Types of Liability Insurance Policies for Businesses

The cost of compensatory claims brought against business owners, independent contractors, and self-employed people due to negligence by workers, clients, customers, shareholders, investors, or members of the general public is covered by liability insurance

Due to the inherent risk that every firm encounters, liability insurance is typically a required insurance type as it can aid in legally defending your company against allegations of negligence that could result in legal ramifications.

Your business may face many possible risks and ramifications depending on the nature of your work, so the amount of coverage you require will vary from company to company. A general liability insurance audit can help you look at your company's payroll and risk exposure to ensure you're paying the right amount for your insurance. So when you’re searching for a policy, there are various liability insurance coverage options you should consider.

General Liability Insurance 

Business liability (BL) or commercial general liability (CGL) helps cover various general liability claims that assert your company has injured individuals or damaged their property. It also provides coverage to offset damage to your reputation or mistakes in your advertising. 

It's vital to remember that general liability insurance does not protect your company's or employees' personal property against property damage. These claims are covered in part by commercial property insurance policies.

General liability insurance best provides protection when you face claims of bodily harm, property damage, damage to reputation, or advertising blunders.

Bodily Harm

Any physical harm suffered by a client or customer at your business is considered a bodily injury. For instance, your general liability insurance may help pay for the patient's medical expenses if a customer enters your flower shop, slips on the wet floor, and fractures their leg.

It’s important to note that your employees are not covered by general liability insurance. Instead, your workers' compensation insurance plan—a kind of employer liability insurance—covers them. 

Property Damage

Any harm you or your employees do to the property of a third party is considered property damage. For example, if the lawnmower from your landscaping business kicked up rocks that broke a customer's glass, general liability insurance can help pay to cover any damages associated with the accident.

Reputational Damage

Reputational damage occurs when a business claims your company has harmed their reputation. General liability can assist in defraying your defense expenses if situations arise where you or your employees are accused of harming a competitor’s reputation.

Advertising Blunders

Copyright infringement liability claims arise from advertising mistakes. General liability insurance might help pay for your legal defense if your marketing company uses a copyrighted image in an advertisement without authorization.

Professional Liability Insurance

Errors and omissions insurance (E&O), commonly referred to as professional liability insurance (PL), aids in defending against allegations that your company offered services with errors. For instance, E&O insurance can help pay your legal defense expenses if a client sues you, alleging that you offered them bad financial advice and lost money. 

Additionally, professional liability can assist with allegations concerning:

  • Negligences
  • Misrepresentation 
  • Good faith and fair dealing are broken

Most firms require professional liability insurance–mainly if you provide clients with professional services. 

Employer Liability

Liability Insurance Employees who sustain sickness or injuries at work are not protected by professional liability. Your business requires workers' compensation insurance for that level of coverage. 

Workers' compensation is a sort of employer liability insurance that covers benefits for your staff members who become ill or injured on the job. And depending on your state's laws, you and other business owners may be obliged to get workers' compensation insurance. Purchasing this coverage type is a smart idea even if it's not required by law in your jurisdiction because it can pay the cost of medical treatment for workers who become ill or injured on the job and defend your company from a lawsuit arising out of a work-related illness or injury.

Workers' Compensation and Employer Liability Insurance Scenarios

If one of your employees becomes ill or injured due to their work, workers' compensation may be able to protect them. Examples of possible covered scenarios and damages include situations like the following: 

  • Your manager broke her wrist after tripping over a stray package in her new office. Workers' compensation may cover her medical costs. 
  • A coal miner's extended exposure to low air quality causes black lung. Workers' compensation may partially cover his medical expenses and continued care. 
  • After years of poor typing habits, your receptionist suffers from carpal tunnel syndrome. Bursitis and tendinitis are two other instances of ailments brought on by repetitive tension that may be covered.

In addition to covering medical expenses, workers' compensation also offers: 

  • Disability compensation if a doctor determines that your employee is either temporarily or permanently handicapped. Your state determines the amount and length of disability compensation.
  • Replacement of lost wages when an employee needs to take time off to heal from an injury sustained at work. 
  • Funeral expenses if your employee tragically perishes in a workplace accident. 

Professional Liability Insurance for Contractors 

You must obtain some kind of contractor's professional liability insurance if your company works in the design-build or construction management industries. This insurance covers experts against construction-related mistakes or losses that may occur during the planning, designing, and building of a structure. Additionally, it might shield you from mistakes made by independent contractors working on a project. 

Insurance for Directors and Officers (D&O) 

You need D&O insurance if your company has a corporate board of directors or advisory group. If your directors and officers are personally sued for negligent business management including instances of them failing to comply with workplace laws, committing fraud, stealing intellectual property, misrepresenting company assets, or misusing company funds, this insurance safeguards their assets. 

Insurance for Management Responsibility 

A bundle of coverages known as management liability insurance is used to safeguard corporate, public, and nonprofit organizations from various board-level risks. It is bought by companies with a board of directors, offering protection from the hazards of running a corporation. Employment practices liability, fiduciary liability, and D&O liability are frequently covered under management liability insurance policies.

executive boardroom with no people in it

Protect Your C-Suite With Directors and Officers Liability Insurance

You want to be prepared for everything with your business. Therefore, insurance, particularly directors and officers liability insurance in this case, is a must. With insurance for the highest ranking members of your team, you’ll rest easy knowing that they're covered against lawsuits, disputes, and more.

