Data from Statista show that Americans bought more than 6 million cars by the end of 2018, and more than 270 million vehicles were traveling on American roads, including, among others, trucks, buses, motorcycles, and passenger cars. Take note that the majority of these vehicles run on gas or diesel fuel, which means gas is a major business in the US. To give you an idea, per the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS), more than 122,000 convenience stores are currently selling gas and diesel fuel in the US, generating more than $200 billion sales every year.

This is in addition to over 11,000 stand-alone gas stations across the US that also sell gas and diesel fuel. Still, like any other business, gas stations, too, require insurance coverage to protect themselves from business-related risks. Read on to learn more about insurance plans for gas stations.

General Liability

Under the law, general liability insurance coverage is optional. However, as the owner of a gas station, you should carry this type of insurance because, as the name suggests, general liability coverage protects your gas station against everyday events and hazards including, among others:

• Medical expenses
• Third-party property damage and medical expenses
• Legal costs

As you’re probably aware, there are many potential hazards at a gas station. For example, at no fault of a customer, a pump can malfunction and spill fuel, igniting a fire that damages the customer’s vehicles. In such a situation, your liability insurance coverage would pay for the resulting third-party property damage and medical expenses, if any.

Business Owners Policy (BOP)

Consisting of general liability and other types of asset protection policies, a BOP is usually a particularly important coverage because it covers your business against financial challenges and losses of business assets. Some of the named perils on a typical BOP include:

• Equipment Breakdown – In the event your gas station equipment breaks down, a BOP will cover the repair or replacement costs.

• Buildings and Contents – A BOP covers both movable and immovable assets. In other words, it covers both the building structure and the property inside the building, including interior furnishings. This means that if a named peril, such as an accidental fire burns your gas station store to the ground, your BOP policy will cover both your property and building losses. If the extent of damage forces you to close your business till the repairs are finished, both your repair cost and loss of income are covered by BOP.

• Loss of Electronic Data – If you use digital technology to run your gas station, such as an inventory management system and accounting software, there is a risk you may lose your data due to cyber attacks or hardware failure. This can force you to spend a significant amount of money to recover or restore your data. However, with a BOP, you wouldn’t necessarily have to pay for these costs out-of-pocket.

• Employee Dishonesty Coverage – At a gas station, employee dishonesty comes in many different forms ranging from stealing money from the cash register to fuel theft. Employee theft accounts for nearly 40% of all retail losses, as reported by Retail Knowledge. Fortunately, a BOP can protect your gas station from losses related to employee theft.

Workers’ Compensation

In addition to liability insurance and BOP, you also need to carry workers’ compensation insurance to cover the medical costs related to workplace injury or illness as well as to comply with the law.

Investing sufficiently on your insurance for gas stations can protect you from incurring heavy losses in the future. Do you have additional questions about gas station insurance? Contact the experts at First Insurance Solutions today. We are eager to help you with all your coverage needs.

Whether you are an established business or a small start-up, having a business insurance policy is a must. Business insurance can provide coverage for your company against property damage, employee-related risks, legal liability, and damages caused by theft and natural calamities. Despite knowing the importance of having business insurance, some companies refuse to buy it due to the high premium rates. Business insurance rates won’t be expensive for all companies and vary for every company depending on several factors.

Here are the factors that influence business insurance rates:

Your Property

Your business insurance rate differs depending on your property’s location and what you do on and with your property. The former helps determine your surrounding, and the latter enables the evaluation of associated business risks. Insurance providers will also assess the condition of your company’s building before calculating your premium rate. You will need to pay higher premiums if your roof is not in good condition or live in an area that is more likely to cause weather-related damages.

However, you can lower your premium rates by switching to a different location, outsourcing any risky tasks, or fixing your property.

Workers’ Compensation

Having workers’ compensation insurance is essential to compensate your employees for work-related injuries and deaths. Your premium rates may vary based on how much you pay for your employees and what they do for a living. Your insurance provider will also verify your payroll statement.

To lower the premium cost, take the necessary actions that can prevent workplace injuries and accidents. You can train your employees on the rules they need to follow for safe working. Make sure your employees drive safely and wear personal protective equipment if required.

You can appoint managers to monitor your employees and make sure they are safely carrying out all tasks. Screen your employees’ health regularly and replace or repair old equipment and machines to avoid workplace accidents and injuries.

Business Liability

Your liability varies depending on the type and size of your business. Carpenters, hotels, and computer programmers have different liability classifications on their insurance policies.

