A question I get asked a lot is, “Can my business insurance be written off?” Well, the short answer is yes. The long answer is that it depends on the classification of your insurance. If your policy is a property and casualty policy, which covers damage to or theft of property, and is designed to provide temporary relief while you fix the problem, then you can write off your portion of the loss. If your policy is a liability policy, which cover lawsuits as a result of product liability, and is designed to protect your company against lawsuits, then you cannot write off your portion of the loss.
However, can business insurance be written off for other reasons? Yes, absolutely. The first reason is if the loss was not due to your fault, but you were in the wrong because of something you did. For example, I once had a client whose car had been stolen, and in trying to rectify the situation, she backed into a government parking lot. Had this lady not been wearing her proper safety gear, walking with her head down and her hands behind her, I don't know what would have happened to her vehicle.
Another reason can business insurance be written off is if it was required by your contract with your customer to carry liability insurance. Although this does include property damage, it doesn't include liability, which means you are not protected from being sued. As such, you will be at risk, and you must purchase liability insurance.
How can I find out if my policy is properly classified? The easiest way is to contact your insurance company and ask. Often times they will allow you to see the document that describes your policy, including the amount of cash for which you're entitled. It's also a good idea to ask if the amount of money that you can be reimbursed for, in the event that you are ever sued, depends on your current health status. Usually, it depends on your age and your income level. If you're still young and healthy, you can get a large lump sum to a fifty-year-old with poor health can only hope to receive a small amount.
Is there a time when my insurance company won't pay? Although you should always contact your insurance company to make sure they haven't made any mistakes, there is one exception. If you have a lawsuit against your business, your insurance company may try to avoid paying because the settlement may cost them too much. If you can show them that your lawsuit is legitimate, and you are filing as a result of injuries suffered while working, they may end up paying you.
What about other types of insurance for my company may offer? Many businesses opt to purchase a commercial auto insurance policy. This insurance protects your company from damage or loss incurred by an employee or an automobile when it's used for business purposes. If you're unsure whether or not your insurance company offers this type of insurance, you can usually find out by asking one of your directors.
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