As more and more states are legalizing marijuana and marijuana related products, cannabis and hemp insurance is a growing need for many businesses. I will discuss the different policy types for these different business types in this industry.
The cannabis industry will still continue to grow as more US states begin to legalize it’s use. As of this writing, only 4 states still hold a status of being fully illegal. They include South Carolina, Kansas, Wyoming, and Idaho. Two states have decriminalized it’s use including North Carolina and Nebraska, but have not legalized it in any other form. Others have approved use for CBD, medicinal use, or have fully legalized it.
There will likely be a time in the near future when federal legalization occurs which will completely open up this industry. In the meantime, some states will start slow with allowing CBD and medical marijuana before going on to fully legalize it’s use. Either way, insurance companies have readied themselves to offer businesses the kind of protection they need.
Some Common Cannabis Businesses Needing Insurance
Growing and Harvesting Centers
Liquid and Pill Processing Plants
Retail Sale Stores
Edible Product Manufacturers
There are several insurance coverage types to consider if you are in any of these or similar industries. I will discuss the most common types and what types of losses would be covered. You may only need some of these depending on your specific business type.
Types of Cannabis Insurance Policies
General liabilityinsurance is the most common type of coverage for business insurance. This covers any bodily injury or property damage due to your negligence.Most of the time you can add property insurance to this type of policy. That can cover all of your business personal property and equipment.
Cannabis and hemp cultivators have to worry about various weather perils that can cause damage to their crop. If any of these events occur, then the business will be left without any products to sell. It is imperative that you have crop insurance if you will be growing or harvesting cannabis. One loss can wipe out your business entirely.
Some common types of weather perils covered under parametric crop insurance include the following:
Cyber liabilityis one of the fastest growing types of insurance policies for most businesses. It seems we can’t go a month without hearing of some major business having a cyber situation occur. You don’t hear about the small businesses but they are the ones who are more likely to have a cyber event.
Some common employees in the cannabis industry include:
Retail Sales Associates
Product liability covers a business who sells a defective product. The loss could be due to bodily injury or property damage as a direct result of the defective product. It could also cover claims made against a product’s effectiveness.
This type of insurance policy can cover the the claimant’s medical bills, judgements made against the business to the claimant, and any legal fees incurred to defend the business.
Cargo insurancecovers your product while it is in delivery. Cargo can cover things such as theft and damage. If you aren’t hauling your own products, you will want to make sure that the company you contracted out to do so has this type of coverage so you will be protected. You will also want to make sure that their cargo policy covers the types of products they are hauling for you. Cannabis items are often excluded on many cargo insurance policies.
Excess liability, often referred to as umbrella liability, covers above and beyond where any of the company’s underlying policies leave off. If you purchase this policy type, you will want to make sure of two things when putting it in place.
The excess liability policy shows which underlying policies it is over top of. Make sure all of the policies you want excess coverage for are picked up under this policy.
Make sure you have the correct underlying policy limits as required by the excess liability policy. You must meet certain minimum limits on your other policies for your excess policy to kick in and pick up where they leave off.
I hope this article has helped give a glimpse into the world of cannabis business insurance and what types of policies are important to cover businesses in the marijuana industry. Many insurance companies haven’t kept up with the demand in protecting these business types. You want to make sure you are with an agency that can help you cover any gaps in insurance and explain the various types offered. Please feel free to reach out to an agent at 704-494-9495 with any questions.
Dump truck insurance is a common request here in Charlotte, NC. Charlotte is one of the fastest growing cities in the nation and with that comes construction. A lot of construction. We know a lot about insuring dump trucks. You will need to not only focus on NC state limits but Federal requirements as well. Aside from those requirements, you will also see contract requirements for the company you are hired to drive for. Finally, you should be concerned with not only requirements, but having proper coverage to protect yourself.
It is important to make sure that the registered owner of the vehicle is also the policyholder. Just as in personal auto insurance policies, the correct owner should be listed as the named insured. If your vehicle is registered in your business name, then you should also insure it in the business name instead of your personal name.
Next, you should determine what coverage you need. We will discuss the most important types here.
