How Does A Commercial General Liability Insurance Work?
How Does General Liability Insurance Work?. Having general liability insurance is the basis of any business insurance policy. If you can afford only one commercial insurance policy for your business then you should get a commercial general liability policy, because it offers protection against a wide range of unexpected risks, and will form the foundation of your business financial protection.
Later, when you have more funds, you can buy other types of insurance to add to your coverage, but if you're in the start-up phase and short on cash, GL is the first step in the process. So if you want to know how general liability insurance works - here's what you need to know.
How does general liability insurance work? Learn how commercial general liability can protect your business from costly third party lawsuits for bodily injury or property damage.
You can skip to the answers about how general liability insurance works using these links:
- How Does General Liability Insurance Work?
- What is Covered Under A General Liability Policy?
- What Is Excluded In A General Liability Insurance Policy?
- How Much General Liability Insurance Do You Need?
How Does General Liability Insurance Work?
Your general liability policy will protect you and your business in the event that your small business has caused damages to another person or their property. If you are in such a situation when a claim falls under your policy, then you can use your policy to cover various types of litigation costs, including lawyer's fees, settlements, court costs, medical bills, repair fees and more.
How does general liability insurance work? - read on:
What is Covered Under A General Liability Policy?
A commercial general liability policy generally mainly covers three types of liability exposures. These include:
- Premises and Operations Exposure
- Products and Completed Operations Exposure
- Indirect/Contingent Exposure
Coverage For Premises and Operations Exposure will protect your small business against claims for physical bodily injuries and property damages related to the maintenance and operations of your business. How does general liability insurance work? For example, let's say that a customer enters your shop and accidentally injures himself on a chair or table. If that customer decides to sue you for their medical expenses then you can make a claim on your policy to cover the litigation costs.
Coverage For Products And Completed Operations Exposure protects businesses against claims for physical bodily injuries and property damages which are caused by faulty products, services and any type of work performed by your business. How does general liability insurance work? For example, let's say that your business produces food products and one of your customers becomes sick from consuming them. If they decide to sue you for their injuries then you can make a claim on your GL policy to cover the cost of litigation.
Coverage For Indirect/Contingent Liability Exposure protects your small business in the event that you are found liable for the negligent work of subcontractors you hire. How does general liability insurance work? For example, let's say that one of your clients' property was damaged by a contractor that you referred. In that case, you can make a claim to cover your costs.
So remember that commercial general liability can protect businesses against a wide range of unpreventable accidents and contingencies, and if you're a small business owner then you need this protection for your own operation.
What Is Excluded In A General Liability Insurance Policy?
Although commercial general liability insurance can cover a wide range accidents and damages, it also has certain limits. It can only protect your business from unpreventable accidents. It does not offer protection (excludes) things like:
- Damages to your property
- Employee injuries
- Disputes regarding employment
- Injuries resulting from pollution
- Professional errors & omissions
- Preventable accidents
- Intentional injuries
So before you get a general liability policy for your small business, be sure to learn about what it does and doesn't cover.
How Much General Liability Insurance Do You Need?
It's important to point out that insurance is often a requirement for doing business, and this is particularly true for CGL. There are three things that dictate how much general liability insurance you will need for your business: Your Landlord, Your Vendors and Your Business.
First, let's talk about landlords. Unless you own the building where you do business, you will need to negotiate with your landlord, and most landlords often require their tenants to have one million dollars per occurrence and two million dollars aggregate limits to get started. What this means is that in the event that you need to file a claim in a particular year, you will have up to one million dollars worth of coverage. If, however, you need to more than one claim in the same year then the policy caps out at the 2 million aggregate - regardless of the number of claims.
Aside from landlords, vendors may also dictate how much general liability coverage you will need to get. Most vendors want their partners have millions of dollars worth of GL coverage, because they want to make sure they're protected in case something goes wrong with your services or products. So if you don't have a lot of assets, you may be forced to get a lot of coverage just to satisfy your vendors. This is particularly true for small business that work with large corporations like Lowe's, Amazon etc.
Finally, you will need to consider your own businesses insurance needs. The faster your business grows, the more coverage you will need. Most small businesses need millions of dollars worth of coverage to prevent financial disaster. So if you already have a mature business then you will need a plan that is appropriate for its size. A company with $100,000,000 in sales will need more than one with $100,000 in sales.
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Get useful tips and information about how much commercial insurance costs, small business risks and exposures, how insurance regulations effect your businesses' and detailed descriptions of coverages and exclusions and more. Most small businesses need to buy the following four types of insurance at a minimum to cover their operations from every day risks:
Property Insurance: This policy covers a business if the property used in the business is damaged or stolen as the result of common perils like fire or theft. Commercial property insurance covers the buildings, structures and also business personal property - which includes furniture, inventory, raw materials, machinery, computers and other items.
Liability Insurance: Any company can be sued. Slip-and fall lawsuits are very common and be costly. Customers can claim you injured them or damaged their property - and lawsuits are very expensive. Commercial liability insurance pays damages and can include attorney's fees and other legal expenses. It also ca pay for the medical bills of injured third parties
Commercial Auto Insurance: For vehicles owned by the business. Commercial auto insurance pays bodily injury or property damage costs for which the business is found liable - up the the policy limits for liability and property damage.
Workers Compensation Insurance: In almost every state employers must provide workers comp when there are W2 employees. Workers compensation pays for the medical care of employees and can replace a portion of lost wages - regardless of who was at fault for the injuries.