What Is Directors and Officers Liability Insurance?

Directors and officers (D&O) liability insurance offers you protection for claims made against the decision makers of your business. These claims can include wrongful action, allegations of discrimination, negligence, and more. Regardless of what took place, this insurance will make sure you do not have to invest time and money in such a situation.

Directors and officers liability insurance covers many situations, making it a comprehensive choice for protecting your business and its most important team members.

Protection Against Wrongful Lawsuits

Wrongful lawsuits and false claims can strike any business, no matter how big or small. These claims can damage your business, both in terms of reputation and cost. Directors and officers liability insurance protects you against these types of lawsuits, which is important for the well-being and longevity of your business.

Protection Against Mistakes

It’s possible for your employees to make mistakes. However, if employees involved in the leadership of your business make a mistake, the results could be disastrous. These mistakes could include a failure to comply with a regulation, any HR issues, or mismanagement.

Sometimes, these mistakes do not warrant letting the employee go. Directors and officers liability insurance will make it possible for you to avoid the issues involved with these types of lawsuits, and will protect your employees from them, too.

Lower Costs

Lawsuits and other legal issues can be incredibly costly. You will need to hire a lawyer and take time off work, which decreases productivity and leads to loss of income. These are only two ways it hurts your bottom line.

There’s nothing more frustrating than hidden costs and interruptions to your daily life at work. Directors and officers liability insurance helps cover these costs so that if you face a costly lawsuit, you can rest knowing that your business will remain stable.

Protect Yourself

If one of your employees in a leadership position commits a criminal act, the consequences can trickle down to you and affect your business. Directors and officers liability insurance offers you and your business protection against the things you cannot control, such as actions of your employees.

Even your most trusted employees can prove to not be exactly what you expected. You're going to want to be protected from their errors in judgement.

Take Action With D&O Liability Insurance Now

Don’t wait until a lawsuit has been brought against your business to purchase directors and officers liability insurance. Most times, your insurance won’t cover anything that began before the date of purchase. Waiting could prove dangerous and costly to your business.

Directors and officers liability insurance can be beneficial for your business if you have many employees in leadership positions. Both you and your highest ranking employees will appreciate the extra protection and added benefits that it offers.

Learn more about D&O Liability Insurance from Harrah & Associates.

gas station at night

Fuel Efficiency Best Practices for Fleets

Improving the fuel efficiency of a company’s fleet of vehicles can have many financial and environmental benefits, especially with fuel prices on the rise. Fuel can be one of the largest and most difficult expenses to predict and control. Therefore, it’s important for vehicle fleet managers to conserve fuel, maximize efficiency and reduce vehicle emissions by implementing fuel-efficient policies, technology and maintenance strategies.

Best Practices

Managing a fleet’s fuel usage—even for just a couple of vehicles—can feel overwhelming. The following are ways to reduce fleet fuel costs and make operations more efficient:

Monitor Driving Patterns

A U.S. Department of Transportation report found that there can be as much as a 35% difference in fuel consumption between a good and poor driver. Monitoring speeding, braking and acceleration patterns can indicate whether drivers are using good practices on the road or operating inefficiently.

Cut Engine Idling

Idling can burn a quarter to a half gallons of fuel per hour. To reduce fuel and oil waste:

  • Turn off the engine while waiting or making deliveries.
  • Turn off the engine while stuck in traffic.
  • Do not idle to warm up the engine.

Improve Route Efficiency

Route efficiency can be improved with GPS tracking technology to ensure operations are streamlined and drivers don’t spend their day and fuel driving back and forth.

Remove Unnecessary Weight From Vehicles

Every extra 100 pounds in a vehicle can increase gas costs by up to $0.03 cents per gallon, which can quickly add up over the course of hundreds of thousands of gallons across multiple vehicles. Only travel with necessary packages or equipment.

Schedule Maintenance

Preventive and regular maintenance can reduce fuel costs, extend the lifespan of fleet vehicles and ensure the safety of drivers and the community.

Check the Tire Pressure

Tires should be inflated to 75% of the recommended pressure; underinflated tires can significantly lower a vehicle’s average gas mileage. Checking the tire pressure should be a mandatory part of the pre- trip safety check since it not only improves the cost per mile but also helps the vehicle respond properly in unsafe situations.

Dispatch the Closest Vehicle

Business margins and fuel efficiency can be improved by dispatching the closest vehicle to a new delivery or appointment. Fleet-tracking programs can help automate dispatching and routing.

Leverage a Fleet Telematics Solution

A fleet telematics solution can help managers gain data and insight into fleet status in terms of individual vehicle performance and overall operations, allowing them to make changes that will help fuel efficiency.

Provide Incentives

Fleet managers can encourage efficient driving by offering drivers incentives, such as recognition or special privileges.

Implement Driver Training

Providing drivers with training regarding fuel-efficient habits can increase their awareness of fuel efficiency on the road. It can help them be mindful of things like keeping gears low when accelerating, changing gears early, driving at slower speeds and learning to read the road more effectively.

