Scaling the Grid+ Adequate Coverage During Your Gig: What Uber and Lyft Drivers Need to Know

If you have recently started a work gig driving for a company such as Lyft or Uber, capable rideshare insurance will provide you much-needed coverage if anything happens suddenly while on the job. The entity you’re employed with does offer some coverage, but it can end up very inadequate in the long run, and drivers could be faced with paying out-of-pocket for skyrocketing medical or repair bills. 

Rideshare insurance is an excellent choice for a worker who wants to effectively bridge the gap between their personal car insurance coverage and the frequently inadequate options offered by their employer. Before you enthusiastically clean your interior and get ready to pick up a new rider, here are some of the most important things to know. 

The Stages of Rideshare Driving

To fully understand the types of insurance for rideshare driving, it’s important to know the three phases one can be situated on while the rideshare app is ticking.

  • Available: The driver is ready and available to pick up a passenger.
  • En Route: The driver has accepted an assignment and is on the way to pick up the passenger.
  • On the Trip: The driver has picked up the passenger and is safely escorting them to their destination.

While your Uber or Lyft rideshare app is turned off, this drive time interval is covered by your personal auto insurance. Once your right shaft air is on and you’re working, Uber and Lyft provide some coverage. Every minute you’re behind the wheel, knowing the gaps between coverage is crucial to making sure that you are completing the job while properly protected. 

During the Available stage, both Uber and Lyft provide $50,000 in bodily injury coverage per person, and $100,000 in bodily injury coverage per accident. They also cover $25,000 in property damage coverage per incident.

During the En Route stage, Uber and Lyft offer $1 million third-party liability coverage and uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage. They also provide contingent comprehensive and collision coverage up to the actual cash value of a car with $1000 deductible.

During the On the Trip stage, Uber and Lyft provide $1,000,000 in liability coverage, and uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage. Once again, they also provide contingent comprehensive and collision coverage, up to the actual cash value of the car with a $1000 deductible. 

What Do These Terms Mean?

Here are some definitions of the terms related to insurance for drivers provided by rideshare companies. 

Third Party Liability Coverage pays for bodily injury and property damage caused by a third party in the event of a car accident. A third party is someone or something other than the driver themselves or their vehicle. If you as a rideshare driver collide with another car, auto liability insurance will make required payouts to the other driver.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Bodily Injury Coverage will pay for injuries suffered by rideshare drivers and their riders if the accident occurs during an actual rideshare journey. If another driver is at fault and isn’t sufficiently covered, this type of coverage also applies. This coverage also will apply in the unfortunate case of a hit-and-run accident. The specific coverage limits provided by the rideshare insurance company vary depending on their state of residence.

Contingent Collision and Comprehensive Coverage are provided during the time that you embark on the trip to pick up a rider or have a rider in the car. The deductible reduces the potential claim payment while using this type of coverage. If you do not carry collision and comprehensive coverage on your personal vehicle, rideshare companies such as Uber and Lyft will not rise to the occasion and provide it either.

Is my Personal Insurance Policy Ever Adequate for Rideshare Work?

Personal auto coverage will typically not cover rideshare trips. The companies have priced your policy under the guise that you are driving yourself, any other relatives or acquaintances, and that you are generating revenue from the driving you are doing. Traditional car insurance is not efficiently set up for the liability and medical payment allocation that a driver exposes themselves to while getting paid to safely transport individuals. Personal car insurance policies all have a clause that clearly excludes commercial activities such as ride-sharing.

What Type of Insurance do Rideshare Drivers Need?

There are three main types of insurance every driver should consider. Comprehensive and collision coverage are the predominant types to be concerned with as you pursue ridesharing and viable income.

  • Liability: This type of coverage is mandatory in every state and takes care of injuries to any person or damage to their property after an accident for which you’re at fault. This type of coverage will never cover your own car or your injuries. Some states now mandate low limits that may not be adequate to fully cover damage or injuries to other drivers if an accident occurs. You must pay out of pocket to fill the gap, so it is a good idea to purchase additional liability coverage.
  • Collision/Comprehensive: If you have taken out an auto loan or car, your lender typically requires that you have this coverage in place. Collision coverage pays to repair or replace your vehicle if it is damaged in an accident. The comprehensive part of the policy covers car damage that is not related to said accident, such as a weather event or random vandalism. Some richer drivers will be tempted to skip this coverage, but that is not wise unless you’re prepared to pay outright for an entirely new vehicle.
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist: If you are involved in an accident and the other driver is not covered, uninsured motorist insurance covers your needed medical expenses, along with those accompanying you on the ride. It also will cover lost wages, along with obligatory pain and suffering. If the driver who hits you has insurance with low coverage limits, underinsured coverage will cover the difference. When you are debating this type of coverage, it’s best to go with amounts that will match your own liability limits. 

Chauffeur Clients With Confidence: 

The cost of a functional rideshare endorsement or insurance policy varies depending on which company you choose. After looking at nationwide averages, a general rule is to expect an additional 15% to 20% added to your standard policyholders premium. It’s a good idea to sit down with us here at the Alexander Agency of Saint Charles, just to make sure you understand the full scope and outcome potential of what’s specifically covered by the policy you choose. Shield your rideshare journey and boost your economic outlook by contacting us today!


