Wadler, Perches, Hundl & Kerlick is preeminent among major Texas law firms in representing a broad spectrum of policyholders, brokers, and agents in liability insurance coverage matters. We also represent select insurers and reinsurers who seek our expertise and experience in particularly complex insurance problems with significant potential exposure.
The attorneys from Wadler, Perches, Hundl & Kerlick litigate and arbitrate virtually all types of coverage disputes. We routinely handle first and third party policies, duty to defend issues, questions of contractual indemnity, and excess and reinsurance matters, striving to negotiate creative solutions on each case.
In addition, our attorneys can provide clients with a pre or post-loss coverage review of their entire risk management program, identifying potential gaps in coverage and highlighting significant areas of concern. Our attorneys have experience in virtually all types of policies, including first party property coverage, CGL, business interruption, product recall, D&O, professional liability, employment practices and sexual misconduct, energy and maritime, builder’s risk, offshore energy, E&O, reinsurance, property damage liability, and pollution and contamination.
In this video, Attorney Ray Kerlick talking about the elements of a small business liability insurance policy.
Mr Kerlick was excellent. Very patient, took time to explain/translate legal terms and concepts so that we could understand and make informed decisions. Thank you.
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Summary of the Business Liability Insurance Video
– Hi. My name is Ray Kerlick. I’m a partner with the law firm of Wadler Perches Hundl & Kerlick. Today I want to talk to small business owners about liability insurance. Hopefully, each of you have discussed in contact with an insurance broker about obtaining liability insurance for your business. I want to talk about some of the provisions of liability insurance, how it can assist you, and the types of risks that it covers.
Business Insurance Provides for Protection Against a Judgment and Legal Defense
It’s important to know, first of all, that liability insurance provides for two things. First of all, it helps you avoid a judgment against your business for a claim whether it be personal injury or property damage. It also provides a second coverage, which is to defend any lawsuit seeking those type of claims or that type of damages from your business.
Both of these provisions are very important and potentially valuable to you as a business. That’s money that you don’t have to allocate out of your business to cover those types of liabilities. However, it is important to make sure, first of all, that you have the right kind of insurance to cover the type of business you have to make sure that the liability insurance you have has provisions to give you the maximum coverage that you can for the type of money that you’re paying in premium, and finally, also to make sure that you are thinking about all the risks that you need to have covered.
Most Business Liability Insurance in Texas is Occurrence Based
So, from a liability insurance standpoint, keep in mind that most liability insurance in Texas is occurrence based. What does that mean? That means if there is an occurrence that results in a claim either for personal injury or bodily damage, it will cover it, but only if that occurrence happens within the dates of the active term of that policy. If they fall either before or after, it doesn’t cover, so time intervals when we’ve got gaps in liability insurance coverage are very dangerous for your business. And they should be avoided if possible at all costs.
Check the Policy Limits to Ensure They Meet Your Needs
Secondly, let’s talk about limits of insurance. In most the of time, these limits are determined by either your agent or by some other contract that you may be asked to provide a certain limit of insurance. What you should understand is there are multiple limits in every liability policy. There is not just one. Most people will say, “Well, we want a $1 million liability policy in order to come out and handle this job” whatever it may be. If you look at the actual cover note or sheet that shows the different types of coverages available on your policy, you will see typically, there are multiple different levels of insurance. Each of them is slightly different. Each of these types of coverages cover a different aspect of your business and a different type of claim that could be brought against you. They may have no relationship to your actual risk. It’s just how those policies were packaged.
Now the good news is you can almost always up the limits on any specific coverage simply by asking for either an additional endorsement or simply by asking for more coverage. And for the most part, additional coverage cost a lot less than having to go out and get a new policy to cover this in the future. And so adding additional layers of coverage, typically, has a cost-benefit analysis, which greatly increases as you go up in the type of coverage.
Now, there may be certain coverages that you have that you absolutely have no need for. This is money that’s wasted that frankly could probably go toward adding to the limits on the policy coverage that you really do need. Now, there are many good agents out there that can help you with these types of issues, but recognize that some of these issues are legal issues. And certainly, the types of risks that you as a small business have are directly related to legal problems, including how you legally set up your company.
Meet with Your Attorney to Review Your Business Insurance Coverage and Limits
You should speak with the attorney who assists you with corporate matters to review at renewal time what type of coverage you’re placing, and make sure it meets the risks of your company and protects the assets that you need protected. We look forward to talking with you about this or any other issue. Thank you for your time.
We have five offices in three counties across Southeast Texas. Our offices are in Wharton and El Campo in Wharton County, Fulshear and Richmond in Fort Bend County, and Bay City in Matagorda County.