By implementing policies and practices that monitor and reward fuel-efficient behavior, fleet operations can reduce fuel costs. For more risk management guidance, contact us today.

person walking down street with an umbrella in the rain

What Would My Business Need a Commercial Umbrella Policy For

One thing that will always be true for business owners is that there is a strong need to protect the business from whatever fate may befall it. There are many situations that you might find yourself in with your business where you need to make sure that it has that protection. In fact, this is exactly what insurance is for.

In this blog post, we’ll look specifically at one of the most useful kinds of commercial insurance: a commercial umbrella policy. We’ll look at what it is, how it can be useful, and why you might need one for your own company.

What Is Commercial Umbrella Insurance?

The purpose of commercial umbrella insurance is to offer an extra layer of protection for your business, which could come into play in a variety of circumstances where you also have some underlying insurance protections in place. When a claim on one of those reaches the limit of its liability, the commercial policy comes into play with extra liability protection for the business.

This can prove very useful in several ways. You might be in a position where your company is being sued, but your business liability coverage doesn’t account for the full amount. Here, you may use your commercial umbrella insurance policy to step in and cover the rest of the amount. This can prevent your company from getting into serious trouble.

Another major feature of a commercial umbrella policy is that it will usually cover you for legal defense costs, up to the total amount covered by the policy.

How Much Does Commercial Umbrella Insurance Cover You For?

The range for how much commercial umbrella insurance covers is great, as does any kind of insurance policy, but usually the very lowest that such policies start at is around the $1 million mark. This range normally extends up to around $15 million. Sometimes, you may also secure a policy that reaches beyond that upper limit.

Why Should You Get a Commercial Umbrella Policy?

If you are seeing the benefit that you would have from having this kind of policy, then you are not alone. Many companies make use of an umbrella policy. But if you are still wondering why you would want to have such a policy in place, it’s actually quite simple to understand.

The main reason to get hold of such a policy is that it protects you against large losses higher than your primary policies can provide. If you already have the largest underlying policy you can get, but you think you might need more protection, then an umbrella policy will provide it for you.

Some businesses are obviously more vulnerable to large losses than others, so if you run a company that falls under that category, consider getting an umbrella policy.

You might also, at other times, need to have an umbrella policy in order to fulfill the requirement of a certain contract. Maybe a partner, client or even a supplier demands that you have such a policy in place, and you have decided it’s best to keep them on board and fall in line with that contract.

Other situations are if your employees drive their own vehicle for work, or if you have business premises open to the public. In those cases, you might also want to consider a policy. You can see more circumstances here where it’s a good idea to have an umbrella policy here.

How To Get a Commercial Umbrella Policy

If you have read this far, you are now versed in the benefits of the commercial umbrella policy, and might wonder how you can get hold of one for your own business. To do so, you're going to want to get in touch with an insurance agency or broker. They will determine your needs and work to find a policy that will suit your situation best.

Click here to find out more about such an agency. With a new commercial umbrella policy in place, it will protect your business against any claims that might come your way in the future.

front of a semi-trailer truck

Preventing Your Commercial Fleet From Catalytic Converter Theft

Catalytic converter theft is a top concern if your business owns a commercial fleet.

Your vehicles' catalytic converters turn harmful gasses emitted from the engine like carbon monoxide and nitric oxide into safe gasses like carbon dioxide and steam, ensuring that your fleet doesn't produce emissions above legal limits.

There has been a troubling rise in the frequency of catalytic converter theft in New Jersey and the US at large. As per the National Insurance Crime Bureau's (NICB) data, catalytic converter theft increased by 325% in 2020 alone. Therefore, it is prudent to take effective steps to prevent your converters from getting stolen.

Here's how to stop your commercial fleet's catalytic converters from being robbed.

Why Are Catalytic Converters Being Targeted?

Catalytic converters contain precious rare earth metals like Platinum, Rhodium, and Palladium. These metals are highly valuable, and their prices have risen rapidly. They are a favorite target of thieves since they can be sold on the black market for a fortune.

Indeed, JM Bullion estimates that an ounce of palladium goes for $2,362 today. Rhodium is even more expensive, currently costing $18,900 per ounce. For context, gold's current price is $1,938 per ounce, making Rhodium almost 10 times more valuable.

Furthermore, stealing catalytic converters is reportedly like taking candy from a baby. All a thief needs is a blatant disregard for the law and your company's property, an angle grinder, a jack, and as little as one minute to get the job done. Also, most catalytic converters are located under the car towards the exhaust, so they are very easy to find.

It is frustrating to lose your converters to theft, as the replacement costs are expensive. You may need to fork out as much as $2,500 to replace each stolen converter, and your bill could even reach $10,000 if a pipe or oxygen sensor is cut.

What You Can Do To Stop Catalytic Converter Theft

Thankfully, there's a lot you can do to stop your commercial fleet's catalytic converters from being stolen. Some of the practical measures you can take include:

Parking Your Vehicle in the Right Place

Easy access is one of the biggest loopholes catalytic converter thieves exploit. Therefore, park your commercial fleet in the right places to prevent robbers from accessing them. The most obvious place to park your fleet is in a locked garage to prevent intruders from accessing them. However, this effective step might not always be possible, so parking vehicles in well-lit areas is the next best thing.

