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Business Insurance

For many businesses today, insurance costs and uninsured losses can be a serious challenge to the bottom line. At Knowles Associates we have forged a reputation as an innovative provider of property and casualty insurance programs. Our clients are growth oriented companies with sophisticated insurance needs. We are their business insurance professionals dedicated to developing insurance solutions that help them grow. We can do the same for you.

Business Property

Property Insurance protects an insured who suffers a financial loss because property has been damaged or destroyed. Coverage for a Building, also known as Real Property, includes the building and structures, completed additions to covered buildings, outdoor fixtures, permanently installed fixtures, machinery and equipment. Business Personal Property includes all other property not permanently attached to the building, including furniture, tools, and inventory.

The term “peril” is used when discussing losses. A peril is a cause of loss. The broadest property insurance policies are written to cover the perils of fire, lightning, explosion, windstorm, hail, smoke, aircraft or vehicle damage, riot or civil commotion, vandalism, sprinkler leakage, sinkhole collapse, volcanic action, water damage, weight of snow, ice or sleet, breakage of glass and coverage for falling objects. Typically, the perils of earth movement, flood, government action, nuclear hazard, war/military action, and maintenance are excluded from coverage.

Property can be valued in several different ways. Insurance companies commonly use two approaches to determine value, the Replacement Cost Method and the Actual Cash Value Method. Replacement cost of an item is the cost to replace it with new property of like kind. Actual cash value is replacement cost, less the accumulated depreciation for age and condition.

Equipment Breakdown

Equipment Breakdown insurance covers a sudden and accidental breakdown of objects such as boilers, air conditioning and refrigerating systems, pumps, compressors, turbines, engines, wheels, gears, electrical distribution equipment & transformers. Equipment Breakdown insurance is necessary because commercial property policies exclude explosion of steam boilers and machinery breakdown. Equipment Breakdown insurance covers physical damage to both the insured object and other property.

Builders Risk/Installation

Builders Risk insurance covers a building during the course of construction, temporary structures at the building site, and building materials that have not yet become part of the building. Building materials are covered while on the insured location, in transit, or in storage at another location. Installation coverage insures a contractors interest in property installed at a work site and applies during installation and testing, while in transit or in temporary storage.

Electronic Data

Electronic Data Processing (EDP) insurance is used to insure data processing equipment, software, and media. Although this can be insured under your Business Property form, the EDP form has added benefits such as mechanical or electrical breakdown, short circuit and other electrical or magnetic disturbances within the equipment.

Business Liability

The Commercial General Liability policy provides insurance protection needed to respond to personal injury, advertising injury and property damages for which an insured is legally responsible. Coverage is provided for injury or damages arising out of goods or products made or sold by the insured and covers accidents occurring on or away from the insured premises.

Two coverage forms are available, the Occurrence form and the Claims-made form. The primary difference in the two forms are in how claims are handled. The Occurrence form covers claims that occur during the policy term, regardless of when the claim is reported. The Claims-made form only covers claims made during the policy term.


Umbrella liability insurance provides excess liability coverage over several primary liability policies such as Automobile, General, and Employer Liability policies. Umbrella policies serve three functions: To provide additional limits above each occurrence limit of an insured’s primary policies; to take the place of primary insurance when primary aggregate limits are reduced or exhausted; and provide broader coverage for claims that would not be covered by the insured’s primary insurance policies. An insurer will require certain types and amounts of primary insurance before an Umbrella policy can be written.

Professional Liability

Professionals are bound by law to perform the services for which they are hired and perform those services with the appropriate standards of conduct. Professional liability policies are not designed to cover ordinary business exposures such as slip/fall, or product injury, they cover the errors and omissions in the rendering of professional services. Typical professions requiring Professional Liability coverage include accountants, ambulance services, architects, engineers, health care facilities, insurance agents, lawyers, physicians, tanning salons and veterinary hospitals, to name a few. As the liability exposure for one profession can differ considerable from another, only a few insurers specialize in each particular industry, and we work with all of them.

Directors & Officers Liability

Directors and officers of a corporation can be held personally liable for damages for their wrongful acts and omissions in their managerial responsibilities. D&O insurance protects directors and officers for claims or suits alleging injury that does not qualify as bodily injury, property damage, or advertising injury claims which are typically covered under general liability policies. In addition to covering the personal assets of a company’s directors and officers, it also protects the company’s assets, and helps the company monitor and provide defense costs associated with lawsuits and investigations.

Employment Practices Liability

EPL insurance is written to protect employers from lawsuits filed by their employees for employment related acts such as wrongful termination, harassment, discrimination, defamation and unfair hiring/firing practices. The coverage also provides defense costs associated with responding to employment related lawsuits and can be extended to include coverage for third parties (customers, vendors).

Fiduciary Liability

Fiduciary Liability Insurance protects the plan fiduciary in the event that they breach their duties under ERISA. Sources of fiduciary claims include conflict of interest in investment of plan assets, imprudent investment decisions, inappropriate loans using plan assets, improperly advising plan participants, mishandling of funds, inaccurate year-end reporting, and delinquent employer contributions. Fiduciary coverage can include coverage for both administrative and discretionary acts, extending coverage for errors and omissions in the administering of Employee Benefit plans.

Workers Compensation & Employers Liability

Workers Compensation insurance provides coverage when an employee sustains an employment related injury or disease. Workers Compensation coverage pays compensation, medical, and other benefits required of the insured by the workers compensation law or occupational disease law of any state listed in the policy. Not only does the coverage form insure obligations imposed by workers compensation statutes, Employers Liability coverage is also provided for damages an employer becomes legally obligated to pay (apart from WC statutes) because of bodily injury by accident or disease to an employee.

In PA, as well as some other states, workers compensation law allows an insured to include or exclude Executive Officers from coverage.

There are four states that require workers compensation insurance to be placed with their state fund; ND, OH, WA, and WY.

Business Automobile

The Commercial Automobile Liability policy provides protection against legal liability arising out of ownership, maintenance, or use of any insured automobile and agrees to pay damages for bodily injury or property damage for which an insured is responsible because of an automobile accident. In addition to the policy limits, the insurer also agrees to pay.

The Automobile insuring agreement extends coverage for Medical Expenses incurred by the insured, Uninsured Motorist coverage (policy will respond to an insured who is injured by an uninsured motorist, or a hit-and-run driver), and Underinsured Motorist coverage (policy will respond to an insured when the liability limits carried by the at-fault driver are insufficient to pay for damages for which the driver is responsible).

Coverage can also be extended to include Physical Damage coverage for a covered auto. Collision coverage results from impact with another object or overturn; Comprehensive coverage results from loss other than collision or overturn, including glass breakage, hitting a bird or animal, falling objects and theft. Various other coverages can be endorsed to the policy including broadened Personal Injury Protection, Rental Reimbursement, Towing, Hired Physical Damage coverage, and Motor Truck Cargo.

Surety Bond

A Surety Bond is a contract where one party guarantees the performance of an obligation or compliance with a statute of another party. At some point, most businesses will have a need for a surety bond. Surety Bonding is a specialized industry offering a wide array of bonds for businesses of all sizes. Common Bond types include Contracting (Bid and Performance & Payment), Commercial (non-construction), ERISA, Judicial, Probate, License & Permit, Public Official, and Miscellaneous. We work with the top bonding companies in the State of PA with access out of state as well.