All about commercial insurance

Nainoor Desai

Just like individuals, businesses too, need insurance. Businesses’ need for insurance is to protect their operations and keep them running smoothly. Of the different types of available insurance in the market, corporate or commercial insurance is the one that offers comprehensive solutions and coverage across multiple business-related insurance needs.

What is Commercial Insurance?

Commercial insurance or corporate insurance is an insurance policy for companies and big corporations that aims to cover their business operations, ownership, and employees. Since there are a host of businesses with various situations and needs, commercial insurance comes in multiple shapes, sizes, and forms.

Large companies generally avail commercial insurance cover to cover their business against different risks such as financial loss due to fire, liabilities, crime, theft, employees’ accidents and health. Such policies are comprehensive, corporate insurance that benefits the past as well as existing employees and the company itself. Unlike personal insurance, corporate insurance policies are able to cover multiple stakeholders and employees. It is also different from individual insurance because the policy tends to have higher limits of cover and different premium payment terms. Business owners must evaluate the company’s risks and select a commercial insurance product that offers comprehensive coverage against those risks. The insurance coverage offered caters to the company’s specific day-to-day and industry-related activities. On the other hand, personal insurance plans such as auto or term plans tend to be more of a one-size-fits-all purchase process.

What are different types of commercial insurance products?

As stated earlier, commercial insurance comes in different forms and shapes, depending upon the nature of your business. Each different type of insurance policy covers specific risks a company might face. Some of the different kinds of commercial insurance products offered by Liberty General Insurance are given below:

Liability Insurance: Liability insurance offers cover against you and your business against claims from clients or the general public for any negligence, injury, or malpractice. Liability insurance protects businesses & their senior management from legal payouts and other related expenses for which they might be held responsible. The policy aims at safeguarding organisational interests, covers industrial risks, and also protects your employees. There are different types of liabilities insurance policies that cover multiple scenarios and risks that may arise against the company.

The policies are:

  • Directors and Officers Liability
  • Public Liability Industrial Policy
  • Public Liability Act
  • Commercial General Liability Policy
  • Public Liability Non-Industrial Insurance Policy
  • Employee Compensation Policy
  • Professional Indamnity Insurance Policy

When you are in charge of your organisation, you would not want to incur unexpected expenses and legal issues due to any liabilities. With several individuals and phases involved in your business, preparing for the worst-case scenario is essential. Purchasing liability insurance will help protect you and your company from various hassles that you could be legally liable.

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Marine Cargo Insurance: Business dynamics constantly changing, and the expansion of commerce and trade comes with different risks associated with the transit of goods. Marine Cargo insurance is a type of insurance policy that covers the loss or damages caused to marine cargo during the transit. The protection is offered to the cargo owner along with the cover to the cargo for any loss or damage caused due to delay in the voyage, ship accident or unloading. The amount of distance goods travel leaves them vulnerable to a number of possibilities of damages or losses. In such cases, it is essential to manage such cargo-related risks to continue growing your business suitably. Marine cargo insurance policy is designed specifically to tackle such transit mode risks.

Engineering Insurance: Large-scale constructions attract substantial risks in terms of damages or losses to the machines, raw materials and harm to the actual structures. Engineering insurance refers to the insurance that provides economic safeguard to the risks faced by the ongoing construction project, installation project, and machines and equipment in project operation. The engineering insurance policy covers a broad range of engineering-related risks. It is comprehensive coverage that offers complete protection against various risks associated with machinery working, erection and resting of structures, and general machinery, equipment, or plants operations. Multiple scenarios can be covered under the umbrella of engineering insurance, such as:

  • Erection all risk insurance policy
  • Advance loss of profit insurance policy
  • Machine breakdown insurance policy
  • Boiler pressure plant insurance policy
  • Machinery Loss of profit insurance policy
  • Contractor Plant and machinery insurance policy
  • Contractor’s all-risk policy
  • Electronic equipment insurance policy

The engineering insurance policy covers your assets, machines, and related revenue streams. It also financially secures your projects and subsequent profits. With such comprehensive coverage, you can secure your assets and projects against various damages and risks.