Protection From Prying Eyes: The Role of Crime Insurance in Risk Management

As soon as you begin your dream endeavor, it’s guaranteed that you’ll feel certain you made the right choice! Even during quite uncertain times, the friends and family who will support you, the idea that was winning from the beginning, and your on-point customer service are guaranteed to take you to amazing heights. Business crime insurance can protect you from the increasingly severe losses that occur after business-related crime rears its head. Your protection will cover assets, cash, merchandise, or other property loss.

How Does Business Crime Insurance Work?

Business crime insurance is available because most commercial property or business policies do not cover crime-related losses. It is possible to purchase business crime insurance as part of an industrial package policy. This is a unique combination that protects the business from crime, property loss, liability, and other scenarios. A business is also able to purchase business crime insurance as a standalone policy, and then combine it with another insurance policy already purchased. 

When this type of coverage is purchased as a standalone policy, you can specify what types of crimes you will be protected from. This is very valuable when you know you are susceptible to a specific form of intrusion. Embezzlement via electronic payment, merchandise being outright stolen, and forged checks are a few of the scenarios this accounts for. As things become more difficult nationwide and the squeeze is on once again due to inflation, this type of coverage will be sensible for businesses of all sizes here in Missouri.

What are the Impacts of Business Crime?

The various threats of business crime pose a threatening liability for companies of all sizes. Most companies worldwide lose an estimate of about 5% of their hard-earned revenue to fraud annually, and the problem is becoming even more widespread. Small businesses are the most vulnerable to this type of hit, partly because they have less staff to procure auditing and extra safety procedures. There is also a level of trust that these owners instill in their employees, because they know them on a personal basis, and interact with them every day.

In 2022, the companies with the fewest employees underwent the most staggering average losses. These averaged around $150,000 each, and ultimately inflict so much damage on smaller companies since they do not have as much capital or resources as those higher up the chain. As artificial intelligence and other high-tech innovations are growing every day, there are more unfortunate opportunities for small business owners to suffer losses. A business crime insurance policy will provide various limits of coverage for losses that differ greatly for those that happen on the property versus those that take place offsite.

What is not Covered by Business Crime Insurance?

Each policy comes with different terms and exclusions, and talking with us here at the Alexander Agency of St Charles will steer you in the right direction regarding the details. Here are some of the items that are generally NOT covered by your crime policy.

  • Legal expenses against thieving employees
  • Investigative expenses to prove the crime’s extent and execution.
  • Losses your organization incurs after you already knew an employee has taken from you previously.
  • Intellectual property, writing, client lists, and important company documents. 
  • Losses that are based on inventory records, minus hard evidence. 
  • Salaries or commissions already paid out to employees who were stealing.
  • Indirect losses such as income from work, or projects that can’t be started without valuable terminals and other equipment. 

What are Some Tips for Preventing Business Theft?

Knowing your employees is a very essential practice when it comes to preventing business theft. Performing background checks on potential hires allows for a “true indicator” of one’s past and present. Even though checking references is key to having a snapshot of personal behavior and credibility, a background check can provide criminal records as well as a credit history.

Close supervision is one of the best ways to prevent various types of business crime. Employees know that they can potentially get away with more when it comes to illicit activity if prying eyes aren’t watching. When it comes to the all-important financials of the business, they can sometimes pay to have more than one person meticulously looking out regarding your flow of money.

Purchase order protocol allows for the payment, receipt, and preparation of purchase orders to exist as entirely separate functions, and to be handled by individuals with different titles. Using purchase orders is a good way to verify what is incoming, and not allowing people lower on the chain to handle things that could provide them an opportunity to steal.

The surprise informal audit has been proven over time to be one of the best ways to keep deceptive employees on their toes. This is the kind of activity that comes unannounced. It can thoroughly uncover wrongdoings as well as prevent more bad occurrences in the future. It is still good practice to use an outside firm for the yearly audit that is expected by all employees.

Heightening computer security measures is one of the biggest tools that you can leverage to prevent business crimes against you. It’s a good idea to restrict access to all computer terminals and vital records and make sure that you stay on top of periodically changing entry codes. Computerized functions are the origin point for so many different instances of business crime, and this is one area that you must be very diligent when acting upon.

Tracking business checks thoroughly is one of the ways to ensure that nothing goes immediately beyond your constant scrutiny as a business owner. It’s best to always use pre numbered checks, with exact amounts and payees clearly written in permanent ink. QuickBooks is a good form of financial software that allows you to produce all checks instantly, always being of help in the battle against business crime. If you keep a signature machine and blank checks on the premises, it is always a good idea to make sure they are locked up.

An eye on accounts receivable is another practice that will be a wise use of time in the age of skyrocketing business crimes. Mail opening and posting should always be separate functions, and official recording of checks and cash should only be for deposit, no matter what the circumstances.

As it is impossible to not notice the world of business getting more frightening every day, your Peace of Mind is just a simple call or click away! After all the hard work you have cultivated developing your ideas and routine, you don’t want to leave your organization vulnerable to various threats. Reach out to the Alexander Insurance Agency of St Charles now, and begin the journey with us as your trusted partner for your future safety.


