General Liability Insurance

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Types Of Small Business Insurance

  • Includes medical payments, legal representation, and defense against libel and slander accusations.
  • Bundles general liability insurance and commercial property into one affordable policy.
  • Provides financial protection if an employee has a job-related accident or illness.
  • Pays to repair or replace your business property if it's stolen, damaged, or destroyed in a fire or natural disaster.
  • Covers mistakes or alleged mistakes on your part (errors) & failures or alleged failures to perform a service (omissions).
  • Is liability and physical damage protection for vehicles, such as cars, trucks and vans, that are used for business.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Small Business Insurance


How much does general liability insurance cost?

In 2020, commercial general liability costs can vary widely based on industry. Businesses in higher risk industries pay more. Premiums are also determined by zip code and often payroll and/or gross sales. You can request a free quote to get an exact premium for your business. Read more...

What types of business insurance do I need?

Almost every business needs general liability and commercial property insurance at the very least. If you have any non-owner employees, you'll most likely need workers compensation insurance too as most state require it. It all depends on the risks your business faces. Read more...

How does general liability insurance work?

Having general liability is the basis of any business insurance program. If you can afford only one commercial insurance policy for your small business - then you should get a commercial general liability policy, because it offers protection against a wide range of common but unexpected risks. Read more...

What is a Certificate of Insurance?

A Certificate of Insurance (COI) is proof of coverage. It verifies that you have insurance coverage for your small business, & contains information on types and limits of coverage, insurance company, policy number, named insured, and the effective date of the policy. Read more...
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Commercial General Liability Insurance

General Liability Insurance Quote

General Liability Insurance. At GeneralLiabilityInsure.com our goal is to get you the commercial general liability and business insurance you need as fast and easy as possible.

We specialize in quick general liability insurance quotes, and have many options placing your small business insurance coverage. We have a fast commercial general liability insurance quote process, making binding coverage simple.

General liability insurance protects your business from bodily injury and property damage lawsuits with rates starting at $27/mo. Get a fast commercial general liability insurance quote and your certificate of insurance today.

General Liability Insurance. You don't have any control over the ultimate cost of injuries to a person injured because of your operations, products, or services. The person injured may be a young child, a blue-collar worker, a surgeon, or a homeless person. The cost of the injuries may be comparatively minor or run into the millions of dollars, depending on the person and the extent of his or her injuries.

Do you have enough money or property you can sell to pay for such a loss? And, if you do, should you use it that way? Commercial general liability insurance (CGL) is designed to help you protect your business, assets and future income.

Your business can opt to purchase a general liability insurance policy on its own or as part of a business owner's policy (BOP) or commercial package policy (CPP), which are insurance policies that bundle both property and liability under a single umbrella.

However, if your business has a package or business owner's policy, it's still a good idea to review the coverage for liability that your policy affords, and if necessary, add an excess liability policy as a separate insurance product to make sure protection is in place.

Below are come commonly asked questions about commercial general liability insurance:


How Much Does General Liability Insurance Cost?

This is usually the first question on a business owners mind. In general, the main factors are the business':

  • Claims history
  • Experience
  • Industry
  • Location
  • Policy limits and coverages
  • Sales and/or payroll
  • Size

Please see, "How Much Does General Liability Insurance Cost?" for a deeper dive into how much a general liability policy costs.

How Does Business Liability Insurance Work?

Liability Insurance Search

If you're a business owner in or thinking of starting a small business, you're probably aware that you need small business general liability insurance, but maybe you're somewhat confused about what it is, what it covers, and how much you need to fully protect yourself and your business from potential liabilities.

What is general business liability insurance? What does it do? Why do you need it? How much should you buy? Read on to discover more about this essential insurance for your business and find out how to get the right level of coverage for your particular needs.

Commercial General Liability (CGL) insurance, protects your business against the economic loss and expense associated with claims filed against your business for bodily injury, property damage, injury to reputation caused by slander and libel, and also the harm caused by false or misleading advertising.

Bodily injury claims include claims for damage that results when someone falls while visiting your business. It can, depending on the language of the policy, also include coverage for claims of damage that occurs as a result of your business operations.

How Does General Liability Insurance Protect You?

