Frequently Asked Questions About
Commercial General Liability Insurance
How much does commercial insurance cost?
Costs can vary widely based on industry and are also determined by zip code and often payroll and/or gross sales. Request a free quote to get an exact number.
What kind of business insurance do I need?
Most business owners need General Liability Insurance at the very least. If you have any non-owner employees, you will need workers compensation insurance too.
What is a Certificate of Insurance?
A Certificate of Insurance is proof of coverage. It lists the type and amount of liability coverage you have and other policy information when a third party requests it.
Is business insurance tax deductible?
Yes. you can deduct the cost of commercial insurance premiums. The IRS considers insurance a cost of doing business as long it benefits the business & serves a business purpose.
Business Liability Insurance
Business Liability Insurance. The Small Business Administration identifies three types of business liability insurance for the average small business. These include general business liability insurance, product liability insurance and professional liability insurance. Each of these have their own purpose and, depending on your business type, may or may not be of benefit to you. Of greatest benefit to almost all businesses is a general business liability insurance policy. This policy acts as the first line of defense against many liability claims against your business.
General business liability insurance comes into play if a claim is made against your business by a third party. This could be for an incident such as property damage or bodily injury as a result of an action of an employee or contractor. The general business liability insurance usually covers legal fees in defense of the company and has a maximum settlement or court award value that the insurance will cover. Though not required by law, most businesses choose to protect themselves from financial loss and maintain a general business liability insurance policy. A typical policy may include bodily injury and property damage, personal injury liability and legal defense and judgement.
Business liablity insurance protects your company from lawsuits with rates as low as $27/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
Currently, the Pacific Research Institute ranks among the worst states when considering the legal climate for business liability. A state constitutional ban exists barring the legislature from setting certain limits in business liability lawsuits, leaving businesses open to financial ruin. It is advisable for all businesses to strongly consider commercial general liability insurance. It is your first line of defense against frivolous and legitimate claims and lawsuits.
Bodily Injury and Property Damage
The bodily injury and property damage liability portion of the general business liability insurance policy generally covers physical injury to a person other than an employee at your place of business.
It also covers physical injury caused by you or your employee in the course of business on another person's property. Medical payments for such injury are often part of the settlement. Also the coverage includes damage caused by you or an employee to another person or entity's property.
Libel, Slander and Copyright Infringement
The general business liability insurance policy also includes coverage for libel, slander and copyright infringement by employees acting on behalf of the business. It also covers the invasion of property or privacy and wrongful eviction and losses caused by your advertising. These instances involve damage that is alleged to be caused by you or an employee against an individual or another.
Legal Defense and Judgements
Lastly, the typical business liability insurance coverage provides protection for legal defense and judgement which generally includes costs of defense against lawsuits and judgement limited to coverage liabilities. This part of the policy can be invaluable when settling lawsuits. Legal representation to handle the matter provides a sense of security in dealing with these matters.
Why You Need Business Liability Insurance
The business liability insurance can help protect businesses by covering legal claims. Policies can be tailored to meet the specific needs of the business by adjusting coverage amounts, deductibles and varying the dollar limits of the coverage. By adjusting deductibles and coverage amounts you will find a policy to meet your needs while staying within your budget.
Each claim can result in a devastating financial cost to a small business. Customer slip and fall claims have the highest rate of occurrence in business liability. Some estimates have the average payout for these types of claims at well over $30,000. These happen more often than you can imagine. The injured party generally has to show that the business was negligent, but sometimes that is not the case. An employee mops the floor and forgets to put the "wet floor" sign up and a customer slips and gets injured. Another example is a customer tripping over a sidewalk crack outside the business.
One such slip and fall accident in resulted in a $250,000 pre-trial settlement to the claimant for an injury in small grocery store. The individual walked down the aisle of the store and slipped on some spilled liquid laundry detergent. This resulted in a significant injury to the claimant, requiring medical attention and loss of work.
Ranked next is a customer injury and damage claim which often costs the business in excess of $40,000. Very similar to slip and fall, the customer has been injured through an act either through an action or through negligence. Recently in, a female was awarded $300,000 after she was injured during a robbery. It was determined that the business was negligent in the provision of security in a high crime area and that they were liable for the customer's injuries.
Reputational harm claims are also among the most frequent business liability insurance claims in with an average settlement of $50,000. In this internet age, reputational harm cases are on the rise. The unauthorized use of a picture that can negatively impact a person or business reputation is an example of this. A negative, hostile online reaction by an employee to a review or blog could be another example. In cases where a lawsuit is filed, the average can run up to $100,000 with legal fees and court costs. In, jury awards can be even higher due to the legal atmosphere. Though most defamation cases have historically centered on the media, claims against employers have been made with significant awards made to former employees. Former employees proving that employers make false statements that negatively impact their earning potential are among these cases.