From Burst Pipes to Bottom Lines: Securing Your Plumbing Business with Insurance

The much-needed task of unclogging plumbing lines in homes here in Missouri is a profession that is not best handled without adequate insurance coverage! One inconvenient miscalculation or mishap can lead to damage or accidents that can occur while on the job, making employers, cities and states mandate minimum requirements for a type of business insurance to complete the process of securing your plumbing license. In this article, we’ll discuss the most important things to know about plumbing insurance, where to get the right coverage, along with some of the best options that can work for you.

What is Plumbing Insurance?

Plumbing insurance can refer to several various policies that are in place to assist you when damage, other financial liabilities, and potential lawsuits rear their head. Finding the right insurance coverage will allow you to face common risks that plumbing contractors face frequently such as:

  • Property damage or injury to a client that occurs during an extended repair or project
  • Being falsely accused of shoddy work or negligent performance during a job’s completion
  • Plumbing tools that are damaged or stolen
  • the mishap of a car accident while transporting to or from a job
  • one of your employees becoming injured while working on a project

Who Needs Plumbing Insurance?

Here are a few of the types of those out there on the job every day that need adequate coverage:

  • Plumbing business owners and contractors
  • Those who work on septic systems
  • Piping contractors
  • Drainage system specialists
  • Sewer maintenance professionals 
  • Sprinkler installation crews
  • Sump pump installation and servicing contractors
  • Water system balancing and testing contractors
  • Home builders, renovators, and developers
  • Handymen

What are the Various Types of Plumbing Insurance?

To assure that you’re starting off the day and meeting your eager customers’ clogged needs, general liability insurance is needed at a minimum to protect against claims, whether they are frivolous or not. Property damage and bodily injury are the two most common claims you can encounter while conducting business. The most common forms of additional coverage on top of this are business property insurance, commercial auto insurance, and liability insurance.

General Liability Insurance will be a valuable anchor during one of the most common scenarios that can occur for busy plumbers. If you are on a job and the customer happens to trip on a large tool left out, they could sprain or even break a bone. This very useful type of policy would cover their medical expenses, as well as the daunting legal fees for their inevitable lawsuit against you. A general liability policy will cover the cost to replace fixtures such as a granite countertop if it shatters while replacing plumbing elements. 

Professional Liability Insurance will help with your plumbing business if you undergo claims of professional negligence, breach of contract, or are unable to complete a job within the predicted time-frame. If you’re working on a remodel and a problem during the installation causes the system to fail, the owner may have a legal case against you for error. A professional liability insurance policy would cover legal issues and settlement costs that this lawsuit will bring about.

Business Property Insurance provides a function and focuses on events caused by accidents, weather, or other nature-related pitfalls. If a fire suddenly breaks out in your office and destroys all your necessary equipment, your business property insurance is the source of your coverage to complete replacement. Business property insurance will also cover lost income if your operations are dysfunctional because of extreme damage

Worker’s Compensation Insurance: provides financial protection for both the employer and the employee in the event of a work-related injury or illness. For the employer, workers’ comp can cover the cost of medical expenses, lost wages, and rehabilitation costs. It can also protect the employer from lawsuits filed by injured employees. For the employee, workers’ comp can provide peace of mind knowing that they will be financially taken care of if they are injured on the job. Here are some examples of ways that worker’s compensation is a good choice for plumbers:

  • It can help to protect your business from lawsuits.
  • It can help with your employees’ well-being, leaving them certain that they are protected in the event of an injury.
  • It can help in the constant struggle of attracting talent during competitive times. 

Commercial Auto Insurance is essential for plumbing businesses that use vehicles to transport tools, equipment, and materials to job sites. When you load up the van and are ready to take on your first appointment, you want to be 100% sure that you will be covered for the road.  Leaving a house free of clogs involves the use of many different tools, which thieves are unfortunately targeting more frequently. Commercial auto insurance can help to cover the cost of these losses so that you do not encounter any delays in your pressing schedule. It can also help to protect your business from lawsuits, which can be stressful and time-consuming.

Product Liability Insurance protects plumbers from claims arising from defective products they may accidentally use. It can help to cover the cost of legal fees, settlements, and damages if a customer is injured or their property is damaged by a defective product. Plumbers often use a variety of products in their work, such as pipes, fittings, valves, and fixtures. If one of these products happens to be defective, it can cause serious injury or damage to a customer’s property. In the event of a lawsuit, product liability insurance can help to protect the plumber from financial ruin.

Tools and Equipment Insurance is a blessing for those in metro areas who are experiencing a drastic rise in theft. It’s not just the framers and contractors who leave things out overnight that are now suffering, as just leaving for a quick lunch as a plumber could result in a client’s roommates or neighbors making off with your needed tools. This type of coverage will repair or replace equipment that ends up stolen or damaged, and this specific type of policy can also be bundled with your general liability insurance.

