Did you know that the majority of funeral homes in the United States are privately owned by individuals or families?
Therefore, most funeral homes fall in the 'small business' category, and have very specific insurance needs similar to many other small businesses.
However, funeral homes are a unique business and no two are exactly alike.
A one-size fits all insurance plan could end up costing thousands, or even millions of dollars, at a time when you need your insurance protection the most.
That’s why it’s important to work with your independent Insurance Advisor who can help you determine your risks, what types of coverage will fit your specific business needs, and how to accomplish all of this within your budget.
What are your business risks?
Risks are everywhere for funeral homes or funeral home directors, and those risks could be devastating to your financial well-being. Some of the risks that you may be exposed to include:
- Auto accidents involving business owned vehicles (including your hearses)
- Identity theft and access to customer information
- Slips and falls
- Weather events (like snow, ice or hail)
- Directors & Officers liability claims
And this list only scratches the surface... most funeral homes face additional risks or threats to their business that need to be thoroughly considered and addressed before a loss ever occurs.
What types of insurance do you need?
Commercial Property Insurance
Weather is hugely unpredictable in Ohio; we’ve had our share of catastrophes from hail events to the aftermath of hurricanes that made their way through The Buckeye State leaving a path of wreckage.
When fire, theft, wind, hail, lightning or other disasters strike your business, you need to be prepared for what you can control (essentially, how can you respond to help mitigate further damage), and have a plan in place to recover financially from those risks that you can’t control.
A Commercial Property Insurance policy will cover the building you're located in, as well as the contents of your building, including light fixtures, office equipment, furniture, computers and more.
For example, a circuit breaker malfunctions and starts an electrical fire. The fire spreads through the entire funeral home, burning your possessions and the building.
A Commercial Property policy would cover the damages to the building, as well as the replacement cost of the damaged contents.
Commercial General Liability Insurance
Every funeral home business in Ohio, must have a Commercial General Liability (CGL) insurance policy. This coverage would protect you when lawsuits or financial losses occur.
A typical CGL policy provides coverage for claims of bodily injury or other physical injury, personal injury (libel or slander), advertising injury and property damage as a result of your products, premises or operations.
For example, it’s February in Ohio and you are holding a wake service at your funeral home. It rained the day before and everything froze overnight making your sidewalks and parking lot a sheet of ice. Although you spent hours trying to salt everything and clear the ice, you miss a spot. One of the elderly visitors slips and falls on her way in the building and needs to be hospitalized. A CGL policy would cover the costs of her medical expenses.
As a safeguard against liability, CGL enables you to continue your normal operations while dealing with real or fraudulent claims of negligence or wrongdoing. CGL policies also provide coverage for the cost to defend and settle claims.
Commercial Auto Insurance
Commercial Auto Insurance is another important policy that all Ohio funeral homes must consider because you’re relying on vehicles to operate a considerable portion of your business. Doesn’t matter if you have one hearse, or a fleet of 20, you still need Commercial Auto Insurance.
A Commercial Auto Policy can be used to insure vehicles for:
- Liability – this would protect the funeral home in the event of an at-fault accident where the owner, or any employees, caused injuries to others while driving a company vehicle
- Physical damage to the vehicles owned by funeral home if they’re involved in an accident, stolen or vandalized
- Or both Liability and Physical Damage
For example, one of your employees is on his way back from the graveside service, and is involved in a severe accident with another driver.
Your employee is at fault, there is extensive damage to both vehicles, and there will be medical expenses for both drivers.
Your Commercial Auto policy could cover the property damage, the medical expenses and any potential legal costs involved.
Additional insurance coverage options all funeral homes should consider
Business Income Insurance (also known as Business Interruption Insurance) is an option that you may want to consider, as it’s designed to cover the loss of income you would suffer after a disaster.
Business income coverage protects against the loss of income a business suffers when a covered loss causes damage to the insured premises. The loss doesn't have to cause the business to shutdown entirely. Even a covered loss that causes the business to slow down can be covered with business income coverage.
Professional Liability, also known as Errors & Omissions Insurance (E&O), is liability insurance designed to protect those individuals and businesses providing professional advice or services. And since funeral homes are dealing with individuals who are often grieving, E&O insurance is a very important consideration.
You can probably image the emotional difficulty better than anyone given your profession. Now imagine the family of the deceased that becomes incredibly angry with the job your funeral home did in preparing a loved one for the service. The emotional injury claim can be significant, and the right E&O insurance could respond and protect you.
Privacy Liability & Data Breach Insurance has gone from a little known option in the insurance world to an absolute must-have given the number of data breaches, and the costs associated with even a small breach.
Consider the amount of personal information you collect, store and use in your business. This information could be in digital format, hard-copy, or both. Now imagine opening your doors to many of the most unscrupulous individuals for the next six months, and allowing them to access and use any information they want.
Sounds crazy, right?
But this is exactly what’s happening in our digital world. Breaches occur to the largest, and smallest businesses… no one is immune.
A data breach often goes unnoticed for months, and by the time it’s discovered, the personal information stolen has already been used to wreak havoc on the victim’s identity and finances.
It’s really not a matter if your business will suffer a breach, only a matter of when. Without Privacy Liability & Data Breach Insurance, you’re on your own to navigate the increasing number of local, state and federal regulations you must comply with, in addition to the legal costs and damages you’ll suffer.
This is only the beginning to the insurance coverages that Ohio funeral homes need to consider. However, if you have these policies in place, you can form a solid foundation of protection for your business.
Finding the best insurance policy for funeral homes in Ohio, and figuring out the types of coverage needed to protect your business, can be confusing, time consuming and difficult.
However, the right insurance protection is still critical to the success of your business. Without it, you're one claim away from being out of business.
And remember, not all policies are created equal.
You probably wouldn’t go to your eye doctor instead of your dentist if you were having a toothache, right? Just because they’re both doctors doesn’t mean they have the same skillset.
Just the same, you need an Insurance Advisor that understands your industry, your risks of loss, and how best to protect you and your business.
We can help.
We know the industry, we understand your needs, and we work with multiple insurance companies so we can deliver the insurance solution that’s perfect for your business, and your budget.
In addition, we can also provide you several services that will help position your business for the best insurance premiums offered by the nation’s strongest insurance carriers. Specifically, we can:
- Provide you with data security resources designed to help keep your data, and your network, safe
- Perform a data breach risk assessment of your business to help identify areas of weakness, and offer solutions to mitigate the exposures
- Offer safety manual material so you can mitigate your risks of a claim occurring, reduce the number of employees being injured on the job, and comply with OSHA requirements
- With your help, implement a 'Safe Driver Program' to reduce the likelihood of an auto accident, and then leverage this program to obtain additional Commercial Auto premium discounts for you
- Review our 86-point 'Property Inspection Checklist' to help you prevent claims to your building that you're capable of controlling
The bottom line is, when you have confidence in your business insurance, you have greater peace of mind knowing that you can keep working to generate revenue, even when disaster strikes.
To get started on your customized solution, contact one of our Licensed Advisors, or Request a Proposal and we’ll get to work right away.