General liability insurance protects your business in several ways:

  1. Liability coverage for bodily injury and property damage insures your legal obligations that arise from an accident. It also includes the costs related to lawsuits and other legal proceedings. The limits of insurance should be sufficient to handle serious injuries and the injured person's loss of earnings.
  2. Liability coverage for damages due to personal and advertising injury insures your legal obligations that arise from an offense. It also includes the costs related to lawsuits and other legal proceedings. The limits of insurance should be sufficient to handle serious injuries and the injured person's loss of earnings.
  3. Medical Payments coverage pays the cost of medical care to persons injured on your premises or due to your operations, regardless of fault.

The bodily injury or property damage must be caused by an occurrence, which is defined as an accident, including continuous or repeated exposure to substantially the same harmful conditions, and it must occur in the covered territory. Each of these coverages is subject to certain policy exclusions, conditions, and definitions.

Injured Customer After Fall

The general liability policy covers the cost of defending the insurance company or party against the charges that are named in the lawsuit. This can include attorney fees, costs for investigation, and other related legal expenses.

The costs to the defense can be a huge amount even when the defense is not responsible for the damages. The indemnity, or payment of damages, and the defense obligations are the two parts of a general liability policy.

A CGL policy is advantageous for two reasons. First, the insurer will defend you against any covered claim at no out-of-pocket cost to you. Second, if your business is found responsible, the insurer will pay at least part of, and maybe even all of, the damages owed. The amount the insurer will pay depends upon (1) the amount of damages, and (2) the type of damages sought.

When a valid claim is made, the insurer will pay up to the stated maximum. If the claim for damages is greater than the policy maximum, you as the policyholder are liable for the balance. Also, while most CGL insurance policies provide coverage for compensatory and non-compensatory damages, punitive damages are typically not covered.

Compensatory damages include expenses incurred by the claimant as a result of the injury, such as the cost of medical services and lost wages from missing work, as well as projected future losses and expenses.

Non-compensatory or general damages include non-monetary losses suffered by the injured party, such as "pain and suffering" or "mental anguish." Punitive damages are additional monies awarded as a penalty and sanction against the defendant as a form of punishment for its actions.

How Much General Liability Insurance Do You Need?

Are You Covered?

The limits of insurance are the most paid, regardless of the number of insureds, claims made, suits brought, or persons or organizations that make claims or bring suits. The amount of coverage that your business needs depends on your individual business model and the amount of risk associated with your business.

For instance, a consultant or a web designer may need less coverage than a roofer or a contractor. The location of your business also plays a key role in determining your coverage needs.

For example, if you live in a state that is plantiff friendly, and has a tendency to award large amounts of damages to personal injury claimants (California, New York etc.), then you may want to beef up your general liability policy.

General Liability Policy Limits

Like a traditional insurance plan, a general liability policy pays for covered claims up to a specified limit. The most common general liability policy is a $1,000,000 / $2,000,000 policy. This means:

  • $1,000,000 per occurrence limit. This means the insurer will pay up to one million dollars to cover any one claim.
  • $2,000,000 aggregate limit. During the effective dates of a policy (typically a year), the insurer will pay up to two million dollars to cover any number of claims.
General Liability Coverage Example

For instance, if your business is sued for injury due to a hazard on the worksite (people are hurt on your jobsite), a policy may cover the medical costs to the injured party along with a set amount for your legal fees. If your business has a liability policy with a $1,000,000 per claim limit, and you're sued for $700,000 with attorney fees amounting to around $100,000, then your policy is sufficient to cover your loss:

  • $1,000,000 limit - $800,000 (claim and legal fees) = $200,000 so more than enough to cover the costs under the per claim amount.

However, in the same scenario, if you're sued for $950,000, and you have attorney fees of $100,000, then you may need to come up with an additional $50,000 to cover the loss:

  • $1,000,000 limit - $1,050,000 (claim and legal fees) = -$50,000. This claim exceeds the per claim limit, so the business owner would owe fifty thousand dollars out-of-pocket.

This is why it makes sense to purchase more liability insurance than you think you need; better to be safe than sorry when you're putting your personal assets and your business at risk. Excess insurance is always preferable to inadequate insurance.

What Doesn't General Liability Insurance Cover?

