“The Safe-Keeping for Breakers + Fuses”: What to Know About Electrician Business Insurance

Being in business as an electrician poses some unique risks, and making sure that you are properly covered with insurance is required by law. The types of coverage an electrician needs vary for each unique situation. Some electricians may store all their business equipment in a vehicle that they leave parked overnight, and some may have their own commercial property where their items are a bit more secure. Some electricians choose to work completely alone, and some may have a crew of 10 employees or more.
Having the proper insurance policy is vital for electricians, as dealing with this unique type of service poses many risks. When things are going smoothly, electricians are the life blood of every job site and remodel, but you don’t want to be caught unprepared with insufficient coverage if anything goes wrong. Here are some of the basics that will point you in the right direction regarding different types of coverage in how they can benefit your electrician business.

Why Should Electricians be Insured?
Liability insurance is the basic layer of business insurance that electricians need to be in business. Professional liability insurance offers protection if you caused damage to your property or bodily injury while on the job. If boxes are wired incorrectly, they could cause damage to any home electronics, while that same error in a residence could injure a customer. For an electrician to secure their license, they must obtain liability insurance coverage at the minimum. Any customer who has done their research and is ready to entertain bids will look for business liability insurance as a must when seeking their preferred electrician.

What Does Business Electrician Insurance Cover?
Business insurance coverage can happen to be very broad, or very specific regarding the different services provided. The type of coverage varies by the type of policy, and electrician duties can pose many unique challenges that general contracting does not. Here are the specifics about each type of insurance policy that you’re required to carry for this type of work:

Business General Liability Insurance
This is the most basic business insurance protection type that is required by law. General liability coverage will protect the electrician who caused property damage or bodily harm to a client during an instant of professional negligence. In this type of work even the most seasoned professional must make judgments very quickly, in the workplace conditions vary from month to month. This type of policy will also cover medical payments that fall under the claim of any injured customer.

Commercial Property Insurance:
This is the type of coverage that would be required for an electrician who stores equipment at a rented space, it would also include his furniture along with other office fixtures. This type of coverage is required in Missouri if the electrician keeps any other business tools on personal property such as a garage or Quonset Hut behind a residence. A standard homeowners policy usually won’t cover commercial property, but in some instances, there are extra riders available to expand the original policy to provide coverage.

Business Interruption Insurance:
Business interruption insurance is a type of policy often compiled with an electrician’s general liability coverage. This type of disruption can be caused by a tornado or a flood that makes it impossible to continue operating due to damage. This is a very important type of coverage as it will cover any interruption in sales or revenue caused by theft. It is crucial to be able to protect your business, your assets, and above all, lost wages that become impossible to pay out. This coverage can often exist as part of a bundle with general liability insurance.

Workers Compensation Insurance:
Worker’s compensation insurance is required for a business that has one or more employees other than yourself. This form of protection covers medical bills that would be accrued by said employees. They can protect your business from lawsuits, keep you compliant with state regulations, and cover employee illnesses and unforeseen workplace illnesses. It is important to note that these benefits are not available if your employee gets ill or injured outside of work, or for anyone who is under the influence when the accident occurs.

Commercial Auto Insurance:
Any successful electrician needs a vehicle for dispatch and service, and commercial auto insurance is needed even if the vehicle is also for personal use. If you happen to endure a car accident involving a personal vehicle that has work equipment inside of it, the personal policy will fail to cover damages to this property. When the schedule gets hectic and you become in a hurry, any electrician or contractor should not let an employee who is not listed on the policy drive a vehicle at all, even if it’s just a quick errand.

Other Types of Insurance Coverage for Electricians:
General liability insurance is the most common entry point for an electrical contractor to begin with. There are many other very useful add-ons that we can help you bundle at a discounted rate with, often in conjunction with a business owners policy as well.
Equipment Breakdown Insurance: Some business owners think that this type of insurance policy could include breakdowns that occur due to normal aging and wear and tear of your equipment. While it won’t protect you in those instances, it will provide coverage to repair or replace equipment that suddenly breaks down, and just as importantly cover income lost during this period.

Hired and Non-Owned Auto Insurance: If your business vehicle happens to be in the shop for repairs, it can be kind of difficult to situate a personally owned vehicle or client’s car to keep up with your workload. To make sure that you stay on top of a very busy and booked-up schedule, this type of coverage will provide you with a temporary rental.

Contractor’s Tool and Equipment Insurance: This is very useful for the days and months when you’re working on the job site and need to leave equipment there as the project progresses. It could be bulldozers, solar equipment, mounting tools, hand-held meters, or many other types of goods. This will protect you against any damage or effect, which has sadly been on the rise startlingly during the last decade.

Installation Floater: This type of coverage will protect the various types of equipment an electrician needs to complete their work period. It can include coverage for copper wires, electric boxes, conduits, and all the accessories that are needed to complete a fully-fledged electrical job.

