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Business insurance Ottawa: your comprehensive guide.

A Guide to the Types of Insurance Coverage Available for Businesses in Ottawa

Commercial business insurance provides peace of mind for business owners. Insurance coverage can save your business from major financial losses. You can avoid paying hefty sums for unforeseen lawsuits, property damage, and more.

You may not think your business needs certain coverage. But it’s important to understand the types of coverage available. You can then determine which coverage suits your business needs now and in the future.

Consider these options for commercial business insurance in Ottawa. They can help protect your business and save you from the unexpected.

Auto Insurance

You can protect your company fleet with commercial automobile insurance. Keep in mind that the coverage you choose depends on the type of use for the vehicles.

Personal vehicles used for business purposes need commercial endorsements. So notify your insurance company to add these to personal auto insurance plans.

Liability Insurance

Liability insurance protects businesses from financial losses due to lawsuits. If a complainant sues your business, business liability insurance should cover these costs. Complaints include injury, death, or property damage caused by business services, operations, or employees.

The following are types of liability coverage for businesses:

Employer Liability

This coverage protects businesses from lawsuits alleging negligence and responsibility for work injuries.

Employment Practices Liability

This provides protection from complaints of discrimination, wrongful dismissal, and human rights violations.

Employee Benefits Liability

This coverage protects businesses from liability for the handling of employee benefits programs. These types of claims include a loss due to:

  • Improper handling of records;
  • Improper counselling of benefits plan participants;
  • Failing to enroll employees in the benefits plan;
  • Improper coverage interpretation; and
  • Failing to remove employees from the benefits plan.
Management/Directors’ and Officers’ (D&O) Insurance

This protects managers, directors, and officers of corporations from liability. As such, this coverage includes lawsuits from:

  • Shareholders;
  • Employees;
  • Contractors;
  • Customers;
  • Competitors;
  • Government bodies and agencies; and,
  • Professional and public activist groups.
Legal Expenses Liability

This provides extra coverage for legal costs that are a result of lawsuits such as:

  • Employment disputes;
  • Property damage;
  • Statutory license protection; and,
  • Tax audits or appeals.

Legal expenses liability covers the following legal costs:

  • Lawyer fees;
  • Disbursements;
  • Out-of-pocket expenses—i.e. court fees, medical reports, and expert witness fees;
  • Adverse costs against the insured; and
  • Adverse costs due to a settlement between the insured and complainant.

Property Insurance

Businesses need property insurance for any building that they rent, lease, or own. Keep in mind that your coverage might change if your building is vacant for more than 30 days.

Types of business property insurance include:

Builders Risk Insurance

This insures the value of a property during construction. Coverage includes the structure of the building, and construction equipment, materials, and supplies. Review construction contracts to see who is responsible to insure the construction project. It will either be your business or the construction company.

By-Law Policy Insurance

You may have to rebuild following property damage. This will depend on local by-laws. You may have to demolish the rest of your building, or rebuild to meet current building codes. The addition of by-law policy coverage will protect your business against these costs.

Commercial Flood, Earthquake, and Sewer Backup Insurance

These risks are not covered by standard business policies. If your business is at risk of flooding or earthquakes, you should consider this coverage.

Cyber Risk Insurance

This will protect your business against financial losses due to cyber-attacks. Common cyber-attacks include data breaches, identity theft, malware, and viruses.

Equipment Breakdown Insurance

If your business equipment breaks down, this will cover the costs of the equipment. It will also cover any property damage that is a result of the equipment breakdown. Examples of equipment breakdowns include:

  • Electronic equipment failures—i.e. phones, phone systems, fax machines, and photocopiers;
  • Exploded or ruptured pressure vessels—boilers, compressors, and hot water tanks; and,
  • Mechanical failures—i.e. motors, electrical switch-gear, and air conditioning systems.
Tool Floater Coverage

Your property insurance may cover hand tools on site. But you can also cover tools that leave the property. Insure tools used at different locations with tool floater coverage.

Other Types of Business Insurance

Business Interruption Insurance

You may need to pause your business operations due to unexpected events. This insurance will cover the costs you incur due to:

  • Lost revenue;
  • Employee wages; and,
  • Extra expenses from halting business.
Crime Coverage

This protects against losses from the following types of crime at your business:

  • Counterfeit paper currency and money orders;
  • Depositor’s forgery—forged or altered cheques, bank drafts;
  • Employee dishonesty—dishonest or fraudulent acts committed by one or several employees; and,
  • Robbery and hold-up—loss of money and securities at or outside of your business.

Umbrella Insurance

If liability insurance doesn’t cover enough, opt for umbrella insurance to cover the rest.

When it comes to protecting your business, it’s better to be safe than sorry. One financial loss from an unexpected event could cost you everything. Or hurt your business at the very least.

But you can create your own custom business insurance using extra coverage options. Business insurance in Ottawa will protect your business and give you peace of mind.

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