Physical damage (comprehensive and collision) is required if you are making payments on the dump truck through a bank. Even if you own the vehicle free and clear and there is no bank, you should still strongly consider insuring the vehicle for comprehensive and collision losses. Most commercial companies will ask you for a stated amount for each vehicle requesting this coverage type. Stated amount is simply the value of the vehicle today. In the event of a loss, the insurance company will pay the value of the vehicle minus the deductible you choose on the policy.
Business Auto Liability
Liability coverage is the part of your insurance policy that is required by the state or the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration FMCSA before you can even get your tag. Most common limits of liability chosen on a dump truck policy would be either $750,000 or $1,000,000. The North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (NC DMV) will determine what limit of liability is required. To determine the required limit of liability you will need to provide them the following:
Gross vehicle weight(GVW) of the vehicle. This is the total weight of the vehicle when fully loaded to manufacturer’s recommendations.
Radius that the vehicle will be driven. This is the typical one-way mileage driven to each destination.
The items you will be hauling. For example dirt, sand, and gravel.
Whether or not you will be crossing state lines.
The minimum limits for most dump trucks not crossing NC state lines is $100,000/300,000/50,000.
Dump trucks crossing NC state lines will usually require limits of $750,000 combined single limit.
Here in NC there are many state and city projects that are calling heavily on dump truck operators. Here in Charlotte alone there is the light rail project, Interstate 485 expansion, Charlotte Douglas International Airport and the Independence Blvd expansion just to name a few.
To be on any of these projects will require a minimum auto liability of at least $1,000,000. This is higher than NC DMV and FMCSA requirements. In addition to this, you will also likely be required to have many other additional policy types.
Medical payments covers drivers or passengers. Choose a limit here that will cover at the very least, a deductible of a health insurance claim made for an accident that causes bodily injury.
Un/underinsured Motorist Coverage
Un/underinsured motorist coverage covers your bodily injury and property damage to your truck caused by an uninsured driver or under-insured driver. You should consider the likelihood of your dump truck being hit by uninsured drivers or those who may only have state minimum liability. The coverage you choose here should be enough to cover bodily injury to yourself or driver as well as your vehicle.
Any employee working for you should have workers compensation coverage. This will not only cover the doctors bills in the event of an accident but also any loss of time at work.
If you don’t have any employees but still have a contract requirement to have a workers compensation policy click here for some more information on that.
Truckers General Liability
Certain contracts will require general liability. This would cover claims outside of you or a driver being involved in an accident. Negligence from a loss can cover both bodily injury and property damage losses.
A commercial umbrella policy is a form of a blanket limit that picks up and pays where your other underlying policies leave off. To have an umbrella policy, you will be required by the insurance company to meet certain limits on those underlying policies. It is very important to know what the umbrella policy is over. If you have commercial auto, general liability, and workers compensation policies for your business, you should make sure the umbrella is over all of these policies for you to be adequately covered.
You don’t run your business like this so don’t let just anyone handle your insurance.
Rates for dump trucks are very affordable considering how often they are on the roads and how many miles are being driven each year. A clean driving record will also help lower those rates even further. If we can help with any of your dump truck insurance questions please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 704-494-9495.
If you are hosting a special event, you will likely be considering a general liability policy. This is a policy put in place to protect yourself and any liability against yourself or your organization if you are sued during the event.
Even if you don’t desire the insurance to protect yourself, you are likely going to be obligated to have it if you are holding your event on city, county, or even privately owned property. Many entities require you to have special event insurance policies to protect them from any lawsuits that may arise.
The most common limits that are required are $1,000,000 per occurrence and $2,000,000 aggregate. Aggregate means the maximum limit the policy will pay out for that term. Lesser limits are available if that is all that is required.
These policies generally have shorter terms which would cover only that event for it’s duration. There are longer terms available, up to 1 full year, if you plan on having multiple events throughout the year. In many cases each event does not need to be specifically scheduled. You should definitely check with your agent to ensure that you will be covered though.
You will likely be required to list the city, county, or individual company that owns the venue or property where the event is being held as additional insured. By listing these entities as additional insureds, they receive additional rights on the policy and they are typically notified in writing if your policy is ever to cancel.
Common Additional Insured Types
Below is a list of common entities that may require you to have general liability insurance for your hosted event.
Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department or other county police force
Neighborhood condo or home association
Apartment complex owner
What exactly are we talking about when we discuss special event liability insurance? Below is a list of some common events that may require liability insurance.
Common Types of Events Requiring Insurance
Sports camps or clinics
Christmas tree farms
When you call to request a quote for insurance on your event you will need to have certain information available. This type of policy can be quoted and issued very easy. In fact, it is much easier than most commercial general liability policies. You will need to provide some basic information though. In order to quote and issue your event insurance policy the company would need to know the following:
Items needed for quoting
The event type
Date and times of event
Location of event
Number of attendees
How long the event will last
Number of set-up and take-down days
If there will be any beer, wine, or liquor served
If there is private security at the event
If there are amusement rides
If there will be fireworks
If there have been any prior losses or claims
Two common occurrences that are not covered under your special event liability insurance policy are liquor liability and workers compensation. We will discuss both briefly below. If you have a need for either you should discuss this with your insurance agent.
Liquor liability coverage is required when you sell, serve, or furnish alcoholic beverages to customers. Any liability that arises from over-serving patrons or selling to minors would be covered under a liquor liability policy. Your special event liability policy would limit or exclude such losses so make sure you have a liquor liability policy in place if you plan to sell alcohol at your event.
Workers compensation, also referred to as employers liability insurance, is an insurance policy that will cover your employees or subcontractors for any lost wages or medical payments from losses while they are hurt on the job. NC law requires that any business with 3 or more employees have a workers compensation policy in force. This includes independent contractors if they don’t have current coverage themselves. If you want to protect yourself for any employees injured while working at your event, you should purchase a workers comp policy to protect yourself since these losses will also be excluded from your special event liability policy.
I hope that this article has answered many of your questions regarding special event insurance. Please call us at 704-494-9495 to discuss any other questions you may have or to clarify anything that we have not discussed. We specialize in special event policies of all kinds throughout Charlotte and all areas of North Carolina.
We also have a limited market offering online quotes. If it doesn’t fit the target market of the companies on this rater, feel free to give us a call so we can shop our other markets.
What is professional liability insurance and why do you need it?
One question people ask me a lot is: what is professional liability and what does it cover? Professional liability is like a general liability policy for industries that provide service and/or advice. It is also commonly referred to as errors and omissions insurance.
This is not to say that a general liability policy should not be chosen in addition to a professional liability policy for these service industries. In some cases, especially when there is an office where customers visit, a general liability policy should also be considered.
Professional liability policies not only pay out for any awarded damages to another party but they can pay your cost of defense in these situations as well. So even if a suit is unwarranted, the cost to defend yourself can cripple your business if you don’t have a policy in place to protect you for this.
What types of industries need professional liability or errors and omissions policies?
What is a retroactive or retro date?
Professional liability policies are on a claims made basis. What this means is that your policy would cover any losses that arose during that policy period only. A retroactive date can be used on these policies that will go back to the original date you began your business.
So if your policy was in effect from 04/01/2018-04/01/2019, your expiring policy would no longer be on the hook for any claims made after that expiration date of that policy. If you moved to another insurance company that began on 04/01/2019 then they would pay out on any claims made after 04/01/2019 regardless on when the said error occurred.
If you started your business in June of 2003 than that would be your retroactive date on your policy so any losses during that policy term would pay out for any errors that occurred since your business began. This is why your rates for errors and omissions policies increase the longer you are in business.
What is tail coverage or extended reporting period?
Tail coverage, also known as extended reporting coverage, cover claims arising after the policy period is over. This is common on a business owner that retires or sells his business. You pay a premium based on how long this tail coverage extends for.
What does retention mean in professional liability?
Retention, when referring to professional liability insurance, refers quite simply to your deductible. Typically deductibles chosen are much higher for these policy types. Most common retention ranges from $0 to $10,000 with the most common around $2,500. This means that if you have a loss you will be responsible for your deductible before your insurance company begins paying on the claim. Keep that in mind if you choose a higher retention option.
What are some common claims covered on professional liability?
Breach of contract
Let’s give a few more examples of real life claim situations.
