Category Archives: General

Tips For High Risk Businesses Seeking Business Insurance

Starting from the bare basics

As a business owner in the Ontario region, you have probably already discovered that law requires you to purchase several forms of insurance, before you are even allowed to open your doors. With that being said, owning and operating a new business can be exciting, but depending on the type of business that you are getting into, you could be considered high risk by insurance providers. It doesn’t take an expert to realize that this is going to raise your commercial general liability insurance premiums. Not to mention, if you can even get insured at all. So, what exactly can you do about this, and are there any other factors that make providers consider you high risk? Below, you will learn some informational tips that will help you when, it comes to applying for high-risk business insurance.

shielding your business with insurance

What Makes You A High Risk Business

Every business out there comes backed with some risks. Unfortunately, that is just the way the world operates. However, you might be surprised to learn that 60 percent of businesses come with more inherent risks that other businesses. This basically means that there is a 60 percent chance that your insurance premiums will be higher than the other 40 percent of the Ontario businesses. So, what is it that exactly makes your business high-risk? Well, there are a variety of different factors that companies like Ontario business insurance in Canada consider when determining if a company is high-risk or not.

Industry Choice – It is true that some industries are destined to fail. For instance, around 50 percent of restaurants fail rather quickly, because they can’t make themselves stand out amongst the competition. Due to these facts, insurance providers consider the restaurant business high-risk.

First Time Business Owners – Everyone has to start somewhere, but unfortunately first time business owners are always considered high-risk. If you have a partner that has ran a business before, it might be best to get him or her to apply for the insurance, in order to lower your premiums.

High Claims Frequency – If you already have some previous policies with another insurers and have had several claims filed against you, this can make you a high-risk business.

High Crime Area – It might not seem fair, but depending on the location of your business you could also be considered high-risk. For instance, if you live in an area, where the crime is extremely high, or an area that it prone to flooding, most insurance providers could consider you high-risk.

Large Number Of Employees – More employees might make you more productive, but with employees there is a greater chance of one of them filing a claim, or doing something that results in a claim. Unfortunately, with more employees you are going to be considered higher risk by insurance providers.

How To Get Lower Premiums

Now, that you know how and why providers consider you a high-risk business, you are probably wondering what you can do to get you premiums lowered. Luckily for you and your businesssafety procedures for business, there are a variety of techniques that you can implement to ensure that you are getting the lowest premiums possible.

Adopt And Enforce Safety Procedures

Adopting and implementing safety plans amongst your employees can eliminate hazards that lead to injuries, accidents, and lawsuits. In fact, if you host weekly or monthly safety inspection and classes, it is possible that your insurance provider will take this is to account, when considering your premiums. However, just teaching about safety practices will not do any good unless you go to the extra lengths and make sure your employees are sticking to the all the safety procedures on a daily basis. Perform surprise inspections, and show up on jobs to make sure your employees are following the rules.

Eliminating High Risk Employees

If you are a large business, there is a good chance that you experience a high rate of turnover in employees. Before applying for a policy, or even if you have a current policy active, always make sure that you are reviewing your lists of employees and keeping it up-to-date. It is possible that you once had a high-risk employee with a bad driving record that no longer works for you. By informing your provider of these changes, you can go a long way in reducing your auto premiums.

However, if the individual still works for you it might be a good idea to consider banning their driving privileges or making them take driving classes. All of these actions can help reduce the amount of auto insurance you have pay on this individual.

Staying Up-To-Date With Your Coverage

As you already know businesses change from time to time. In fact, it is highly likely that your business has policies implemented that are no longer in use. For instance, you might have commercial property coverage for a high-risk building that you no longer own. Make sure that you are keeping track of all of your policies and keeping them up-to-date.

annual coverage reviews

Who Can Errors And Omissions Insurance Protect?

