Arkansas is most famous for its abundant wildlife, clear streams, rivers and lakes, national forests, and state and national parks. This is largely the reason of its nickname “The Natural State”. Yet, there is a legislation to bring back the state’s long time nickname: the “Land of Opportunity”. Why? Because, it’s a state that is a great place for both businesses and families to grow and prosper. And many small businesses have done just that. So, if you’re looking to start or grow a business in Arkansas, be sure you learn about business insurance in Arkansas.
Standard Business Insurance Coverages in Arkansas
A business owner’s insurance policy, regularly called BOP, is an all-encompassing insurance package for small businesses consisting of numerous coverages in one policy. Property insurance and general liability are the two main coverages in a BOP. Not only are legal liabilities covered under business owners insurance in Arkansas, but so are the Arkansans buildings and business equipment. A huge benefit of business owners insurance is that it removes the risk from the business owner, only to place it on the insurance company. The usual claims that a BOP protects you from include things like income loss, employee dishonesty, equipment breakdown, as well as valuable papers and property claim. Personal injury, professional liability, and damages related to fire are also covered. Depending on the different risks an Arkansas small business owner might encounter, supplementary components may be deemed appropriate to add.
General liability insurance in Arkansas is set forth to protect a business owner from financial loss emerging from carelessness, omissions, or both, caused by you or your employees when these negligent acts result in either physical injury or property damage. A representative sample of the types of risks commonly covered under general liability insurance in Arkansas include liability from products sold, accidents on the premises of the insured, and contractual liabilities. The damage or injury may be unintentional or through careless, negligent acts. General liability insurance in Arkansas may be a standalone policy or can be combined with another policy.
A package policy in Arkansas is an insurance policy for the Arkansan small business owner that joins together two or more types of insurance into one policy, or package. A usual package policy in Arkansas combines general liability insurance (described above) and commercial property (described below). However, a package policy can be created to include almost any type of coverage, depending on the needs of the enterprise. A package policy is beneficial for the Arkansas small business owner because it allows for tremendous flexibility to customize a policy specifically for the unique needs and liability exposures of the business.
Commercial Property Insurance in Arkansas provides insurance coverage for any type of commercial property. This includes the Arkansans building, furniture, equipment, supplies, inventory, and valuable papers. It also includes personal property. Commercial property insurance affords the business owner with protection from such perils as fire, hail, lightening strikes, windstorm, theft, explosion, vandalism, and natural disasters. This type of insurance is advised for a variety of Arkansas small businesses, including retail stores, manufacturing companies, not-for-profit organizations, and service-oriented businesses.
If you have employees working in your business, workers’ compensation insurance in Arkansas provides coverage against employee sickness/illness and job-related injuries. Workers’ compensation insurance in Arkansas is a no-fault, state-mandated insurance system set forth to compensate workers who sustained injuries or an illness while performing their work-related duties. Because the state of Arkansas requires its businesses who have workers to obtain workers’ compensation, failure to do so can lead to severe fines and civil penalties. In some instances, it can result in being liable for the cost of injuries suffered by their employees. However, with workers’ compensation insurance in Arkansas, workers receive medical care and lost wages coverage in exchange for the peace of mind that the employee will not sue his employer.
It’s essential to be covered by commercial auto insurance in Arkansas, if your businesses uses a vehicle or vehicles to operate. Commercial auto insurance provides financial protection to Arkansan business owners and their drivers by providing insurance coverage for a company’s use of trucks, vans, cars, or other vehicles in the course of its operations. Commercial auto insurance in Arkansas not only covers damages and medical costs resulting from vehicle accidents, but vandalism and hail damage as well. The vehicle does not have to be owned by the company. Rather, vehicles leased, rented, or hired are also covered. Plus, employee-owned vehicles used for your business operations are also covered. Arkansas companies are well advised to purchase a commercial auto insurance policy even if employees use their own vehicles to when performing duties for the business (non-owned commercial insurance).
