Month: July 2017

What Landlords Need To Know About Liability Insurance

Being a landlord means having to juggle a variety of issues, from finding tenants to rent the property to dealing with the day to day running of the business. This can be especially excruciating in the current economic climate, as many renters are looking to cut down on costs and even share spaces with other tenants.

Often times this means being responsible for the safety and housing of more individuals despite receiving the same amount of revenue. This increased opportunity for risk means that many landlords are trying to purchase higher levels of public liability insurance in order to cover themselves in the event of an accident.

For instance, if a tenant were to slip on a loose piece of carpet and sustain a serious injury as a result of the fall, you may be held liable for not adequately inspecting the carpet or providing a reasonably safe environment for your occupants to live in. The client may sue not only for medical expenses, but legal defence costs and emotional trauma.

Furthermore, if the injury causes them to miss work or worse yet, render them unable to do their job, one simple accident can eventuate in costs that rise into the millions. However, if you have a strong public liability policy, these costs are defrayed by the insurance company. While most landlords make sure to have their building and any equipment insured, it is equally important to safeguard yourself from the threat of a negligence claim.

Why do you need Public Liability Insurance?

It is the responsibility of the landlord to make sure their tenants are as safe as possible. In life or in business, there is no way to account for every single possible scenario. Accidents do happen now and again, and having a public liability insurance policy not only protects your from these incidents, but gives you peace of mind. If your property does result in injury to a tenant or their personal property, the policy will cover it. Not having insurance means you will responsible for all the legal fees and medical costs resulting from the accident. Having public liability insurance covers you for:

  • Damages awarded to the claimant resulting from a lawsuit
  • Legal expenses and costs defending against a claim
  • Medical expenses and claimant’s legal costs if you are found at fault

Without public liability insurance, a single incident can result in having to pay an exorbitant sum to the claimant. Moreover, the situation can become even more burdensome if the injury results in the tenant being unable to work for an extended period of time. As a result, you may be responsible not only for legal costs and medical bills, but the loss of income from their incapacitation.

Common Claim Types

A landlord can be liable for any number of accidents, from slips and falls to theft, fire and flooding. The state of the property, if not adequately maintained or safeguarded against natural disasters or crime, may be grounds for negligence. You can minimise your risk and the amount of your premiums by taking regular steps to inspect and ensure your property is properly cared for and secure. You may also wish to extend your policy to cover common eventualities such as replacing locks, reinforcing windows or protection against equipment breakdown. Policies can also be bundled with other insurance services to lower your overall obligation.

Some Tips To Help Find The Best Liability Coverage for Your Business

For many small business owners, purchasing insurance often falls into the category of luxury. Unlike large corporations, small business owners must weigh the risk of litigation versus the dent a monthly premium will put into their capital. However, some risks, such as the potential for a liability lawsuit, are either compulsory or so damaging that they cannot be ignored. Nevertheless, as a high insurance premium can be just as damaging to your small business, it is important to find a public liability policy that is both inexpensive and yet still provides the coverage you require.

Cheap Coverage Versus Efficient Coverage

Many small business owners make the mistake of simply purchasing the cheapest insurance plan available. The problem with such a strategy is the cheapest plans generally have the most exclusions. Meaning, they may not provide the cover you need if and when an accident occurs. In fact, many insurers get away with charging extremely low premiums simply by excluding factors that represent the most common risk.

On the other hand, not all exclusions are applicable to your business type. Therefore the key to finding cheap but comprehensive insurance is to find a company that is flexible to your individual needs, or finding a coverage whose exclusions represent low risk areas for your business.

Shop Online Using Comparison Sites

Given the number of available insurance providers and the specific needs of your business, it may be difficult to find the time to research the litany of companies for prices and cover. An online comparison does the heavy lifting on your behalf by researching all the applicable insurance providers and sorting them by a variety of factors including price, coverage type, location, and customer rating. Many of these comparison sites will allow you to purchase a plan or contact an agent directly from their webpage.

