Nicknamed “The Tarheel State”, North Carolina is a beautiful and scenic state with rolling hills, mountainsides, waterfalls, and hundreds of lakes and rivers. Due to the lush and scenic landscapes, North Carolina attracts many tourists throughout the year. Such attractions as the Great Smoky Mountains, Cape Hatteras, Cape Lookout National Seashores, Blue Ridge National Parkway, and the Wright Brothers National Memorial at Kitty Hawk draw in the crowds. This translates to approximately $1 billion being spent by visitors annually, which only adds to the potential success of running a small business in North Carolina. Aside from tourism, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, and life sciences also thrive in North Carolina. Raleigh, North Carolina is one of the fastest growing cities in the nation. In 2010, Forbes Magazine ranked North Carolina the third best state for business. 15 Fortune 500 companies are located in North Carolina including Lowe’s, Bank of America, Nucor, and Duke Energy. Business owners have a variety of business insurance in North Carolina policies to choose from, as described below:
Standard Business Insurance Coverages in North Carolina
An insurance policy held by a business, also known as a BOP, is a broad small business insurance package that includes multiple liability coverages in a single bundle. A BOP integrates two chief coverages in a single policy: property insurance and general liability. Business owners insurance in North Carolina transfers risk away from the business owner to the insurance company by providing protection for a variety of different areas of liability, including equipment, dwellings, and legal liabilities. Common insurance claims that business owners insurance coverage protects you from include: personal injury, loss of income, professional liability claims, valuable paperwork, equipment breakdown, fire, legal liability claims, employee dishonesty, money and securities, and property claims. The North Carolina-based business or organization might have additional components added to the original BOP coverage depending on the probable risks of its business.
General liability insurance in North Carolina is specifically developed to protect small business owners from financial burden that can appear from negligent acts, omissions, or both, caused by the entity or their workers that may result in physical injury or property damage. Examples of the varieties of exposures commonly covered under general liability insurance include contractual liabilities, liabilities from goods sold, and accidents on the insured premises. The damage or injury may be a result of carelessness or unintended. General liability insurance for North Carolinians may be a standalone policy or can be combined with additional policies.
A package policy is a type of insurance policy for an owner of a small firm that combines two or more types of insurance into a single policy, also called a bundle. A general package policy in the Tar Heel State incorporates general liability insurance and commercial property; although a package policy may be constructed to comprise almost any type of coverage, depending on the needs of the business. A package policy is helpful for an executive of a small company because it allows for plenty of flexibility to issue a policy particularly for the individual needs and risk exposures of the business.
Commercial Property Insurance is accessible to provide coverage for any type of Raleigh, North Carolina commercial property, and includes, precious papers, building, supplies, equipment, furniture, stock, and personal property. Commercial property insurance in North Carolina gives protection against a number of mishaps, such as windstorm, hail, explosion, fire, theft, vandalism, natural disasters, and lightning strikes. A number of industries can benefit from this type of insurance, including technology firms, retailers, bed and breakfasts, boutiques, not-for-profit entities, manufacturers, and other service-oriented business.
Workers’ compensation insurance in North Carolina offers coverage against employee occupational injuries or occupational illnesses for any enterprise that has employees working for them. Workers’ compensation insurance in Charlotte, North Carolina and elsewhere within the state is a no-fault, state-mandated insurance system designed to reimburse benefits to employees who sustained injuries or an illness while on the job. Because the southeastern state of North Carolina has a specific requirement for companies with employees to carry workers’ compensation, failure to carry it can expose small business owners to fines and civil penalties, or occasionally, cause the association to be liable for the cost of injuries sustained by their workforce. By having workers’ compensation insurance in North Carolina, employees receive medical care and lost wages coverage in exchange for the promise that the employee will not sue the company.
Whether your organization owns one vehicle or a fleet of vehicles, it’s necessary to be protected by commercial auto insurance in North Carolina. Commercial auto insurance provides financial security to North Carolinian business owners and their employees by offering coverage for a company’s use of trucks, vans, cars, or other vehicles for work-related duties. Commercial auto insurance covers damages and medical costs that result from vehicle accidents, as well as vandalism and damage from hail storms and other natural disasters. Coverage for businesses in the Charlotte Metro Area of North Carolina may include vehicles owned, rented, leased, or hired by your firm, along with employee-owned vehicles used for your business operations. For this latter reason, it’s recommended that companies purchase a commercial auto insurance policy if workers use their own vehicle for work-related functions for the business; this is referred to as non-owned commercial auto insurance.
