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Shelley Lewis Insurance Services -- Blog

Additional Insured Endorsements - What do they cover?

by Shelley Lewis on 08/20/14

"What is an additional insured endorsement and why do I need it?"  As an agent, we hear this all the time.  I would like to take a few minutes to address this and hopefully answer the questions you might have. 

An additional insured is an endorsement that is attached to a certificate of insurance for your policy which either identifies the additional party by name or by a general description contained in a blanket additional insured endorsement.  A certificate of insurance endorsement endorses the policy and adds coverage to your policy.  The only way to add coverage to your policy is through an endorsement.  Therefore, if you have a client who requests to be added as additional insured the policy will need to be endorsed to include this client. 

An additional insured is a person or organization that enjoys the benefits of being insured under an insurance policy, in addition to the policy holder.  Most often it applies when the policy holder needs to provide insurance coverage to additional parties so that they enjoy protection from a risk that arises out of the policy holder's conduct or operations.

If you have a policy with a blanket additional insured endorsement coverage, be aware that in order for your policy to provide coverage, the insurance company will require a written contract that requires the additional insured status.   A  blanket additional insured does not identify the additional insured by name, but by a "blanket" general description that will automatically apply to many persons.  In liability insurance, all directors, officers, and employees of a named insured company may also enjoy the status of being an insured, as long as they are acting in their capacity of carrying out the business of the named insured company. They obtain insured status only while they pursue the business of the named insured. If they pursue their own affairs, they lose this coverage. This extension of coverage to people or clients with a relationship to the named insured company is accomplished via the "Who Is An Insured" section of the liability policy. In other cases, the original named insured wishes to extend coverage to others who would not come within these standard categories. To extend coverage further, Additional Insured Endorsements are added to the policy.

General contractors often require subcontractors to name the general and the owner on the subcontractor's policies. In this way, if the general contractor or owner are sued due to an incident arising out of the work of the subcontractor, the subcontractor's insurance policy will protect the general contractor and owner.

The cost of adding an additional insured to a property or liability insurance policy varies from policy to policy. If you have a blanket additional insured on the policy it will most likely be included the premium.  However, to add particular wording such as waiver of subrogation, the rates will vary depending upon the insurance company. 



What Kind of Insurance Should You Have For A Business?

by Shelley Lewis on 02/21/14

The main coverage any business should have is commercial general liability.  General liability insurance covers property damage and bodily injury that occurs out of your operations.  You may also need property insurance to cover any property that you have an insurable interest.  

If you have vehicles for your business you may also need commercial auto coverage.  If you have a personal auto policy make sure to check with your insurance company that they will cover any commercial or business operations as some companies don't.  If they don't, you can purchase a commercial auto policy.  A commercial auto policy can also provide coverage for hired and non-owned autos used in and for the business.  

In the State of California, if you have any employees, even one part-time employee, you must carry workers compensation insurance. Workers compensation insurance provides protection for both the employer and employee in the event of an on the job injury or death.  

Additional coverage that some businesses may need are inland marine coverage which may cover property in transit and/or equipment breakdown.  Inland marine policies have optional coverage that can be chosen for each policy.  

Builders risk insurance provides coverage when building or remodeling a structure and may be required by a bank if there is a loan on the property. This policy provides coverage for the structure against damage, theft, and vandalism.  

Business income insurance can provide coverage if you own an office building and you incur damages to the building and your tenants are unable to occupy the rented offices after the damages and you suffer loss of income due to the damages. 

Pollution liability insurance is a big one these days.  This policy provides coverage for anyone who may knowing or unknowing pollute the environment due to their operations.  This can pertain to hazardous wastes, asbestos, mold issues and many other pollutants.  

In this current market and economy if you own any commercial property and it is vacant for a period of time, you may want to consider Vacant Property Coverage. Please check with your carrier on your current policy as they only cover vacant properties for a short period of time.  The Vacant Property Policy will provide extended coverage for your property during prolonged vacancies.  

There are many other types of business insurance that are available depending on your operations.  To get the best coverage for all your coverage needs, please discuss your options with a licensed insurance agent.