No business can predict the future. As a business owner, it is your responsibility to protect your employees, building and livelihood against the unknown. General liability insurance is a must for businesses of all sizes, regardless of industry or number of employees. General liability policies cover a wide range of risks that could potentially disrupt your business or force it to close.
What Is General Liability Insurance?
Commercial general liability insurance is a type of broad insurance that provides liability protection for general business risks. Also known as GLI, this policy can protect your business if someone were to sue you for causing bodily injury or property damage. Business owners can purchase general liability insurance as a stand-alone policy or can choose to combine it with property insurance in a standard Business Owners Policy (BOP).
General liability insurance is not just for traditional businesses, but also for contractors. Just a single accident could result in a costly lawsuit. Oftentimes, clients and employers will require a contractor to acquire general liability insurance before they can begin work.
What Does It Cover?
So, what does general liability insurance cover, exactly? While policies can vary from carrier to carrier, most general liability insurance
quotes include bodily injury, property damage, personal injury, advertising injury, and medical payments. GLI may also cover damage to premises that you rent, as well as products you manufacture.
Even if you are found not to be at fault for an accident or incident, your defense fees can still add up quickly. General liability coverage will typically cover any court costs, judgments, and settlements for covered claims.
GLI will typically cover the following claims:
Third-Party Bodily Injury
If a customer or visitor becomes injured in an accident that involves your business, you could be held liable for any injuries that occur. For example, a customer may slip and fall on a slippery floor after you mopped and forget to put down a ‘wet floor’ sign. If the injury caused a broken leg or some other type of injury, the customer may decide to sue your business to recoup any losses. General liability insurance can help cover any legal expenses related to the third-party bodily injury case. If you are found liable, your policy may also cover the cost of the customer’s medical bills.
Third-Party Property Damage
A general liability insurance policy can also cover certain expenses related to customer property that was accidentally damaged by your business. For example, the owner of a landscaping business accidentally backs up his truck into a client’s fence, causing extensive property damage. General liability insurance would usually cover the cost to repair or replace the fence, along with any other property damage the accident may have caused. While general liability insurance may cover damage done to someone else’s property while performing business-related services, it does not cover property damage to your own business property.
While most people associate general liability with accidents that happen inside a business or on the premises, this is not always the case. Customer injuries and property damage can also occur away from a business. Product liability insurance helps cover business owners who manufacture, distribute or sell products that could cause harm or damage. For example, a customer who purchased sunscreen from a business could use it and suffer a severe allergic reaction. If the reaction resulted in medical bills or lost wages, the customer may sue. A GLI policy would typically cover any legal expenses that result from the accident.
Benefits of Acquiring General Liability Coverage
General liability insurance can provide a host of benefits for your business. The biggest benefit of GLI is that it protects your business against the unexpected. From slip and falls to property damage, you can rest easy knowing that whatever accident comes your way you are protected.
Having the right insurance policy can also help your business close larger contracts. Most professional firms will require you to have sufficient coverage before bidding on or closing a deal. This is a great way for businesses to stay ahead of the competition.
General liability coverage can also protect against employee actions. While you can minimize your own risk of a lawsuit, you cannot always control an employee. Something as simple as slander from a staff member could result in a lawsuit. With GLI, you can keep your business protected from the actions of staff.
Speak with JMG for More Information
While general liability insurance covers a wide range of claims, there are certain things that it does not cover, such as employee illnesses or injuries. Before acquiring insurance, be sure to carefully review your policy. To learn more about general liability insurance or to acquire a policy for your business, contact the insurance experts at John M. Glover.