What Are The Risks Of Not Having Commercial Insurance

Businesses constantly face various challenges. Risks are everywhere, whether it is fire, theft, or damage to commercial property. Therefore, protecting your business is something that every business owner worries about. Getting business insurance is one of the most efficient means of protecting yourself and your company. However, some business owners decide to skip business insurance in order to save money. If you choose to do the same, you should be aware of the possible risks:

  • Risk of business interruption. What is your plan in case of fire? What will you do if a strike occurs tomorrow? These are just two examples of situations that can put your business at risk. Without business insurance, these situations can have much worse consequences. 
  • Cybersecurity risks. In today’s world, cyber crimes are getting worse and more serious. Cybercriminals can move down the business chain and destroy any small business. If you obtain cyber insurance, the type of commercial insurance, you will reduce the risk of becoming a victim of cybercriminals. 
  • Risk of leaving your business property unprotected. If you own a business property, you want to protect it well. Without insurance, you risk losing your property completely. 
  • Liability losses. The majority of businesses incur a loss during their lifetime. The good news is that there is protection against such losses. It is a specific coverage called Commercial General Liability that covers damages for which your business may be found liable. 

Insurance is one of the critical components of any business plan. If you run your business in Opelika, AL, or any other nearby town, you should contact Elliott & Associates Insurance. Our insurance company will answer all your questions and help you keep your business covered. 

How much commercial insurance do I need?

Having the right amount of commercial insurance is essential for any business. It can protect you from potential financial losses that accidents, lawsuits, or other unexpected events could cause. But how much coverage do you need?

The answer depends on various factors, such as the size and scope of your business operations, the types of risks associated with your industry, and even local laws and regulations. In this blog post, we at Elliott & Associates Insurance will discuss some key considerations to help you determine how much commercial insurance is right for your business in the Opelika, AL area.

First and foremost, you should consider the risks associated with your business. Insurance can help protect you from any potential losses due to accidents, liabilities, or other unexpected events. Depending on your industry and operations, this could include property damage caused by fire or natural disasters, customers’ medical bills in the case of an injury on your premises, legal liability for damages if a product or service is found to be defective, or financial losses sustained as a result of professional negligence.

When determining how much insurance coverage you need, it’s important to consider the cost of future repairs or replacements and the potential legal fees that might arise from a lawsuit. It would be best to consider your business’s current size and future growth plans. Start by covering the bare minimum of what is required by law, then work up depending on your needs and budget. Adjust your policy accordingly if you plan to expand or hire additional staff.

If you have any questions, call us at Elliott & Associates Insurance today. We proudly serve the Opelika, AL area.

What is a BOP and why would you want one?

What is a BOP and why would you want one?

 When you approach Elliott & Associates Insurance serving Opelika, AL about commercial insurance policies, you’ll hear about the most essential coverage first. Most businesses require four basic policies to start with and the insurance industry bundled those into a package called the business owners’ policy (BOP).

A BOP bundles the four most common types of business insurance – perils, liability, property damage, and business interruption – for a reduced premium cost. You can add to it, letting you create a custom commercial policy that uses the BOP as its foundation. This saves your business money.

You can add any type of coverage to your BOP, including commercial auto, boiler, errors and omissions, malpractice, etc. You can add any type of commercial insurance to a BOP. Because the BOP premium always costs less than purchasing the four foundation policies separately, even when you add the other policies, your commercial coverage costs less than it would have if you had bought the other four separately.

A BOP policy works for any type of business – retail, home, entrepreneur, solopreneur, manufacturing, etc. While some types of commercial policy like malpractice can only be purchased by a lawyer or doctor, every business needs perils, liability, property damage, and business interruption.

This might surprise you since home insurance provides liability coverage. It does not apply to doing regular business at your home though. When you begin storing products at home or holding meetings there regularly, you need commercial insurance to cover you.

The same is true of driving your personal vehicle. As soon as you begin using it with regularity for business purposes, such as delivering cakes or picking up items to emboss or engrave, you no longer can apply your personal auto insurance to an accident. Your vehicle needs a commercial auto policy. This, too, you can add to your BOP.

Contact Elliott & Associates Insurance serving Opelika, AL for more information on commercial insurance policies. Let us help you protect your business investment.

Required Commercial Insurance in Alabama

In Alabama, there are clear laws about the types of commercial insurance that businesses must have. In the state, there are two commercial insurance types that most Alabama businesses need. There are also many other types that are helpful but not required. If you need commercial insurance for your business, call us at Elliott & Associates Insurance in Opelika, AL. 

Workers’ Compensation Coverage

Many states require this coverage for every business that has any number of employees, but Alabama only requires it if you have more than four employees. These workers can be part-time or full-time, and they include any members of the LLC or officers of the company. This insurance protection pays for medical bills when an employee has an accident or contracts an illness at work. It’s a helpful policy for your business, as it protects the company against having to pay out of pocket for medical bills and legal fees. 

Commercial Auto Coverage

If your business owns a vehicle in the state, it has to have a commercial auto insurance policy. There is a state-mandated minimum amount that the policy has to include for property damage for an accident. This includes coverage for damage done to a third party’s vehicle but not your own. It also has a minimum for the number of bodily injury bills it will pay for when one person is injured in an accident. It has a different number required for when two or more people are injured. 

Get Your Commercial Insurance

If your business doesn’t have the required types of commercial insurance, or you want to add to your policy, call us at Elliott & Associates Insurance in Opelika, AL to talk to an agent about your commercial insurance needs. 

