Business & Commercial Insurance

Business & Commercial Insurance Information



I've been connecting Eastern Sierra business owners with business & commercial insurance policies for more than a decade. It's hard enough to run a business here -- add insurance to that and you'll feel even more overwhelmed. As an independent insurance agency, we easily and quickly connect business owners with the right policies for their needs. And we always operate under the Golden Rule: if we wouldn't want something as part of our insurance policy, we won't offer it to you.


What kind of business insurance do I need?

There are many types of business insurance that all depend on what your business does and what liability you have. Here's an overview of the types of business insurance we write most often:


Commercial Auto

As a business owner, you need the same kinds of insurance coverages for the car you use in your business as you do for a car used for personal travel -- liability, collision and comprehensive, medical payments (AKA personal injury protection) and coverage for uninsured motorists. Many business people use the same vehicle for both business and pleasure, but if the vehicle is owned by the business, make sure the name of the business appears on the policy as the "principal insured" rather than your name. This will avoid possible confusion if you need to file a claim or a claim is filed against you.

Whether you need to buy a business auto insurance policy will depend on the kind of driving you do. We'll talk about how you use your vehicle(s) in your business, who will be driving them and whether employees are likely to be driving their own cars for your business.

While the major coverages are the same, a business auto policy differs from a personal auto policy in many technical respects. When we get started, we can explain all the differences and options.




General Liability

If you have a personal umbrella liability policy, there's generally an exclusion for business-related liability. Make sure you have sufficient auto liability coverage.

Unfortunately for every business owner, the chances of getting sued have dramatically increased in the last decade. General liability insurance can prevent a legal suit from turning into a financial disaster by providing financial protection if your business is ever sued or held legally responsible for some injury or damage.

General Liability pays losses arising from real or alleged bodily injury, property damage, or personal injury on your business premises or arising from your operations. It usually covers:

  • Bodily Injury, including the cost of care, the loss of services, and the restitution for any death that results from injury
  • Property Damage coverage for the physical damage to property of others or the loss of use of that property
  • Products-Completed Operations provides liability protection (damages and legal expenses up to your policy's limit) if an injury ever resulted from something your company made or service your company provided
  • Products Liability is a more specialized product liability insurance that protects your company against lawsuits from product-related injury or accidents
  • Contractual Liability extends to any liability you may assume by entering into a variety of contracts
  • Other coverage includes: Reasonable Use of Force; Borrowed Equipment; Liquor Liability; Non-Owned Vehicles (such as aircraft and watercraft); Fire, Lightning or Explosion Damage; Water Damage Liability Protection; Legal Defense Costs; Medical Payments; Personal Injury; Advertising Injury; and specialized liability protection for specific business types




Workers Compensation

Workers compensation laws were created to ensure that employees injured on the job are provided with fixed monetary awards. This eliminates the need for litigation and creates an easier process for the employee. It also helps control the financial risks for employers since many states limit the amount an injured employee can recover from an employer.

Workers compensation insurance is designed to help companies pay these benefits. As a protection for employees, most states require that employers carry some form of workers compensation insurance. Workers compensation insurance is not health insurance. Workers compensation is designed specifically for injuries sustained on the job.

In California, if you have employees, you are required to carry workers compensation coverage. Employees have a legal responsibility to their employees to make the workplace safe, but accidents can happen even when every safety measure has been taken.

Each state has different laws on the amount and duration of lost income benefits, the provision of medical and rehabilitation services, and how the system is administered. In most states there are regulations that cover whether the worker or employer can choose the doctor who treats the injuries and how disputes about benefits are resolved.

Workers compensation must be bought as a separate policy. Although in-home business and business owners policies (BOPs) are sold as package policies, they don't include coverage for workers' injuries.



Business Owners Policies

A business owners policy (BOP) combines protection from property and liability risks in one package. For small and mid-sized businesses, this is typically the way to go rather than getting individual policies for each need. A BOP typically includes property insurance for things (including buildings) owned by the business, liability coverage, and loss of income if your business faces a catastrophe that disrupts operations.



Why choose an independent agent?

Independent insurance agents offer more insurance options with more variety in pricing for customers. Since we work with many different companies, we can usually help you fill all your insurance needs without having to use different agents. We also take the time to figure out what you need and connect you with the best insurance policy. We don't believe in a one-size-fits-all approach with insurance.