Commercial umbrella insurance in Arkansas picks up where your general liability or other liability coverage ends. To illustrate, your existing liability policies may have coverage limits; which means it may not cover all expenses should unforeseen or disastrous event occur. Commercial umbrella insurance in Arkansas is a critical means of protection that fills in the gaps left by other coverage. It also is designed to cover certain exclusions in your primary business liability coverage. Umbrella insurance in Arkansas is an excellent method to provide supplemental protection against property damage, bodily injury, or certain other liabilities.
Some Additional Business Insurance Coverages in Arkansas to Consider
Errors and Omissions insurance policies, or E&O, protect Arkansas businesses and individuals from litigation claims and other allegations by clients or customers for incomplete or adequate work, as well as errors, oversights, and negligent acts while performing the duties of a contract or job. The key point here is that the act must have resulted in a client’s or customer’s loss of income or productivity. Errors and Omissions insurance covers legal defense and court costs, as well as settlements as specified on the insurance contract. In the same vein that doctors must have malpractice insurance, small business owners who provide professional services or consulting advice, whether directly or through contractors, need errors and omissions insurance in Arkansas.
Professional liability insurance in Arkansas aims to protect business professionals, such as Physicians, attorneys, or accountants from having to absorb the complete legal cost of defending against an allegations and damages relating to omission, error, negligence, or failure to perform. Further, the alleged claim with respect to a product or service sold by the professional results in a financial loss or loss of productivity on the part of the client. There is coverage even if the claim turns out to be groundless. Professional liability insurance in Arizona is required by law in a number of professional practices, like in the health care and legal professions, but is also required in other professions — typically through a contract.
Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI) in Arkansas provides Arkansan small business employers with protection against a variety of employment-related claims. Several examples of this include: wrongful termination, wage law violations, negligent hiring, discrimination, breach of contract, sexual harassment, slander, defamation claims, libel, false imprisonment, promotion decisions, emotional distress, and mental anguish. Employment practices liability insurance targets on laws, acts, and protection set forth under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and Family and Medical Leave Act. The Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC) has the role of enforcing these acts.
Fidelity Bonds in Arkansas
Fidelity bonds are a form of business insurance designed to protect against losses, and purchased by a small business employer. Examples of losses covered under fidelity bonds in Arkansas include fraud, theft or embezzlement by a group of employees or just one employee. Since repayment from losses like employee dishonesty is practically nil due to the cash already being spent, fidelity bonds are critical safety nets for an Arkansan small business owner who may have had to reach into his own pockets to cover such financial losses. While it’s recommended to take safety precautions, like employee screening, internal controls, and close employee monitoring, we all know that sometimes more is needed. Losses of financial nature encountered as a result of employee theft of money, property, or securities are all covered under fidelity bonds insurance in Arkansas.
Surety Bonds in Arkansas
A surety bond is a legally binding contract or agreement among three parties: the principal, obligee, and surety (insurance company). In a nutshell, a surety bond in Arkansas corresponds to the promise pay a specified amount should a party fail to meet an obligation, like failing to perform under a contract. A surety bond, therefore, provides recipient protection against loss should the contract not be fulfilled. On the other hand, the surety company absorbs the liability for nonperformance. A surety bond in Arkansas is commonly required to obtain monetary compensation. Arkansan business owners who are looking to guarantee payment of utility bills or state taxes may need a surety bond. On the flip side, in order to obtain work or licenses, a contractor may need to post a surety bond. While readily seen in the construction industry, surety bonds are also used by health club owners, financial mortgage brokers, medical supply professionals, automobile dealers, and notary publics, to name others. Because of the wide range of Arkansas of small businesses that require and use surety bonds, there are many types and features of surety bonds in Arkansas that are available with a wide range of guarantees.
Whether you are running a plumbing business in Little Rock, or eatery in the Ozarks, Arkansas small businesses are obliged to protect their hard work and efforts in case of theft, fire, accident, or other types of risk exposure. In many cases, typical risks may be covered by standard business insurance in Arkansas, but keep in mind that it may behoove you to consider some supplemental Arkansas business insurance coverages. Business insurance is crucial to small business success, and prudent Arkansas business owners know that a hearty business insurance package is as necessary as turning a business profit.