When determining your needs for property insurance, the main areas every funeral director should consider include: Building Coverage, Personal Property Coverage, Inland Marine or Equipment Floaters, and Loss of Income Coverage
Building Coverage applies to covering the structures on your business property. This insurance covers the damage to repair, replace, or rebuild. You may need to list more than one building on your policy. For example, you might have secondary buildings such as a garage where you park the limos, a crematorium, or even storage units. You can designate a coverage limit for each individual building or you can choose one “blanket coverage” limit. Blanket Coverage offers flexibility from having to choose specific limits per building.
Business Personal Property Insurance covers your personal property inside the Funeral Home. This includes interior furnishings (chairs, tables, area rugs, and décor) and office equipment (desks, filing cabinets, printers, AV equipment, and computers). It also covers inventory such as coffin samples and remembrance merchandise. This coverage is limited to your belongings when they are located at the location listed on your policy.
Business personal property coverage, as mentioned above, is not designed to cover your belongings away from your premises. Also it does not cover items that belong to others but are left in your care. For this reason, you may need to consider optional coverages such as property of others, property in transit and property off premises. This could include personal items that families have left at the funeral home such as jewelry, clothing, and sentimental artifacts. Property off premises might include AV equipment left at the church or memorial service or a coffin that is left at an offsite crematory. Property in transit coverage similarly would cover damage to these items while in transit if they are damaged or stolen from a vehicle during transport.
If you have specialized equipment , high valued items that frequently leave your primary location, or high theft items, you should consider an Inland Marine policy, sometimes referred to as an Equipment Floater. These policies specifically list the item you are insuring for an agreed upon coverage limit, which might be based on the item’s replacement cost or cash value. Equipment floaters provide the broadest coverage possible, as close to “all risk” coverage as you’ll ever find in an insurance policy. An example of things that might be suited for an inland marine policy are specialized computerized equipment, embalming machines, high priced transportable AV equipment, or Fine Art on display.
If your funeral home suffers a catastrophic loss such as a fire, building collapse, hurricane damage, or explosion making sure your building, personal effects, and equipment are covered is only the first line of protection. To finish off your property insurance package, you’ll want to also include Business Interruption or Loss of Income coverage. Your insurance would compensate you for any time your business has to be closed due to damage of the property. For example if a hurricane hits New England and severely damages your building forcing you to remain closed for two months, your insurance would compensate the loss of income during the time your business is closed. Business Income coverage can be purchased based on set limits, periods of time, or on an “actual loss sustained” basis. Actual Loss Sustained Business Income coverage is paid to you based on your regular income during the same period in previous years and not subject to a specific limit. Some policies also provide increased loss of income coverage due to a loss that occurs during your peak season.
We understand that properly insuring your Funeral Home can be stressful and confusing. We are here to understand your company’s specific needs and to make sure that you have the proper coverage to protect you and your business. Feel free to give us a call today at 401.723.8510.
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