Don’t let any unwanted elements of uncertainty clog your path to success! Contact us today at Alexander Insurance Agency in St. Charles, Missouri to learn how we can help you protect your most valuable assets, preserve your dedication and prolong your admirable-penchant for performing a job well done.


Financial Armor for Foodpreneurs: Essential Insurance for Your Thriving Restaurant

Anyone who is in the process of opening a restaurant is already going through so many important things to do on their checklist that choosing insurance can seem like a daunting task. There are many things to consider ensuring that your choice allows your business to function smoothly, and supply chain issues since the pandemic have already made vital operations incredibly challenging on a day-to-day basis. Serving alcohol and making deliveries all pose their unique risks, and so does temporarily getting into someone’s vehicle during valet duty. 

Here are some of the various types of restaurant insurance coverage that will offer you protection for everything ranging from “sudden to standard” occurrences during business.

Commercial Property Insurance will have to pay for a complete rebuild or necessary repairs if your building or its contents undergo damage by a covered loss. Destructive elements such as wind and fire, smoke, hail, vandalism, and flooding along with damage from aircraft are all elements that this type of coverage can address. Earthquakes and floods are typically not covered, as you can find separate policies for these risks. If you are renting your restaurant space, you can often choose policies that just cover your equipment, but simply contact us here at the Alexander agency first, and we’ll go over everything pertinent with you.

Inland Marine Coverage provides coverage for any inventory equipment that you transport off your premises. This type of coverage is there for business property that is stored off-site, shipped, or otherwise transported. If your establishment focuses on dining in and your property stays at your business location, you probably will not need this form of insurance.

Business Interruption Insurance will come to the rescue in terms of crucial lost income after you undergo a covered loss. If you’re forced to shut down operations to cover damage from a major storm, business interruption insurance would pay for your lost income so you could take care of your lease or any loan payments, as well as your dire need of employee payroll. Business interruption insurance is very often included as a component of your standard business owner’s policy.

Business Owner’s Policy includes your general liability insurance and commercial property insurance in a conveniently bundled option. Often this type of coverage includes business interruption insurance and is designed for small to mid-size operations. You can also add on coverage such as equipment breakdown for other events you may encounter while you’re doing business.

Equipment Breakdown Coverage will assist you if your equipment, such as the oven or the air conditioner fails, forcing your business to cease operations. This type of coverage also assists with electrical, mechanical, and pressurized equipment breakdown as well as air conditioning units, refrigeration, and computer systems. If a refrigerator happens to fail overnight and you must dispose of a large amount of your food, your insurer will pay for you to repair your refrigerator and replace the food that was tainted or spoiled. 

Commercial Crime Insurance provides financial protection from losses caused by robbery, burglary, theft, fraud, or other crimes. The coverage will kick in and thankfully cover crimes committed by your very own employees, or crimes committed by those outside of your business. Since businesses that serve food typically handle large amounts of cash and employ people from all walks of life, commercial crime insurance is a very viable consideration. 

Liquor Liability Insurance could be an excellent form of protection for restaurants that serve alcohol and see a customer indulging too much. If a customer leaves your restaurant after having too much to drink and causes an accident or starts a fight and injures themselves, you could be legally liable. Many states have “dram shop” laws in place that are tough on businesses when this happens. Liquor liability insurance will cover any claims that are a result of the actions of customers to whom your businesses may accidentally over serve. If you signed a commercial lease, your landlord may require you to prove this type of coverage.

Cyber Liability Insurance can cover financial losses that result from hacking, viruses, data breaches, and attacks that focus on denial of service. Since restaurants require credit card transactions to flourish, the online systems that you are using for orders may provide your guests with wireless network access that leaves you susceptible to imminent danger and fraud.

Employment Practices Liability Insurance is there to protect your business against lawsuits by current or former employees who are eager to claim mistreatment. Harassment and discrimination can show their faces in many forms these days, and whether the incident is true or not, it happens more than many people realize.

Factors for Your Restaurant Insurance Pricing:

The price that you pay for restaurant insurance will vary based on the type of coverage that works for you, and how risky your business is deemed by your provider. Consider factors such as:

  • Type of food industry
  • Number of employees
  • Location
  • Size of your operation
  • Your detailed claims history

Businesses with higher risks will have higher premiums than those who do not. As you increase the limits of your insurance your premiums will also rise, making it a bit more difficult sometimes to be in your best interest because after weathering a few years in business, you may know that it is needed. If serving up excellent eats has long been your passion, we’re standing by to assist you in any way we can. Contact us today at the Alexander Insurance Agency of Saint Charles, where we can closely assess your mouth-watering base of operations and the plan that works for you! 


Mobile Culinary Creations on Demand: Food Truck Insurance For 2023

The popularity of food trucks is officially soaring in the U.S., as there are more than 30,000 of them now rolling deliciously around neighborhoods nationwide. Offering their tasty goods to patrons for lunch away from the cubicle and patios everywhere, they fulfill a niche desire that allows people who are already out on the town to indulge in their favorite type of cuisine. Seeing a business like this successfully get up off the ground is quite a daunting task and requires as many as 40 separate government approvals and more than $20,000 in licensing and compliance charges.