Insurance providers will verify your sales and payroll statements. Higher sales result in higher liability. More sales mean more customers will come to your company or site. Even if one thing goes wrong, it affects all of them, so your premium rate increases.

You can lower your premium rates by hiring experienced workers, having safety policies in place, and training your employees on safety standards.

One of the crucial factors your insurance provider will look for is how safe your company is. If you run your business without frequent interruptions or losses, insurance providers will consider you less risky and oblige to offer coverage.

Run your business with best practices, work on these factors, and save some cash on your business insurance rates. Are you looking for an affordable business insurance policy? Contact the experts at First Insurance Solutions today. We look forward to assisting you with all your insurance needs.

Your business might have commercial auto insurance to protect your employees and company vehicles from accidents, collisions, theft, and vandalism. However, do you know your employees’ driving record and experience can impact your premium rates and reject claims in certain situations? Many companies hire employees randomly and experience personal injury lawsuits or pay higher premiums. When hiring a new employee for operating your company vehicles, check everything about their driving, including:

Experience or Driving Record

It is essential to thoroughly check the employee’s driving record and experience and make sure their driving history is clean or does not feature any serious violations. If they are inexperienced or faced warnings for violating the traffic or driving rules, your insurance claims might get rejected, or you may end up paying higher premiums.

Contact Previous Employers

You can contact the employee’s previous employers and ask about their driving record while working with them. Such communication will help you get some handy information about the employee, and you can decide accordingly.

Prior Experience

Check if the employee has any prior experience in operating any other vehicle than their own.
Besides these, you must watch out for these red flags as well before hiring a new employee:

Speedy Driving

Going beyond the speed limit is illegal and can result in penalties and suspend the driving privileges for up to one year. Two or more tickets a year on the driving record for speedy driving is a sign of violation you must consider.

DWI/DUI

Either driving while impaired by drugs (DWI) or driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) is a crime and results in penalties. If your prospective employee has been warned or penalized for this reason, you should reconsider hiring them or ask the reason behind that incident.

Excessive Acceleration

Accelerating too quickly or fast can be dangerous, as it causes unwanted noise, which can disturb or divert others and may result in accidents or collisions. Excessive acceleration is illegal and considered a violation. Check if your prospective employee has got previous warnings related to such issues.

Lost or Inactive Driver’s License

You must check whether the employee has a valid driver’s license. As per the law, every driver should have a valid driving license. If an employee involved in a car accident does not have a license, your insurance won’t cover the accident and pay for the damages.

Accidents

Check for any accidents on the employee’s driving record, both professionally and personally.

If you want to avoid paying higher premiums, being liable for the damages, or any unnecessary hassles, make sure to check these things before hiring a new employee.

Hiring an employee who has a clean driving record ensures that you are hiring a responsible person to operate your company vehicles, which can save you time and money in the long run. Are you looking for the best affordable commercial auto insurance? Contact the experts at First Insurance Solutions today. We are ready to answer all your insurance-related questions and help you with your coverage needs.

After going through the repercussions of the pandemic, it’s time to rebuild your small business. However, rebuilding your small business after COVID-19 can involve several risks, from liability issues to threats of physical damage. Re-imagining the way you do things is key to business success.

Take Stock of the Books

It is important to understand the level of damage in terms of losses, deficits, and debt, so you can design a concrete plan to move ahead. Analyzing the books can also help you uncover any payments owed to you or costs you can cut back on, giving you the power to make decisions that benefit your business.

Does Your Business Model Need to Evolve?

The cultural shifts that come with COVID-19 are forcing businesses to evolve fast. For example, you may have to sell your products or services online if you were not doing so. There are several ways to rebuild a small business and see how yours can respond to changing community needs.

Funding the Future of Your Business

With a plan in place, you may also need some capital to kick-start things. Your financial forecast must be well-thought-out, with a solid repayment plan to back it. If you can raise funds from friends and family, consider designing an appealing pitch.

Set New Goals and Timelines

Putting timelines to every task and deciding who it will be assigned to is key to rebuilding a small business after COVID-19. Many small businesses also get family members to pitch in. So, be open to asking for help. Delegation and doing things on time is key.

Design a Crisis Strategy

Since small businesses are vulnerable, developing more than one business model is a good idea. Having lean teams with diverse skills, building a remote work plan, and having some form of insurance to mitigate such disasters will help you rebuild your small business after COVID-19 faster.

Follow these tips to help your business overcome the challenges. Also, get the right business coverage to protect your company during a crisis. For assistance, contact the experts at First Insurance Solutions. We will help you get the best insurance plan for your business.