business owner insurance

Insurance Advisory Services for Businesses, Non-Profits, and Institutions

Insurance provides essential safety nets that protect you and your business from various risks and uncertainties. Having a smart and strategic insurance plan in place provides owners, executives, and stakeholders security and peace of mind.

At Fort Pitt, we believe insurance should be an important part of a holistic plan for any business, institution, or nonprofit. That’s why we offer our clients in-house risk mitigation expertise. As an added value, clients will benefit by receiving advice through our fiduciary role, which means we will always act in their best interest and only recommend services based on need.

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Buy-Sell Agreements

A buy-sell agreement is a legally binding contract that provides for the transfer of business ownership upon a “triggering event” – death, disability, retirement, divorce, bankruptcy, etc. They are integral to succession planning and are often used as life insurance policies to fund the buyout in case of a business partner’s death.

Choosing the right structure for a buy-sell agreement can depend on a lot of factors, including:

  • How many owners are involved in the business?
  • What is the business structure (e.g., C corp, S corp, partnership, LLC)?
  • Who will pay the premiums?
  • How much control does each owner want over his or her policy?

Common Types of Buy-Sell Agreements

Entity Purchase

An entity purchase provides that the business will pay the owner or the owner’s estate an agreed-upon amount for the owner’s interest in the company upon a triggering event (death, disability, or retirement). To meet the obligations under the buy-sell agreement, the business will purchase life insurance for each participating owner. Entity purchase policies are employer-owned and must comply with 101(j) to ensure the death benefit will be received tax-free.

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Cross Purchase

A cross-purchase provides that each owner of the business will purchase another owner’s interest in the company upon a triggering event. The cross-purchase agreement is negotiated amongst the owners of a business; this means that not all owners must participate or be included in the buy-sell obligations.

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Wait and See

A hybrid buy-sell arrangement combines features of an entity purchase and a cross-purchase buy-sell agreement. To meet the obligations under the buy-sell agreement, either the company (generally preferred) or the individual owners will purchase insurance policies for the lives of the business owners.

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Cross Endorsement

A cross endorsement arrangement is an alternative to the typical funding approach used with cross-purchase buy-sell agreements. Under a cross endorsement arrangement, each business owner purchases and owns a life insurance policy on his or her own life and endorses a portion of the death benefit to the other owners.

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In a trusteed arrangement, a trustee purchases life insurance on the life of each business owner who is a party to the cross-purchase buy-sell agreement and pays the premium on such policies via contributions from the business owners. Upon the death of an owner, the trustee (1) collects the life insurance proceeds, (2) purchases the business interests from the estate of the deceased owner, and (3) distributes the business interests to the surviving owners.

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This arrangement is similar to the trusteed arrangement, however, instead of creating a trust, the business owners form a partnership. The partnership then purchases a life insurance policy for each business owner and pays the premium via contributions made to the partnership each year by the business owners.

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Other Executive Benefits

Income Protection

Income protection insurance is designed to protect individuals from the financial risks associated with the loss of income due to sickness, injury, or unemployment. It provides a regular income for those unable to work to continue to pay their bills and maintain their lifestyle. In some cases, it may also cover medical expenses and other costs associated with being away from work. As a result, income protection insurance can be an invaluable asset in providing financial security during difficult times.

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Business & Continuation Planning

Business and continuation planning is essential for any business to ensure its longevity. It involves creating a comprehensive plan to ensure that the business can continue operations in the event of an unexpected disruption or change. This includes assessing risk, creating contingency plans, and developing strategies to protect the company’s assets and resources.

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Supplemental Retirement

Supplemental retirement plans are designed to provide additional income and security during retirement. They can help to supplement Social Security benefits, pension plans, and other forms of retirement income. Supplemental retirement plans can also provide tax advantages for those who take advantage of them. These plans can be used to save for the future, invest in stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and other investments, or even purchase annuities that provide a guaranteed stream of income during retirement.

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Bank Owned, Insurance Owned, and Corporate Owned Life Insurance (BOLI, ICOLI, COLI)

Bank owned, insurance owned, and corporate owned life insurance are all forms of life insurance that provide financial protection to the insured in the event of death or disability. Bank owned life insurance is typically held by a bank or other financial institution and used as a form of collateral for loans. Insurance owned life insurance is held by an insurer and may be used as part of an annuity contract. Corporate owned life insurance is held by a corporation and provides death benefit protection for key employees or owners. All three types of life insurance offer financial protection to the insured in the event of death or disability, but each has its own unique features and benefits.

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Holistic Planning

At Fort Pitt Capital Group, our Registered Investment Advisors are committed to providing holistic financial planning to all clients. Our enhanced services include risk mitigation to ensure clients are guided to the best solution by their trusted advisor. We will act in the best interest of the client and only recommend adding or changing insurance products when needed to protect what our clients have built. Our clients benefit by receiving advice through our fiduciary role.


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For financial advisors you can trust, choose Fort Pitt Capital Group. Our in-house consultants are skilled in financial planning, investment analysis, and wealth management and focus on creating individualized results for you.

For more information on our financial advisory services, complete our contact form online or call us at 1-800-471-5827.

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