What Is General Liability Insurance?
What Is General Liability Insurance.
General liability insurance is an insurance coverage that protects business owners, and their businesses from third party claims which involve property damage and bodily harm or injury. This coverage protects business owners and pays for the cost of litigation, bonds, settlements, and judgements as posted by the courts to the extent of the policy limit.
All businesses operate in an increasingly litigious society, and this also increases their need to understand what is general liability insurance coverage. Even if it may be difficult to imagine a situation where you are likely to face a claim from a third party, insuring your business against such unforeseen factors and events is wise. While the cost of a getting a general liability insurance policy for your business depends of the type of business, risk factors and your coverage needs, it is still relatively inexpensive. This is very affordable compared to the amount of money you would spend 'out-of-pocket' in legal fees and compensation in the event that your business is sued.
Understanding what is general liability insurance is vital to protect your business from lawsuits for bodily injury or property damage. Learn how a CGL policy can shield your business from real or frivolous claims.
You can skip to the following answers about what is general liability insurance using these links:
- How Much General Liability Insurance Coverage Does My Business Need?
- What Does General Liability Insurance Cover?
- What Doesn't General Liability Insurance Cover?
- How Much Does General Liability Cost?
How Much General Liability Insurance Coverage Does My Business Need?
Your coverage needs will depend on your type of business, location and the risks associated with such a business. Businesses are generally categorized into two broad categories; higher risk and lower risk businesses. For example, if you are a web content writer or web designer (lower risk), your business risk will definitely be lower than a roofing contractor or security firm (higher risk business).
Businesses considered as higher risk businesses obviously need a lot more coverage than those considered to be lower risk. That's why you need to know what is general liability insurance. Businesses in the lower risk category may consider purchasing a Business Owner's Policy (BOP) as opposed to basic general liability insurance. This is because the BOP combines both property insurance and general liability insurance covers at a relatively reduced rate.
What Does General Liability Insurance Cover?
The Cost of Litigation - General liability insurance covers the costs of litigation in the event damages are filed against your business. These costs may include; attorney expenses, the insurance company's investigation, medical costs in the event of injury, any settlements and bonds in respect to the damages.
Injury damages/compensation - General liability insurance also covers injury damages or compensation for claims resulting from bodily harm or damage to property that occurred as a result of an accident in your business premises, your business operations, and your products/services or advertising efforts should such a judgement be posted.
Miscellaneous Damages - There are many unforeseen issues or factors in the day to day operations of a business that may cause injury to a third party. General liability insurance covers your business against unforeseen damages that may arise. These could include advertising injury that may be caused by your marketing team's violation of another person's or business's copyright.
What Doesn't General Liability Insurance Cover?
Property Damage - Commercial general liability insurance does not cover damage to business / personal property including vehicles, furniture, or stock. For these, you will need to purchase a property insurance and/or business auto insurance cover to insure your property and auto-vehicle accidents respectively.
Employment Disagreements - General liability insurance will also not insure your business against damages or losses arising from employment disagreements.
Professional Errors - Both predictable and unpredictable professional mistakes can be made in the course of doing business. However, this cover will not insure your business against losses occurring from professional mistakes. To insure your business against damages that may occur as a result of professional errors made in the cause of doing business, you will need a professional liability insurance policy (also know as errors and omissions).
Employees' Injuries - A general business liability insurance coverage will not cover costs related to injuries sustained by employees at work or in the business premises. You will need to purchase workers compensation cover to ensure that your employees are covered in the event that they get hurt while on the job.
Intentional Injury/Property Damage - General liability insurance does not cover litigation expenses and costs if it is established that the bodily harm or damage to property belonging to the third party was intended. As you can see understanding what is general liability insurance does and doesn't do is so important.
How Much Does General Liability Cost?
There a several factors that go into the cost of a CGL policy: Location, business type, experience, sales/payroll and claims history are some of the most important. To find out your exact cost, contact a broker or look online for quotes.
Consult with a commercial insurance agent to determine which coverage types you need and any riders or policy addendums that you must purchase to fully protect your business' financial future at the lowest possible premium.
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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.