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Does My Mobile Cannabis Business Need Insurance?

Does My Mobile Cannabis Business Need Insurance?

It is a fallacy that many mobile cannabis businesses fall into: if I don’t have a retail location, I don’t need insurance.  The truth is, if you have a business of any type, you need insurance to protect yourself and your investors. No Retail Location? You Still Need Insurance. Many only equate the need for insurance with business locations and landlords. However, if you run your business out of your home you still need insurance coverage.  Why? Because both typical and atypical business pursuits are excluded by your homeowners or renters insurance. Personal lines policies exclude any business done in the home or anywhere on the home premises. The policies exclude the work being done, the work product, employees, inventory and business equipment. Some policies may even cancel coverage for homeowners operating businesses out of their homes. If you are storing stock in your garage or in your spare bedroom, there is no coverage for it in the event of a fire, theft or other hazards. Liability coverage under your homeowners policy also will not extend to business pursuits. There will be no coverage for customers on premises, products liability, or personal or advertising injury, as businesses are excluded from the policy. The good news is both of these coverage lines can be written on your business even if you are operating out of your home. No Commercial Auto? You Still Need Insurance We have previously blogged about the need for commercial insurance for delivery services. The exclusions for livery use of personal vehicles applies whether the car is owned by you, your spouse, or an employee.  The only...
Can Bad Drivers Be Insured?

Can Bad Drivers Be Insured?

Certain classes of business rely heavily on drivers to make things happen. Contractors, for example, typically have a larger number of drivers than an office, since they have to go from job site to job site in company vehicles. In a perfect world anyone hired by your company could be added to your commercial auto policy and allowed to drive. Unfortunately, some prospective employees have less-than-desirable driving records, making them ineligible to insure on your company auto policy.  Sometimes those drivers are current employees or company officers. Here’s how to spot an ineligible or difficult to insure driver, and what to do about it. Get An MVR A recent motor vehicle report (MVR) is the only way to be sure of an employee’s current driving record.  Insurance companies prefer that the MVR be less than 30 days old in order to be accepted as part of the underwriting process.  There are three ways to obtain an MVR: Have prospective employees bring their own MVR. A stop at the local DMV will result in a certified copy of the applicant’s MVR. There is usually a fee associated with this service. Check with your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles to find out the fee for your state. This is the most cost-effective hiring solution, as the fee and responsibility are on the applicant. Contract with a company that provides MVRs. There are many websites where employers can pull MVRs for applicants. However, there are fees associated with this service for each abstract that is pulled and the costs can add up quickly. Insurance company or broker pulls the MVR. Many policyholders...
Auto Insurance 101

Auto Insurance 101

Auto insurance in most states is mandatory. For both commercial and personal autos, this means just purchasing the basics: liability insurance to satisfy the state, and “full coverage” (comprehensive and collision) on newer vehicles only. There are many other important and useful coverage options available. Your broker tries to sell them to you not just to make more money, but also to increase your coverage and policy satisfaction. Each additional option will cost a little more money, but the benefits far outweigh the initial premium investment.  Please note that the limits for each option are selected by the policyholder and coverage is subject to the selected limit.  Your insurance broker can help you select appropriate limits of coverage. THE BASICS Comprehensive Insurance. This insurance is truly comprehensive. There are almost no exclusions. If your car is damaged in an earthquake or a flood or a riot, those are covered. If you leave a lipstick on the front seat and it melts, that is covered. If a passenger pukes in the vehicle, or you accidentally leave a package of fish in the trunk over the weekend, that is covered. Subject to your deductible. Collision Insurance. It doesn’t matter if you hit a house, a tree, a mountain lion or another vehicle: if you collide with it, this insurance covers you. Subject to your deductible. Uninsured Motorist.  Just because auto insurance is mandatory doesn’t mean everyone has it. Murphy’s Law says that if you’re in an accident, the at fault driver probably isn’t going to be insured. Uninsured motorist coverage is an inexpensive way to make sure you aren’t ever subject...
5 Tips to Know Before Working for a Ridesharing Company

5 Tips to Know Before Working for a Ridesharing Company

by Galen Hayes, President of Hayes Brokers, originally published on Property Casualty 360   The ads are enticing: “Make $35/hour driving with us!” “You could make $800 a week or more!”   Ridesharing services, or Transportation Network Companies (TNCs), are everywhere. Uber alone signs up an estimated 20,000 drivers each month worldwide. You have a nice car and could use extra cash. You sign up to be a driver, install the app and soon you are driving people around and making money. Too good to be true? 1) It Isn’t “Ridesharing” The term “ridesharing” is a misnomer. Ridesharing is “the act or an instance of sharing motor vehicle transportation with another or others, especially among commuters” which sounds more like carpooling. This arrangement doesn’t involve a fee or contract. TNCs use apps to connect a driver with a passenger for a fee. This is one definition of “livery.” Livery or for-hire companies typically charge a fee, and some employment contract between company and driver exists. The definitions and usage of a personal vehicle are important when determining insurance coverage and even more important in the event of an accident. On December 31, 2013, six year old Sofia Liu, her mother and her brother were crossing the street in San Francisco when Syed Muzzafar struck them in a crosswalk, killing Sofia. Mr. Muzzafar identified himself as an Uber driver and indicated that he was driving around awaiting a new transaction when the accident occurred. Uber released a statement saying that the driver was “not providing services on the system at the time of the incident.” A $20 million wrongful death...

Roundup: Coverage That Saved The Day

Commercial insurance claims are filed everyday, but we tend to hear about them less often than we hear about a friend’s auto insurance claim from their recent accident. Commercial coverage is no different – we’re more likely to hear about a friend’s dental coverage for a filling than we are to hear about a fellow business owner who had the perfect coverage. We’ve rounded up three recent articles of real claims and the coverages that really saved the day for the business.   Business Income Coverage One busy Friday afternoon a furniture store experienced an electrical fire.  The damage to the building and contents was extensive.  Cleanup and restoration took about 6 weeks, during which time the store couldn’t be open to the public. The store averaged sales of about $25,000 per day.  Because the fire was a covered cause of loss under their property policy and they had business income coverage (also known as business interruption insurance), they were compensated for the days of lost income, less their waiting period (usually 72 hours).  This allowed them to cover payroll for their key employees and keep the bills paid while they waited for the store to reopen.   Employment Practices Liability Insurance A lawsuit was recently filed wherein a Pasadena mother is suing a corporation, claiming that her son committed suicide because of treatment he received while an employee of the organization.  While we won’t recount the specific claims here, EPLI coverage will respond to allegations of harassment, mental anguish, wrongful discipline, defamation, libel or slander.  Even if the allegations prove false, the lawsuit will generate legal fees that...