In our newest blog post, we break out the Business Owner’s Policy.
One of our goals at eQuoteMD is to help doctors and medical professionals think about the kinds of routine challenges and decisions they have to face every day, not just in terms of medical malpractice insurance, but in the broader course of a life in medicine. Sometimes that may mean looking at questions of legislation or litigation, technology, or market trends, but other times it’s the more mundane things that nevertheless make a real difference both financially and practically. Today we’re looking at one of the latter; today we’re considering the humble BOP or Business Owner’s Policy. It may not be sexy, but it’s something that many of you have or should have, and it’s every bit as valuable as your malpractice insurance in certain circumstances.
First of all: what is a BOP (besides a funny sounding acronym)? A BOP, or Business Owner’s Policy, is an insurance product that allows you to bundle at least two primary coverage areas into one policy, typically saving money in the process. If you own a small or medium sized business you need at least property and liability coverage. Property coverage, just like in the case of your home, covers your physical space and the property associated with it in the event of a fire, natural disaster, flood, vandalism, etc. Ideally, you want to find a policy that offers what is called open-peril, or all risk coverage as opposed to a named-peril policy. With an open-peril policy your coverage is available for any event not specifically excluded whereas, with a named-peril policy only the occurrences named in the policy are covered. A named-peril policy can be fine if what it names is sufficient, but an open-peril policy gives you broader coverage.
On the liability side, the BOP will cover you against slip-and-fall type lawsuits, personal and property damage, advertising injury (slander, libel, copyright infringement, etc.), and other potential liabilities that can come up in a suit from a third party. As with property insurance, this is a coverage that you need to have anyway. A BOP just allows you to save money by bundling it with your property coverage.
In addition to saving you money a BOP usually offers you some perks like coverage for loss of income associated with a covered event. So, say a water line breaks and your office is flooded. You have to close your practice for a week to let the professionals come in and clean things up, treat to prevent mold, and make sure everything is dried out. With a good BOP, not only would the cleanup and repairs be covered, but at least a substantial portion of the income you lost in the course of having the practice closed for a week would be provided to you by your policy. That’s a nice benefit.
But typically you can bundle other optional coverages into a BOP as well, and a good carrier will offer these as add-ons so that you or your broker can tailor a policy to your specific needs.
One of the most valuable coverages that many carriers are now offering to bundle into your BOP is cyber liability or data breach insurance. This is great because it’s more than just an insurance policy; typically it’s a service. With cyber liability insurance you should get not only coverage for defense and liability in the event that you are sued because of an alleged data breach, but also access to professionals who can help you develop and maintain cyber security and compliance with regulations. With the new HIPAA requirements for data security this is a valuable asset indeed. This kind of coverage will also provide you with help in alerting affected parties of a breach and many will even help defray the cost of good faith advertising after a breach has been restored. Cyber liability insurance is only going to become more valuable and necessary as we move into a world of mandated digital records and expanding cyber security regulation.
Employment Practices Liability Insurance or EPLI is another coverage that can sometimes be bundled into your BOP. EPLI covers all the internal types of liabilities that can arise in a business environment such as sexual harassment, wrongful termination, discrimination, etc. Again, this may seem like a small thing, and you may look around your office and think that none of the people you work with would ever sue you, but typically a BOP will either include a modest amount of EPLI coverage that can be upgraded at a reasonable price or offer it as an add-on for a minimal cost.
Other coverage areas that can be added on to some business owners’ policies include:
- identity theft insurance
- spoilage insurance (valuable if you have a lab)
- special coverage for important documents
- vehicle coverage
- and even workers’ compensation insurance.
So, as we said at the beginning, talking BOPs may not be the most stimulating thing we ever do on the eQuoteMD blog, but it’s probably one of the most practical. As a final note, we would remind you that finding a good broker is a key to getting good coverage. As you can see, while the BOP in itself is a fairly simple insurance instrument, the ability to bundle and tailor other coverages into the policy is what makes it such a useful and versatile product. Find a good broker, let them help you figure out what you need, and you can probably have a solid policy in place within 24 hours that will cover all your business insurance needs.
To contact eQuoteMD.com with your questions about BOP, you can reach us at 1(855) 857-8746 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This post was written by Justin Donathan.
Justin at Google+