Known for its southern hospitality, juicy peaches, and boiled peanuts, Georgia ranks ninth in population in the United States. With its capital city Atlanta being an economic and cultural hub throughout the southeastern portion of the country, doing business in Georgia has the advantages of working in a metropolitan city coupled with southern charm. Georgia’s population continues to grow, particularly in the Atlanta metropolitan region. So, if you’re looking to grow your business in Georgia along with its population, be sure to be covered with business insurance in Georgia.
Standard Business Insurance Coverages in Georgia
Also described by insurance companies as BOP, a business owners insurance in Georgia policy is as robust of a small business insurance policy as the state’s southern charm. It includes multiple coverages strung together in one policy. General liability along with property insurance makes up the two primary coverages in a business owners insurance policy. Legal liabilities, operating equipment, and business structures are all types of coverages in business owner’s insurance in Georgia. Above all else, a business owner’s insurance policy trasnfers risk from the Georgian business owner to the insurance company. Georgia business owners insurance provides a shield for the small business owner by protecting her from claims pursuant to legal liability, professional liability, property claims, and personal liability. But claims made in relation to equipment breakdown, securities and money, loss of income, valuable papers, and fire can also included in a Georgia BOP.
General liability insurance is a recommended policy to protect Georgia small business owners from negligent exclusions, acts or both that results in a devastating financial loss. These acts could result from something your employee did or you yourself did. Regardless of who was responsible for the act, physical injury or property damage occurs. 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 Georgia. The damage or injury doesn’t have to be deliberate either. It can be through negligence or oversight. Some Georgian’s purchase general liability insurance in Georgia as a standalone insurance policy, but other small business owners bundle it with other specific policies.
Although a package policy in Georgia aligns more than one type of insurance together, it’s essentially a single insurance policy for the Georgia small business owner. A popular package policy in Georgia is one that includes general liability insurance (explained above) and commercial property (explained below). One of the pros of a package policy is that it can be made-to-order to include nearly any type of insurance to fit the unique nature of the “the peach state” business. A package policy is valuable for the Georgian business owner because it enables convenient flexibility to personalize a specialized policy to the unique needs and risks of the Georgia small organization.
Georgia commercial property insurance is designed to cover most classes of southern commercial property. The protection not only includes your Georgia businesses’ office structure, space, or warehouse, but your inventory storage space too. But you should also know that it also includes your necessary office furniture, workplace supplies, valuable documents, and personal property as well. Commercial property insurance protects Georgian small business owners from a multitude of claims and unfortunate risks. These include damage arising from vandalism, as well as financial loss from theft or fire. Georgia isn’t without its weather incidents either. Lightening strikes, heavy winds, and other natural perils are also included in this type of policy. Experts recommend commercial property insurance for many types of Georgia small businesses, including manufacturers, store retailers, service businesses, and all types of not-for-profit agencies.
Do you have employees helping you grow your Georgia business? If you replied yes, then workers’ compensation insurance is a necessity for you. Not only does it provides coverage for your employees against an injury suffered on the job, but also for sickness which developed while performing work tasks. Workers’ compensation insurance in Georgia is a state-mandated insurance program required for workers in order to compensate for injuries or a sickness while working. Since the state of Georgia requires businesses who have hired employees to carry workers’ compensation, hefty fines or penalties can be levied for failure to do so. Unfortunately, in certain cases, a Georgian may be liable for the the medical bills suffered by employees without the proper insurance. Through workers’ compensation insurance in Georgia, employees receive compensation to recoup lost salary, in addition to health care coverage. In return, the Georgia employer receives comfort that his employees will not file suit against him.
Whether your business is in Atlanta or or Savannah, if it owns just one vehicle used for business, it’s important that you’re protected with commercial auto insurance in Georgia. Commercial auto insurance provides peace of mind to the Georgian business owner — in addition to his drivers — by providing coverage for its organization’s business use of cars, trucks, vans, or other vehicles. Not only does it pay for damages incurred as a result of hail and vandalism damage, but also health care costs resulting from car, van, or truck accidents when covered with commercial auto insurance in Georgia. In addition to vehicles rented, leased, hired, or owned by your business, employees who use their own vehicles to carry out tasks for your business are included in commercial auto insurance. It’s highly advised that Georgia small businesses purchase a commercial auto insurance policy (non-owned commercial auto coverage) if employees use their own vehicle to perform work-related tasks.