Commercial Property Insurance: Commercial property insurance is used to cover any commercial property. Commercial property insurance protects commercial property from such perils as fire, theft, and natural disaster. A variety of businesses, including manufacturers, retailers, service-oriented businesses carry commercial property insurance. It is generally bundled together with other forms of insurance, such as commercial general liability insurance.

Commercial property involves a considerable amount of investment – both in terms of time and money – to build and develop a property. However, the risks of natural or accidental hazards remain at large. In such cases, it is essential to secure your commercial property against a variety of threats that may arise due to your business operations, natural calamities, or any other unknown accidental damages. Some of the prominent covers provided under the umbrella are:

  • Standard fire special peril cover
  • Fire loss of profit insurance policy
  • Industrial risk insurance policy

Miscellaneous Insurance: Miscellaneous insurance refers to insurance coverage offered to entities other than fire, life, health, and marine insurance.

The policy’s objective is to provide protection to non-traditional assets or installations that are vital for your business and smooth operations. Liberty General Insurance offers several different miscellaneous insurance policies. They are:

  • All risk insurance policy
  • Signage insurance policy
  • Baggage insurance policy
  • Fidelity insurance policy
  • Burglary insurance policy
  • Money insurance policy
  • Plate glass insurance policy

The objective here is to provide comprehensive coverage to a variety of non-traditional assets of your business to improve efficiency and productivity.

Employee Compensation Insurance: Employees are the most valuable resource for any organisation. It is thus essential to take care of their needs and benefits so that they feel valued and contribute their best for the growth of the organisation. Employees are vulnerable to workplace accidents or mishaps. The employee compensation insurance is the primary method by which an employer can demonstrate the ability to satisfy the obligations imposed by the employee’s compensation statutes. It is compensation payable under a scheme set out in the Employee Compensation Act of India, monitored by the Ministry of Labour.

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As the medical expenses soar year on year, it is essential to have a cover that helps employees during such emergencies. Group health insurance policy is a part of the health insurance plan a company offers to its employees. The policy typically covers the employee and their immediate family members, depending upon the type of policy offered by the company. Employee benefits insurance consists of various insurance covers like group mediclaim, personal accidental insurance, critical illness cover etc.

Liberty General Insurance offers two comprehensive coverage options for workmen compensation insurance policy and employees compensation policy. These policies protect against damages and losses arising from workplace hazards, injuries, accidents, etc. The plans also offer to add on benefits such as hospitalisation and medical expenses, transportation costs, etc.

Features of commercial insurance

Even though there are several types of corporate insurance, with each having its advantages and benefits, there are some standard features that are discussed below:

  • Commercial insurance offers you absolute protection from lawsuits, even in a case where the company or its employees are at fault. The policy aims to cover losses incurred due to negligence or accidental damages and possible lawsuits & other liabilities.
  • With group health insurance, you provide financial cover to your employees in case of any medical emergency.
  • Insuring your business operations has become imperative in today’s world as it saves you and your company from unwanted and excessive legal and accidental losses.

What type of commercial insurance do you need?

As mentioned at the start of the article, commercial insurance comes in many different forms, depending upon your business model. Thus, if you are a company providing logistical support, insuring your commercial vehicles should be your first priority. Similarly, suppose you are a construction conglomerate with hundreds of employees. In that case, you need to look at the financial security of the existing and ongoing projects and take care of your employees. Liberty General Insurance has a host of commercial insurance products that will cover your every business needs. However, public liability and professional indemnity are two essential covers you should consider while running any business.

Also Read | Future of Insurance: Rethink. Reengineer. Reboot.

Advantages of corporate insurance

  • A corporate insurance policy helps your business run smoothly in case of any accident. The policy covers your business from income losses due to such severe disasters.
  • Having a commercial insurance policy also uplifts your credibility. Employees tend to stay with an organisation that offers better care and perks. The logic also extends to clients you will be dealing with. Some clients only work with companies that have proper commercial insurance.
  • You can also secure your business from “Act of God” events such as earthquakes, hurricanes, and floods by opting for specific clauses.

As you develop your company and expand its operations, having adequate and proper commercial insurance is necessary. The policy safeguards the interests of your organisation as well as of your employees. It is thus advisable to get a required commercial insurance plan at the earliest.

Views Expressed by: Nainoor Desai, Senior Vice President & Business head – Corporate, Liberty General Insurance

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