You can also train your drivers to park close to nearby access roads or the front of buildings when making stops. These areas have significant foot traffic and are visible, deterring many thieves.

Finally, remember that catalytic converter bandits require space to get under your vehicle to access their loot. Your drivers should park on the side of the vehicles closest to the converter near walls, fences, high curbs, and other vehicles to prevent easy access.

Hiring an Overnight Security Team

If your commercial fleet is quite large, consider hiring an overnight security team for added protection. These highly trained professionals will patrol the fleet parking area with eagle eyes, and their mere presence can deter criminals from targeting your business premises. Also, they can react in real-time to prevent thieves from escaping with catalytic converters.

Admittedly, hiring these guards doesn't come cheap, but it might be a necessary and a lower price to pay than what you will spend on replacements if your commercial fleet gets hit frequently.

Installing Surveillance Equipment

Top-notch surveillance equipment can be powerful tools in the fight against catalytic converter theft. Thieves who target your commercial fleet's parking area will probably reconsider their plans immediately if they notice security cameras keeping watch. The great thing about surveillance equipment is that even if your business becomes a victim of theft, you might identify the criminals and recover the stolen converters.

Leveraging Alarms

Most modern vehicles with catalytic converters have factory-fitted alarm systems that detect and activate if the automobile is lifted or tilted with a jack. Therefore, you can simply remind your drivers to lock the vehicles and set the alarms anytime they park and exit. If your commercial vehicles lack standard fitted alarms, consult your dealership regarding the possibility of installing an effective and approved alarm system.

Marking Your Converters

You can also engrave the vehicle identification numbers (VIN) onto each converter to uniquely identify them. This marking makes it easier to identify your commercial fleet's converters and can alert scrap dealers when thieves try selling stolen converters to them. You can also engrave your vehicle's license plate numbers for an added layer of identification.

Spraying your converters with quality, bright-colored, and high-temperature automotive exhaust spray paint is also worth considering to prevent them from being stolen.

Adding a Lock or Guard

Guards and locks for the underside of your vehicles are also effective in theft prevention, so keep this in mind. Manufacturers like Toyota offer "Catlocs" to prevent your converters from getting stolen. You can also invest in CatClamps that grip your vehicle's exhaust pipes, protecting your converters.

CatClamps make it very difficult for thieves to steal your converters, especially if they are in a hurry. Your mechanic can also fit makeshift 'cat cages' for additional protection or weld bolts shut to make them almost impossible to loosen. However, alert your insurance provider of any vehicle modifications to check if they might affect future claims.

Insuring Your Commercial Fleet

It is advisable to take out a comprehensive coverage policy, such as business automobile insurance, from a reputable insurance agency in New Jersey. This policy will not prevent theft, but will pay to replace stolen converters and repair any damage caused during their removal.

Choose Us for Your Business Auto Insurance Coverage

At Harrah & Associates, we provide comprehensive coverage to protect a wide range of vehicles used by businesses, including trucks, vans, buses, and taxis. We also have decades of experience in the insurance industry and can tailor our policies to suit your specific needs and budget.

Reach out to us today at (609) 587-8030 to get started

person pointing to russia on map

Cyberattacks, Cybersecurity, and Cyber Liability in 2022

Cyberattacks, Cybersecurity, and Cyber Liability in 2022

Protecting your business from cyberattacks with both cybersecurity and cyber liability insurance has been something we’ve recommended for quite some time. However, as the U.S. put sanctions against Russia in place because of its invasion of Ukraine, it’s more important than ever that we discuss these topics.

While experts predict a spike in cyberattacks coming from Russia, we want to let you know what our top issues of concern are for business owners related to cybersecurity, why you should invest in cybersecurity for your small business, and how the current world events are affecting cybersecurity.

Top Issues of Concern for Business Owners Related to Cybersecurity

In our video video, Lisa Harrah will discuss her top three issues of concern for business owners related to cybersecurity.

First and foremost, businesses of every size need a cybersecurity program in place.

Next, you want to work with an experience insurance agent. Many insurance companies’ coverage varies from policy to policy, so it is extremely important that you work with an agent that has a thorough understanding of the policies and how the coverage comes into play.

Lastly, the market has hardened dramatically over the last couple of years. A hard market means prices are escalating dramatically and the coverage is becoming more difficult to obtain. Gone are the days when you could just fill out a quick application and get a quote from several carriers.

I can’t emphasize enough how you need to deal with a professional that understands cybersecurity and what your business needs, because again, all businesses need it. Small businesses probably need it more than larger businesses because they don’t have many of the cyber controls in place.

If you’d like to discuss this further, please feel free to reach out to me anytime.

Cybersecurity for Your Small Business

In our second video, Gary Newborn of G.S. Newborn & Associates is here to talk to Lisa Harrah about cybersecurity for small businesses, and bring awareness to what businesses should do to protect their business from cyber hacks and intrusions.