Errors and Omissions Insurance: Some business owners think that errors and omissions insurance is the most important for professionals such as real estate agents, architects, and accountants. An electrician can still be prone to lawsuits if someone claims that your work is faulty, property is damaged, and any medical expenses are incurred. This type of coverage will also provide legal defense and other legal costs that you undergo because of a client or entity being unsatisfied with the finished product or work in progress in any way.

Surety Bond: Any contractor must be bonded insured before they can officially obtain a business license and start the journey of retaining satisfied clients. While not mandatory in all states, small business owners should consider getting a surety bond that acts as a solid guarantee that they will perform the work that they have promised.
Here at the Alexander Insurance Agency of Saint Charles, we understand that starting your electrical business was a goal that likely required years of hard work and determination. We can assist you with the best options for all types of coverage, and tell you from personal experience which plans will help you most in the long run. There’s nothing more satisfying than knowing you are protected and that your livelihood is intact, with many more happy years at the helm of your circuit-breaking brainchild!


General Liability Insurance: Common Questions, Claims, and Coverage Options

General Liability Insurance is an excellent form of protection against any claims of property damage or bodily injury that may occur. These days, people generally seem to be more litigious than ever before, and quickly jump to legal action. This can be quite troubling, whether or not their reasons are valid. We’ve put together a comprehensive guide that will look at types of claims, how to file a claim, and other common questions. Read on to get the details.

What are the Different Types of General Liability Claims?

Many common general liability claims can arise during just a normal day at work. Here are the most common types of claims you could potentially deal with:

  1. Property Damage Lawsuit: One example of this could be with a mobile catering service. At a wedding, one of the heating methods or tools could cause a fire, damaging the structure behind it. The venue could sue your entity for potential damages. In that case, your general liability insurance policy would help greatly with this. 
  2. Slip and Fall Occurrence: If you were, say, a mortgage lender, you could have a customer slip and fall after you just got done mopping the floor. They may suffer an injury and need surgery. They could sue you for medical costs, which your general liability coverage would assist with. 
  3. Product Liability Issue: Say your business provides aquarium gear. If, after a customer sets up their aquarium with one (or more) of your products, their fish die, then the customer could try to sue your business. Your product liability coverage would come into play here. It could be questioned whether it was your products, or the owner’s handling that caused the fatality. 
  4. Customer Injury Lawsuit: If you were running a business such as an art gallery, you may have an extension cord running to lights or computerized props. If a customer trips over the cords and needs treatment for an injury, they could sue you for costs. This kind of claim and lawsuit could be taken care of with general liability coverage as well. 

How do I file a General Liability Claim?

Here are the steps that work to assure that your claim is processed accurately: 

  1. Contact Your Agent as Soon as Possible: As soon as you find out that there has been an incident at your place of business, it’s best to contact your carrier as soon as you can. Even the slightest hesitation can make for a delay in processing your claim, and these events are best dealt with quickly.
  2. Have the Most Important Details Ready: We’ll need to know some basic information about your general liability policy and your business. Now is the most opportune time to ask us about the details of the process, to see what else may be needed, and to see how long the process will take. Your policy number, name, and business name are a few of the most important details. 
  3. Have Plenty of Documentation: Take notes about everything, starting from your very first contact with the party proceeding with a claim or legal action. You should keep a record of any messages or correspondence. Every time you talk with your insurance provider, it is smart to log all your answers and timelines in a word document or spreadsheet so that you can quickly locate them later if needed. 
  4. Put Together Your Strategy for Resolution: If your claim eventually becomes a full-fledged lawsuit, it is best to have a strategy for solving things and/or settling the case. Arguing for a dismissal is a good strategy, as some judges tend to understand society’s frivolous nature. If you go to court for a trial, it is during this process that your documentation will help greatly. Some individuals who have a history of going after companies may make a bad reputation for themselves, allowing the trial to perhaps lean in your favor.

Any incident that may cause someone to jeopardize your livelihood could change the entire course of your business. From court cases to settlements and other mishaps, our experienced specialists here at the Alexander Insurance Agency of St Charles can offer a plan for preparedness in the event of an accident on your property.


Business Renter’s Insurance: A Comprehensive Guide to Protecting Your Dreams + Livelihood

Many companies choose to operate by renting space, which can be a quick and feasible solution to hit the ground running. Even though some owners may not enjoy the various limits this arrangement provides, it still allows you to generate revenue minus the persistent responsibility of a mortgage and taxes. If you are renting a storefront, shop, or office, your business renters’ insurance is one of the most sensible ways to help you protect it. 