It may seem like there is more red tape involved than a profitable experience should need to endure, which is why it can be simple to lose foresight when it comes to food truck insurance. A sensible business insurance policy can prevent you from accidentally encountering full financial peril. Whether you’re serving up frozen yogurt, street tacos, or amazing grilled fare, here are some tips directly from our experts at the Alexander insurance agency of Saint Charles to help obtain adequate coverage.

What is Food Truck Insurance?

Food truck insurance is technically a small business insurance policy that can be customized to cover the specific risks that are involved with your taste bud-tempting task. Adequate food truck insurance policies offer several types of coverage that will protect you from issues such as lawsuits, lost income, equipment breakdowns, and outright accidents.

What Does Food Truck Insurance Cover?

The food truck insurance policy that covers all the bases contains several types of business insurance that shield you from a variety of problems. An ideal starting place is with a business owners policy, which bundles 3 essential coverage types and is less expensive than acquiring each type of coverage separately. Here are the vital components of what business liability insurance includes:

Business Liability Insurance:

This is the most vital component of a small business insurance policy. General liability insurance covers property damage and bodily injuries that are accidentally inflicted upon others. One example is running a chauffeur or party bus, wherein spilling a beverage on someone which could incur urgent care or other medical expenses.

Commercial Property Insurance:

Commercial property insurance will cover your business’s physical location and its much-needed equipment if it’s damaged by a covered event such as fire or inclement weather. If a fire destroys your office, commercial property insurance will pay to provide new equipment that you rent or lease, such as furniture, vital tools, inventory for sale, supplies, and business records. 

Business Interruption Insurance:

Unfortunately, some instances require your business to shut down temporarily if you have a fire or burglars break into your property. Business interruption insurance will replace the income you have lost, then will even cover money lost due to damaged merchandise. You may have to move to a new location temporarily, and this will ease your mind by covering that expense as well.

Other Types of Food Truck Insurance:

The business owner’s policy is the most important component of your food truck insurance regimen, but you’ll want to acquire other insurance types that will help with a variety of other issues that you will face During daily operations. Here are some of the common types to consider:

Commercial auto insurance:

Since the food truck is essentially a food proprietor on wheels also used for business purposes, a commercial auto insurance policy will be required instead of personal driver’s coverage. Here are some of the very common types of commercial auto insurance that will be sufficient for a food truck:

  • Bodily injury liability: this covers injuries that can occur on or around the truck that stem from you or your employees’ actions.
  • Property damage liability: this will cover property damage to others accidentally caused by you or your employees. Events that take place on golf courses, private residences, and patios of bars are all examples of where this will aid you. 
  • Combined single limit: this is the combination of one overall limit for property damage along with bodily injury claims against you as opposed to the option of procuring 2 separate limits.
  • Medical payments and personal injury protection: this covers you and your necessary medical bills that can accumulate after an accident, no matter who was at fault.
  • Collision insurance: this type of coverage will take care of the costs of providing repairs or completely replacing your vehicle if you are in a crash. It can also cover your attached appliances for cooking and other food truck equipment.
  • Comprehensive insurance: this will cover the cost of replacing the repair of the vehicle for events such as fire, floods, vandalism, and falling objects. It will also cover the appliances such as ovens and dishwashers along with various other items of equipment.
  • Uninsured motorist coverage: this will cover injuries to you and your passengers if a driver without car insurance or someone without adequate coverage suddenly crashes into you. In some states, you were able to purchase this type of coverage that will even cover you if the offender has no insurance at all.

Equipment breakdown insurance is an excellent add-on that can cover the cost of replacing or repairing your preparation equipment if it breaks down on the spot. This type of coverage does not help with normal wear and tear, but if your business has just become very popular and this event occurs to you, you’re really going to benefit from this form of coverage.

Food spoilage and contamination insurance we’ll cover your perishable stock of food from prolonged power outages or unexpected equipment breakdown. Also, this will provide for the recovery of your business if you undergo an outbreak of a contaminating illness. This coverage can help you with advertising to regain your reputation, the income you’ve lost, thorough cleaning of your equipment, at any chest or vaccinations you might need due to the event.

How much does food truck insurance cost?

On average, most food and beverage business owners pay about $135 per month for a business owners policy, and around $170 a month for commercial auto insurance coverage. Having a higher coverage amount means higher insurance premiums, and as you don’t want to leave your pride and joy underinsured, you also don’t want to pay out of pocket for more coverage than you will ultimately need. If it takes more than one employee to run your food truck, you will run into higher prices there as well. The provider who ultimately covers you will look at cost factors such as property owned, business assets, your payroll size, and what locations you are serving.

Food trucks have become another awesome break from work, weekend splurge, and way for neighborhood dwellers from all walks of life to check out something they may have not enjoyed before. If you have just made the choice to launch a food truck venture, reach out to us here at the Alexander Insurance of St. Charles and we can assist you with the plan to ensure very smooth and always delicious sailing!


Assuring Protection for Your Life’s Aspiration: Small Business Insurance For 2023

Once the location is selected, the products are decided upon, and the client base is built, you feel as if things are finally coming together for your business venture. According to industry giant The Hartford, four out of 10 small businesses will need to file an insurance claim over 10 years. The many types of business insurance available will protect you from the many risks you could be facing. You could suffer drastic losses from claims on products, accidents and vehicles, floods, fire, and loss of income.