Cybersecurity experts that work with the insurance industry hand-in-hand have advised insurance agents that they should be advising all clients and potential clients of the activities that they should do in order to protect their business from any cyber threats.

First and foremost, insurance should always be the last line of defense.

As a business owner, there are many things that you can do that can protect your firm from a hack from even happening.

Number one, you want to make sure that you have up-to-date patching programs in place. That, coupled with endpoint threat detection, antiviral programs and multi-factor authentication will greatly improve the security for your firm.

It ultimately comes down to cyber hygiene. All the common sense things that we should always be doing, we should really emphasize now in these more difficult times.

Passwords need to be complex and secure, and you should change your passwords frequently. And please don’t share passwords in the office. Everybody should have their own password.

Make sure that all of your forms and programs are backed up.

And lastly, educate your employees. A significant number of data breaches occur when an employee clicks on an attachment that they shouldn’t click on. Everyone should have a sign on their desk that says think before you click.

These are just some common sense things that will help every business.

If you have any questions regarding this, please feel free to reach out to Gary or Lisa. They’d love to provide any assistance.

How Current World Events Are Affecting Cybersecurity

For our third and final video, Gary Newborn discusses how current events are affecting the landscape when it comes to cybersecurity.

We’ve clearly seen an uptick over the last several months in cyber attacks throughout the world. And with the current events in Europe and Russia, experts expect an even greater incidents of cyber attacks on public and private entities throughout the United States.

With the tightening of the insurance markets in cyber insurance, this makes it incumbent on all business owners to do their own planning and their own risk management to make sure their own internet, their access, their telephone, and their data are secure.

You need a policy and you need more than just an add on to your general liability or property coverage.

We can help you with this. Give us a call.

Experts Fear Global Impact from Russia's Cyberattacks on Ukraine

Russia launched a full-scale military assault on Ukraine in the early morning hours of Feb. 24, 2022, accompanied by a series of targeted cyberattacks that experts and officials say could ultimately have a much broader impact.

In the weeks leading up to the invasion, Ukrainian government entities, financial institutions and other key organizations faced website defacements, distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks and destructive malware. Cybersecurity experts around the globe have kept tabs on these cyber events, warning clients and organizations to secure their systems without delay.

On Feb. 23, 2022, researchers at Symantec and ESET first tweeted the discovery of new wiper malware, dubbed “HermeticWiper,” that was used against Ukraine. Symantec researchers observed the use of this malware against an organization in Lithuania as early as Nov. 12, 2021. They noted that, with an invasion underway, there remains a high likelihood of further cyberattacks against Ukraine and other countries in the region.

Offering a technical breakdown of the malware, cybersecurity firm SentinelOne commented, “After a week of defacements and increasing DDoS attacks, the proliferation of sabotage operations through wiper malware is an expected and regrettable escalation.”

In a recent webcast, experts from Secureworks said they had long expected that any invasion would have a cyber component.

The wiper attacks make no pretense of being ransomware events and aim to destroy data with little hope of recovery. These attacks could contain an element of espionage as well, according to Mike McLellan, director of intelligence at Secureworks.

While the cyberattacks currently appear to be focused on Ukraine, the United States and its allies should be prepared for retaliatory attacks over severe economic sanctions announced by President Joe Biden following the invasion.

In an Axios interview, Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) said that Russian cyberattacks could trigger expanded conflict with NATO countries.

“If you unleash not one, but five, 10, 50 or 1,000 [cyberattacks] at Ukraine, the chances of them staying within the Ukrainian geographic border are quite small,” Warner said. “They could spread to America or the [United Kingdom]. But the more likely effect will be [the attacks] spreading to adjacent geographic territory … [like] Poland.”

On Twitter, Warner added, “This is not something to take lightly—cyberattacks don’t have borders.”

U.S. House Intelligence Chair Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) expressed similar concerns in a news briefing.

“We have seen in the past Russia deploy attacks at a particular target—those tools get into the wild, and they cause global damage,” Schiff said.

According to McLellan, attacks targeting the United States would require a significant escalation between the West and Russia. However, threat actors unrelated to the situation in Ukraine could take advantage of the unfolding conflict to infiltrate systems.

Jen Easterly, head of the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), said on Twitter, “While there are no specific threats to the [United States] at this time, all organizations must be prepared for cyberattacks, whether targeted or not.” She cited the 2017 NotPetya attack that brought commerce to a halt and caused billions in damage for corporations around the world.

To help prepare organizations of all sizes, CISA launched Shields Up, a program with guidance for preventing, detecting and minimizing the impact of cyber events.

Cybersecurity firms working closely with the insurance industry advise businesses to protect themselves by reviewing their business continuity plans and ensuring cybersecurity fundamentals are in place. This can include up-to-date patching programs, endpoint threat detection, antivirus programs and multifactor authentication.

Download Cyberattack PDF

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Insurance in the Age of Cancel Culture

You’ve probably heard about cancel culture and might be wondering how you need to deal with it as a business owner. There’s been a lot of discussion around this topic in recent times and it’s not hard to see why. The protection of employees is paramount for most business owners, but you might also want to avoid falling into a cancel culture trap.

It’s important to consider the insurance coverage needs of your business in the light of cancel culture and a heightened focus on conflict between employees and the necessity of a safe and welcoming work environment for all staff members.

