Small business owners are sure to find a lot to love about doing business in Florida. After all, it’s warm, sunny, and its lack of personal state income tax makes it an ideal location to launch or grow a business. Yet, doing business in Florida isn’t without its risks. The central portion of Florida is believed to be the lightening capital of the country, as it has more lightening strikes than anywhere else in the nation. Florida is also hit with its share of hurricanes, tornadoes, and flooding. All of these reasons highlight the importance of weathering the storm with adequate business insurance in Florida.
Standard Business Insurance Coverages in Florida
Also described as BOP, a business owners insurance policy in Florida is as wide ranging of a small business insurance policy as the state’s coastline. It includes several types of liability coverages bound together in one policy. General liability along with property insurance are the two main types of coverages in a business owners insurance policy. Legal liabilities, business equipment, and building structures are all types of coverages in business owner’s insurance in Florida. Above all else, a business owner’s insurance policy shifts risk from the Floridian business owner to the insurance company. Florida business owners insurance shelters the small business owner by protecting him from claims pursuant to legal liability, professional liability, property claims, and personal liability. But claims made in relation to money and securities, Income loss, valuable papers, equipment malfunction, and fire are also included in a Florida BOP.
General liability insurance is a policy constructed to protect Florida small business owners from financial loss arising from negligent exclusions, acts or both. These actions could result from something either you did or your employee. Either way, physical injury or property damage turns out to be the end result. Accidents on the insured property, contractual liabilities, or liabilities from products sold are other instances of the kinds of exposures commonly covered under general liability insurance in Florida. The damage or injury can very well be groundless and unintentional, including through negligence or oversight. Some Floridian’s purchase general liability insurance in Florida as a standalone insurance policy, but others pair it with their other policies.
Although a package policy in Florida brings together more than one type of insurance, it’s virtually a single insurance policy for the Florida small business owner. A favorite package policy in Florida is one that combines general liability insurance (explained above) and commercial property (explained below). A great advantage of a package policy is that it can be customized to include nearly any type of insurance to fit the unique of the Florida business. A package policy is valuable for the Floridian business owner because it enables convenient flexibility to customize a specialized policy particularly for the unique needs and risks of the Florida small company.
Florida commercial property insurance is drafted to administer coverage for any class of commercial property. The protection not only includes your businesses’ office building, retail store, or warehouse, but its inventory storage too. And let’s not forget about your all-important office furniture, valuable documents, office supplies, and personal property either. Commercial property insurance protects Floridian small business owners from a variety of claims and unfortunate perils. These include vandalism damage, as well as loss from theft or fire. Weather occurrences in Florida, like lightning strikes, and other natural disasters are also included in this type of policy. Commercial property insurance is suggested for a wide range of Florida small businesses, including store retailers, service businesses, not-for-profit agencies, and all types of manufacturers.
Do you have employees helping your Florida business expand? If you said yes, then workers’ compensation insurance is a must-have. Not only does it provides coverage for your employees against injuries suffered while working, but also for illnesses acquired while going about their job duties. Workers’ compensation insurance in Florida is a state-mandated insurance program devised for workers who sustain injuries or a sickness while working. Since the state of Florida requires businesses who have hired employees to carry workers’ compensation, large fines or civil penalties can result for failure to carry it. And, in some cases, result in the Floridian being liable for the health care costs of injuries suffered by her employees. Through workers’ compensation insurance in Florida, employees receive compensation for lost salary, in addition to health care coverage. In return, Florida employees can not file suit against their small business employer.
Whether your business is in Sarasota or Orlando, if it owns just one business vehicle, it’s critical that you’re protected with commercial auto insurance in Florida. Commercial auto insurance provides peace of mind to the Floridian business owner (and his drivers) by providing coverage for its entity’s use of cars, trucks, vans, or other vehicles in the course of running the business. Not only does it pay for hail and vandalism damage, but also health care costs resulting from car, van, or truck accidents when covered with commercial auto insurance in Florida. Employee-owned vehicles used for your business, in addition to vehicles rented, leased, hired, or owned by your business are included in commercial auto insurance. It’s strongly recommended that Florida small businesses purchase a commercial auto insurance policy (non-owned commercial auto coverage) if employees use their own vehicle to carry out job-related duties for the business.