This article will point out the different types of business insurance that every small business operator should be familiar with.

What Types of Business Insurance Do I Need Most?

The type of business insurance that will be of greatest assistance to you depends on your business size as well as what type of assets you have. Having a clear picture of what’s available and for what business purposes will allow you to make informed decisions as you experience growth and the challenges that success can bring. Here are some of the most well-known types of professional and commercial insurance coverage that will help you if you find your livelihood at risk.

General Liability Insurance:

This type of small business insurance protects you from the risk of claiming bodily injury and property damage. If another vendor or a customer encounters injury while they are on your property, commercial general liability insurance will protect everything you’ve worked so hard for. This type of coverage will include attorney fees, court costs, and settlements awarded to plaintiffs while doing business.

Professional Liability Insurance:

Anyone such as an accountant or real estate agent should consider getting this type of insurance to protect themselves from claims pending for negligence on any level. This goes above and beyond typical liability coverage, and physicians are another group that must be constantly thinking about adequate protection. As the strenuous pace has picked up since the pandemic, freelancers and business owners are taking on more work, which may make room for more potential to make a mistake.

Commercial Property Insurance:

Business property needs to be protected against natural disasters such as floods, fires, high winds, and hail. A company’s structure, computers, inventory, and supplies are all elements you won’t have to worry about if you’re properly covered. Commercial properties operate businesses such as investment firms, sandwich shops, home entertainment equipment, and hair stylists, and this type of coverage will assure that the elements in your immediate area are covered. Parking lots, your roof, awnings, and other spaces such as outdoor break areas are also protected.

Commercial Auto Insurance:

It is not just delivery services for food that have cars on the go constantly, which is one reason you’ll want commercial auto insurance. Shuttling materials, medical supplies, prescriptions, and land surveys are all examples of businesses that need their employees to be mobile. A commercial auto insurance policy will pay for damage and serious injuries sustained while these vehicles are being operated for business use. If you are running a business and are attempting to use a personal auto insurance policy, you can be legal to drive in some states, but you may have claims denied when disaster strikes. Many businesses that saw the need to suddenly start running errands that have an accident on the way may find themselves surprised when they weren’t covered with the appropriate type of business auto policy. It may not necessarily be illegal to drive with a personal auto policy, but once you are seeing employees need to drive daily it’s time to consider the proper coverage.

Business Income Insurance:

When an emergency happens and you find yourself unable to operate, you are bound to lose income. Situating yourself with a business income insurance policy can protect you from this fearful situation. If there is an accident and a car crashes into your structure, or the roof collapses, business income insurance would cover the losses incurred while the damage is being repaired. Also known as business interruption insurance, this will offer peace of mind when the ways you generate revenue grind to a sudden halt.

Product Liability Insurance:

It is not just within the food and drug industries that products can see risk with liability issues. If a product ends up being defective or unsafe in any way, it may cause personal injury or even damage to physical property. Just as cars undergo recalls for defective construction, other products such as personal electronics can cause sudden accidents. Product liability insurance will cover damage and medical expenses from injuries the product causes. Many items for personal care such as razors and eye makeup could also fall into this category.

Errors and Omissions Insurance:

This type of insurance coverage is ideal for those that have a very focused area of service they provide. If your calculations aren’t perfect, you make other errors or happen to leave out any other data, this type of policy will cover claims as a result. Errors and omissions insurance will pay for the hurdle of legal defense costs and settlements, with those such as lawyers and technicians that could benefit. Therapists and professionals that offer advice are quite sought after in these unstable times, but many are amazed at how fast clients can change their minds if your guidance isn’t crystal clear.

Business Owners Policy

The last few years have dictated a little bit of confusion surrounding business owners’ policies, but one thing is for sure: one of their main benefits is to bundle several of these valuable types of insurance into one package. Many business owners’ policies also offer cyber liability protection, which will assist against the costs of breached data, an event that is happening more and more frequently. Another valuable component found in business policies is for contractors’ equipment, helping with the cost of repair or replacement tools if they are stolen, damaged, or lost.

Workers Compensation Insurance:

This type of policy protects business owners when employees exercise the right to file a worker’s comp claim against their entity or corporation. If they encounter injury on the job or an illness due to their work environment, they are sometimes eligible for compensation. Being properly covered with this policy type will take care of workers compensation income and their extensive medical needs. From the janitorial industry to the medical field, thousands of small businesses need workers comp insurance in case their employees see work-related tasks affecting their health.

Making the Decision for Your Type of Business Insurance:

Long-term protection for your business and personal assets are the reasons why you need appropriate coverage. The best way to pinpoint exactly what you need is by contacting us here at the Alexander Agency of St Charles, where we can spend time discussing your options backed by years of experience and satisfaction. We can take a close look at the pros and cons of each policy as it relates to your overhead and find a solution that is sufficient for your needs.


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!


