Archive for category: Commercial Insurance

Mitigating Your Risk: How to Lower Cyber Insurance Costs

Company-vehicle-under-auto-insurance-policy

There’s a direct relationship between your business’ cyber insurance costs and level of IT/data security. During the COVID-19 pandemic, these costs have risen sharply due to the unprecedented increase in cyber-attacks. You can lower your cyber insurance premiums by implementing specific risk mitigation strategies. Keep reading to learn more.

Financial Losses Due to the Lack of Cyber Insurance

Different forms of cyber-attacks keep growing in number and sophistication, making cyber insurance a critical safety net for your business. If a cyber-attack occurs in your organization without proper coverage, you may incur losses such as:

  1. Ransomware fees: When cyber attackers lock you out of your IT network, they may demand ransom fees to let you back in. There’s no guarantee that you’ll recover your data and system access when you pay the fees.
  2. Legal fees: You may be sued in court by victims of a data breach incident in your organization, such as customers. The cost of defending yourself and compensatory damages can be financially crippling.
  3. Data recovery: Businesses may have to hire IT experts to help with data recovery after cyber breaches.
  4. Regulatory fines: You may be fined heavily if authorities determine that non-compliance contributed to the cyber breach.

6 Tips to Reduce Your Cyber Insurance Costs

Your cyber insurance costs partly depend on how safe your IT systems are from attacks. The more vulnerable you are, the higher your premiums might be. You can reduce the cost of cyber policies by adopting measures such as:

  1. Installing enterprise-grade antivirus: Consumer antimalware systems lack the advanced features necessary to sniff out sophisticated threats. Cutting-edge, enterprise-level antivirus software offers multiple technologies to detect and prevent different types of attacks. Besides scanning recognized virus signatures, they usually include AI-driven behavior analytics and live monitoring to spot and stop newer threats.
  2. Conducting regular penetration tests: Simulating cyber-attacks helps to expose and fix vulnerabilities before bad actors can exploit them. Your penetration tests should cover your entire digital footprint, including networks, endpoints, and software. Repair weaknesses and upgrade your systems as appropriate to fortify your cyber defenses.
  3. Investing in data recovery and backup: This measure enables operational continuity after data loss or a denial of service attack. Test your data recovery and backup regularly to ensure it works and is swift enough to minimize business interruption. Business operations that rely on data can stop when a cyber-attack occurs and find you without an alternative plan in place.
  4. Installing software fixes and updates regularly: Software makers keep releasing updates that fix recently discovered security flaws. If you don’t install each available patch, you leave your system exposed to potentially costly cyber-attacks. Your operating system and other software require regular patching to minimize the risk of data breaches.
  5. Securing your business website: Being online increases your IT system’s exposure to cyber-attacks. To protect your site, utilize a trustworthy website hosting service and ensure your site uses the latest encryption technology. Like all other components of your network, audit your site regularly, including payment systems and checkout to protect sensitive customer data.
  6. Conducting Cyber Security Awareness Training: Sponsor your employees to learn about cyber-security hygiene. Make sure they understand key concepts like strong passwords and multi-factor authentication. Your IT systems are safer when your employees know how to avoid falling victim to phishing emails.

With these risk mitigation measures in place, you can secure your IT systems and data and reduce your cyber insurance costs. Contact our team at Chambers & Company Insurance Brokers today for help finding a customized cyber insurance policy.

Can I Cover My Company Vehicle with My Personal Auto Policy?

Company-vehicle-under-auto-insurance-policy

Some jobs involve driving company vehicles, while others allow workers to drive their own vehicles for work-related tasks. Is it possible to use a car provided by your employer for both business and personal needs? Yes, but you will have to provide your own coverage for your personal use. In that scenario, here’s a look at what you need for insurance coverage.

Using Your Personal Insurance for Your Company Car

A commercial auto insurance policy usually has a little-known exclusion that the plan doesn’t cover the personal use of a company vehicle. That means employees will have to use their own personal auto policy for commercial vehicles furnished to them if they are involved in a traffic accident outside of work.