Life Insurance for Life Stages: Why the Right Coverage is Important at All Life Stages

Life insurance is often seen as something that is only important when you have loved ones that rely on you to provide for them. However, the right life insurance is important at every stage of adult life. Elliott & Associates Insurance in Opelika, AL is here to help you with the right policy for every life stage. 

Young Single Adult

Why do you need life insurance? Even though you don’t have dependents, you likely have debt. If you have loans with a cosigner, the cosigner will be responsible for the debt if you pass. Loved ones may also have to cover funeral expenses. A term life insurance policy can cover burial experiences and any debt that you have. 

Married and/or Starting a Family

If you have a spouse or dependents, it’s important to be sure their financial needs will be met if you are no longer there. A whole life insurance policy provides protection for your loved ones and an investment that you can tap into later if needed. This policy will be valid for your entire lifetime as long as you continue to pay the premiums. Selecting this type of policy earlier in life may give you a lower premium. 

Empty Nesters

Your children have left home and are supporting themselves. Most of your bills are paid, so you don’t have a large financial responsibility. If you don’t already have an insurance policy, you should consider a guaranteed life insurance policy. A guaranteed policy will provide coverage regardless of your age or health status, and they don’t require a health exam.

Life Insurance at Elliott & Associates Insurance

Selecting a life insurance policy is an important decision. At Elliott & Associates Insurance in Opelika, AL, we provide our expertise to help you select the policy that best fits your needs, no matter what your current life stage. 

Types of Commercial Insurance

Types of Commercial Insurance

If an accident or incident was to occur to your business, you might think of all the business equipment to operate your business, the office furniture, or storefront space, but you need to think of your insurance first. At Elliott & Associates Insurance of Opelika, AL, we are not just saying that because we sell insurance. It is important that you know the difference between a business owner’s policy, commercial auto, commercial liability, etc. You need to choose the right policy so your business obtains the coverage it really needs.

An abundance of commercial insurance types are available. Your business type determines what you will need. A pizza delivery restaurant needs different policies than a manufacturing plant. While they both need liability insurance, that is pretty much where the similarities end. Your potential commercial insurance policies include:

  • automobile insurance
  • boiler and machinery policies
  • business owner’s policy
  • business interruption insurance
  • builder’s risk insurance
  • debris removal
  • glass insurance
  • inland marine insurance
  • ordinance or law insurance
  • tenant’s insurance
  • crime insurance
  • fidelity bonds
  • errors and omissions insurance
  • malpractice insurance
  • directors’ and officers’ liability insurance

Elliott & Associates Insurance of Opelika, AL can help you determine which insurance policies you need. With so many diverse choices, it makes sense that you need to choose only what your business really needs. You need insurance, but you need the right insurance. That means sitting down with an expert to determine which policies you do need. That saves you money in two ways. You do not pay premiums on something you do not need and the right policy covers your repair or replacement costs when you do need to make a claim on your insurance.

What Gas Prices Tell Us About Insurance

Love is blind. So is financial planning.

Perhaps it seemed like a good idea at the time. In 2008, gas prices were skyrocketing taking almost a daily increase moving right past the $3/gallon mark at the beginning of the year and headed to the $4/gallon by the middle of the year. One auto maker had a plan and a promotion to match the hysteria.

If you bought a new car, they would guarantee $2.99/gallon gas for up to three years. It sounds crazy now, but at the time, it looked like a huge blunder by the auto maker, not the consumer. The feeling at the time was that there was no end in sight to the gas crunch.

I remember being at a party with someone who had bought a car based on this program and listening to a friend chide him in late October about the offer. With a sly smile he quizzed, “So, are you still having to pay $2.99/gallon?” By this time, the market had stabilized and gas was well below $2.99/gallon and quickly headed below $2/gallon. Any “savings” had long since been negated due to a change in the market.

While insurance markets don’t tend to change as quickly as the gas and oil markets, it should be noted that what may have worked for you a few years ago may not be the best option for your current situation. Our job is to make sure your insurance program matches your current situation. For this very reason, we work with different companies, so we can find a company that fits your current needs and offer other solutions as your needs change.

Alex Rainey

Independent Agencies are so different.

zebra-among-giraffes-irishwildcatI’m often asked what kind of work I do. When I reply I’m an insurance agent, the next question is “Who do you work for?”. Usually my answer is “I don’t work for any particular company, I’m independent.”

This always brings up the same question: “What does that mean?”. Since this question comes up so often, I thought I would share information today that explains how an independent agency works.

When I first entered the industry in 1980 I was an employee of an insurance company. The only insurance I could offer was their products. If it didn’t fit their appetite, I would have to tell the customer they would have to get their insurance from someone else. Or, if they had claims issues and their policy was cancelled, I didn’t have anything else to offer them.

After several years of this, I decided there had to be a better way. Surely there was a way to offer more than just what one company provided. I longed for the day I could say to my customer “If this company doesn’t want to do it, I have others that will.” That day came when I started an independent agency. As independent agents, we’re not employed by the insurance companies. We are contracted with numerous, well respected companies such as Travelers, Auto-Owners, Progressive, Safeco, Liberty Mutual, Foremost and others to represent them and offer their products, but they don’t dictate to us. You, our customer, along with our guidance decide which company best fits your situation.

Another area where independent agents are different is when you have a claim. We are your claims advocate. Since we are not employed by an insurance company, they can’t tell us to stay out of it in the event we feel they’re not handling your claim to the best of their ability. Most people don’t realize how huge this is. When you buy from an agent, you expect they will be there to assist you in the time you need them the most. Unfortunately, that’s usually no longer allowed unless you’re an independent agent. So, with that said, I’m proud we’re still able to do what I started twenty three years ago when I began our independent agency, and we look forward to providing this service to you for many more years to come.