Commercial umbrella insurance in Georgia is used to supplement your general liability, commercial auto insurance, or other liability coverage. It’s important to recall that your existing and primary liability policies may have coverage limits. With this in mind, it is certainly possible that your primary insurance may not fully cover all expenses should a devastating peril or unforeseen event occur. Commercial umbrella insurance in Georgia is a vital component of protection that serves the purpose of covering gaps in insurance coverage. Umbrella insurance in Georgia even covers some exclusions in your primary business liability. Umbrella insurance in Georgia is more than a prudent way to provide added protection against property damage, bodily injury, or certain other liabilities.
Some Additional Business Insurance Coverages in Georgia to Consider
Errors and Omissions insurance policies protect Georgia small business owners, managers, and professionals from legal and damage claims as well customers and clients claims made for acts (negligent, oversight, etc.) made while operating the company. To dig deeper, these allegations and claims must be the result in a client or customer financial loss. Errors and Omissions insurance is also called E&O and covers legal costs like the attorney fees and court costs. Any settlements awarded may also be covered. Like physicians, surgeons, and other health care professionals need malpractice insurance, Georgia small business owners who provide services, such as consulting advice, either directly or through subcontractors, need errors and omissions insurance in Georgia.
To protect attorneys, certified public accountants, general contractors, and similar professionals from bearing certain litigation costs generated from defending against a claim of negligence, omission, failure to perform, error made by a client, professional liability insurance in Georgia becomes a best friend. If you must pay money because damages were awarded, the Georgian business professional can rest assured that these are covered by professional liability insurance in Georgia. Keep this in mind: the coverage must be related to financial loss on the part of the client and stem from these alleged claims. Whether the loss was your fault or not, professional liability insurance may provide coverage. If you are in the legal or medical profession, then most likely you know that professional liability insurance in Georgia is required. But professional liability insurance in the peach state may also be required in other professions, according to contract terms.
In order to have protection against employment-related allegations, Georgian business owners require Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI). For instances, allegations relating to a wrongful promotion or wrongful termination are covered under EPLI. But they aren’t the only areas of coverage. Others include discrimination, negligent hiring, violation of wage laws, slander, mental anguish, libel, mental anguish, breach of contract, defamation claims, sexual harassment, and false imprisonment. Employment practices liability insurance in Georgia is based upon on 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 Georgia
Georgian small business employers quite often acquire fidelity bonds for their own protection. For instance, fidelity bonds provide protection against losses arising from acts of a fraudulent nature made by one or more employees. Examples of acts we are talking about here run from embezzlement to theft. Since getting your funds back from an employee dishonesty fraud-related crime like these is not very likely, fidelity bonds are a prudent way to protect the Georgia small business owner who would otherwise absorb these monetary losses without assistance. Of course, every small business owner should have controls in place, like separation of duties, employee background screening, and employee supervision. But sometimes even with the best controls, fraud-related crimes can happen. Losses suffered from employee thefts of money, property, or securities are all covered under fidelity bonds insurance in Georgia. Some popular types of fidelity bonds include standard employee dishonesty bonds, ERISA bonds, and business service bonds.
Surety Bonds in Georgia
A surety bond in Georgia protects the recipient against a monetary loss in case a contract isn’t performed as specified. In essence, the insurance company (or surety company) bears the liability for the contract’s nonperformance. The three parties to a surety bond are the surety (insurance company) principal, and obligee. Should another Georgia individual fail to meet an agreed upon obligation, like completing his contract, the surety bond is there to fall back on. A surety bond in Georgia protects the recipient against a monetary loss in case a contract isn’t performed as specified. In essence, the insurance company (or surety company) bears the liability for the contract’s nonperformance. Georgia business owners may need a surety bond to promise to pay utility bills or state sales taxes. A Georgia contractor who is looking for or job or need to obtain a license, may also need to post a surety bond. Surety bonds are used by many types of businesses in Georgia, including automobile dealerships, fitness clubs, notary publics, medical supply companies, mortgage brokers, and more. However, they are most readily seen in the Georgia construction industry. Because of the plethora of small businesses that use and need these bonds, there are a many unique characteristics of Georgia surety bonds that provide a wide range of guarantees.
Whether you’re operating a law firm in Atlanta or a bed and breakfast in Savannah, small businesses in Georgia need to protect their business and personal financial livelihood in the event of natural disasters, litigation, liabilities, and of course, other risks. While many risk exposures will be covered by standard business insurance, in certain cases not all will. For this reason, Georgian business owners may want to consider some additional business insurance coverages. Business insurance is crucial part of small business success. To protect against the risks of doing business in Georgia, prudent Georgian business owners include business insurance in their small business toolbox.