts of your business in Norfolk, VA
Every individual or company engaged in commercial activity in Norfolk has to be able to prepare for unexpected events. Even the best-laid plans, and the best-managed businesses, can encounter sudden and unexpected events.
This is the primary reason why business insurance exists. Insurance companies in Norfolk don’t know better than you what is going to happen in the future. The basis of insurance is to spread the risks over as broad a base as possible, so that the results of an accident or mistake, even some catastrophe, are shared over many policyholders.
This means that in total, there are no unlucky losers. Luck is no longer coming into the equation!
The US Small Business Administration gives valuable advice on how important insurance is for your business.
As they say, insurance protects you from unexpected accidents, natural disasters, and lawsuits that could run you out of business if you’re not protected with the right insurance.
But you know better than the broader insurance providers in Norfolk what additional or unique risks there are relevant to your business, and it’s up to you to get some extra cover to protect you in a worst-case situation. This creates the need for umbrella cover.
What is umbrella insurance?
Umbrella insurance means to give a business or individual in Norfolk extra protection to help cover any claims that exceed the standard policy limits. Without it, you would have to pay liability claims higher than the coverage limits out of your pocket.
Typical claims that can grow far beyond expectations include legal costs and medical bills arising out of claims for damage to other people’s property in Norfolk or health.
Add to that the completely uncontrollable cost of judgments and settlements that juries can award, and you will see why you need to get added protection through umbrella insurance.
What are the most critical areas needing umbrella insurance in Norfolk, VA
Commercial auto policies come with built-in liability limits, and the final claims for property damage or bodily injury both to your driver and to third parties can easily exceed your level of cover under a standard policy.
Extending the limits of primary liability insurance policies, such as general liability insurance and professional liability insurance (also known as E&O insurance) is the most common requirement.
Commercial auto umbrella insurance can also be needed in Norfolk when your type of transport, and type of vehicles, fall outside of the usual range. For example, say one of your employees was involved in a traffic accident while delivering to your customer.
Suppose you haven’t organized an umbrella policy. In that case, you may have to pay the excess yourself, placing your whole business, and your own assets, at risk.
Remember that it is better to have a cover that you don’t need than to need a cover that you don’t have!
Umbrella cover in Norfolk, , VA for General Liability insurance
Many businesses in Norfolk opt to take out the Business Owners Policy (BOP) that bundles the essential insurance covers into a single package.
Usually, the limits are for companies needing insurance cover over significant property and liability risks in one bundle. Usually, it is sold at a lower premium than the total cost of individual policies.
A BOP bundles basic insurance coverages against property damage, peril, business interruption, and general liability. Some insurance companies in Norfolk also offer other coverages, such as forgery, data theft, spoilage of merchandise, fidelity, and others.
Generally, BOP is targeted to small- and mid-size businesses in Norfolk who opt for open-peril (also known as all-risk) coverage. Still, there is also an alternative of “named-peril” if you are prepared to restrict the list to specific dangers such as fire, smoke damage, explosion, wind or storm damage, vandalism.
You will have to make this choice based on your own experience doing business in Norfolk.
BOP should also cover any loss of income arising as the result of an event that disrupts the regular operation of your business in Norfolk, including any extra costs due to the need to operate from a temporary location.
The liability clause of BOP covers the insured’s legal responsibility for damages it may inflict on others. This damage would have to be a result of things done in the normal course of business operations in Norfolk, which may cause injury or property damage.
BOP does not cover professional liability (Errors & Omissions) or worker’s compensation and these require separate policies
BOP does cover claims of personal injuries to members of the public and loss or damage to a third-party’s property, even going as high as accidental death.
An example would be if your business in Norfolk supplies and fits carpets in the customer’s office. Suppose a visitor to the office trips over an unlaid section in the workspace where you are working and falls. The third party can sue you for damages, healthcare costs, rehabilitation and all associated costs.
Umbrella cover in Norfolk, VA for Product Liability Insurance
Product Liability insurance should be one of the basic protections that businesses selling goods to customers in Norfolk already have. When you are selling products, whether as a designer, manufacturer, wholesaler, distributor or retailer, you need to match your products’ performance with your advice and advertisements in case something goes wrong. If a customer is dissatisfied, they sue you for damages in a product liability suit.
Suppose the product that you supplied fails what is called the “Consumer Expectations Test” or is defective or dangerous. In that case, a court can decide that the product fails to meet reasonable expectations.
Note: product liability insurance does not provide cover of product supplied by your business in Norfolk if it simply didn’t work. The policy will cover the claim if your product is defective or based on a faulty design and caused bodily injury or property damage to the customer.
Umbrella cover in Norfolk, VA for Commercial Property insurance
Commercial property cover in a standard BOP usually includes owned or rented buildings as well as new buildings or additions in progress. A standard BOP will also cover any business-related items (whether owned by you or under your care) as long as they are located physically inside your premises.
What does umbrella insurance cost?
Any business in Norfolk must be aware of the special risks that it faces, and can then take out the right levels of insurance. Sometimes, standard cover offered by insurance companies can fall short of the special circumstances that you as the business owner is aware of.
In such a case, you should approach a qualified insurance agent, broker or company and negotiate the extra cover via an umbrella policy.
It is not possible to predict what the cover will cost, because it depends on the areas of cover you are seeking, the level of extra protection you decide you need, and the insurance company’s assessment of risk.
What can your umbrella policy cover?
An umbrella policy can increase the levels of cover already provided by BOP/general liability/commercial cover that is already included in your standard insurance for business in Norfolk
We must repeat that umbrella insurance is only available as an add-on to existing insurance, not as a stand-alone cover.
Your decision to take umbrella insurance for your business in Norfolk will depend on several factors, such as:
- Current coverage under the standard policies
- The type of business and location in Norfolk.
- Your business’ size
What is an umbrella insurance policy for a business in Norfolk, VA?
Umbrella insurance is the term used for extra cover on top of standard insurance for general liability, professional liability and auto insurance. It is a way for businesses in Norfolk to boost the level of cover in a specific area of risk, without having to take higher levels of cover and pay higher premiums across the board.
What does umbrella insurance in Norfolk, VA cover for business?
Any business operating in Norfolk can face different risks. Umbrella insurance is a way to accommodate these extra risks with specific insurance cover that sits on top of the standard covers provided by ordinary insurance.