What Does General Liability Insurance Protect Your Business From
Running a business means being at risk. You have staff and clients coming and going from your workplace, or you could be entrusted with sensitive information. There are any number of ways that a business could be held liable for damages, medical bills, or pain and suffering. That’s why general liability insurance is the barest minimum of what you should have as coverage for your business. Whether you require general contractor insurance, restaurant insurance, real estate agent insurance, or another type, you need to make sure you are covered for your specific business. The question is, what does your general liability insurance cover? Here is a quick guide to what you can expect protection from with your insurance.
If you wonder why businesses are so strict with making sure that there are safety signs and “wet floor” notifications, this is why. When a client or a visitor gets injured at a place of business, they could be held liable. Liability insurance can help protect the business by covering any medical costs or rehabilitation costs. This can often happen if someone slips on ice or water, or trips on a frayed carpet. It’s important to always keep your workplace as safe as possible, but do make sure you are protected just in case.
Property damage can occur on your premises or on the premises of a client or another third party. For instance, if someone trips, they may not injure themselves, but something they are holding might get damaged. If you visit a client in their home and cause damage of some sort, then you could be held liable. This protection will cover the costs associated with repairing the property or replacing it, depending on what is appropriate.
If someone else feels that you have stolen or copied something they have copyrighted, then they may bring action against you. It may have been unintentional, but you may still be held liable. General liability insurance will help to protect you against financial losses in these situations.
Not all damage is physical. If you say something publicly, whether it be in a news interview, on your social media, or otherwise, that can negatively affect someones’ reputation, then you could be sued. Having insurance will help to protect you if your mouth gets away with you and you say something you shouldn’t.
What Costs Can Be Compensated?
Without proper liability coverage, you will be paying out of pocket for any expenses that you incur related to a liability claim. These types of actions can reach into the tens of thousands of dollars. If you do not have the resources, then it can sink your business for good.
General liability insurance can provide compensation for several associated costs. It can cover medical bills, awards against you, and costs associated with your defence. It can also compensate you for administrative costs you’ve incurred, and funds needed to settle reputational harm claims.
What Is Not Covered?
It’s important to realize that while general liability insurance is very important, it won’t protect your business from every risk that you might face. For example, if one of the vehicles in your fleet causes injury, damage, or death, it will not be covered by general liability insurance. You will require commercial automobile insurance to have this protection.
General liability will also not cover you for injuries, illnesses, or death suffered by your employees while working for you. If they are not able to work because of these issues, you may be liable to pay for lost wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering. This would be covered with workers’ compensation insurance. Most states require every business to have this coverage, so you should have it in place if you have employees.
You are not covered for damage to your own property, whether through an accident or a natural disaster, either. For this, you should have commercial property insurance. This will protect in the case that your property is damaged or destroyed by unforeseen events, vandalism, and natural disasters.
Errors and omissions coverage will protect you in the event that a client claims you did not deliver a service for which they paid you. Or, that your advice led to financial loss of some kind. Mistakes can happen, so you need to make sure you are protected.
As you can see, general liability insurance can cover a wide range of risks that might affect your business. However, it’s important that you understand what is covered and what isn’t covered. You do not want to have something happen and realize that you do not actually have the protection you thought you did. Discuss with your insurance provider to make sure that you have not just general liability, insurance, but also any other coverage that you might need for your business.