Situated in the heart of the Midwest, business owners in Illinois don’t have to worry about hurricanes or earthquakes as much as business owners in some other states. But “the windy city” does have its share of windstorms and snow storms. Illinois is ranked fifth in population in the United States, and Chicago ranked third, so operating a business in Illinois in a thriving metropolitan area, like Chicago is a business owner’s dream. And business owners who love sports sure can have their fill in Chicago. With two national baseball teams (Cubs and White Sox), an NFL football team (Bears), an NBA basketball team (Bulls), an NHL hockey team (Blackhawks), Illinois sports enthusiasts can get their sports fix year round. But no matter what field of business in Illinois you’re in, you need to protect it with business insurance in Illinois.
Standard Business Insurance Coverages in Illinois
Popularly labeled as a BOP, a business owner’s insurance policy, is extensive insurance package for small businesses in Illinois. It comprises multiple coverages in one policy. Business owners insurance in Illinois generally combines two leading coverages in a single policy: property insurance and general liability. It is important to highlight that a BOP covers many areas of liability, including your building, equipment, and certain legal liabilities you may face. Business owners insurance is beneficial because it shifts risk away from the Illinois business owner to the insurance company. A BOP provides vast protection including: professional liability claims, general liability claims, personal injury, income loss, employee dishonesty, equipment breakdown, property claims, securities, valuable papers, and money. Additional components may be added to a standard business owners insurance, depending on the unique risks an Illinois small business owner may have to contend with.
General liability insurance is meant to shield the Illinois business owner against losses resulting from negligent acts, omissions, or both resulting in physical harm or property damage. These acts could be caused by a business owner’s staff or himself. Liabilities from merchandise sold, accidents on the insured property, and contractual liabilities are all examples of the kinds of hazards and exposures typically included under general liability insurance in Illinois. The cause of damage or injury can be the result of a negligent or unintentional act. General liability insurance in Illinois are often stand-alone policies, but they can be carried with other policies.
A package policy is an insurance policy that combines coverage for two or more lines of business on one insurance policy. A typical package policy in Illinois combines general liability insurance and commercial property. Nonetheless, a package policy can be designed to include practically any type of coverage needed by a small business in Illinois. Because it allows for a great deal flexibility to construct a policy tailored to the needs and risk exposures of a Illinois business, a package policy is worthwhile for the Illinoisan small business owner.
Whether in Chicago or Aurora, commercial property insurance in Illinois covers practically any type of commercial property. But it doesn’t just cover building structures; it also includes equipment, furniture coverage, inventory, supplies, and valuable papers. The Illinoisan’s personal property is covered as well. Commercial property insurance in Illinois shields against a variety of natural perils, like windstorms — common in Chicago, but also vandalism, fire, and explosion. This is the type of insurance that is recommended for a variety of Illinois small businesses, including retail stores, restaurants, service businesses, or other small businesses.
Does your business in Illinois, have employees? If so, you should know that workers’ compensation insurance provides coverage when one of your employees gets sick or injured on the job. Workers’ compensation insurance in Illinois is a no-fault, mandatory insurance program set up to provide financial benefits to employees who sustained injuries or an illness while working. Because the state of Illinois requires businesses (small or large) with employees to carry workers’ compensation, failure to acquire it can cause the business owner to have to pay severe fines and civil penalties. Without it, employers may be held liable for the cost of injuries suffered by their employees. Through workers’ compensation insurance in Illinois, employees are remunerated not only for medical care, but lost wages as well. In return, employers get peace of mind that knowing that their employees will not file suit against them.
Whether your Illinois business owns a single car, truck, or van or a fleet of vehicles, you’ll need the protection afforded by commercial auto insurance in Illinois. In the course of operating your business, commercial auto insurance provides financial protection to business owners and their drivers by covering the company’s use of trucks, vans, cars, or alternative vehicles. Commercial auto insurance in Illinois covers vehicular accident damages and medical costs. Perils like vandalism and hail damage are also covered perils. Your business doesn’t have to own the vehicle either; it can be leased, rented, or hired. Even if an employee uses her own vehicle for your Illinois business operations, you would also be covered. This is known as non-owned commercial auto insurance, and most insurance experts recommend companies have it for employees who use their own vehicle to perform their job responsibilities.
