Durham Business Liability Insurance

Durham business liability insurance comes in two forms: claims made or occurrence. The type of policy you should get depends on the nature of your company, and the future import of your work. While the difference between the two types of North Carolina business insurance policies is pretty straightforward, understanding the subtleties between them is rather complex.

Your Durham business liability insurance policy will cover you from a number of claims, including those related to personal injury, bodily injury, advertising injury and property damage. However, your Durham business liability insurance will not protect you from claims related to professional negligence, nor will it protect your company cars. It's important to understand the exclusions of your Durham business liability insurance policy.

Claims Made Versus Occurrence

A claims made policy is active during the time in which you're insured, but not afterwards. An occurrence policy, on the other hand, is active for many years afterwards. Actually, an occurrence policy doesn't expire. So if you make an error and get sued for it many years later, then your occurrence policy is still active.

For example, imagine you're an attorney in Durham, North Carolina, and you write a contract. Five years after you stop working, imagine that someone makes a claim that the contract you wrote contains a flaw. If you had a claims made policy during the time you wrote the contract, you are no longer covered for that incident. However, If you had an occurrence policy at that time, you're still covered.

Here's where it gets complicated: your occurrence policy won't change based on inflation or business growth. So, If your Durham, NC company grows significantly, you may not have sufficient general liability coverage to protect you in the case of later claims. Also, occurrence policies are much more costly than claims made policies.

Another option is to purchase a claims made policy and add tail coverage. The tail coverage will protect you for incidents that occurred during that period. However, tail coverage is actually quite expensive, even though it's for the non-active work period.

Deciding which type of Durham business liability insurance is right for you can be a difficult decision. It depends on your industry, your financial circumstances, and your anticipated growth. You may want to ask a Durham, NC insurance agent for assistance when you're considering the two different options.

Business Liability Insurance Exclusions

While your Durham business liability insurance will protect you from claims related to property damage, it won't protect your property itself. You need an additional insurance to protect your Durham, NC business location. A natural disaster such as a fire or flood could be devastating for your Durham, North Carolina business.

Your basic Durham business liability insurance won't protect you from claims related to professional negligence, either. You need to have malpractice coverage to protect you from such claims. Even if you never make mistakes, it's essential to have malpractice if you may be accused of professional negligence.

Also, your Durham business liability insurance won't include product liability insurance unless you have it written in to the policy. If your North Carolina company produces or sells a product, you need product liability coverage. Product liability insurance will protect you if someone makes a claim regarding a problem with your product.

In addition to the above exclusions, your liability coverage won't include claims related to liquor or company cars. If you're opening a bar in Durham, you need liquor liability insurance. Your small business won't be covered for alcohol related claims unless you add that policy to your initial policy.

As for cars, don't expect your personal auto policy to cover your company cars. If you're using vehicles to deliver food, make client visits, or other related purposes, don't expect your personal policy to cover you. Most likely, you need a commercial auto policy to protect you if there's an accident or another problem with a company vehicle.

You may need other policies, too, depending on your company activity. If your company may pollute the environment, for example, you need a policy to cover you for pollution related claims. There are other types of claims you may need to be aware of, too. Of course, there are also some claims that you cannot protect your business from. If you lie, cheat, or act dishonestly, don't expect your insurer to protect you.

Find a good Durham business liability insurance agent to help you research different insurers. He or she will give you a number of quotes, and help you compare competitive rates. Also, if he or she has experience in your industry, your agent will be able to anticipate specific risks and figure out what kind of policy you need to protect your company. Insuring a company is rather complicated, so having an agent can really help a lot.

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