Tag Archives: Business Liability

Garage Keeper’s Liability

Hand of car mechanic with wrench. Auto repair garage.Garage Keeper’s Liability

Surprise! Your customer’s car isn’t covered under your Liability policy, even a Garage Liability policy.The vehicles you work on are worth multiple thousands of dollars. If there was a fire in your garage, you could be held responsible for loss to your client’s property. Business owners who operate towing companies, garages and auto repair shops not only transport or fix their customers’ vehicles, but also are entrusted with keeping the property safe while it is in their control. Most policies, even garage liability policies, do not cover these losses.

A Garage Keepers Liability policy protects you if a customer’s vehicle is damaged while it is at your business. While basic garage liability coverage pays for injury or property damage caused by an accident from the business operations, it does not protect your customers’ property. Garage Keepers insurance policies are designed to help you protect your customers’ property and your business in the event of fire, theft, extreme weather, or vandalism at your business. Garage Liability and Garage Keepers Liability are designed to complement each other and ensure that you don’t have any gaps in coverage. Additional coverage can be added to include coverage for the contents of your customers’ vehicles, such as the items in their glove box or trunk and any non-factory stereo equipment.

While this may seem complicated, the experienced professionals at Cobb-Hall Insurance can provide solutions designed specifically for your needs.

LLC vs. Individual – Rental Property Owner

 LLC vs. Individual – Rental Property Ownermeter

Should you form an LLC if you own rental property? The decision to form an LLC is complicated and each landlord’s situation is different. The first LLC came into existence in the U.S. in 1977 in Wyoming, since then all 50 states have enacted LLC legislation.  Here are some pros and cons to  help you decide if an LLC is right for you.

PROS

  • Protect your personal assets from lawsuits: If someone sues you when set up as an LLC, your personal assets are protected. Only the LLC’s assets are at risk.
  • Pass-through taxation: Pass-through taxation is an IRS related ruling allowing LLC profits to be passed directly to the owner. Taxes are paid on by the individual, avoiding double taxation.
  • Easier management responsibilities: LLCs are much more easily managed than corporation or partnerships and many states offer reduced fees.

CONS

      • It costs money to set up an LLC: You can set up an LLC with the State Corporation Commission and pay a small fee. Many people choose to use an attorney or hire a services company. These options cost from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars.
        • Keep your money separate: It is important that you never mingle your LLC money with your personal money. The slightest infraction could cause a litigant to claim the LLC is not a separate entity, causing you to lose any LLC protection.
  • Mortgages can complicate: If you already have a rental dwelling with a mortgage on it, changing to an LLC could look like a sale to your mortgage company. If you have a due-on-sale clause in your mortgage it may cause the mortgage company to require payment in full.

 

The decision to form an LLC is complicated and each landlord’s situation is different. Consider the above information and consult with your CPA or attorney to see if an LLC benefits you. Then let the experts at Cobb-Hall provide insurance solutions designed specifically for your needs.

Pollution Liability

You May Need Pollution Liability Coverage

When many people think of pollution insurance, they picture large factories with billowing Smoking power plantsmokestacks, but many small businesses run the risk of pollution lawsuits. Businesses that use environmentally unsafe chemicals such as a hair salon, dry-cleaning service, garages, junkyards, manufacturers or those in the construction industry all face potential lawsuits.

Pollution insurance is created specifically to manage the costs associated with pollution clean-up and to cover liability claims for pollution-related injuries, illnesses or deaths. As damage awards for these claims can be extremely costly, having pollution insurance can protect your business from severe financial challenges or even bankruptcy.

Policies cover many types of small-scale pollution that cause contamination of soil, groundwater or property and air-borne contaminates like smoke and emissions. Many policies will even cover pollution that occurred in the past before the harmful effects of waste-products was known. Most policies include the following:

    • Legal defense fees  to provide your company with attorneys to defend you in a pollution-related lawsuit
    • Clean-up efforts compensate for costs if your company is required by law to clean up contaminants
  • Operations coverage is for businesses that use chemicals or hazardous materials. The two types are:  Catastrophic-for a sudden pollution-inducing event such as a fire or explosion     Non-catastrophic- which covers if pollution occurs over a long period of time and affects neighboring businesses or residents
  • Property transfer coverage protects property owners if they purchase a parcel of land or a building that was contaminated or otherwise polluted by a previous owner

Contact Cobb-Hall to review your pollution liability exposures and provide you with innovative solutions

Excerpts from: 2017 Trusted Choice, Independent Insurance Agents