Every business in motion needs insurance. It’s a simple fact of being in business. If you are paying employees, making a product, or interacting with customers, you’ll need to be insured for at least a dozen different possible disasters. If your doors are open, you’re running a website, are advertising, or if anyone is on your payroll; there’s a reason to have insurance.
No doubt, your business has already invested in the basic necessities for your size and industry. Worker’s comp, flood, financial, and professional liability insurance. Each one fills a niche and protects you from a different category of things that could happen. In that cluster of insurances that you need to secure is Commercial General Liability insurance. Why such a mouthful? To define what this insurance covers that aren’t covered by the other insurances in your set.
What is Commercial General Liability Insurance?
Commercial general liability insurance is, in insurance lingo, exactly what it sounds like. It is for businesses to cover non-professional liability issues. You’ve already got insurance to cover damage, injury, or lawsuits that stem from your product, the process of employment. Commercial general liability covers an umbrella of liability sources that are not directly related to how you do business.
Protection from Non-Professional Lawsuits
Commercial general liability addresses things that that happen on your premises or that are somehow involved in your business, but do not occur in the usual course of business. Slip-and-falls, for example, often fall under the purview of general liability protection, but so do other disparate liability concerns like slander in advertising, wrongful eviction, and non-professional property damage. The policy will cover the legal costs of litigation and, in cases of legitimate non-professional injury, the policy may cover medical costs for recovery as well.
What Does General Liability Insurance Cover?
The most important details of general liability insurance is what it covers. While each provider may offer a slightly different balance of coverage, your policy will cover a general array of liability considerations. General liability usually covers a combination of personal injury and property damage that occurs for non-professional reasons on-premises or your worksite, advertising liability, and personal liability for a disparate number of non-business-related issues.
Personal Injury On-Premises or Worksite
In your business, you are prepared for injuries or property damage that might happen in the course of daily duties. Employees might injure themselves lifting a box or using a knife, and equipment can get damaged with use, so you have business insurance to cover these things. But what about the injuries or damages that you can’t see coming? A shopping cart blows into a customer’s car and causes damage, or a customer slips and falls on your sales floor and sustains an injury.
This applies to both on-premises and worksite accidents. So if the accident happens in your store, office, at a construction worksite, or at a client’s home where you’ve been called to work, commercial general liability will usually extend to these circumstances.
General liability also covers injury or damage accidents that may the result of an employee’s non-professional actions. An employee leaves the water on at a client’s home where you worked, for example, the insurance would cover the accidental water damage.
Advertising Injury & Personal Damages
The next category that commercial general liability insurance covers is advertising-related damages. Taking on commercial advertising has a surprisingly high risk for liability. There are all sorts of laws and protocols from the laws against false adverting to protection against personal slander. Advertisers actually work pretty hard to avoid representing anyone real in their content, making any unfounded claims, or using advertising ideas without permission.
Should your advertisers make a mistake, or one of their advertisements inadvertently causes personal damages to another party, general liability insurance will keep you protected. These coverages usually include protection against accusations of slander, libel, false advertising, copyright infringement, or using stolen advertising materials. It may also cover causing false arrest, malicious persecution, and landlord-related issues like wrongful eviction and invasion of privacy.
Interesting, commercial general liability insurance can also cover medical payments for an injury even if a lawsuit doesn’t occur. If the situation is such that your business automatically accepts that it was responsible for a non-professional injury, you don’t necessarily have to foot the cost for the bill. Commercial general liability can cover medical payments for injuries that are incurred through direct litigation-free settlements saving you time and money while allowing you do to the right thing in a few rare circumstances where injury is caused and stepping up is the best possible option.
Does Commercial General Liability Insurance Cover My Car?
For many businesses, one of the most important things to understand is what your commercial general liability insurance does not cover. In general, this type of insurance does not extend to vehicles. It may cover damage to a customer’s car on your premises, but it cannot be counted on for vehicles that are used by your business, no matter who they belong to. Work vehicles are covered by commercial vehicle insurance, and personal vehicles used for work might be covered by commercial vehicle insurance. But commercial general liability insurance does not cover work vehicles or vehicles belonging to the owner used for work.
Who Needs General Liability Insurance?
Insurance is part of the modern business ecosystem. And like an ecosystem, each business needs a different combination of insurances to cover operations and industry risks. But every business needs general liability insurance. This low-cost addition to your insurance suite is your coverage for advertisement and, in many cases, liability issues that you could not predict. And unlike other types of business insurance, commercial general liability scales automatically for all sizes of business.
This means that genearal liability coverage is a good idea for any business, big or small.
Do I Need General Liability Insurance for My Business?
The answer is yes if you:
- have premises
- lease commercial space,
- have employees
- interact with customers or clients
- your business uses a parking lot
- people physically work or buy from you
How Should I Get General Liability Insurance for a Small Business?
Acquiring commercial general liability insurance can be done the same way you chose the insurance provider for your other business insurance needs. If you haven’t done this yet, the first step is to research the business insurance providers in your state. Explore the plans and options available by collecting quotes. Compare the quotes and complete coverage details and choose the best plan for your business.
If you do already have an insurance provider, you may receive discounts or a better package deal by bundling your commercial general liability insurance with the other types of insurance your business needs. For a consultation on your small business’ insurance needs and how to get the best plan for your company, contact us today!