A Quick Guide To Insurance

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Beyond the traditional types of insurance are a variety of specialty policies offering coverage you may or may not need. They include:

  • Weather. The impact of weather on businesses is more complex than you might think. There's the obvious, such as coverage in case weather affects events like fairs, festivals, concerts, sporting events or filming. But many other businesses are weather-sensitive and can suffer loss of profits due to weather--too much or too little rain, snow, heat, cold, sun or wind.
  • Flood and earthquake. Coverage for damage caused by floods and earthquakes is not included in ordinary homeowners and commercial policies. Flood insurance, which also covers damage caused by mud slides, is available through a program run by the Federal Insurance Administration; contact your agent or call (800) 427-4661 for more information.

Earthquake coverage is available as additional coverage to standard property and casualty policies. In earthquake-prone areas, this insurance is relatively expensive.

  • Foreign-product liability. Often, foreign manufacturers don't understand U.S. product liability exposures or are unwilling or unable to accept responsibility in the event of litigation. If you distribute, or incorporate into your product, items that are manufactured by foreign suppliers, this coverage will protect you and your suppliers.
  • Employment practices. Defending your company against an employment-related claim such as discrimination, sexual harassment or wrongful termination can be financially devastating. A number of insurers offer policies that pay both legal costs and damages.

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This article was originally published in the October 1998 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: A Quick Guide To Insurance.

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