Business Insurance Trends
The business insurance world is changing at a fast pace. Technology is continually evolving and businesses must change or die. New technology also brings change in claims and litigation. Often lawsuits filed today are indicators of business liability claims tomorrow.
Business or commercial insurance coverage is available for almost every conceivable risk your business might face. The cost and amount of coverage of policies vary among insurers. Also the type of business you are in also impacts cost and coverage. You should discuss your specific business risks and the types of insurance available for your business with us.
Future Business Insurance Risks
This is one of the fastest growing areas of litigation. The average defense cost in 2013 was over $500,000. With more information being disrupted over the internet, claims are sure to increase. Intellectual property insurance coverage protects companies for copyright, trademark or patent infringement, and claims arising out of the company's operation.
Products Liability Insurance
Products liability insurance covers a wide range of potential claims related to the sale and distribution of products. These include any injuries or losses due to design defects, manufacturing defects, inadequate instructions or warnings, improper packaging or labeling, breach of warranty, and other similar issues. In addition to covering the associated legal costs, it can also provide coverage for damages awarded by a court in such cases. This type of insurance is critical for businesses that produce, distribute, or sell products as it helps protect them from financial losses if they are held liable for an injury caused by their product.
Healthcare Professional Liability
As we move well into healthcare reform, we are seeing increased litigation focused on medical providers of all kinds. In 2012, litigation against OB/GYN doctors accounted for over $3.5 billion in claims. Many states have enhanced medical malpractice laws designed to speed up and compensate injured patients.
Recent news that Russian cyber thieves stole billions of passwords should create heightened awareness about the risks and need for cyber insurance. The problem, Munich Re explains, stems from the fact that “most traditional property and liability policies provide no cover for cyber risks” although there still may be a duty to defend until such time as coverage is determined.
Social media is becoming popular with many businesses, and this increases the liability risks. The combination of personal use and business use combined with privacy laws increases the risk to business of being sued by employees and other third parties. There is definite increased risk of defamation, libel and slander for firms who don’t outsource the service.
Directors & Officers Liability
Most business owners don’t believe they can or will be sued despite statistics that show otherwise. The latest number by Chubb Insurance Company shows that about 20% of firms have been sued for directors and officers negligence. Claims can be made by shareholders, regulators, family members, customers, vendors and competitors.