Commercial umbrella insurance in Florida fills in where your general liability, commercial auto insurance, or other liability coverage tapers off. Keep this in mind: your existing and primary liability policies may have limits placed on its coverage. Therefore, it’s possible that it might not adequately cover all expenses should a disaster or unexpected event occur. Commercial umbrella insurance in Florida is a critical aspect of protection that fills in the holes in coverage. Even some exclusions in your primary business liability coverage can be covered with umbrella coverage. Umbrella insurance in Florida is an smart way to provide extra protection against property damage, bodily injury, or certain other liabilities.
Some Additional Business Insurance Coverages in Florida to Consider
Errors and Omissions insurance policies protect Florida small business professionals from litigation and claims from customers and clients made for insufficient work, negligent acts, errors, and insufficiency made while operating the company. In particular, these allegations must result in a financial loss, productively loss on the part of the customer or client. Errors and Omissions insurance covers costs to defend as well as court costs. Any settlements as specified on the insurance contract are also covered. Like doctors and dentists need malpractice insurance, Florida small business owners who provide services, such as consulting advice, either directly or through subcontractors, need errors and omissions insurance in Florida.
Professional liability insurance in Florida helps protect lawyers, certified public accountants, financial analysts, general contractors, and like professionals from absorbing certain litigation costs generated from defending against a claim of negligence, error, failure to perform, or omission made by a client. Similarly, if damages are award and you are instructed to pay, these are also covered by professional liability insurance in Florida. It’s important to note that the coverage must be associated to monetary loss on the part of the client from these types of alleged claims. Whether you are to blame or not, professional liability insurance may provide claim coverage. Of course, for some industry professions, like professions in the medical and legal industry, it is required. But professional liability insurance in Florida may also requested in other professions, according to the agreement’s terms.
Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI) provides Florida small business employers with protection against employment-related allegations. For instances, allegations relating to a wrongful termination or promotion are covered under EPLI. Some other examples of areas that fall under this category include: mental anguish, discrimination, negligent hiring, libel, breach of contract, violation of wage laws, defamation claims, sexual harassment, false imprisonment, and slander. Employment practices liability insurance in Florida 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) is the agency charged with enforcing these laws.
Fidelity Bonds in Florida
Floridian small business employers often purchase fidelity bonds for protection. Losses protected under fidelity bonds in Florida include acts of a fraudulent nature made by one or more employees. These acts can be anything from embezzlement to theft. Since getting your money back from an employee dishonesty crime is not very likely, fidelity bonds are an important way to protect the Florida small business owner who would otherwise bear these monetary losses on his own. Although it goes without saying that it’s a must-have to have controls in place, such as close employee supervision and employee background screening, even these safeguards might not be enough. Losses suffered from employee thefts of money, property, or securities are all covered under fidelity bonds insurance in Florida. Standard employee dishonesty bonds, ERISA bonds, and business service bonds are three most common types of fidelity bonds.
Surety Bonds in Florida
A surety bond in Florida is a contract or agreement among three parties that is binding. The three parties to a surety bond are the principal, obligee, and surety (insurance company). Should another Florida individual fail to meet an agreed upon obligation, like fulfilling contract terms and conditions, the surety bond is there as a promise pay a specified amount. A surety bond in Florida protects the recipient against a financial loss in the event that the contract deliverables aren’t delivered. Similarly, the surety company bears the liability for the contract’s nonperformance. In order to get financial remuneration, a surety bond is generally needed. Florida business owners may need a surety bond to promise to pay utility bills. A Florida contractor who is looking for work or wants to obtain a license, may also need to post a bond. Surety bonds are used by many types of businesses in Florida, including health club/ fitness owners, notary publics, car dealerships, mortgage brokers, medical suppliers, and more. They are commonly used in the Florida construction industry. Because of the number of different types of small businesses that use and need these bonds, there are a many unique characteristics of Florida surety bonds that provide a wide range of guarantees.
Whether you’re operating a law firm in Tampa or a night club in Miami, small businesses in Florida need to protect their business and personal financial assets in the event of natural disasters, liabilities, litigation, or other risks. In many cases, risk exposures will be covered by standard business insurance, but in a number of other cases they will not. Therefore, Floridian business owners may want to examine some additional business insurance coverages to see if they’re needed. Business insurance is a vital part of small business success, and to protect against the risks of doing business in Florida, prudent Floridian business owners obtain peace of mind through business insurance.