2014

Must-Know Insurance Policies for Outdoor Sign Companies

Whether your business makes wooden signs, street signs, or other custom signs, your company needs business insurance to protect it from liabilities that could lead to expensive lawsuits.

No matter how careful you are, every business is exposed to the kind of situations that cause lawsuits. That's just a part of business. Customers come through your doors and bring risk with them. There are several insurance policies your business needs to cover these liabilities…

General Liability Insurance for Exterior Sign Businesses

General Liability Insurance, one of the insurance policies that almost all businesses have to purchase by law, protects your sign business's interactions with third parties. Third parties include customers, contractors, vendors, deliverymen, and other people not employed by your business.

General Liability Insurance can pay for lawsuits when these third parties sue you over…

  • A sign installation that damaged their property.
  • A sign that fell and injured someone.
  • A slippery sidewalk outside your offices (or other environmental hazard) that led to an injury.
  • A sign that infringes on a third party's trademark.

If your business injuries someone, damages their property, infringes on their copyrights / trademarks, or causes an advertising injury, your could be exposed to a general liability lawsuit.

Lawsuits bring all sorts of costs along with then. Between the witnesses, evidence, lawyers, and other costs, your business could be facing tens of thousands' of dollars worth of costs (if not more). Judgments or settlements (the "damages" you pay the other party) are often five or six figures on their own.

Small businesses can't absorb those kinds of costs. For a free insurance quote on business insurance, contact insureon today.

Property Insurance for Wood Sign, Custom Sign, Street Sign, and other Sign Design and Production Businesses

Property Insurance helps your sign business recover from unexpected losses of property caused by…

  • Fire.
  • Theft.
  • Vandalism.
  • Covered weather events (like rainstorms, winter storms, and windstorms).
  • Tornadoes.

As a sign maker, you probably have a lot of tools and equipment (scaffolds, printing equipment, painting equipment) that would cost thousands to replace if they were lost or damaged. Property Insurance can cover this equipment, as well as your inventory, supplies, offices, furniture, and other commercial property.

Custom sign makers may also have a lot of chemicals on their property. A sign painter may have cans of lacquers, paint strippers, and other highly flammable material in their workshops. If this material catches fire, the business could sustain such substantial losses it would be forced to close its doors.

When a fire or weather event damages your building and your business can't function at its normal capacity, Property Insurance can also cover your loss of income. Business Interruption Insurance can pay for the income you lose while your business rebuilds.

Business Owner's Policies for Sign Makers

Business Owner's Policies (also called BOPs) combine Property and General Liability coverage into one insurance policy, which usually costs less than purchasing the two policies on their own.

BOPs are only available to small businesses that meet certain "lower-risk" requirements. In order to purchase this insurance, your business…

  • Can't want more than 12 months of income insurance with its Property Insurance's Business Interruption Coverage.
  • Can't work in a high-risk environment / profession.
  • Can't have large-scale offices or other commercial property to insure.
  • Can't employ more than 100 people.

For businesses that meet these requirements, BOPs can be a smart choice to get basic insurance coverage for a more affordable price.

Cyber Liability Insurance for Exterior Signage Companies

Cyber Liability Insurance (also called Cyber Risk Insurance or Data Breach Insurance) protects sign companies from the costs they'll have to pay when their data is hacked.

Cyber criminals (i.e., hackers) will try to break into your network in order to steal money from your bank accounts or from your clients. Hackers can steal from your customers (or vendors) if they find bank account information, credit card data, or other personal data on your computers.

Your business can purchase one or both of the following types of Cyber Liability Insurance…

  • First Party Response.
  • Third Party Defense and Liability.

First Party Response is the coverage that most sign businesses need. This covers your business's response to a cyber attack on its own computers. Among other things, this insurance pays for…

  • Crisis management in the days after the attack (to guide your business through its legal and other responses).
  • Forensic investigations into who committed the attack and how they breached your security.
  • Public relations and advertising campaigns to fix your business's damaged reputation.

Third Party CLI covers attacks on your clients' computers. You may be wondering why your business would have to cover that liability. For sign makers, this insurance might not be relevant, but for IT-related businesses or other companies that work on other people's computers, this insurance protects their liabilities if they make a mistake that leads to a client's computers being hacked.

Errors and Omissions Coverage for Exterior Sign Businesses

Errors and Omissions Insurance (also called E&O Insurance or Professional Liability Insurance) protects sign painters from lawsuits about the quality or delivery of their work.

Covered lawsuits include claims that sign makers…

  • Made mistakes or errors on their signs.
  • Failed to deliver the quality of sign the customer expected.
  • Delivered poor or incomplete work.

Sign businesses can be sued by dissatisfied customers when their products fail to live up to expectations or don't deliver the results the customer wanted. Because the effects of marketing can be subjective, sign makers could face lawsuits over difficult-to-quantify results.

Here's an example. A custom sign producer makes signs for a dry-cleaning company that is attempting to rebrand. After the sign company installs the new sign, the dry-cleaner's sales don't respond. The drycleaner owners blame the signs, claiming they didn't look as sharp as the initial designs. In this situation, Errors and Omissions Insurance can protect the sign maker's professional liabilities.

Workers' Compensation Insurance for Wood Signs, Custom Signs, Street Signs, and other Sign Design and Production Businesses

For any business with employees, Workers' Compensation Insurance (also commonly called Workers' Comp or Workman's Comp) is usually required by state governments.

This insurance pays for lawsuits, medical expenses, and other costs related to workplace injuries or illness. Common Workers' Comp claims include…

  • Illnesses after exposure to chemicals or other hazardous materials.
  • Slips and falls on company premises or while working.
  • Repetitive stress injuries (like carpal tunnel).
  • Back injuries from moving boxes, furniture, equipment, etc.

When these or other covered claims occur, Workman's Comp can pay for…

  • Employee medical expenses.
  • Paid time off for workers unable to work.
  • Employer legal costs for Workers' Comp lawsuits.
  • Funeral expenses and support payment to the family of a deceased employee.

If an employee tears a muscle in their back and can't work for a month while they recover, Workers' Comp can pay for their medical bills and their salary while they're out.

As an insurance policy that pays both medical and legal expenses (in addition to other costs), Workers' Comp is vital to protecting your business from unexpected costs and accidents that threaten the future of your business.

Insureon: Custom-Built Small Business Insurance for Sign Makers

Want fast, easy insurance? Fill out our online insurance form, and within minutes, our agents can usually send you a free quote on business insurance for sign companies.

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