Usually, the employer’s commercial auto policy protects company drivers if they encounter an accident on the job. However, any driving that’s unrelated to work is considered separate and must be covered by the driver. Since the terms and conditions stated in an insurance policy can appear complex, it’s important to review them with your insurer to make sure you understand them.

Adding an Endorsement to Cover Personal Use

The solution for the driver who gets to take home a company car is to add an endorsement to their existing personal auto insurance plan. The name of this coverage is Extended Non-Owned Coverage for Named Individuals. Anyone else in the household who drives the vehicle should be listed on the endorsement as well.

This endorsement only covers liability, which means it pays for accidents that the driver causes to others. The employer’s insurance policy may allow for an extended non-owned endorsement. If not, the employee will need additional coverage to fill the gap to cover physical damage to the vehicle. One option is to add a Named Non Owned policy to their coverage.

When you drive a company vehicle as your regular transportation and then borrow someone else’s car, there’s no coverage. However, if your employer adds a Drive Other Car Coverage endorsement, it will be covered. Another option is to purchase a Named Non Owner Policy for yourself.

Many jobs allow employees to use company vehicles when they want and even take them home if necessary. Nonetheless, it’s common for supervisors not to discuss with employees what the insurance covers. It raises questions when employees enjoy this freedom then wind up in an accident during off-work hours.

Employers need to think ahead about potential claim issues before turning the keys to vehicles over to employees. If employees are allowed to take company vehicles home, the insurance company should have their name listed in the policy.

It’s important for business owners to know how commercial auto insurance works. The idea of a personal auto policy for commercial vehicles is complex in the sense you may need backup coverage to fill coverage gaps. Contact us here at Chambers & Company Insurance Brokers for more information about implementing the right personal or commercial auto insurance plan for your needs.

Workers’ Compensation for Adverse Reaction to COVID-19 Vaccines

Workers-Compensation

COVID-19 has changed the way businesses operate, possibly forever. As things have begun to return to some level of normalcy, several companies are slowly resuming their operations. This article looks at the possible impact of COVID-19 vaccines on the workforce, specifically in terms of the available workers’ compensation coverage.

Many businesses are putting policies in place requiring employees to receive the COVID-19 vaccine before heading back to work. Some employers have reached an agreement with a health care provider to administer the vaccine safely. As a business owner, you may still be concerned about a potential liability issue if one of your employees suffers any side effects because of the vaccine. Technically, you will face less risk if you provide the vaccines through a third party than simply mandating that your employees get the vaccine. However, there are still a few gray areas where you may have to deal with a workers’ compensation liability issue.

If you arrange for a third party to administer the vaccines, they are considered voluntary. In this instance, you will not be responsible for any health care costs if your employee becomes ill. You will not be liable for the treatment because your employee volunteered to receive the vaccine.

According to the law, you are protected when your business partners with a third party for COVID-19 vaccines. You are providing a service and making things more convenient for your employees. You are not prioritizing the vaccine alongside your employee’s work, nor are you forcing your employees to get the vaccine or risk their employment. Your workers’ compensation coverage will not be affected if you are transparent with your employees that the vaccine is voluntary.  However, if you pressurize your employees to get the vaccine and they receive the shot on the job, you may be held liable if they become ill. Their condition will be seen as work-related. In many states, any injuries arising from vaccines administered through a government-sanctioned vaccination program are covered through workers’ compensation.

Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness (PREP) Act

Under the PREP Act, you may be eligible for liability immunity protections if you provide the vaccines onsite. Note that the COVID-19 vaccine must be approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Check whether you are considered as a “program planner” to be able to administer an onsite vaccination program.

Check Your State Laws

If you compulsorily require your employees to be vaccinated and they suffer some form of reaction, in that case, they will be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. This is beneficial for employers who have already paid for workers’ comp insurance as the insurance will cover the costs of such claims.

