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Bruce Sackrison

Bruce Sackrison is a Napa Valley Register columnist who will write about property and casualty insurance matters.

Sheila finally has her dream business up and running. She jumped through all the legal hoops, got her tax ID number, found a domain name to create an online entity, and started up business accounts on the biggest social media websites. Her company is insured with all the basic commercial insurance coverages.

She thinks all of her bases are covered. Word of mouth has been creating new customers. Sharing and advertising on social media is spreading the news of her presence. Sheila is adding new employees regularly as her business increases.

Success is finally within her grasp.

You know I’m going to throw in a sob story that crushes dreams and crumbles the castle in the clouds? After all, this sounds too good to last and this is an article about insurance.

How about I spare you the sob story and introduce a hero who saves the day… before possible tragedy hits?

Sheila’s Uncle Keith stopped by her office to check out her successful endeavor. He is her favorite uncle, the businessman she’s looked up to since she was young and began dreaming this dream of hers.

Uncle Keith asked all the right questions and discovered that Sheila never purchased any commercial coverage beyond the basic requirements.

As it happens, Uncle Keith is the one with a sob story. He told it to Sheila, and she paid close attention to his advice.

Uncle Keith had an unfortunate event take place at his company the previous year.

One of his employees was running an errand for the company when she swerved to avoid hitting a cat. Tragically, she ran into a biker instead, causing extensive injuries that called for a lengthy hospital stay and great loss of income for the biker.

A lawsuit brought on multimillion-dollar expenses for Uncle Keith’s company. Thankfully, Uncle Keith had a commercial umbrella policy in place for his business.

That coverage took over where his basic coverage left off. Without that extra coverage, there would have been no way for him to pay for the extra expenses out of pocket, and his company would have gone under.

Uncle Keith’s story put a healthy fear into Sheila, so she took his advice and called her insurance agent to discuss how commercial umbrella insurance would work for her.

Does this resonate with you?

If you are a business owner, you realize the importance of having good coverage for your company. But do you really know how quickly things can go downhill?

With how litigation-happy people are, and with how quickly a catastrophic loss can take place, paying a little more for commercial umbrella coverage is a wise choice.

This type of coverage is like an add-on coverage to your basic commercial insurance. It takes over where your basic liability coverage ends.

Ask your insurance agent about commercial umbrella insurance, and the many ways you can customize it to work for your company.

If you don’t have a local agent to hash things over with, give me a call.

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Bruce Sackrison is an insurance property and casualty broker affiliated with Professional Insurance Associates. He is at 707-931-0186 or bruces@sackifs.com.

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