General Liability Insurance
In every business, unexpected damages or injuries are bound to occur during daily operations. With general liability insurance (GL), also known as business liability insurance (BL) or commercial general liability insurance (CGL), your company can be protected from damages or claims against your business. Coverage from general liability insurance may include:
- Advertising injury: This is protection against claims of false advertising or copyright infringement in your advertisements.
- Bodily injury (customers or clients): Any physical harm sustained by a customer or client while at your business location is covered by this.
- Business owner’s policy (BOP): Small business bundling of insurance coverage for added protection can help you avoid unprotected risks.
- Contractual liability: This provides coverage for the company’s responsibility when assuming the financial consequences of another person’s inadvertent acts that result in physical injury or property damage to a third party.
- Damage to premises rented to you: Any property you rent that is damaged by fire, lightning or explosion can be replaced through this coverage.
- Damage to someone else’s property: Whether by accident or negligence, property can be damaged during normal business operations, requiring repair or replacement. This helps pay for repair or replacement fees.
- Defense (legal) costs: If your company gets sued, this coverage can help with lawyer expenses.
- Liquor liability: If your business sells alcohol, you will be held responsible if someone becomes intoxicated and causes damage. Liquor liability covers damages or loss due to alcohol consumption.
- Medical payments: Doctor or hospital bills can be supplemented through this insurance policy.
- Personal injury: Coverage will be provided if you are harmed on the job.
- Product reputation and recall: This can replace products that have been recalled or cover product loss if there is no replacement. Loss caused by tampering or contamination may also be covered.
- Property damage: If any property is damaged, this can assist in repair or replacement.
- Reputational harm: In the event of a reputation-damaging incident, reputation risk coverage can help with fees associated with resolving any issues.
- Umbrella and excess liability limits: Umbrella terms typically refer to many policies combined under one branch. This allows clients to add additional coverage to their current policy as needed.
Any time a claim is made against your business during typical business operation, various costs can ensue, including medical payments as a result of an accident on your premises or due to your business operations. General liability insurance protects from issues, such as an employee being injured on the job or a customer sustaining injuries after a fall, and includes coverage if you are sued for libel or slander to avoid potential risks to your company.
Business Owner’s Policy
Business owner’s policies (BOP) combine general liability coverage with other insurance policies to protect your assets. Some options for additional insurance you can include in your BOP are:
- Property insurance: By adding property insurance, your enterprise will be covered for your location (building), tools, equipment and furniture owned and used. This can also cover additional costs, such as debris removal, loss of income or pollution cleanup, as part of a covered loss.
- Business income: This coverage helps you pay your employees and outstanding bills if your business needs to close temporarily.
- Crime insurance: Any fraud, theft or forgery is protected under this option.
- Accounts receivable: By adding this to your policy, you are protected against losses from unpaid invoices.
- Cyber liability: In case of cyber attack or damage to your computer systems or electronic data, your equipment is protected.
- Equipment breakdown: This covers any computer hardware owned by your company.
- Employment practices liability: Wrongful acts arising from the employment process are covered with this insurance.
With BOP policies, as with any insurance policy, it is best to discuss everything covered in your plan to ensure you are aware of what will not be covered. For instance, some plans do not include earthquake insurance. Additional coverage can be combined with your plan by attaching an endorsement to extend coverage, such as commercial auto to protect any business vehicles, or professional liability insurance (known as Errors and Omissions) to cover any alleged harm your business services or advice may cause a client.
Protecting Your Company
During your business operations, an injury or claim against your company will likely occur, and can often lead to lawsuits and significant expenses to fix the issue. Protect your business assets and reputation by providing peace of mind through a general liability insurance policy. Keep in mind that you can discuss adding coverage as needed to meet your company’s goals without the headache of worrying about excluded risks.
Frequently Asked Questions About General Liability Insurance
Is general liability insurance required by law to operate a business?
No, you are not required by law to have general liability insurance to operate a business. That said, most major companies will only do business with companies that have such policies.
The advantage of only doing business with companies with business liability insurance is that they cover concerns that could affect both companies. For this reason, if your company plans to operate using a business-to-business model (B2B), general liability insurance will become essential at some point.
How much is general liability insurance?
The cost of general liability insurance will vary depending on the size of your company, the degree of coverage and the size of your deductible. You should consult with one of our insurance consultants to get an individualized insurance quote.
How do I know what my general liability insurance policy covers?
Your insurance consultant will go over your general liability insurance coverage details before you finalize your purchase. After you have bought a policy, the details of your coverage will be provided to you as part of your insurance documentation.
Can I customize my general liability insurance policy?
Yes. General liability insurance is designed to cover many types of concerns, so you can choose to customize your coverage based on your company’s needs.
What does general liability insurance not cover?
General liability insurance does not cover several types of specific concerns.
- It will not cover employee injuries. That requires worker’s compensation insurance.
- It will not cover mistakes or damages caused by your company to a client. That requires professional liability insurance.
- It will not cover misconduct or financial liabilities caused by company executives. That requires executive and financial liability insurance.
Can I combine my general liability insurance with other insurance products?
Yes. We recommend that you combine your general liability insurance policy with a BOP at a minimum to maximize your coverage while minimizing your costs. In addition, you can bundle general liability insurance with most of our other insurance policies to save money.
You can learn more about the types of business insurance we offer here.