Other Things to Consider

Your employees may pursue benefits if they are injured on their way to work to receive the vaccine. They may feel entitled because you required them to receive the vaccine at a specific place and time. You also have to consider possible infections. Perhaps one of your employees gets COVID-19 before taking the vaccine due to interacting with an infected employee. If they can prove that they were infected on the premises while waiting to be vaccinated, you will be held liable.

While encouraging your employees to get vaccinated will help ensure that they are safe and healthy, you need to keep in mind the possibility of a reaction to the vaccine and have adequate coverage to meet such uncertainties. If you have any questions about your insurance coverage, contact the professionals at Chambers & Company Insurance Brokers. We are here for your business during this unusual time.

All You Need to Know about Affordable Commercial Property Insurance

Cyberattacks

What is Commercial Property Insurance?

Commercial property insurance provides coverage for risks related to owning or leasing a property. It can extend to cover property losses that may result from theft, robbery, vandalism, damages/destruction, as well as the cost of repairing your buildings.

Do You Need Commercial Property Insurance?

Yes, you’re better off insuring your risks than having to bear the financial weight of damages and destruction to your property. People who operate a business with physical properties that are put to significant use should get this insurance. Also, business owners with physical assets that are important to the company’s revenue would find this insurance handy.

What Is Covered By Your Commercial Property Insurance Policy?

Typically your commercial property insurance should cover the following:

  • Revenue loss
  • Damage to buildings and personal property as a result of a covered loss.
  • All forms of physical/tangible business assets

However, commercial property insurance doesn’t cover

  • Commercial vehicles
  • Damage/destruction caused either intentionally or unintentionally by employee/employer
  • Property that wasn’t purchased for business use
  • Employee wages
  • Amounts that exceed the agreed value of the insured property
  • Personal assets

How Much Does Commercial Property Insurance Cost?

The average business pays between $1000-$3000 annually per one million dollars of coverage. The location of the commercial property, how long it took to build it, its worth, the worth of the items inside the property, and the presence of safety equipment, amongst others, influence your policy’s cost.

Tips to Get Affordable Commercial Property Insurance

The following tips can help you avail of an affordable commercial property insurance

  • Reduce your risks

You can get affordable commercial property insurance if you reduce your risks by doing any of the following:

  • Set up a security camera and burglar system within your premises
  • Update your electrical, plumbing and roofing systems to reduce the risk of fire damage
  • Install shatterproof glasses and deadbolt locks
  • Maintain the property in excellent condition

 

  • Combine different insurance policies and shop for the best offer

Another tip that would come in handy is to combine your commercial property insurance with an existing policy to get the best discounts. You can also shop for insurance companies and compare their rates to get affordable commercial property insurance.

To find quality insurance for all of your business needs, contact the professionals at Chambers & Company Insurance Brokers. We are willing to assist you with all your coverage needs.

Reasons Why You May Need to Review Your Commercial Insurance

Commercial insurance review

Every company goes through periods of growth and change, wherein their insurance needs also change. A commercial insurance review will help you go over every aspect of your company’s needs. It will uncover areas of growth as well as add new equipment or locations to the policy. Changes will be noted, and your commercial coverage will be adjusted as necessary. During a review, your agent will go over all of your company’s needs to ensure that it is fully protected against all types of incidents.

Here are a few reasons why you may need to review your commercial insurance.

1. Significant Changes in Size

Companies grow, but they also downsize. A commercial insurance review will determine if your insurance offers sufficient coverage for every aspect of your business. Any significant change in size can lead to gaps in coverage. These gaps can lead to devastating financial loss. Adjusting your commercial coverage will not only save you money but also guarantee that your company has the protection it needs in an emergency. When a company downsizes, getting rid of coverage you no longer need is a great way to save money and limit your budget.

2. Purchase of New Vehicles or Equipment

Any time a company purchases new vehicles or equipment, a commercial insurance review is recommended. Vehicles and new equipment can add up to a considerable investment. It’s essential that your insurance company add them to your policy as soon as you take possession. This way, you know that your company is fully covered from the minute the final purchase is made. Any time you purchase expensive equipment or a new vehicle, your insurance agent should be the first person you contact.