We’re going to take a look at some of the most pressing issues in this area today and how you need to look at protecting your business and your staff in the age of cancel culture. So read on now to find out everything you need to know.

What Is Cancel Culture?

First, what is cancel culture and what does it mean in practice? Canceling someone is ostracizing them or cutting ties with them based on something they’ve said or done in the past that is deemed unacceptable today.

It’s something that’s often confined to social media, but it’s also impacting businesses in various ways too. For example, if a worker is shunned or ‘canceled’, they might regard this as being exposed to a hostile work environment, which can have legal ramifications for the business.

It’s also possible that someone needs to be canceled for legitimate reasons such as harassment or assault of co-workers or employees.

Hostile Work Environments

One thing to consider is how an employee might perceive they’re working in a hostile work environment. This is what might cause them to make complaints or accusations against managers or co-workers. But what an employee considers a hostile work environment might not meet the legal definition.

If there’s a pattern of behavior that leads to a person being discriminated against or made unable to do their job safely, and that pattern continues for a prolonged period, that would suggest that they are working in a hostile environment.

If they’re discriminated against as a member of a protected group, this will also be grounds for them to take legal action, especially if the person responsible for that discrimination isn’t removed from the work environment or otherwise dealt with adequately.

Dealing With Harassment and Discrimination Among Employees

Your business can be held liable when there’s a problem that happens between employees inside your workplace, and that’s something you should try to keep in mind as you navigate issues around cancel culture. It all starts with making it possible for employees to voice concerns and making them feel safe to do so.

When an issue has been raised and the relevant people inside the business are aware of it, it demands a response of some sort. Talking to the involved parties, getting their side of the story, and things like that might be required. Then you might give them a warning or require them to take training to ensure it doesn’t happen again, or even fire them if the issue is serious enough.

Once you have processes in place for dealing with unacceptable behaviors, it’s important that those rules are implemented in a way that’s consistent and reliable. Your team needs to be aware of what the consequences are for certain actions and people can’t be treated differently based on rank or anything like that, as that could leave the business open to legal action too.

Protecting Against Legal Action With the Right Insurance

It’s a good idea to make sure that you have insurance in place to protect you against any of the matters discussed above. In the age of cancel culture, it’s more important than ever before to be protected. Good management and training are still the best defenses against problems and legal action, but insurance is there to offer you the backup you need as no business is perfect.

You’ll need to have EPLI or employment practices liability insurance in place to start with. This is important because it covers you against a range of liability related risks. Any business with a team, especially a large team, needs to have this kind of coverage. It’ll significantly mitigate the risks associated with employee-related problems.

It’s also good to have general liability insurance in place as an extra layer of protection that your business might one day need. It covers you against lots of threats that businesses often come up against, and although no policy is perfect, it will help to protect against a range of potential legal actions.

As you can see, there are lots of things to consider with finding the right insurance for your business in the age of cancel culture. If you’d like more support with finding the insurance that’s going to be right for you, contact us here at Harrah & Associates Inc. today and speak to a member of our team.

team reviewing business report

Re-evaluating Your Business Insurance Policies For 2022

The start of a new year is a good time to re-evaluate how you operate your business. One area that could be worth assessing for improvements is your insurance policies.

Many of us allow our policies to automatically renew each year without changing them. While re-evaluating your policies might seem like a hassle, it could have many benefits. This could include reducing costs, protecting yourself against additional risks and making sure that your current coverage is still valid.

Below are just a few questions to ask when re-evaluating your business insurance policies for 2022 that will help you get the best coverage.

Do You Need to Change Your Existing Policies?

Businesses change over time and so do their needs. You may find that your current policies no longer fit your current business.

For example, you may currently have commercial property insurance in place that covers you against damage or theft of certain contents. Since taking out this policy, you may have bought new equipment, which is likely not covered by your old policy. You may want to consider adding this equipment to your policy so that if it is damaged or stolen, you will be compensated.

On top of adding things to your existing policies, consider if anything can be removed. Perhaps you’ve scaled back in the last year and no longer have as many employees working for you - it could be worth changing your worker’s compensation insurance if you’re currently paying coverage for a certain number of employees.

It’s also worth checking that your current insurance policy is valid. A change of business address or a change to your company name could void your current policies. Notify your insurer of these changes to make sure that your policies are still valid.

Do You Need to Take Out New Policies?

It may be time to take out completely new policies. For example, if you’re thinking of hiring your first employees this year, it could be mandatory that you take out worker’s compensation insurance if you don’t already have it in place.

Other new policies may not be mandatory, but could still be recommended. For example, if you own a roofing business, you may decide that now is a good time to take out general liability insurance if you don’t already have it. A lot of companies put off taking out this insurance, only to end up having to pay lawsuits costing thousands of dollars out of their own pockets.

Not having general liability insurance in certain industries may even negatively affect your ability to win over certain customers, since they may only be comfortable working with a contractor if they are insured.

On top of considering taking out new policies, consider whether there are any policies worth cancelling altogether. Perhaps you took out insurance for a vehicle or a machine, but are now thinking of selling this vehicle or machine because you no longer need it. It could be worth cancelling your insurance policy if you don’t plan to replace it.