Working Within Your Own Four Walls: Home-Based Business Insurance Options for 2023

Reinventing yourself completely over the past few years may have seen you launch a part-time e-commerce venture, or perhaps meet with clients in the comfort of your home to discuss business. As you pursue this attractive and convenient venture, finding the right insurance coverage to protect you will be crucial. There are some forms of coverage available with an additional endorsement to your homeowners’ insurance policy, but the traditional standalone in-home business policy offers higher limits and a wider range of coverage.

Do I Need Home-Based Business Insurance?

The last few years have seen many more people now working from home for convenience and seeing a massive boost of productivity. If you see frequent deliveries to the house or invite clients inside the home, home-based business insurance becomes even more important. If an injury happens while someone is visiting your home, being liable for their medical bills would quickly become an issue if you weren’t sufficiently covered. 

Even if face-to-face interaction is not a component of your daily business, you may require professional liability insurance if you are actively shipping products out to consumers. Both types of coverage offer you protection from lawsuits that could stem from liability issues. 

What Are the Different Types of Home-Based Business Coverage?

Home-based business insurance is a group of coverages that are ideal for those operating out of their homes. Depending on your type of business, you may need to explore the options below. Some insurance companies will offer their policies in bundles, which include different coverages depending on which company you choose. Following are the common types of home-based business insurance policies and what they cover.

General Liability Insurance:

A commercial general liability policy will help to cover legal fees and judgments if your business undergoes a lawsuit. This could arise from causing physical harm or an advertising mistake, such as infringing on a copyright. It will also cover medical bills for non-employees injured on your premises or during operation duties. This form of coverage also covers product liability and is a firm requirement for all businesses that manufacture products for consumer use. 

Business Personal Property Insurance:

Business property insurance will pay to fix or replace equipment that is stolen or damaged, inventory, furniture, technology, or important documents after a covered incident. If you have a fire in your home or a burglary, your business property policy will pay to repair or replace it. A standard homeowners policy will come with $2,500 in coverage for business equipment, which may not be adequate to cover the property needed for smooth operation. 

Business Interruption Insurance:

Business Interruption Insurance is sometimes known as business income insurance, and is often included with a business owner’s policy. This vital form of coverage will help replace your lost net income if you cannot operate after an unfortunate break-in or fire. 

Business Owner’s Policy:

A business owner’s policy is a combination of commercial property insurance, business interruption insurance, and general liability insurance all in one package. You are also able to customize this type of coverage with specific endorsements that will help your category of business. For some business owners who complete all their work entirely from the home, they might not find this type of commercial property coverage necessary.

Commercial Auto Insurance:

This is not just essential for delivery businesses, but for any entity that uses their vehicle for business use. Some businesses have employees that only may drive a few times a week or month, and others have a daily regimen that calls for a driver that is less “on the spot.” Hired and non-owned auto insurance can be a great solution for those who make deliveries in their car, as a personal auto insurance policy may not cover you if an accident occurs. 

Worker’s Compensation Insurance 

In most states, businesses with a certain number of employees are required to carry coverage for workers’ compensation. It pays for medical bills and lost wages if an employee is injured at your business, or if something happens to them during a shift. Businesses such as tree trimming and construction are what most people think of first for this type of coverage, but even retail stores and offices can have accidents. This type of coverage will pay for bills and lost wages after an employee is injured, and current times have also dictated the coverage for illnesses and diseases employees may incur while working.

Cyber Insurance:

These types of policies may pay to recover electronic data that has been lost, but numerous other types of risks may not be covered. Running a successful business sees you dealing with many types of sensitive data that criminals would love to get their hands on. A cyber liability policy will cover lost or corrupt data, cyber extortion, identity theft, and reputation recovery, in addition to interruption coverage for the time you are down after the incident. 

How Much Will Home-Based Business Insurance Cost?

The cost to insure your home business will depend on factors such as the different risks you face during daily operations and the types of coverage that you ultimately purchase. If your business is deemed low risk, you could secure a general liability policy for as little as $11.00 per month, and professional liability insurance begins at around $20 per month. Many different plans in motion unfortunately can create risk, and so businesses that have commercial auto and worker’s compensation could encounter significantly higher costs. 

All of us here at Alexander Insurance understand that your business is an extension of your aspirations and lifetime’s work! We are standing by to assist you with the planning for protection of your livelihood, and can’t wait to be diligently by your side during the sometimes daunting journey! 


What to Consider in Business Insurance for 2023

As soon as your products are ready, the doors are open, and you’re fired up ready to go, there are still a few more bases you may want to cover. Several types of insurance are available to keep you covered and worry-free, and business insurance is one of them. 

This insurance can make a huge difference when things go wrong and prevent staggering loss if you suddenly encounter any action on your property that can bring about a personal injury lawsuit. Many small business owners make the mistake of not securing appropriate coverage for their interests, so make sure you’re covered! 

2 Vital Questions to Ask Regarding Business Insurance:

The entity formed when you decide that you want to go into business keeps you from being liable for incurring debts and final judgments. This action still does not protect from a breach of data, flood, fire, or personal injury lawsuit. Here are two vital questions to ask yourself about business insurance that will allow you to make a final decision. 