Many small business owners can attain this type of coverage with a Business Owner’s Policy. Here you can bundle three very crucial types of coverage that are needed for the efficient and legal operation of many business types. They are as follows:

  • General liability insurance
  • Commercial property insurance
  • Business income insurance

Adequate + Protective Options for a Rental Property:

If you have decided to generate revenue with a rental property, a Business Owner’s Policy can offer you practical protection. A business renters insurance policy also includes commercial property insurance, adequately making provisions for commercial renters insurance coverage. Here are some of the events this type of coverage can protect you from:

  • Fire
  • Theft
  • Lawsuits
  • Loss of revenue post-property damage occurrence 

Commercial Property Insurance:

This form of coverage protects your space and the equipment used during daily operations. It is one of those coverage types that many new proprietors think they can do without at first, and if something bad does happen they stand to suffer extreme consequences! Here are the elements that you can expect to be protected:

  • Tools
  • Equipment such as Bobcats, Snowblowers
  • Inventory
  • Furniture
  • Personal property such as laptops
  • Valuables stored in your safe

If you undergo a fire, theft of property, or other covered loss at the location you are renting, this policy will help pay for replacements and repairs. It can be confusing to categorize which type of coverage will help you in different scenarios. If you have a flash flood that damages your business, it would be a commercial flood insurance policy offering your much-needed protection.

Business Income Insurance:

This is a very beneficial type of coverage that will help replace lost income if your structure is too damaged to carry on. Theft, fire, hail, and tornadoes are some of the factors that could be fierce enough to shut you down. Every season can offer up its own form of tough adversary that can take its toll on your ability to operate. While you are undergoing repairs such as roof replacement, flooring, painting, or framing, this coverage will provide you with the income you weren’t able to generate. These types of losses are what keep business owners awake at night, and this variety of coverage is a true anchor in times of dire need.

General Liability Insurance:

This type of coverage protects your business against those who claim that you impose property damage or bodily harm. It is a category of coverage to take seriously, as these types of claims have drastically risen over the last two decades. If a customer happens to slip and fall in your business and get hurt, this coverage will aid them in assistance with medical bills. The most common scenario owners imagine is someone slipping on ice or having an item fall from a shelf to cause damage, but there are many ways a customer can inadvertently get injured. 

What factors govern my Small Business Renters Insurance Rates?

There are many different types of small businesses out there: you may operate a delivery service, provide counseling, accounting, landscaping, or any other range of services. Even a traditional storefront with groceries and other goods still should be properly covered for events beyond their control. Here are the factors that an insurance company uses to determine what your cost will be each month:

  • Claims history
  • Location
  • How much your equipment on hand is worth

All of us here at the Alexander Insurance Agency of St Charles know you are working hard to keep your passion for your business alive and a steady customer flow! Even the smoothest of workdays can provide multiple surprises. We’ll assist you in finding what works best for you, and provide you with the peace of mind that no emergency event can leave you empty-handed. To learn more about your options for business renters’ insurance, contact us today!


Top 5 Types of Insurance for Business Owners

Is your business legally protected? Whether you have an established business or you’re taking the next step in pursuing your entrepreneurial dreams, do not overlook securing your business with the right insurance. Alexander Insurance Agency has been serving business owners in both Missouri and Illinois for over 50 years. We understand the ins and outs of what it takes to cover your business from the unexpected and are here to guide you through the process. Leave the boring legal stuff to us so you can focus on what matters most, running a smooth ship and providing exceptional service.

Here are the top most common types of insurance and why you need them.

General Liability
For small business owners, general liability insurance is your first step. Ensure what you worked hard for is secure from unpredictable incidents. Be prepared for potential claims, including property damage, bodily injuries, or personal injuries. General liability may also protect you from advertising injury, copyright infringement, and reputational damage.

Workers’ Compensation
What is workers’ compensation? If you have employees working under you, it is of the utmost importance to make sure you are covered if something were to, unfortunately, happen to them. If an employee becomes injured or ill on the job, workers comp will cover medical expenses, missed wages, disability, and death benefits.

Professional Liability / E&O
You may be thinking it will never happen to you, but lawsuits do happen. If and when it happens to you, you need to be ready. Professional liability and errors and omissions insurance protect your business and reputation if a lawsuit is filed against you. This is particularly required for most service-based businesses.

Commercial Auto
If you use a vehicle for your business, your regular car insurance policy may not be enough to cover you in the event of an automobile accident. Commercial auto insurance provides coverage for collision and physical damage, vehicle theft, vandalism, and auto accident liability.

Tools & Equipment
It’s never a good start to your day when you’ve arrived at the job site only to find your equipment has been damaged or stolen. To be prepared for this

unforeseeable circumstance, add a tools and equipment protection policy to your general liability plan. This will cover repair and replacement costs for equipment and tools that are lost, damaged, or stolen.

Finding the right insurance coverage for your business can be an overwhelming process. At Alexander Insurance Agency, we will work with you to make it a seamless and stress-free experience. We are dedicated to helping business owners like you throughout St. Louis, St.Charles, and surrounding areas find the right coverage you need.

You’ve worked hard to build your business. Now it’s time to protect it. Speak with one of our trusted team members today! Call (636)949-9525 or Contact Us Here.