A computer consulting and security company provides you with advice on how to keep your computer server and customer data safe. The advice they provide is less than adequate to prevent a data breach. This results in client information being stolen. You then file a professional liability claim against the consulting company’s policy.
You hire a property manager to manage a rental property for you. A guest of the tenant falls due to a broken step. You file a claim against the property manager’s professional liability policy for failure to maintain safe conditions of the property.
You buy a property from a real estate agent to use as business office. Your agent wrongfully tells you that this will be fine. Due to zoning laws, you are forbidden from using that property for your business office. You file a claim against the real estate agent’s professional liability policy.
You should be aware that a professional liability policy is likely not enough for you to be covered in every situation. These policies will not cover you if you cause bodily injury or property damage to someone outside the scope of a professional liability policy. This is why we would recommend you having a general liability or BOP policy to supplement this policy to avoid any uncovered items arising.
If you have any further questions as to what policy is best for your business, please give us a call at 704-494-9495 and we would be happy to discuss any questions you may have.
Garage repair facilities have special insurance requirements that can be a bit different from other types of businesses. You have a liability exposure not only your business location, but also for your customer’s vehicles. This makes garage insurance in a class by itself. There are several different insurance policy types you will want to make sure you are covered for.
Your policy or policies should likely cover all or most of these exposures. Insurance for these businesses can be quite confusing. In fact, even some insurance agents get confused on proper policy coverage required. Like for instance, what is the difference between garage liability and garage keepers legal liability insurance? That is why you should be dealing with an expert. We will discuss some of the specifics now.
Types of Repair Shops
There are many types of shops where the described coverage come into play.
Below is a list of the more common types of garage shops in Charlotte, NC.
Auto Body Shop
Auto Repair Shop
Truck Repair Shop
Fix It Yourself Garage
Some of the common insurance policy types are shown below.
Business Owners Policy (BOP)
A business owner’s insurance policy covers liability for your premises along with many other coverage options. There are a lot of bells and whistles on these policy types but make sure the requested endorsements have been added because some may have to be selected as an add-on individually.
Garage liability covers any damage incurred while driving a covered vehicle. This could be a vehicle owned by the business and scheduled on the policy, a customer’s vehicle, or an employee’s vehicle used in the business. The vehicle itself is not covered under this coverage type, only what is hit by that vehicle. We will discuss this under garage keepers legal liability (GKLL). Garage liability will also extend to premises liability as well. This means that there would be coverage for a slip and fall of a client while on the business premises.
Garage Keepers Legal Liability
Garage keepers legal liability insurance covers damage to your customer’s vehicles while they are in your care, custody, and control. This includes coverage for theft, weather related losses, accidents, etc. Rates can be improved if you keep certain security measures in place. This can include security systems, gates, fences, cameras, and garages to store the vehicles.
Business Auto Liability
Any trucks or autos owned by the business should be scheduled under a business auto policy. You can choose liability coverage which will cover anyone or anything hit by your business owned cars used in your business. You can also choose to have physical damage coverage on these vehicles which will cover comprehensive and collision losses.
Workers compensation, also known as employer’s liability, works just like any other business for this policy. It will cover you at the limit you choose for any employees while they are engaged in business operations. This policy picks up any medical bills as well as payments for being out of work due to the injury or illness incurred while on the job. You should be aware of any NC laws regarding workers compensation mandates. You can check these out here. http://www.ic.nc.gov/
A commercial umbrella policy will cover above and beyond over any underlying coverage that you have in place at the umbrella limit you choose. You should make sure that you know what the umbrella policy is over. An umbrella policy could be over just certain types of policies, like a general liability or garage liability policy only. You should make sure that it picks up over any of the policies you wish. Further, you should make sure you have the minimum underlying limits on each policy that the umbrella policy is over. Insurance companies require you to have certain underlying limits on your policy before an umbrella policy will pick up and pay.
Certain things will play a factor in the rate for insurance for your auto repair shop. Some of those things are shown below.
Years in business
Number of employees
Details of the business
Types of coverage chosen
Not all auto repair shops are the same. Nor should the insurance policies for those shops be the same. Give us a call today at 704-494-9495 to discuss in detail any questions you may have. We will also be more than happy to get you insurance quotes from our numerous carriers. You can also email us at email@example.com.
