Business

It is important that Louisiana small businesses are properly insured and are prepared when an accident or disaster occurs.

Basic Quick Tips:

  1. Have a Planning Checklist:
    - Emergency response plan for employees and customers
    - Copies of important papers and information stored off site
    - Make sure the information includes: receipts, photos, insurance policies, contact details for your insurance agent or insurance company, an employee roster, and other documents necessary for your business operations
  2. Minimize your insurance risks by:
    - Adhering to building code standards and installing fire and security alarms
    - Developing emergency action plans and conducting drill with employees on plans
    - Having employees keep wallets and other personal items in a secure place
    - Keeping the business’ cash and other valuables in a safe.
  3. Update all policies with the proper coverage amounts

Property Insurance

Property insurance policies cover businesses for damage or theft of the physical property and equipment. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when planning or updating insurance:

  • If you own the physical structure of your business, your property insurance should cover both the structure and its other assets.
  • If you lease the space you occupy, you are responsible for insuring your personal property/contents.
  • Check your policy to see if your property will be replaced for the actual cash value (ACV) or replacement cost. ACV reimburses the cost to replace, rebuild or repair damages, taking depreciation into consideration. Replacement cost does not factor in depreciation.
  • Update your policy with any improvements made to business property since the last appraisal.
  • Consider purchasing flood insurance since flood is not a covered peril in a standard business property insurance policy. You can purchase flood coverage from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), administered by FEMA or through private insurance companies that participate in the NFIP’s Write-Your-Own program. Find out more about flood insurance from you insurer, agent or the NFIP at www.floodsmart.gov.

Business Interruption
Business interruption insurance covers lost earnings due to circumstances stated in your policy that shut down your business for an extended period. Business interruption/continuation insurance covers expenses associated with running your business and may also help pay for the extra expenses to keep your business in operation until you recover.

A few things to check in your Business Interruption/Continuation coverage:

  • Covered perils or covered occurrences
  • Exclusions listed on your policy
  • Covered expenses and amount limit for each
  • Waiting period for coverage

Liability Insurance
Professionals that operate their own businesses need professional liability insurance in addition to an in-home business or business owners policy. This protects them against financial losses from lawsuits filed against them by their clients. When liability is limited to acts of negligence, professional liability insurance may be called “errors and omissions” liability.

Professional liability insurance is a specialty coverage. Professional liability coverage is not provided under homeowners endorsements, in-home business policies or business owners policies (BOPs).

Commercial Auto Insurance
Automobile liability insurance covers medical expenses for injured persons, economic losses for injured persons or businesses, and damages to the property of other individuals as a result of a motor vehicle accident caused by the insured’s negligence. Typically, commercial auto insurance policies could have higher liability limits than a personal auto insurance policy. They also may have provisions that cover rented and other non-owned vehicles, including employees’ cars driven for company business.

Here are a few things to check in your auto insurance policy:

  • If you are relying on either a personal auto insurance or personal umbrella liability policy to provide you with protection for your company’s use of vehicles, look closely at the provisions, as business-related liability may be excluded.
  • Have the policy reflect up-to-date information including garaging of the vehicle, drivers, desired liability limits and deductibles.
  • Know your liability limits and check to see if the policy places limitations on the vehicles’ drivers.

Workers Compensation

Louisiana Workforce Commission provides the following information on workers’ compensation insurance in Louisiana:

  • All employers must provide workers’ compensation insurance for their employees.
  • The employer must submit proof of having the financial means of insuring his/her employees.
  • Workers’ compensation insurance can be provided by one of the following ways:
    - workers’ compensation insurer
    - self-insurance
    - group self-insurance
  • If an employee is hurt at work or becomes ill due to something that is work-related:
    - the employee must submit to a medical examination paid for by the employer.
    - the employee must keep you informed of any change in his/her condition.
    - the employer must report the injury or illness to its insurance provider within 10 days.
  • Employees are not eligible for workers’ compensation if the employee:
    - intentionally injured himself/herself or was injured while intentionally injuring another employee.
    - was intoxicated at the time of the injury.
  • Upon receipt of the notice of injury, OWCA will mail the employer and the injured employee a brochure, which sets forth a summary of rights, benefits, and obligations.
  • In order to determine benefit amounts, every employer is required to maintain the following information for one year from the date of the record:
    - name, address, and occupation of employees
    - daily and weekly hours worked
    - wages paid
    - if the employee is a minor, the employer must procure and keep on file an employment certificate or work permit.

 The Center is pleased to provide you with a variety of educational resources to help you become a more informed insurance consumer.

Insurance Information Institute
Business Insurance Coverage Topics

Institute for Business and Home Safety
Business Protection

Louisiana Department of Insurance

Louisiana Workforce Commission
Workers Compensation

Workers Compensation Research Institute

National Council on Compensation Insurance