Small Business Economic Data & Insurance Regulations
Perhaps you have the next great idea for a product or service that you know will appeal to your local area. Maybe you want to contribute to the economic growth of your community. Whatever the reason is, if you're thinking about starting a small business, it's important to understand pertinent information relating to small businesses in the United States; namely economic information and insurance regulations. After all, if you want your small business to succeed, you have to understand the economic trends organizations of a similar size in your area.
Likewise, you want to ensure that your small business is well protected with the right business insurance and that you are in compliance with the rules and regulations that pertain to commercial insurance in your region.
Read up on economic statistics and insurance information that relates to small business owners in the United States.
Small Business Economic Data In The United States
Here's a look at some information that was compiled by the Small Business Association (SBA) regarding the economic data that pertains to small businesses in the United States:
- In 2015, small businesses in the United States employed an estimated 58.9 million American workers, or 47.5 percent of the nation's private workforce.
- Largest shares = fewer than 100 employees. The small businesses that employed 100 people or less had the largest share of employment amount small businesses.
- Employment increased by nearly 2 percent. In 2018, employment amongst small businesses increased by 1.8 percent, which is an increase of 1 percent from the prior year.
- Increase in proprietors. In 2016, the number of small business proprietors increased by 2.3 percent.
- In 2015, small businesses were responsible for creating 1.9 million net jobs. Organizations that employed 20 people or less had the largest gains, as they added an estimated 1.1 million net jobs.
- There were 5.7 million loans that were value less than $100,000 issued by lenders in the United States in 2016. These loans were issued under the Community Reinvestment Act.
- Small business owners that were self-employed at the incorporated businesses that they owned reported a median income of $50,347 in 2016.
- Small business owners that were self-employed at the unincorporated businesses that they owned reported a median income of $23,060 in 2016.
Small Business Insurance Information
In the business world, there are many risks faced by company's every day. The best way that business owners can protect themselves from these perils is by carrying the right insurance coverage.
The The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) is the U.S. standard-setting and regulatory support organization. Through the NAIC, state insurance regulators establish standards and best practices, conduct peer review, and coordinate their regulatory oversight.
Commercial insurance is particularly important for small business owners, as they stand to lose a lot more. Should a situation arise - a lawsuit, property damage, theft, etc. - small business owners could end up facing serious financial turmoil.
According to the SBA, having the right insurance plan in place can help you avoid major pitfalls. Your business insurance should offer coverage for all of your assets. It should also include liability and casual coverage. The SBA recommends the following insurance plans for small business owners:
- Commercial Property Insurance: In the case of an unplanned disaster - fire, flood, vandalism, theft, etc. - this type of coverage will help you avoid paying for the damage out of your own pocket. Even if you rent the property, you should still carry commercial property insurance.
- Commercial Liability Insurance: In the event that a legal situation arises - a negligence lawsuit, for example - commercial liability coverage will provide financial protection. It will cover the cost of legal defense fees, court fees, and even moneys that may be awarded.
- Commercial Auto Insurance: If you operate a vehicle for any activities that are related to your business - transporting and/or delivering goods, or meeting with clients - commercial auto insurance is legally required for businesses of all sizes, including small businesses.
Additional Resources For Small Business Insurance
Protect your company and employees with the right commercial insurance policies. Read informative articles on small business insurance coverages - and how they can help shield your company from legal liabilities.
- Business General Liability
- Business Liability
- Business Owners Policy (BOP)
- Certificate of Insurance
- Comprehensive General Liability
- Directors and Officers Liability
- Employers Liability
- Employment Practices Liability
- Home Based Business
- Independent Contractor
- Liability Insurance Certificate
- Liability Insurance
- Professional Liability
- Small Business
Your small business faces many potential disasters including: fire, floods, theft, equipment breakdown, lawsuits from clients or customers and current & former employees. Any many other risks you haven't even thought about.
A small business commercial insurance program should provide protection for both larger and smaller disasters. The obvious things like fire, flood and theft most business owners thnk about... but what if a hacker infects your computers with a virus - and files containing private customer information like credit card and Social Security numbers are stolen?
Who is going to pay to fix your customers credit rating etc.? Will your insurance pay for the cost? You need to know that.
Your commercial insurance program should cover events that can close down your company, or cause it to lose revenue. Anything less than that is not enough coverage. Commmercial insurance doesn't cover everything, and all policies have exclusions and limits.
You need a written plan that allows you to get your operations back up and running as quick as possible.
Choosing the Best Policy for Small Business Needs
Insurance rates can be highly competitive and vary by area, coverage type, deductibles, limits and other variables. This is true for general business liability insurance. In addition to providing you the best coverage, a commercial insurance professional work with you to understand your business needs and develop a plan to manage your unique risks.
Quotes from leading small business insurance carriers including: ACE, AmTrust, Chubb, Cincinnati, CNA, Colony, Employers, Evanston, Fireman's, Foremost, Guard, Hanover, Hiscox, Liberty Mutual, LLoyd's of London, Markel, MSA, Nationwide, Penn America, Philadelphia, Prime, Progressive, Scottsdale, The Hartford, Travelers, USLI, Utica First, Western World, Zurich & others.