With online comparison sites, you only need to enter in your information once, which then can be transferred to the insurer you select.

Safety and Training

Depending on the type of business you run, you may be able to negotiate a lower rate by holding regular safety and training courses. This can apply to working with equipment or hot beverages around customers or making sure to place signs to indicate wet spots or loose carpeting. Think of ways to lower your risk and talk with your insurance agent as to whether they can help lower your premium.

Build a Reputation

Ultimately, safety training and preparation means little without a track record. For new businesses, this must be built over time. For older businesses, you can rely on the records you have kept regarding previous claims. By demonstrating a history of safety in comparison to similar businesses, your insurance company may agree to lower your premium.

Remember, most policies are created based on statistical data taken from your industry as a whole, and may not be applicable to your business. Talk to an agent regarding the highest risk factors for your business, and inform them what steps you have taken to mitigate that risk. Having a historical record or safety training certificates to back up that claim may help persuade the agent to make an exception on your behalf.

Calculating The Actual Costs Of Public Liability Insurance

Public Liability Insurance premium costs are typically determined by the number employees, contractors or visitors that frequent the site daily. Business turnover may also be a determining factor. Premiums increase as the number of risks and employees increase. Typically, the rates for Public Liability Insurance range from 0.5% to 1.5% depending on the insurer, according to one insurance website.

What is the Average Price of Public Liability Insurance?

Public Liability Insurance may shop for this insurance through an informed insurance broker. This type of insurance will always be needed given the fact that most companies cannot afford multiple lawsuits without suffering immensely. Lawmakers intend to pass the Tort Reform; however, this law will not negate the need for this type of insurance. Businesses in the United States benefit immensely from Public Liability Insurance.

The average premium price is also affected by the location within the United States. For instance, a person operating a business in Dallas, Texas will have a different average premium than someone with a business in a rural area. Restaurants in a metropolitan area will probably suffer more risk and a higher premium than a company operating in rural America.

The average premium can be obtained by requesting a quote online or through an experienced broker. Obtaining a quote may take 24 hours or more. However, the price is small compared to multiple successful lawsuits. Settling lawsuits can be detrimental to a business because of legal costs, medical expenses and pain and suffering.

What Effects Public Liability Insurance Rates?

The average rates for Public Liability Insurance rates vary from state to state depending upon the risk in the location. Business owners must check their local resources to determine how the rates change in the business owner’s region. After obtaining the average rate for the location of the business and the industry type, business owners are encouraged to shop around for the best rates. Small business owners can often find good deals the more they shop around for particular rates.

What Information Do I Need to Give the Insurer to Obtain the Best Rate?

Inform the insurance broker what type of business the insurance will cover. Provide information about the jobs and duties of the employees on your staff. The more information detailed about the level of risk involved in the position, the better coverage the business owner can obtain.

Also prepare information about the company history. Inform the insurance broker of the goals of the company and share the business plan for growth in the future. These documents will give the insurance brokers an idea of how the level of risk will increase as the company grows. This will help an insurance broker give a proper assessment.

How Is the Rate Affected by the Amount of Coverage Required?

Most small businesses will opt for an indemnity of $1 million. However, some companies require a higher amount of indemnity of up to $5 million. It is important to establish your business needs prior to purchasing insurance to minimize the company’s out-of-pocket expenses.

Where to Find the Best Rates?

Many of the online insurance brokers will provide quotes within 24 to 48 hours depending on the efficiency of the company. Comparison websites will also allow companies to compare quotes to obtain the best rate. Online shopping makes it easier to establish a baseline before making any calls. Online research saves businesses time and money.

Business owners may also call for quotes or visit an actual store front to obtain rates. Typically, appointments may be scheduled or the owner may just walk into the business for the best rates. Public Liability Insurance is an excellent investment compared to the millions that could be potentially lost in a lawsuit.