Restaurant insurance policies have very specific insurance differences compared to that of other types of businesses. There are varying factors that can be brought into a suit in the event of a claim. Each restaurant is different and has varying degrees of risk. We will discuss some of the common claims types and coverage options to protect you if you have a claim. There are so many different types of restaurants and there is no one size fits all policy for all restaurant types. When determining the right type of restaurant insurance policies for you, make sure you are dealing with a professional that can walk you through the options and foresee some of the future claims you may incur.
Some common restaurant types
Food Truck (check out our blog on food truck insurance)
Restaurants have a large array of needs for insurance. It is important that you sit down with an insurance professional and discuss all of the liability exposures you may face. We will discuss some of the more common policy types that restaurants choose to cover themselves.
You should choose a comprehensive general liability policy sometimes referred to as a BOP(Business Owner’s Policy) for your restaurant. You want to make sure you are covered adequately for most perils. BOP policies offer many endorsements that can be added to your policy to lower the likelihood of an uncovered peril.
Some of the common perils under this policy type include:
Customer slip and fall
Advertising liability claim
Food poisoning illness
Any acts of dishonesty by one of your employees are covered under a crime policy. In many cases, this can be added as an endorsement under your general liability policy. These policies will pay out for losses you have incurred due to some of the following types of crime insurance.
Theft of money or securities
Funds transfer fraud
If your restaurant sells alcohol of any kind, you need to have a liquor liability policy in force as part of your restaurant insurance checklist. Your general liability policy will exclude this type of loss. If a suit comes back in any way against an over-served patron it will also likely fall back on your establishment. Remember, your employee doesn’t even need to be negligent for you to get sued. A liquor liability policy will pay the costs to defend you as well. Discounts are often available if you have completed training with your staff on reading the signs of an inebriated customer. We recommend taking classes for this outside of just the discount offered.
Restaurants have quite a bit of business property that would need to be insured. Equipment and furniture alone can add up to quite a lot. Some of this may be owned by you while others may be owned by the property owner you are leasing from.
Some common types of property in a restaurant include:
Interior additions and alterations
You should do a personal inventory of the items that would need to be replaced in the event of a loss, say a fire.
Even if you don’t own the building you operate out of, you still want to be covered for any interior permanently attached equipment. You may have sank quite a bit of money into what they call improvements that would need to be insured to put you back where you were before the loss.
Claims for workers compensation are not uncommon in this industry. Slips and falls are common, as are kitchen accidents. In NC, a business with 3 or more employees, including the owner, is required by law to carry workers compensation insurance. Workers compensation pays out not only for the medical bills of an injured employee, but it also covers any lost time at work. These expenses can get quite expensive and with the likelihood of a claim, workers compensation is essential.
Commercial Auto Liability
Many restaurants do outside catering and have a need for commercial auto insurance. This policy will cover any liability that results while a vehicle is being used for business use. Damage to the vehicle will also be covered if physical damage is chosen as well. In some cases, where an employee’s vehicle is being used instead of a restaurant owned vehicle, a non-owned auto endorsement would need to be added to the policy to cover that specific vehicle.
Business income is insurance that covers you for lost income due to a covered peril. If you had a fire and had to close your doors for several weeks or months to complete the repairs, could you withstand the loss of income? Your expenses such as salaries, rent, and taxes will still need to be paid even if you lose all of your income. A business income policy will assist in keeping you afloat during this time.
Cyber liability if one of the fastest growing insurance types. You will be handling customers payment info and if that were to get into the wrong hands it can be very expensive if a claim were to arise. For a more detailed listing of what is covered in cyber liability please view my blog from a couple of months ago on the subject.
You can also purchase a blanket umbrella liability insurance policy that will kick in and pay up to the limit of your choosing once the underlying limits for policies listed above are exhausted. Your commercial umbrella carrier will want to be made aware of any policies under the umbrella that will be covered. You will also have to meet the minimum underlying limits on those policies to meet the umbrella policy requirements.
You can see that restaurant insurance can be quite complicated with various types available. It is important to discuss your specific needs with an insurance expert in this industry. Please feel free to call us at 704-494-9495 and discuss any questions you may have with an agent specialized in restaurant insurance.