What is General Liability Insurance?
Also known as Small business Liability Insurance or Commercial Liability Insurance, General Liability Insurance (GL) protects your business against liability claims.
What are Liability claims?
During everyday business activities, third parties may suffer damages that your company is responsible for. This can include bodily injury if someone is injured at your place of business, damage to property either at your location or the third party’s, damage caused by one of your products, or personal injury, including defamation or copyright/trademark violations.
These situations can result in expensive lawsuits, settlements, or medical expenses that your company may be liable for.
General Liability Insurance can protect your business against these claims.
What Does General Liability Insurance Cover?
Accidents happen. They could be at your place of business, a job site, or as a result of your products. When a third party suffers a bodily injury in one of these instances, GL can help cover the cost of medical expenses as well as legal expenses if the customer chooses to take legal action.
General Liability Insurance can cover the cost of repairing or replacing property belonging to a third-party which may have been accidentally damaged by your business. If a window is broken at a job site, or a laptop is knocked over, GL can help with the financial burden of replacing it.
Advertising/Personal Injury – Defamation, Libel, Slander and Copyright Violations
Sometimes in advertising, someone else’s words, designs, or ideas may be used unintentionally. If your business infringes on someone’s copyright or trademark, it could incur legal costs. The same can happen if comments or communications by you, your employees, or your business are considered defamatory or harmful to the reputation of a third party. GL can help with legal defense costs as well as judgments or settlement costs.
Damage to Rented Premises
This will protect you as a tenant if a loss occurs to the unit or building you are renting and found to be responsible for damage to that unit or building.
This coverage is used for small injuries where you do not have to be legally liable or negligent. The cover amount is small, normally the limit of coverage is $5,000.
Who Needs General Liability Insurance?
General Liability Insurance is for any business that has a chance of being responsible should someone get hurt or have property damaged while at your place of business, or due to an action of one of their employees.
You will want GL if:
- Your business deals face-to-face with customers, whether at their location or yours.
- Your business has access to your customers’ property or your business is conducted at third-party locations.
- Your business does any advertising, making copyright or trademark violations a possibility.
- You are required to have coverage in order to build on a project or contract.
What Isn’t Covered By General Liability Insurance?
It’s important to keep in mind that General Liability Insurance only covers the costs involved in damages to third parties. There are areas where business businesses will want to have additional policies to cover their own property and their employees.
There are additional liability coverage’s that need to be purchased by specific industries to provide a broader circle of protection.
- Employers Liability provides coverage if an employee is injured and can show the employer put the employee in a position of harm.
- Employment Practices Liability provides coverage for items such as failure to promote, wrongful termination or sexual harassment. 3rd party coverage can be included in the Employment Practices Liability coverage.
- Liquor Liability coverage is very important to those establishments where alcohol is served.
- Errors and Omissions or Professional Liability coverage is required by those businesses that offer legal or medical services, contractors that design and computer companies.
- Electronic Data Liability, as property damage isn’t always physical. The loss or corruption of someone’s important electronic information is something your company could be liable for.
These are just a few examples of where the coverage is critical.
Various endorsements are also available under the general liability coverage to expand the coverage provided. As an example, many contractors require additional insured endorsements included in their insurance coverage. As an agency, we “blanket” the endorsement to reduce the cost.
For packages that can save you money while combining the different types of insurance your company may need, you may want to consider Business Owners Insurance.