Every general liability insurance coverage form or policy has certain exclusions and limitations. This is because only specific types of businesses need the coverage or the risk or exposure to loss is not considered insurable for some reason. Some bodily injury and property damage liability exclusions are:

  • Aircraft, Auto, or Watercraft
  • Distribution of Material in Violation of Statutes
  • Expected or Intended Injury
  • Liquor Liability
  • Mobile Equipment
  • Pollution
  • Recall of Products, Work, or Impaired Property
  • War
  • Workers Compensation

What Loss Exposures Does General Liability Insurance Protect Against?

Loss exposures is a term that refers to any property, circumstances, activity, and events that can cause an insured loss. This general liability exposure is usually broken down into four separate groups:

  1. Premises and Operations involves any liability that comes from the conditions in and surrounding the insured company's premises as well as any operations that take place on or off company property.
  2. Products and Completed Operations is any liability that involves the company's insured products or any completed works. This type of insurance is difficult to define because it not only involves products that the company is making at present, it also covers any liability for products that have already been made. There are unique risks and challenges involved with this coverage.
  3. Contractual Liability means that a company has taken on obligations that do not exist under normal law and has voluntarily liability that is outlined in a contract.
  4. Independent Contractor Liability is used to describe a person or company that hires an independent contractor to do work on their behalf. This type of liability may be used by smaller companies that hire independent contractors for some of their jobs.

Do some industry research before buying your policy, and remember that some clients may require that you carry a particular amount of general liability insurance coverage before you can even work for them. Consult with your agent to find out how much is enough, and if you already have liability insurance, if it's enough to protect you.

Do You Need Other Types Of Business Insurance?

While a general liability policy provides important coverages, it does not cover all types of risks associated with operating a business.

For example, it does not cover:

  • Injuries to workers that occur in the workplace.
  • Losses incurred as a result of errors by professional advisors, such as a lawyer or an accountant, or a board member.
  • Property damage or bodily injury caused by an automobile, even if it was being operated for business purposes.

Other types of commercial insurance policies are available for purchase to cover other types of risks that small businesses may face. Some of the most common ones are listed below:

Business Insurance Policy Type What Is Covered?
Workers Compensation InsuranceWhat is covered under workers compensation insurance? This type of insurance protects a business and its owner(s) from claims by employees who suffer a work-related injury, illness or disease. Workers comp typically provides the injured employee with benefits to cover medical expenses, a portion of his/her lost wages, rehabilitation costs if applicable, and permanent partial or permanent total disability.
Product Liability InsuranceWhat is covered under product liability insurance? I pays an injured party's settlement or lawsuit claim arising from a defective product. These are usually caused by design defects, manufacturing defects, or a failure to provide adequate warning or instructions as to how to safely use the product.
Commercial Property InsuranceWhat is covered under business property insurance? General liability policies don't cover damages to your business property. That's what commercial property insurance is for. It protects all of the physical parts of your business: your building, your inventory, and your equipment, giving you the funds you need to replace them in the event of a disaster. If you work from home, you might consider a Home Based Business Insurance policy instead.
Business Owners Policy (BOP)What is covered under a business owners policy (BOP)? This is a policy designed for small, low-risk businesses. It simplifies the basic insurance purchase process by combining general liability policies with business income and commercial property insurance.
Commercial Auto InsuranceWhat is covered under business auto insurance? This type of insurance covers automobiles being used for business purposes. This could include a fleet of business-only vehicles or a single company car. In some cases it might cover your car or your employee's car while they're being used for business. These policies have much higher limits, ensuring you can cover your costs if one of these vehicles gets into an accident.
Commercial Umbrella PoliciesWhat is covered under commercial umbrella insurance? This type of policy is a sort of "gap" insurance. It covers your liability in the event that a court verdict or settlement exceeds your general liability policy limits.
Liquor Liability InsuranceWhat is covered under liquor liability insurance? It covers bodily injury or property damage caused by an intoxicated person who was served liquor by the policy holder.
Professional Liability (Errors & Omissions)What is covered under professional liability insurance? This type of business insurance is also known as malpractice oe E&O. It covers the damages that can arise from major mistakes, especially in high-stakes professions where mistakes can be devastating.
Surety BondWhat is covered under surety bonds? Bonding is a contract where one party, the SURETY (who assures the obligee that the principal can perform the task), guarantees the performance of certain obligations of a second party, the PRINCIPAL (the contractor or business who will perform the contractual obligation), to a third party, the OBLIGEE (the project owner who is the recipient of an obligation).


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