E&O is bought by hundreds of professionals in Ontario

Those that happen to run a business in Ontario will want to consider investing in E&O, or errors and omissions, insurance sooner rather than later. This type of insurance is specifically designed for professionals that could be sued due to their negligence. Those in a few specific lines of work will need the insurance more than others. To determine whether or not you should obtain E&O insurance, you should examine the information below or read more at the Insurance Journal website.

who needs liability insurance e&o

What It Does

First and foremost, you should familiarize yourself with the concept of errors and omissions insurance. It is a type of insurance, which is capable of protecting your clients from your mistakes. If you happen to make a mistake, the client could lose out financially. Believe it or not, a mistake that leads to financial losses can occur in almost any profession. When the mistake is made, the client will immediately seek repercussions and this could lead to a lawsuit. The errors and omissions insurance Ontario will protect your interest and help to ensure you do not have to pay out of pocket for your negligence.

Brokers

Brokers work with large quantities of money and they’re responsible for making the right moves to ensure the client makes money. There are plenty of stock brokers in Ontario and all of them need E&O insurance. The client may decide that the broker could’ve done more to invest their money more profitably. This could lead to a dispute and even a lawsuit. If it is found that the broker was negligent, the E&O insurance will protect them, while paying for the client’s loss.

Appraisers

Property appraisers are responsible for determine how much a specific piece of property is worth. This could include a house or even an antique. The client always wants to ensure that the appraiser’s estimate is right on the money, so they can earn as much as possible from the transaction. Unfortunately, appraisers aren’t perfect and mistakes can happen. This is where E&O insurance will enter the picture. The insurance will protect them from claims, while simultaneously helping to ensure the client is repaid for any losses they sustain.

Accountants

Accountants are required to manage their client’s books. They work with digits day in and day out. Over time, those digits can begin to blur together and this could lead to mistakes on the accountant’s behalf. Even the most cautious accountant in the industry can make a mistake at some point or another. This is why every accountant in the Ontario, Canada area needs errors and omissions insurance. If you do not want to pay out of pocket for mistakes, you’ll want to acquire this insurance and protect your business.

different types of professionals

Engineers

It is fairly obvious why some professions need this form insurance. Others have reasons, which are not so obvious. The truth of the matter is that you do not need to work directly with money to be responsible for a client’s financial loss. Engineers can make mistakes that could cause their clients millions, if not billions, of dollars. Therefore, all engineers need to protect themselves with this insurance! Failing to do so could result in your business being forced into bankruptcy.

Attorneys

Attorneys are responsible for helping settle disputes in the courtroom. And of course, it is always in their best interest to win for their client. Winning in the courtroom could allow the attorney and their client to bring home a handsome sum. Of course, this is often easier said than done. The attorney could overlook a key piece of evidence or historical caselaw that could cause their client to lose big. This will result in the client lashing out at their attorney and attempting to recuperate their losses. As an attorney, obtaining E&O insurance is truly a no-brainer and a necessity.

Home Inspectors

It should also be known that home inspectors need errors and omissions insurance. These individuals are required to carefully and thoroughly inspect a property in hopes of identifying all potential problems. The home inspector is there to protect the homebuyer, while allowing them to know precisely what they’re buying well in advance. Should the housing inspector overlook a key problem, it could wind up costing the client thousands of dollars. The client will definitely feel the need to sue the inspector to reobtain their losses. Therefore, E&O will prove to be incredibly beneficial.

Website Developers

As technology has entered the forefront of modern business, E&O insurance has been forced to evolve. Today, website developers also need to obtain an E&O insurance policy. While the reasons might not be so obvious, they’re plentiful. The website developer is often required to ensure the client’s site is safe and working up to par. Should something go awry and the website crash or become breached by a hacker, the client will most likely blame the website developer. And of course, the client will lose money for the duration that the website is offline. A hack could result in reputation damage as well.

This combination could result in hefty losses. This is why it is absolutely pertinent for these individuals to obtain E&O insurance. Failing to do so could put their business in risk! It is also possible for these professionals to run into copyright issues. This is yet another reason to make the investment as soon as possible.

