For small businesses, general commercial liability insurance is an important investment. So, what does this insurance cover? Why do you even need it? And how much coverage should you plan on purchasing?
1. What does General Commercial Liability Cover?
This type of coverage offers protection against bodily injury, physical injury or property damage.
– Bodily Injury: In case a visitor is hurt while at your place of business
– Property Damage: In case you or your employee damage property on your client’s premises
– Personal Injury: Offenses like slander, libel, or advertising copyright infringement
– Medical Expenses: The money required for medical treatment of the injured party
– Premises and Operations Liability: Injury or damage that occur during your business
– Tenant’s Liability: Damage due to fire or other losses on properties you rented
Obviously, each policy has its own coverage. You’ll need to examine your own written policy – even the fine print – before you count on the coverage.
2. Why Do I Need to Get This Coverage?
Small business owners don’t expect to get into trouble, but we all know that accidents happen. And even though you may not be at fault for the accident, the fact that it happened on your business’s property may cause liability issues for your company. If the case is covered by general commercial liability insurance, you won’t have to worry about legal fees or the cost of the trial.
Depending on the nature of your business, you may be working with client companies. These other businesses will probably require you to have insurance – that way, you’ll be covered in case anything happens while working with them.
3. How Much Coverage Do I Need?
Your broker will help you determine how much coverage you need based on the nature of your business as well as your location.
The nature of your business includes what type of work you do, the environment that you work in, and many other factors. Different types of industries carry various levels of risk.
Location is also important to consider. In certain locations, courts have historically required higher penalties for certain types of injury or damage. Your agent will help you determine the amount of commercial liability coverage that you may need in case something happens.
4. Can I Reduce My Risk of Filing a Claim?
Even though insurance is a good idea and necessary in many cases, it’s also good to do everything that you can to ensure that you don’t have to make a claim. There are many ways that you can reduce your chances:
– Thoroughly train your employees and subcontractors
– Establish policies, procedures, and processes that will ensure client and employee safety
– Routinely inspect your business for hazards
– Maintain office furniture and any equipment that will be used
– Ensure that smoke detectors work and that emergency exits are always accessible
– Restrict access to hazardous areas or equipment to authorized personnel
Combining your commercial liability insurance with proper safety measures is the very best way to limit any claims that you may need to make – hopefully, you won’t have to make any claims!