Business Insurance –
Frequently Asked Questions
Here, we try to answer some of our current and prospective customers most frequently asked questions about insurance. If we don’t answer your question or you need more information, give us a call or email us.
Q: Why do I need commercial coverage?
A: First off, it’s required by Illinois state law. Beyond that, business owners need commercial insurance coverage to protect themselves, their employees, and their business’s success. The chance that you could suffer a loss begins on the first day you open for business. Fire, flood, theft, injury — the risks are numerous. Strong insurance coverage insulates you from these risks. Just like your home and your vehicle are protected from loss, damage and liability, your business needs to be protected, too.
Q: What types of property do I need to insure?
A: Property types include:
- Buildings and other structures
(owned or leased)
- Furniture, equipment and supplies
- Money and securities
- Leased equipment
- Building improvements
- Computers and other technology
- Valuable papers, books and documents
- Company vehicles and construction equipment
- Signs, fences and other outdoor property
- Records of accounts receivable
- Intangible property
(good will, trademarks, etc.)
Q: I run a business out of my home. Won’t my homeowner’s insurance cover any business-related claims?
A: Yes, but it’s very often not enough. Loss of business property in the house is usually reimbursed up to $2,500, and business property lost or damaged away from the home is reimbursed up to $250. Even if your business is small, these limits simply may be too low to cover everything, from equipment to materials.
Also of note: A standard homeowner’s policy does not include business liability coverage, so if someone was injured at your business or by using your product, you would be extremely vulnerable in the event of a lawsuit. You could lose everything.
Q: What can I do to lower my insurance premiums?
A: Here are some suggestions that will lower insurance rates and protect your business from risk:
- Hire an outside consultant, or a risk manager, to examine your business for any safety or environmental regulations you may not have been aware of or overlooked.
- Keep a second set of company records off-site, such as with your Unland agent, your accountant or at home.
- Make sure your employees have good driving records and are properly training on how to use required safety equipment.
- Ensure there is adequate lighting.
- Keep electrical wiring, stairways, carpeting, flooring, elevators and escalators in good repair.
- Install a sprinkler system, smoke and fire alarms, and adequate security devices.
- Keep only a small amount of cash in the register.
To lower insurance premiums, you also can consider raising your deductible. However, the flip side of lower premium payments is that in the event of a loss, you will pay more out of pocket. Be careful not to raise it so high that you cannot cover it should a loss occur.