  • Do you have property that can be replaced? If you currently have inventory, computers, and other equipment that would be costly to replace, it would be a good idea to be insured. Having thousands of dollars of inventory that you must account for during a mishap would make searching for business insurance an important must. 
  • Could you suffer the consequences of a lawsuit? If there is a chance your business could be sued for a large sum, it could very easily bring about a high amount of instability. This could happen if someone has an accident on your premises, you leak valuable data, or if you sell a defective item that a customer reacts negatively to or is harmed by.

If you had to answer “yes” to either of these questions, obtaining business insurance will help you encounter drastically less risk. 

Categories of Business Insurance:

Several types of business insurance are available to protect you against risk. Some of the most vital criteria to examine first are your business’s category, and how large it is.

  • Liability Insurance will cover your expenses for attorneys helping you with injuries, negligence, and accident litigation. Many people think that home-based businesses do not need liability insurance, but it’s a good idea to help protect against the many forms of liability you encounter.
  • Property Insurance will reimburse you if you undergo damage due to storm, theft, or a natural disaster such as a fire. If you work from home, your homeowner’s policy may provide you with this form of coverage.
  • Vehicle Insurance will provide you coverage if you suffer damage to any of your company vehicles used during business hours.
  • Workers’ Compensation Insurance will assist you with lost wages and costly hospital care for employees who are injured on the job. Nearly every state requires employers who have more than a certain number of employees to carry this coverage.
  • Professional Liability Insurance protects wholesalers, distributors, retailers, and manufacturers. Any products you created or sold could have you liable if there is harm to a customer that uses it. 
  • Umbrella Insurance will extend your overall coverage to account for losses that go above and beyond the limits of your other existing policies. Many business owners are incredibly satisfied with this tier of coverage, as it truly helps avoid catastrophic losses.

Taking the Asset-Protecting Step to Purchase:

Everyone at Alexander Insurance has a passion for helping business owners’ dreams come true. You can often enjoy discounts for obtaining a policy that combines several types, and it pays to shop around to make sure you select the correct coverage. If you are considering going with the bare amount available, it is beneficial to realize that it may not fully cover you when it comes time to begin a claim. Numerous available policies have coinsurance clauses written in them that will only partially reimburse you if you suffered under coverage.

We will always clearly lay out what your insurance covers and remind you when your policy is due for renewal. If an accident occurs and it comes down to making a claim, we will be ready and waiting to help when the going gets tough. We would love to assist you during the final steps of preparation for this journey, and can’t wait to cheer you on when your business is up and running!


Avoiding Legal Catastrophe: Tips on Commercial General Liability Insurance for 2023

Commercial General Liability insurance plans can protect your business from harm that occurs when the unexpected takes place and a lawsuit is filed. Here are some things to look out for!

Serving Entities With The Potential for Higher-Traffic Hazards:

Many positive checks and balances have arisen since the lawsuit-heavy days of the past, but there are always parties that feel they should attempt to quickly take advantage of a business. Customers have become savvier than ever when it comes to feigning an accident and not living up to the greatest moral standards. When something does occur that is truly a serious mishap, make sure you are protected!

Advertising and Copyright Protocol:

If a client sues a business over a form of libel, slander, or copyright infringement, commercial general liability coverage can help cover legal expenses. It has become increasingly common for images to be under scrutiny, with improperly sourced JPEGS and other web content existing as the property of those who are ready to pounce on misuse.

Staying Safe in a Public Workspace:  

From the outside looking in, a business that uses a public location may encounter a fair amount of liability before they are even up and running. Times of heightened activity can result in a mix of traffic with a dramatic mix of intentions. Many states have taken measures to mandate providing general liability insurance for specific industry types. 

Bodily Injury and Property Damage Coverage:

This can cover injuries sustained from physical accidents, such as someone not paying attention on a large stairwell. On top of physical injuries, many parties claim they encountered distress, and this can occur when there are accidents involving dangerous machinery or anyone acting unstable. Third-Party Property Damage can be covered efficiently as well, such as someone neglecting to shut off a water source after an inspection or job is completed.

Does General Liability Insurance Help me After Theft?

You as the business are considered the first party, with the third party being the one that has a current claim against you. General liability does not cover your property or equipment against theft. A Business Owners Policy is the best solution for this type of occurrence. Some general liability premiums are also officially considered a tax write-off, as they are a cost incurred while doing business. 

Unproven Ingredients and Beyond: Incidents of Product Liability 

Not each case of customer injuries or property damage takes place inside a store. If you are manufacturing, distributing, or selling any type of product you may be liable for the harm that you can cause to individuals or their collective property. Most commercial general liability policies will include the feature of product liability insurance. This type of coverage helps pay for lawsuits and any other financial losses that occur with defective products. When products are not labeled correctly, customers can quickly find reasons to bring about a lawsuit.  

With a brand-new year rearing its head for all of us here at the Alexander Insurance Agency of St Charles, we want to assure that your business is properly protected, and that you feel confident in every choice you make. The types of outfits that need customers on their property can face unique challenges, and we can show you the most reasonable options for Commercial General Liability to provide peace of mind for any situation you’ll encounter while navigating an honest day’s work!