International Business Insurance Explained
Dan Levenson September 29, 2015
Business growth is always an exciting experience, but with it comes a new set of responsibilities that many business owners don’t account for or may not even know about. A perfect example of this is expansion outside of the United States. Many of the clients we serve have operations in the US, especially in the New Jersey area. What is happening more and more is that they’re starting to get assignments outside of the country.
That’s where international business insurance comes in. This is especially true if you:
- Send your employees to other countries for business assignments,
- Perform service work in other countries,
- Have an international sales or operations office,
- Sell services outside of the country,
- Import finished products or finished goods,
- Are involved in international exhibitions, trade fairs or conferences, or
- Use the Internet to sell your services outside of the country.
If any or all of these are the case for your business, international business insurance could be a valuable asset for your company.
General Liability Insurance
While often this is for coverage in the US, general liability insurance extends to Canada as well. This insurance protects the assets a business has and pays for damages a company may incur.
For example: If someone is hurt on your property or someone causes injuries or property damage, the insurance will pay for monetary damages. In addition, this insurance will pay for your legal defense and for any award or settlement if someone sues you. Such damages can include compensatory damages, which is money paid for a loss or injury caused by an unlawful action of another or non-monetary losses.
Such insurance protects your business against many other types of claims too, such as slander, libel, misleading advertising, and copyright infringement. Often, insurance carriers offer an overriding policy that will extend coverage internationally for general liability insurance or workers compensation.
Businesses that open an office in another country may obtain local coverage, in addition to the available international policy. A local country contract might even require international insurance.
Professional Liability Insurance
Professional liability insurance is often international. It can protect a small business against a claim that the company’s work didn’t meet the client’s expectations. A company can—and in most cases, are required to—obtain the insurance before entering into a contract.
This coverage can provide protection against both actual negligence and alleged negligence. This would cover a business from actual or alleged omissions and errors made when providing professional services. This could include such things as failing to deliver a service, giving incorrect advice, or an omission.
Professional liability insurance also pays for a legal defense for a covered claim, for personal injury in cases of slander and libel, for acts committed as a part of the professional services of a business, and for damages caused by copyright infringement. It can provide coverage for claims for services provided anywhere in the world.
International Workers’ Comp
International worker’s compensation is beneficial for many companies because US worker’s compensation doesn’t always automatically provide international coverage. For this reason, a dedicated international workers’ compensation package is a necessity if you have employees who work long or short-term in another country.
Such insurance is especially necessary if you do business or have employees in a Third World country. Businesses are not usually required by state law to have such insurance, as they are to carry domestic worker’s compensation insurance, but it is often the wisest thing to do.
Traditionally, if one of your workers is injured in another country, such insurance will pay benefits based on the state where the person was hired. Foreign voluntary workers’ compensation covers endemic diseases, including malaria and dengue fever, besides standard medical and indemnity benefits.
In addition to the aforementioned specifics, international business insurance pays emergency medical expenses for management or employees traveling abroad, as well as some expenses for evacuation. If you happen to open an office in another country, we can provide local coverage on top of your current international policy. Your local country contract might need such a service.
Contact Jason Levenson to get a low-cost quote for the international coverage.