Does any state epitomize Mother Nature the way that Colorado does? With its majestic Rocky Mountains and ski-filled resorts of Aspen contrasted with its seemingly endless fields of white plains, no other state seems to offer quite the same adventure for the outdoor enthusiast. Yet, urban life isn’t too far away, thanks to the Mile High City, Denver. While the state is known for its elevation, Denver Broncos, and Coors Brewing Company, it’s also a leader in the manufacturing of medical instruments and an important player in the agricultural industry. All of this and more makes operating a small business in Colorado compelling and rewarding. So, if you’re operating a business in Colorado — or planning to — pay attention to this business insurance in Colorado overview.
Standard Business Insurance Coverages in Colorado
Also labeled as a BOP, a business owners insurance in Colorado policy is as vast a small business insurance policy as the Rockies. It consists of several types of coverages together, but in one policy. General liability and property insurance are most commonly the two primary types of coverages in a business owners insurance policy. Legal liabilities, equipment, and structures are all types of coverages in business owner’s insurance in Colorado. Importantly, a business owner’s insurance policy shifts risk from the Coloradan business owner to the insurance company. Colorado business owners insurance safeguards the small business owner by protecting him from claims like legal liability, professional liability, property claims, and personal liability. But claims made in relation to money and securities, Income loss, valuable papers, equipment breakdown, and fire are also included in an Colorado BOP.
General liability insurance is set up to protect Colorado small business owners from financial destruction resulting from negligent exclusions, acts or both. These actions could be the result of something you did. But it can even be a result of something your employees did. Nonetheless, physical injury or property damage is the end result. Accidents on the insured premise, contractual liabilities, or liabilities from products sold are all examples of the types of exposures commonly covered under general liability insurance in Colorado. The damage or injury doesn’t have to be intentional; it can also be through oversight or negligence. Some Coloradan’s purchase general liability insurance in Colorado as a stand alone insurance policy, but others carry it alongside their other business insurance policies.
Although a package policy combines more than one type of insurance, it’s essentially a single insurance policy for the Colorado small business. One of the most popular package policies in Colorado is one that combines general liability insurance (explained above) and commercial property (explained below). Keep in mind, a package policy can be customized to include nearly any type of coverage, depending on the needs of the Colorado business. A package policy is valuable for the Coloradan business owner because it enables transparent flexibility to customize a specialized policy particularly for the unique needs and risks of the Colorado small company.
Colorado commercial property insurance is dedicated to deliver coverage for any class of commercial property. The protection includes not only your businesses building, but its inventory storage too. And let’s not leave out office furniture, supplies, valuable papers, and personal property. Commercial property insurance protects Coloradan small business owners from a number of claims and perils.. These include vandalism damage, as well as loss or destruction from theft or fire. Weather occurrences, like hail, high winds, lightning strikes, and natural disasters are also included in this type of policy. Commercial property insurance is suggested for a wide range of Colorado small businesses, including retailers, service businesses, not-for-profit agencies, and manufacturers.
Do you have employees working for you in your Colorado small business? If you answered yes, then workers’ compensation insurance is a must. Not only does it provides coverage for your employees against job-related injuries, but also for illnesses acquired while performing their day-in day-out job duties. Workers’ compensation insurance in Colorado is a state-mandated insurance program devised for workers who obtain injuries or a sickness while working. Since the state of Colorado requires small, medium, and large businesses who have hired employees to carry workers’ compensation, hefty fines or civil penalties can result for failure to carry it. And, in some cases, result in the Coloradan being liable for the medical cost of injuries suffered by her employees. Through workers’ compensation insurance in Colorado, employees receive lost wages compensation, in addition to health care coverage. In return, Colorado employees can not file suit against their small business employer.
Whether your business is in Denver or Boulder, if it owns just a single vehicle, it’s essential to be protected with commercial auto insurance in Colorado. Commercial auto insurance provides monetary safeguarding to Coloradan business owners and their drivers by providing coverage for its enterprises’ use of trucks, vans, cars, or other vehicles in the course of running the business. Not only does it reimburse for hail and vandalism damage, but also medical costs resulting from car, van, or truck accidents when covered with commercial auto insurance in Colorado. As an additional coverage to employee-owned vehicles used for your business, business auto insurance may include vehicles rented, leased, hired, or owned by your business. That’s why it’s strongly urged that Colorado businesses acquire a commercial auto insurance policy if employees use their own vehicle to carry out job-related duties for the business, which is also called non-owned commercial auto coverage.
