From costly medical bills to exorbitant legal fees, general liability insurance helps protect against multiple incidents that could jeopardize your business.
General liability insurance, sometimes referred to as business liability insurance, protects owners from one of the most common risks of running a business: third-party liability claims. Insurance can be a blind spot for some business owners, and when risk doesn’t match reality, catastrophe can strike.
Ensuring you have adequate general liability coverage will protect your company’s financial stability should you be sued by a third party, such as a customer or a competitor. Without this coverage, you’d be responsible for all expenses related to a claim against your business. All it takes is a single accident to have devastating consequences.
What does a general liability insurance policy cover?
General liability insurance covers bodily injury, damage to property, or personal injury claims made by people outside your business. If a customer injures themselves while on the premises, or if you or an employee damages someone else’s property by accident, a general liability insurance policy will cover the various costs related to the claim, which can include everything from hiring a lawyer to court-ordered judgments and settlements.
A general liability policy also protects against personal and advertising injuries, including slander, libel, and copyright infringement. A few examples of when you might need general liability insurance include the following:
- One of your employees damages a customer’s home while making repairs.
- A customer visits your business and trips and falls, and an injury requires medical treatment.
- A customer or client sues your business.
Who needs general liability insurance?
Almost every business has a need for a general liability insurance policy, especially if they rent or own a commercial space. Business owners will often be required to obtain a general liability insurance policy in order to fulfill the requirements of a lease, loan, or contract. While state laws do not usually require business owners to carry a general liability insurance policy, failing to do so could result in having to pay for all expenses related to a claim against your business.
Some landlords require your business to show a certificate of insurance as proof of your coverage. This is an official document that lists all coverages and limits on an insurance policy. It provides proof that you have insurance and verifies that your business is protected from risks associated with personal injury or property damage lawsuits. In some states, you may need coverage in order to get a professional license.
Any business that has a location that is open to the public, works closely with customers or clients, or handles client property should have a general liability insurance policy in place. If you visit a client’s place of work, or clients visit yours, there is always the possibility that someone could get hurt and require medical attention.
Some of the types of industries in need of this type of policy include contractors, hospitality, manufacturing, and retail. Even owners who don’t work with the public or have a physical location should consider obtaining a general liability policy. Like any business owner, independent contractors can be sued and held liable for injuries and property damage.
How much does general liability insurance cost, and how much coverage do I need?
General liability insurance costs vary for each business and state, but premiums are typically calculated based on the amount of coverage needed and the specific exposures of your business, such as the number of employees, location, revenue, policy details like coverage limits and deductibles, your industry, type of business, and risk factors.
A comprehensive general liability policy should offer coverage that matches your level of risk and exposure.
Work with a company you can trust
Being a business owner is rewarding but can also be stressful if you don’t obtain the proper coverage and protection. Accidents and injuries can happen at any time, even in the most well-run businesses. Consulting with an insurance professional or broker can help determine the specific insurance needs of your business.
ICW Group is a national insurance company with an A.M. Best “A” financial rating and over 50 years of experience. Policyholders receive award-winning customer service, risk management and claims handling expertise, and insurance products tailored to fit every need.