Commercial umbrella insurance in Illinois is a tremendous safeguard because it covers the holes in your general liability, commercial auto insurance, or other liability coverage policies. To dig deeper, your existing liability policies typically have coverage limits. This means that they may not cover all expenses should an unforeseen event or worse, a disaster occurs. Commercial umbrella insurance represents a haven of protection that rounds out your business insurance coverage. Umbrella insurance in Illinois is a prudent strategy to provide extra protection against property damage, bodily harm, or certain other liabilities.
Some Additional Business Insurance Coverages in Illinois to Consider
Errors and Omissions insurance policies protect Illinois businesses and individuals from allegations by clients or customers for imperfect or insufficient work, negligent acts, or errors while providing a business service that resulted in a loss of productivity or money on the part of the customer or client. Errors and Omissions insurance in Illinois covers litigation claim costs, like legal defense costs and court costs. According to the terms of insurance policy, Errors and Omissions insurance also provides coverage for settlements as specified on the insurance contract. Just like malpractice insurance is strongly advised for doctors and lawyers, small business owners, service providers, or consultants need Errors and Omissions insurance in Illinois, whether the service is provided directly or through subcontractors,
Professional liability insurance in Illinois provides a layer of protection for professionals, like contractors, consultants, and accountants from bearing the entire legal cost of defending against a claim of negligence, error, failure to perform, or omission made by a client as well. It also covers damages awarded in said claim. With respect to a product or service sold by the skilled professional, the coverage’s focal point is on the client’s monetary loss. Regardless of whether or not the legal allegation is determined to be groundless, professional liability insurance may provide claim coverage. In many kinds of professional practices, like some positions in the medical and legal fields, professional liability insurance in Illinois is required by law. On the other hand, it is required by contract in certain other professions.
When Illinois small business employers need protection against employment allegations, they they turn to Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI). The types of claims covered under EPLI in Illinois are: wrongful termination, negligent hiring, wage law violations, discrimination, mental anguish, breach of contract, sexual harassment, defamation claims, false imprisonment, libel, slander, emotional distress, promotion decisions, and others. Employment Practices Liability Insurance in Illinois centers around the acts, laws, and other protections brought forth by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and Family and Medical Leave Act, which are regulated by the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC) in Illinois and nationwide.
Fidelity Bonds in Illinois
Fidelity bonds are a form of insurance that an Illinois small business employer uses to defend against losses, like embezzlement, fraud, and theft by one employee or several employees. Because it’s unlikely that a small business owner would get his money back from employee dishonesty acts, fidelity bonds represent a crucial safeguard for a Illinoisan small business owner who might have to absorb these losses all by himself. Defensive practices, like employee screening, close employee monitoring, separation of duties, and internal controls are certainly recommended, but they aren’t always enough. Monetary losses suffered from employee thefts of cash, securities, and property are all covered under fidelity bonds insurance in Illinois. The three most common types of fidelity bonds are business service bonds, standard employee dishonesty bonds, and ERISA bonds.
Surety Bonds in Illinois
A surety bond in Illinois is a contract or agreement among a principal, obligee, and insurance company. The insurance company represents the surety, and a surety bond is binding. In summary, a surety bond represents the payment promise for a specified amount should a party not meet an obligation. An example would be failing to complete a contract in accordance with the agreement terms. A surety bond is like a shield in that the recipient is protected against loss should the contract not be fulfilled. The surety company bears the liability in this case. In order to obtain financial compensation, a surety bond is generally required. Business owners in Illinois may need a surety bond to ensure payment of utility bills or state sales taxes. On the flip side, a general contractor might have to post a surety bond for a couple of reasons: to obtain a job or qualify for licenses. Surety bonds are seen in the mortgage and automobile industries, as well as in the notary public, health club, and medical supply industries. Most often, they are used in the construction industry. There are many features and forms of surety bonds that provide guarantees to meet the needs of many types of small businesses.
Illinois is a great location to grow a business. Thanks in part to the state’s top universities: University of Chicago, Northwestern University, and University of Illinois, there’s a large pool of talent to fill your growing business with employees. Not to mention an extensive transportation network, including the country’s second-largest airport and an air carrier hub of three major airlines. With Chicago metropolitan area is filled with culture, sporting events, and diversity, it’s no wonder that growing a business in Illinois is one of the nation’s most unique and vibrant choices.