Are You Paying Too Much?

Even if your needs haven’t changed, it could still be worth re-evaluating your business insurance policies to see if you could save any money. Insurers are constantly adjusting their rates and introducing new deals (particularly for new customers). You may find that you’re able to get the same policy from another insurer for a cheaper price.

A lot of us assume that if we stick with the same insurer, we’ll save money through loyalty incentives such as no claims bonuses. However, you'd be surprised by the deals that are out there. You may save money by bundling business insurance policies with a different insurer or by simply taking advantage of limited deals available to new customers.

You should definitely compare other insurer rates if you have recently made a claim. Your insurance rates are likely to go up once you make a claim because you now pose a greater risk to the insurer. That said, other insurers may not charge as much.

There are many other ways to save money, such as getting rid of coverage you don’t need or upping your deductible. By making policy changes with the same insurer you may even save money - you may not even have to switch to a new insurer.

How Should I Re-evaluate My Business Insurance Policies?

You should start by reading over your current business insurance policies to see what they actually covered you for. This will give you a good idea of what needs to be changed - there may be things you’re covered for that you had completely forgotten about.

To help identify new risks, carry out some of your own personal risk assessments. What are some of the biggest threats to your business that you are currently not insured against? You should consider whether there have been any disasters in the last few years that could have been less damaging by taking out insurance. You should also consider what disasters other companies within your industry have been facing recently.

When choosing the best insurance policies, consider hiring the help of a broker to help you compare policies. Insurance brokers are independent agents that do not work for a single insurance company. They are experts in insurance and have access to a huge amount of insurers. They can work with you to find the best policies based on your needs and budget.

By getting in touch with an insurance broker today, such as Harrah & Associates, you can start to re-evaluate your insurance policies and find the best coverage.

injured man being treated by paramedic

Who Needs General Liability Insurance In NJ?

All businesses need some type of insurance. The last thing that you need as a business owner is to find out that your business is not covered when something goes wrong. However, this means that you have got to be on the ball when it comes to insurance.

One policy that you are going to need is general liability insurance, and in this article, we’re going to be looking at some of the information that you need to know about it. Keep reading if you would like to find out more about general liability insurance, including what it is, who needs it, and why.

What Is General Liability Insurance?

General liability insurance provides businesses owners with the opportunity to protect themselves if someone is trying to sue the company for something. These kinds of claims are extremely common, and this type of insurance helps to protect from claims of copyright infringement, reputational harm, bodily injury, advertising injury, and even property damage.

Your policy should help to protect you against any bodily injuries and property damage that your business may have caused. This could be a fall from a customer or an accident with one of your employees.

Who Needs General Liability Insurance?

Ideally, all businesses need this type of insurance as it is the kind that covers many bases. It’s more common than not that you are going to see this policy attached to small businesses, but larger companies can massively benefit as well. Your business will never be too big to be threatened by someone suing your company. In fact, the bigger your business, the bigger pay day people will imagine when they see you.

The reason that you see more small businesses having this type of protection is because they can’t afford the claims. While the insurance doesn’t mean you get away paying no reparations for what occurs, it means that you get off relatively easily. For example, the average cost of a slip and fall claim is around $20,000 and small businesses simply do not have the funds to cover this.

Why Do People Need General Liability Insurance?

General liability insurance protects businesses, and this is the long and short of it. People need general liability insurance to ensure that if someone brings about a claim against them, fact or fiction, it will not cripple them. Even small claims can cost a business tens of thousands of dollars, and if your business is still new, or not on solid ground with finances, it could be the end of the business.

We’re sure that you have heard the saying "it’s better to be safe than sorry", and that is exactly what this insurance is for. Keeping your business safe and protecting it from any threats that may emerge are two of the most important things that you can do for your company. Getting a general liability insurance policy is one of the best ways to do this.

What Is Covered Under General Liability Insurance?

There are five kinds of liability claims when it comes to general liability insurance. The first is a bodily injury that your business causes. This is one of the most common claims and comes about if someone claims to be injured in your place of business. Your insurance would cover their medical costs, which is what they would seek if they took action against you.

There is also copyright infringement, which comes about when you are accused of using someone else’s work without their permission. This is usually has to do with your marketing.

Then you have reputational harm, which will occur if you said something about another business in a news interview that has negatively affected their business. This could be related to the business owner, the business in general, or a particular aspect, such as their service, product, or employees.

Property damage is one of the other most common general liability claims, and this is where someone’s property has been damaged while at your business. This also includes things such as if your employee’s break something in a client’s home when visiting on business. It’s common to see these kinds of cases go to court, and this rule now applies to electronic data as well.

The final liability claim is advertising injury. This happens if your business defames another person, business owner, or company. It’s important to understand that paying out even a single general liability claim is going to be expensive, and can take its toll on your business. Instead of allowing this to happen, get general liability insurance and protect yourself.

What Does It Not Cover?

As you can see from above, there are a lot of things that are covered by general liability insurance. But, there are also some things that are not covered. For example, business related auto accidents won’t fall under this category, nor employee injury or illness. Damage to your business property, claims that exceed your policy limit, illegal acts that were completed on purpose, or mistakes in professional services are also not covered under general liability insurance.