Commercial umbrella insurance begins at the point that your general liability, commercial auto insurance, or other liability coverage ends. Your Raleigh, Charlotte, or Durham business benefits from umbrella insurance since your existing liability policies may have coverage limits, and may not cover all expenses if a catastrophic or unpredicted event occurs. Commercial umbrella insurance in North Carolina is a necessary source of coverage that fills in the gaps and covers specific exclusions in your main business liability coverage. Umbrella insurance is a fabulous way to have added protection for property damage, bodily injury, or other types of liabilities.
Some Additional Business Insurance Coverages in North Carolina to Consider
Errors and Omissions insurance policies provide employers and individuals in the North Carolina area with protection against lawsuits and claims made by clients or customers for poor work, neglectful acts, mistakes, and oversights made while conducting business that resulted in a loss of income or output to the customer or client. Errors and Omissions insurance covers legal defense and court costs, along with settlements as described on the insurance contract. In the medical field, physicians require malpractice insurance, so small business owners who provide services or consulting advice — either directly or through the hiring of subcontractors — should have errors and omissions insurance in North Carolina.
Professional liability insurance provides additional defense for staff in the state of North Carolina, such as financial analysts, accountants, and from being liable for the entire legal cost of defending against a claim of carelessness, error, failure to perform, or omission made by a client as well as damages owed in that claim. The coverage’s primary focus is on the loss of funds on the part of the client from this type of alleged claim with respect to a product or service provided by the employee. Professional liability insurance may offer claim coverage, even if the legal actions turn out to be unproven. Professional liability insurance in North Carolina is required by law in some kinds of professional practices, including legal and medical, but is also required by contract in other industries.
Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI) provides owners of businesses with protection against claims of discrimination, wrongful termination, sexual harassment, breach of contract, pay law violations, false imprisonment, emotional distress, libel, slander, mental torment, negligent hiring and promotion decisions, and defamation claims. Employment practices liability insurance is based on the laws, acts, and protection from VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and Family and Medical Leave Act — all of which the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC) enforces.
Fidelity Bonds in North Carolina
Fidelity bonds in North Carolina are a form of insurance purchased by owners of small companies in order to safeguard against losses, like fraud, embezzlement, or theft by one employee or a group of employees. Since reimbursement from employee dishonest practices is generally not available due to the money being unavailable, fidelity bonds provide an important protection for a small business proprietor who would otherwise have to suffer these financial burdens. Even if your company has protection against these types of acts including employee screening, internal controls, and careful supervision, it isn’t always enough. Losses suffered from worker thefts of money, property, or securities are all covered under fidelity bonds insurance for North Carolinians. There are three main types of fidelity bonds that the North Carolina can choose from, which include business service bonds, standard employee dishonesty bonds, and ERISA bonds.
Surety Bonds in North Carolina
A surety bond is a constructed agreement or contract shared between three parties: the principal, obligee, and surety (insurance company). It shows the pledge they will pay a specified amount should a party fail to meet a commitment, such as satisfying the terms of the contract. A surety bond protects the addressee from loss if the contract is not completed, while the surety company takes on the liability for nonperformance. A surety bond is usually required for financial compensation. Owners of North Carolina enterprises may need a surety bond to agree to payment of utility bills or state sales taxes, while a contractor may need to post a bond to secure work or be eligible for licenses. While surety bonds in North Carolina are more commonly seen in the construction industry, surety bonds are also used by mortgage brokers, medical suppliers, auto dealers, health club owners, notaries public, and others. Because of the large variety of small entities that use and need bonds, there are several different types and features of surety bonds in North Carolina that offer a multitude of guarantees.
Small businesses in North Carolina such as a ski resort near Charlotte, technology firm in Raleigh, or golf course in Greensboro thrive in the state and have a high probability of success. With any small business, it is crucial that you obtain the proper business insurance policy in order to protect your hard work and investments from possible accidents, fire, theft, damage from natural disasters, or extreme weather conditions which all may arise at some point during business operations. Safeguard your business assets with additional business insurance that goes beyond your standard policy for optimum coverage.