Quality Control Experts

Quality control experts are required to carefully watch a company’s goods to ensure nothing has gone wrong and that the product is up to the company’s standard. Of course, problems can still arise. Recalls happen all the time, despite the quality control specialist carefully watching the assembly line. These individuals could very well be held liable for a major recall. Their employer may blame them for their losses and this is where E&O insurance will enter the picture. The insurance will protect the expert, while also ensuring they do not have to pay out of pocket for the losses.

Advertising Agencies

Advertising agencies have a big job trying to fulfill the wishes of a client. With all the major advertising sources available, it is truly difficult to find a reputable agency. With this said, it is even more difficult to come up with a unique advertisement slogan. There will always the risk of copyright infringement and this does not necessarily mean that the agency knew about the infringement, before the campaign was launched. If this occurs, the complainant will potentially sue the business and in turn, the business will need to file a claim against the agency’s errors and omissions insurance policy. This is a negligent act that sometimes cannot be avoided, but the agency may pay restitution, because it failed to perform its professional duties.

Do You Need Contractors Insurance?

If you work as a contractor then it is important that you take measures to protect yourself from accidents, and liability. Contractors insurance is often offered as a part of a business owners policy which includes general liability insurance, as well as other important policies such as workers’ compensation. This means that if anything goes wrong, there is a good chance that your business is covered.

Contractor insurance is a fundamental part of any form of contract – it is something that most worthy clients would expect you to have, and you’d struggle to do business with savvy companies without being able to prove contractors insurance canadathat you’re insured.

The insurance company will want to assess you to make sure that you are doing business in a safe way, and will want to see proof of your qualifications in most cases, and know what kind of business you are doing. They will underwrite claims up to a certain level, but only pay out if you can prove that you were acting in good faith and took all reasonable precautions.

It’s a good idea to make sure that clients sign agreements which define what you are doing, and what you are liable for – and if they demand that you do something that you would ordinarily advise against, you either refuse to do it, or make sure that they sign a (legally binding) waiver. You should seek advice about that sort of thing before drawing anything up.

Do not try to do business uninsured. Yes, a lot of people think of insurance as being optional – and even a luxury – but this is a bad way of looking at it. If you take chances with your business like that, you might get away with it for a while, but you’ll find that if something does go wrong it could be financially crippling. It makes sense to do everything in your power to protect yourself from that eventuality.

Not all jobs have contractors insurance as a legal requirement – in a lot of cases it is something that you can get insurance for contractorsaway with not having – but know that even though the law doesn’t force you to do something, that doesn’t mean that not doing it is a good idea. Think about things like brushing your teeth – you aren’t legally required to do that, or to exercise, either – but you still do it because it is the sensible, safe and healthy thing to do. Treat insurance like that, and you will have more chance of your business surviving.

Be sure to shop around for your insurance, though – you need insurance, of course, but that need doesn’t automatically mean that you should just pay through the nose for cover – shopping around could save you a lot of money while still getting you what you need. Different providers offer different levels of cover, and you could save a fortune with a bit of savvy shopping. So, look around and see what

Surety Bond Benefits For The Principal In The Picture

Benefits

As a Canadian, who deals with surety bonds, you have likely formulated the opinion that a surety bond does not benefit the principal in any form whatsoever. Although it might not provide the principal with a substantial amount of protection, it can offer other benefits. With this in mind, you should understand that the surety bond is not a scheme. It benefits both sides of the arrangement and you’ll find out how below.

Credence

choosing a brokerage for surety

Remember that it is usually required that you obtain a bond, before you can obtain a license. Although this can make the professional’s life a little more stressful, it can also help them gain credence and respectability. Why is this the case? Well, businesses, which can officially state that they’re licensed and bonded, will look much more professional and trustworthy in the eyes of the consumer. This could equate to added credence and increased sales.

Industry Trust

Aside from making you look much more professional in the eyes of the client, bonds can also help you acquire more trust from your industry counterparts. This is downright crucial for construction contractors in Canada. This is the case, because these individuals will consistently need to work alongside others. For instance, they’ll need to acquire materials from supplies. They’ll also need laborers. If you do not have the bonds needed, none of these individuals will be willing to give you the time of the day.

