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Your New Year Utica Area Business Insurance Checklist

January 2, 2020

business insurance checklistGary Scalzo and Steve Zogby have helped manage risk for Utica area businesses for over 40 years. They also represent some of the largest and most respected A-rated insurance companies in the industry.

They analyze a client’s risk by learning how their business operates. Then they recommend coverages and present the account to their insurance carriers.

After writing the business, they like to meet with clients throughout the year. These are face-to-face meetings where they review current property and liability exposures.

We thought that this would be a good time to get business owners and managers thinking in terms of mitigating their exposure to risk. Gary and Steve encourage you to use this short checklist to remind you of questions you might have about your business insurance.

And know that you should feel free to call them anytime. They’re ready to discuss coverages, deductibles, premiums, and whatever else comes to mind as you gear up for the new year.

What Your Business Insurance Covers

Buildings
A typical problem with the insurance on your buildings is the coverage amount. The thing to remember is that if you have a major loss, you will want to repair or replace your building. That means that you should insure to replacement cost rather than market value.

We can help you determine the replacement cost value of your building. Then we’ll work with deductibles and discounts for the best pricing.

Contents and Inventory
Another property coverage important for our commercial clients is their business personal property. This includes furniture, fixtures, equipment and inventory. Be aware that equipment taken off the property may need special coverage. And inventory fluctuations can be handled to your advantage in certain situations.

Business Interruption
If you’ve never had a serious property loss, you may not have thought of this coverage. But what if there’s a fire and your business is closed because it’s under repair? Your fixed expenses such as property taxes and payroll continue. But there’s no revenue to pay them. And you lose profits. Business interruption coverage will pay while you’re out of business undergoing repairs.

Electronic Data Processing/Cyber Insurance
Today’s internet, information technology, and computer equipment are essential to business success. The equipment may not be fully covered in a commercial property policy. And doing business online poses all sorts of risks. This is where we can help you evaluate your exposures and mitigate the risks.

Liability
When you’re in business you expose yourself to lawsuits. They can be for property damage or personal injury caused by your services, products, or operations. A Commercial Liability policy covers these general liability exposures.

But there are other liability issues to worry about not covered by General Liability. There is Professional Liability Insurance or Errors & Omissions, Employment Practices Liability, and Directors and Officers Insurance available for certain businesses and professionals. If you think you’re exposed, let us know and we’ll talk about it.

Umbrella
Your Commercial Liability Policy may not be enough. A catastrophic lawsuit may exhaust the limits on your basic policy. That’s where Commercial Umbrella comes in. It provides liability limits above your other policies, including commercial auto.

You may even consider an Excess Liability policy that covers over your Umbrella. Especially if you’re in a high profile business. Or have sizeable sales, assets, auto fleets, a worldwide presence, or significant public exposure.

Commercial Auto
This is for your business vehicles. It covers liability, personal injury protection (no-fault), and comprehensive and collision. Also, ask us about hired/non-owned auto liability. This is for instances where you rent cars or your employees use their cars in your business.

Surety Bonds
We offer contract bonds, commercial bonds, fidelity bonds, and more.

Mandatory NYS Employee Benefits
If you have employees, you must carry certain mandated benefits. This includes Workers Compensation (WC), Disability Benefits (DBL), and Paid Family Leave (PFL).

Workers Compensation pays medical expenses, lost wages, and rehabilitation costs for on the job injuries.

NYS Disability pays a percentage of loss of wages due to off the job injuries or disability.

Paid Family Leave pays when a family member needs care because of a health problem. Or a family welcomes a new child.

Find out more at our article: Mandatory NYS Employee Benefits Explained.

This is a short look at the coverages available to you so you can stay in business if a disaster happens. There’s a lot more to commercial insurance so call us with questions. Or ask us to assess your business’s risk and shop the insurance with our major carriers.

In any case, here’s wishing you and your business a profitable New Year!

Until next time,
Your SZW Team

SZW Insurance is your Utica area Trusted Choice™ independent insurance agent. Call us for a quote on insurance for your home, car, business, or life at 315.792.0000. Or request a quote here. In Westchester County call Zak Scalzo at 914.246.0315 or email at zaks@szwinsurance.com.