3. New Security Measures

New security measures can dramatically reduce your company’s risk of loss. State of the art security systems, security patrols, and automated systems that require two-step authentication are all great means to protect your business. Lowering your financial risk can lead to reducing your insurance costs as well. The more effective your security, the lower the coverage you require. A thorough evaluation of your company’s security protocols and systems will give your agency an idea of how much coverage you need.

4. Changes in Locations or Services

Companies may expand both in terms of new locations and new services. Hence, a greater coverage may be required to keep your company protected from different types of losses. Knowing that your insurance agent can maintain your existing coverage and adjust it according to the changes will give you peace of mind. This is where a commercial insurance review can help your business move forward, even amidst the changes.

A commercial insurance review is an excellent tool for keeping your company financially secure. It can identify gaps in coverage and ensure that all of your company’s weaknesses are addressed and sufficiently covered. To find quality insurance for all of your business needs, contact the professionals at Chambers & Company Insurance Brokers.We are willing to assist you with all your coverage needs.

What is Contractual Liability Insurance?

Contractual LiabilityDoes your business deal with contracts? Safeguard your business today with contractual liability insurance.

If your business creates written or oral contracts on a daily basis, you’ll be aware of how specific and correct each contract needs to be. Whether you provide work for other firms or hire other companies, you’ve probably signed a contract containing an indemnity agreement. This is important to provide the right service, assure the client, and protect your business.

Indemnity Agreement

Any business who has had an issue with a contract will also know that they can be somewhat of a nightmare. That’s why it’s important to understand what you’re being held responsible with an indemnity agreement. This agreement, otherwise known as a hold harmless agreement, is a promise by one party to assume liability on behalf of someone else. It typically means that Party X agrees that if Party Y is sued by Party Z because of Party’s X’s negligence, Party X will indemnify (reimburse) Party Y for costs that result from Party Z’s lawsuit.

Liability Coverage

Many business owners engage in contracts that contain indemnity agreements for property leases, equipment leases, and construction agreements. The liability that you assume under such contracts is automatically covered by the standard general liability policy.

Contractual Liability

Contractual liability insurance involves the financial consequences emanating from liability, and not the assumption of the indemnitee’s liability itself. The financial responsibilities, such as money damages, are transferred by the Indemnitor to the indemnitee.

In addition, there are certain exclusions that apply to bodily injury or property damage for which the insured is obligated to pay damages by reason of the assumption of liability in contract or agreement.

For the best chance of protecting your business in the event of a contract breach, negligence, or issue, contact Chambers & Company Insurance Brokers for all of your commercial insurance needs in California!

Effective Retail Risk Management Strategies You Should Be Using

Retail Risk Management Strategies You Should Be Using

Risk management in the retail business – Implement these strategies to reduce the risk

Recent breaches at major retailers have highlighted the risks that businesses in the retail industry face. In fact, a recent Verizon report reveals that retail makes the list of top five industries with the most data breaches. This explains how important risk management in the retail business is. We want to help you protect your retail business physically and digitally, so we’re offering these retail risk management strategies.

  • Equip your employees. Make sure you have people on the ground who know the risks facing your business and how to mitigate them. For example, if your store is in a high-theft area, it’s wise to hire a security guard who will focus on eliminating that issue. Then, empower every member of your team to take steps to slash your risk—from monitoring exits to checking IDs with credit or debit purchases to verifying currency.
  • Keep records. As liability claims are increasing year after year, your business needs to consider that it could be held liable for an injury in its store. Take steps to minimize hazards (e.g. having someone walk through at certain times of day to look for tripping or slipping hazards) and keep thorough records on those steps. These steps will save you if you are taken to court!
  • Stay up-to-date digitally. Routinely evaluate and update your software so you can patch any vulnerabilities. While updating, opt for two-factor authentication and take note of any abnormalities in administrative access.

We hope that these effective strategies will help you with risk management in the retail business. That’s why we offer top-tier commercial insurance to our retail clients. Contact the dedicated California agents at Chambers & Company Insurance Brokers to get the right commercial policies to manage your retail business’ risk.