Your Foot In The Door

Another way that surety bonds can help the principal is the fact that they’re capable of helping you get your foot in the door. This is true in many circumstances, especially in regards to the bid bond. Without the bid bond, the principal would never be able to acquire the rights to any projects. And this is also true, when looking at the license bond. Without the bond, you won’t be able to get your license and will not be able to offer your services or products to the public. Therefore, a license bond such as one from Alberta, gives you the ability to put your foot in the food and begin offering your services and generating revenue.

principal benefits

Types of Surety Bonds

Understanding The Various Types Of Court Surety Bonds

The court systems within Canada work like a well-oiled machine. This is truly no coincidence. Measures have been put in place to prevent the systems from being overwhelmed with fraudulent cases. As someone, who is required to file a suit or an appeal, you will experience this first hand. There are numerous court bonds and you’ll be able to familiarize yourself with some of the most common below.

The Purpose

Within Canada, it is highly likely that you’ll be required to file a surety bond, when entering into court proceedings. A bond is truly pertinent and serves a handful of different purposes. First and foremost, the bond helps to ensure that you have credibility and financial stability. This provides reassurance that you will be able to pay any court losses should you lose the case. The bond also helps to decrease the risk of financial losses.

Judicial Surety Bonds

These are several different types of judicial surety bonds and they’re typically put in place to decrease losses, types of surety bondswhich may result from a court ruling. Unfortunately, qualifying for judicial bonds can be fairly difficult, since they’re risky to bond providers. Below, you’ll discover some of the different types of judicial surety bonds.

Appeal Bond – Anytime you do not agree with a court ruling you will have the opportunity to dispute the ruling through an appeal. In most situations, the judge will make you post a surety bond, before you’ll be able to file the appeal. The bond is incredibly beneficial for the Canadian courts, since it helps to dramatically reduce the potential for frivolous appeals. Secondly, the bond helps to ensure that you’ll pay the original judgment, if the appeal is lost.

Bail Bond – Most Canadian citizens will be familiar with the bail bond. You might not have been forced to acquire it, but you’ve probably heard of it at some point or another. Those that wish to be released from jail, until their court trial, utilize this bond. The bond helps to guarantee that the accused individual will actually show up for their trail. If they do not, the bail amount is forfeited. Most surety companies do not offer bail bonds, so you’ll most likely need to look elsewhere.

Probate And Fiduciary Bonds

There is another group of court surety bonds, which are known as probate and fiduciary bonds. These bonds are utilized when the court appoints someone to oversee another person’s assets. The bond helps to guarantee that the appointed individual will fulfill their duties and properly manage all funds. Suffice to say, it decreases the risk of the appointed individual making off with the money.attc construction

Custodian Bond – The custodian bond is typically required for people, who wished to become caregivers of minors, disable individuals or the elderly. It may also be referred to as a guardianship bond.

Executor Bond – Executor bonds are required for those that wish to execute the wills of a deceased individual. Before the court will officially name you the executor, you’ll be responsible for obtaining the bond.

Overall

When it comes down to it, court bonds are diverse and each is incredibly important. Whether you wish to file an appeal or become someone’s guardian, you’ll need to obtain a bond. It is best to learn about these things ahead of time, so you’ll be better prepared for the future.

How Long Does It Take To Become Bonded And Why You Need To Remain Patient

Surety Bond turn around times

A surety bond is a written agreement that usually involves a contractor and their clients. However, there are three parties that are usually involved with the bond process. Of course, you have the contractor (principal), client (obligee) and the third party, which is the surety company. This is the company that will underwrite the bond and make sure that the contractor is in compliant with the terms of the contract.