You will need different policies if you want to be covered against any of these, which we highly recommend.

Purchasing General Liability Insurance in NJ

We hope you found this article helpful and that you now have a better understanding of general liability insurance. Ideally, businesses need this type of insurance if they want to remain safe in any industry. The amount of claims that this insurance can protect your business from is astronomical, and you’ll be kicking yourself if you don’t invest in it before something unfortunate happens.

If you are interested in purchasing this kind of insurance, get in touch with Harrah & Associates to see what we can do.

a table labeled charity with a box of medicine on it

An Insurance Guide for Nonprofit Organizations

As a nonprofit organization, it is vital that you have the correct and relevant insurance policies in place. The right insurance policies are specifically designed to reduce an organization's risk and vulnerabilities to potential lawsuits that could be filed in relation to the work you are conducting.

It is important to review your current policies, and needs as an organization, to ensure every policy you already have is up to date and relevant, and any additional insurance policies are adequately sourced.

As a nonprofit organization, it is likely that you have a 501c3 tax-exempt status. However, you will still require different insurance policies to protect your organization against a variety of factors, such as loss resulting from an employee accident, motor vehicle collision, negligent acts, cyber attacks, and much more.

This guide will help you if you are wondering what insurance policies your nonprofit organization may require.

Understand Your Needs/Requirements

The first and most important step you should take is to sit down and thoroughly review the work that you complete, in order to better understand your insurance needs and requirements. Without this in-depth knowledge of all aspects of your organization, you may fail to protect important areas, resulting in costly consequences. You will also need to consider your organization's objectives, risk tolerances, and future goals.

Another important aspect of finding the right insurance policies is considering the individuals who are involved in your organization and the assets. For example, employees and volunteers, the board of directors, office space and/or properties, vehicles, contracts, and inventory.

Types of Insurance

There are many types of insurance that a nonprofit organization may need. Below are some of the most common insurance policies that are sourced. However, it will entirely depend on your business needs as to which policies are suitable for you.

Contact a trusted insurance broker who can tell you exactly what insurance policies that you may need. It can be a complex area to navigate, as nonprofit business needs significantly differ from standard commercial businesses.

Liability Insurance

Liability insurance is vital for any nonprofit organization, as it will protect your business against claims of negligent conduct by a member of your organization. Negligence claims are brought against a person or organization if it is alleged that they have failed to uphold a certain level of service that is expected of them, for example, not providing a good standard of care to another individual which leads to a serious injury or death.

The right liability insurance will cover your organization for a range of things. Examples include if an injury has been sustained, any property has been damaged, in cases of slander and defamation, and any advertising activities that result in copyright infringement.

There are also more specific liability insurance policies that you can consider, such as directors and officers liability, which protects those involved in running and managing the organization, along with allegations of breaches or wrongful acts. There is also publisher's liability insurance, which covers the organization and any materials that are printed as publications, newsletters, magazines, etc.

An insurance broker will help you find the right liability policy that will cover the aspects that apply to the work that you do.

Cyber Coverage

Unfortunately, every organization, regardless of how big or small, is vulnerable to a cyber attack. It was reported in 2018 that there were over 80,000 cyberattacks per day and small businesses were at a loss of, on average, $34,604, which resulted in 60% of them going out of business within 6 months of the attack.

There are many types of attacks that an organization is vulnerable to, for example, ransomware, crypto jacking, and malware. There is no industry that goes untouched by cyberattacks, and they are only growing in sophistication by the day. Therefore, it is vital that any organization is well protected with anti-malware and anti-virus software, but also with cyber insurance coverage.

Insurance is important, as many attacks occur because of personal error, identity theft, or malicious insider and social media accounts, which are not always protected by software alone.

Business Auto Insurance

Business auto insurance is vital to protect any nonprofit organization that uses and/or owns motor vehicles. Regardless of how big your fleet is, business auto insurance will commonly cover any losses incurred because of a collision. To what extent the vehicles are covered will depend on the level of insurance obtained. Your employees and volunteers would typically be covered under the liability insurance if they are at fault.

Workers’ Compensation

In some states, such as NJ, all organizations are required to have a workers compensation insurance policy in place if you have at least one person being paid to carry out work. This type of policy is there to protect both the employer and the employee, and to cover any losses that result from an injury in the workplace.

In the unfortunate case of an injury, there may be medical expenses, compensation, and financial losses in the form of lost earnings that are incurred. The policy will protect you against a lawsuit and provide your employees with what they need to move forward.

Commercial Umbrella Policy

A commercial umbrella policy is an excellent addition to your current policies, as it is only activated if you have exceeded the limits of an existing policy that you have. In the unfortunate event that you are involved in a significantly large liability loss, this policy will help you bridge the gap by providing your organization with additional policy limits.

Purchasing Insurance for Your Nonprofit Organization

These are just some of the most common insurance policies that are important for nonprofit organizations. Every organization will be unique with what policies they require and each insurance policy will have its own criteria, which it covers. It is important to speak to an insurance broker who can help you protect your organization and provide you with relevant and specialist advice.