Commercial umbrella insurance in Colorado steps up to the plate where your general liability, commercial auto insurance, or other liability coverage leaves off. Because your existing and primary liability policies may have limits placed on its coverage, it may not adequately cover all expenses should a disaster or unforeseen event occur. Commercial umbrella insurance in Colorado is a critical aspect of protection that fills in the open spots in coverage. Even some exclusions in your primary business liability coverage can be covered with umbrella coverage. Umbrella insurance in Colorado is an outstanding strategy to provide supplemental protection against property damage, bodily injury, or certain other liabilities.
Some Additional Business Insurance Coverages in Colorado to Consider
Errors and Omissions insurance policies protect Colorado small business professionals from legal claims as well as claims made by customers and clients for insufficient work, negligent acts, errors, and inadequacies made while operating the business. In particular, these allegations must be the result of a loss of income or productivity on the part of the customer or client. Errors and Omissions insurance covers defense and court costs, as well as settlements as specified on the insurance contract. Like health care professionals need malpractice insurance, Colorado small business owners who provide services, such as consulting advice, either directly or through subcontractors, need errors and omissions insurance in Colorado.
Professional liability insurance in Colorado helps protect accountants, financial analysts, legal advisors, general contractors — and similar professionals — from bearing the total litigation cost generated from defending against a claim of negligence, error, failure to perform, or omission made by a client. Any awarded damages you are instructed to pay are also covered by professional liability insurance in Colorado. Keep in mind, that the coverage must pertain to monetary loss on the part of the client from these types of alleged claims. Regardless if you are at fault or not, professional liability insurance may provide claim coverage. Of course, for some industry professions, like the legal and medical professions, it is required. But professional liability insurance in Colorado may also mandated in other professions, according to the terms of a contract.
Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI) provides Colorado small business employers with protection against employment-associated allegations. Some examples of areas that fall under this realm include: discrimination, wrongful termination, negligent hiring, libel, mental anguish, breach of contract, promotion decisions, defamation claims, sexual harassment, false imprisonment, slander, and violation of wage laws. Employment practices liability insurance in Colorado focuses on several acts and laws brought 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) enforces all of these acts and laws.
Fidelity Bonds in Colorado
The Colorado small business employer can purchase fidelity bonds for protection. Losses protected under fidelity bonds in Colorado include fraudulent acts made by one or more employees. These acts can be anything from theft to embezzlement. Because recovery from employee dishonesty practices is not very likely, fidelity bonds are an important way to protect the Colorado small business owner who would otherwise absorb monetary losses on his own. Although it’s essential to have controls in place, such as close employee monitoring and employee background screening, that may not be enough. Losses suffered from employee thefts of money, property, or securities are all covered under fidelity bonds insurance in Colorado. ERISA bonds, business service bonds, and standard employee dishonesty bonds are three most common types of fidelity bonds.
Surety Bonds in Colorado
A surety bond in Colorado is a binding agreement or contract among three parties: the principal, obligee, and surety (insurance company). Should another Colorado individual fail to meet an obligation, like fulfilling contract terms and conditions, the surety bond represents the promise pay a specified amount. A surety bond in Colorado protects the recipient against monetary loss in the event that the deliverables of the contract aren’t delivered. Likewise, the surety company bears the liability for nonperformance. In order to obtain financial remuneration, a surety bond is generally needed. Colorado business owners may need a surety bond to promise to pay utility bills or Colorado state sales taxes. A Colorado contractor who is looking for employment or obtain a license, may need to post a bond. Surety bonds are used by many businesses, including health club owners, notary publics, mortgage brokers, medical suppliers, automobile dealers, and more. In a large number of cases, they are used in the Colorado construction industry. Because of the number of different types of small businesses that use and need these bonds, there are a many distinguishing characteristics of surety bonds in Colorado that provide a wide range of guarantees.
Whether you’re operating an accounting firm in Denver or a night club in Aspen, small businesses need to protect their business and financial assets in the event of litigation, liabilities and other risks. In a good number of cases, unexpected events will be covered by standard business insurance, but in other cases they will not. Therefore, Coloradan business owners may also want to take a good look at some additional business insurance coverages. Business insurance is a vital part of small business success, and observant Colorado business owners are well aware that business insurance in Colorado ranks high on the priority list.