A surety bond basically guarantees the client that if any damage occurs on the job site, they are going to be fully covered. Even if you, as the contractor cannot afford to pay the damages, the surety company will take care of the cost, but this does not mean that you will get off scot-free. Most provinces and territories require contractors to be covered under a surety bond, before any work takes place. This is why it is important that you understand everything you possibly can about these bonds, before applying for one.

surety bond broker in Canada

Making Sure You Need A Bond

As mentioned above, most government entities require this type of bond, before a construction project can proceed forward. However, there are some instances that a surety bond will not be required. Before you begin work on a construction project in Canada, it will be imperative that you check with the appropriate government entity. It may turn out that in fact you do not even need a surety bond, but you still may want to get bonded. Since, some project owners will not even consider hiring a contractor that is not bonded.  

You Must Qualify For A Bond

Since a surety company will be on the hook for any damages or liabilities that take place on a job site, you are going to be vetted. A surety company will do an in-depth background check on you and your company.

The first and foremost important thing that a surety company is going to look at is your financial stability. When applying for a bond, if you want to speed up the entire process, be sure your CPA has all your financial statements prepared and ready to go. If your finances are in good shape, a surety company will consider you a responsible applicant. This will not only speed up the entire process, but it will save you quite a bit of money on the annual premium.  

Integrity is another big factor that surety companies consider. They are going to contact your business associates, suppliers, and former clients to see what they have to say about your company.

The last thing that a surety company is going to check out is the longevity of your company. The longer that you have been in business, the easier it will be to for the underwriter to make an informed decision. In fact, if you are a new company, you may find it much more difficult to get approved for a surety bond. While, this may seem unfair to a new contractor, it is imperative for surety companies to find sufficient evidence that all applicants are capable of fulfilling the terms of the contract.  

Finding A Surety Company

There is an unlimited array of companies in Canada that provide underwriting services. It will be imperative that you vet these surety companies, in the same way that they vet you. Also make sure that you compare the premiums for the surety bond. Even if the price differential is minimal, it can sometimes make a huge difference is choosing the correct surety company. Travelers Canada Can be a good start if you are looking for an insurance company.

Applying For A Bond

You will be happy to know that most surety bond companies will offer free quotes. However, there are some surety companies that require a small fee in order to get a quote. If you find a quote that is suitable to your need, you can apply for the bond by utilizing that company’s application.

You are going to be required to enter all sorts of information about yourself and your company, so be prepared in advanced for this. It is important that you know you will also need to sign a credit release agreement.

Know what type of bond you require, before moving forward. There are 3 common types of surety bonds that apply for surety bond nowyou will need to familiarize yourself with. First, is the bid bond, which ensures that the project owners that the contractor will enter the contract, if he or she is granted the winning bid.

Next, you have the performance bond. This bond guarantees that the work will be completed as agreed upon in the contract. Last, you have the payment bond, which ensures that the contractor will make payments to the subcontractors and suppliers. A lot of big construction projects will require that a contractor be bonded with all three of these bonds. However, this may not be necessary for some of the smaller construction or renovation projects.

Turnaround Times For Bonds

The amount of time that it takes to become bonded will really depend on you and the surety company. Every surety company has different procedures in which they will undergo, before they approve an application. For instance, some companies may do a financial and integrity check. However, another underwriter may just perform a financial check.

If you want to speed up the entire process, you can make sure that you have all your paperwork prepared in advance. Have your CPA and bank prepare all of your financial statements beforehand. You can even have a list of your business associates prepared with contact information.

Thanks to the technological advancements with the Internet, most surety companies are now offering bond Construction site in Canadaapplications and approvals online. It has been reported that this method is much faster and simpler. So, if time is something that you are concerned with, you may want to look into this online electronic process which can tell you the exact surety bond turn around times.

Do Surety Bonds Expire

Just like everything else in the world, a surety bond will expire after a certain amount time. The expiration date is something that will be agreed upon, when the bond is first issued. However, in most cases a bond will usually last for a year from the initial date of approval. It will be up to you, as a contractor to make sure that you keep up with this information.

In order to prevent your bond from expiring, all you have to do is send in your premium payment several weeks, before the expiration date.