General liability insurance helps protect your assets by providing a first line of defense against a variety of claims for alleged negligence or wrongdoing. In today's lawsuit-happy society, litigation can wreak havoc with any business — including yours.
By covering the cost of defending or settling these claims, a business general liability insurance policy can help you keep your business in business.
What does a typical General Liability Insurance policy cover?
Liability: Liability Insurance covers five basic categories of business liability:
- Bodily Injury — physical harm to a person at your place of business, or an injury caused by your employee at a client's site.
- Completed Operations/Products Liability — losses after your business has completed work for a customer (such as repairing appliances or installing plumbing), or from manufacturing and distributing products.
- Personal Injury — damage to the reputation or rights of a person or business due to slander, libel, copyright infringement, invasion or privacy, false arrest, wrongful eviction, etc.
- Advertising Injury — losses caused by your advertising (spoken or written); for example, an ad that trashes a competitor.
- Independent Contractors Liability Insurance — damage from the acts of an independent contractor hired by your business.
Medical Payments: Pays the medical expenses of a person injured on your premises (a customer, client, visitor, or even a trespasser) up to a stated amount, regardless of fault — as a goodwill gesture to prevent lawsuits.
Your Business Liability Insurance will pay three types of damages:
- Compensatory damages —financial losses of the claimant, plus additional monetary losses resulting from the claim.
- General damages — for intangible losses ("pain and suffering.” “mental anguish,” etc.)
- Punitive damages — penalties against your business for committing a wrongful act.
Although General Liability insurance provides a wide range of protection for your business, it won't pay liability claims related to these areas (which you can cover with other policies):
- On-the-job injuries to employees (Workers Compensation Insurance);
- Operating autos or trucks in your business (Business Auto Policy);
- Performing, or failing to perform, professional services (Professional Liability/Errors & Omissions);
- Acts as a corporate director or officer (Directors & Officers Policy);
- Pollution (Environmental Liability Insurance);
- Damage to property of others in the care, custody and control of your business — for example, an electronic repair shop storing customers' televisions (Baillee's Customer Floater); and
- Products, such as food items or toys, subject to recall.
General Liability Insurance also excludes coverage for losses related to war, terrorism, or nuclear events.
The Bottom Line
A well-crafted General Liability policy can help give you financial peace of mind, freeing you up to grow your business. Go ahead and get a free quote now!