Accidents happen. They can happen at home, at work, in the car, or at the store. With this in mind, it’s important to remember that sometimes things are beyond our control. When you’re a business owner, it’s especially important. That’s why you need to consider having general liability insurance coverage for your business.
Is pinching a few pennies worth sacrificing coverage?
You probably have insurance for your car, your home, and your health. Why shouldn’t you have coverage for your business as well?
Just like you would carry liability car insurance to protect those in your vehicle, having general liability insurance for your business is a smart choice without a doubt.
What is General Liability Insurance for Businesses?
Part of owning a business is about making smart financial decisions. Sometimes you need to settle for store brand coffee for the breakroom instead of the fancy boutique-style espresso machine.
Before you try to cut out all unnecessary spending, think about where you want your business to be in ten years. Making a plan for the future might be the motivation you need help making the decision on what to cut.
General liability insurance is the minimum coverage that a business owner can buy for their business. This insurance protects the business against lawsuits from personal injury claims.
Keep in mind that this is the coverage that protects the business from customer-filed claims. However, this does not include all the risks a business owner may be faced with.
This coverage is not a requirement for businesses by law. Business owners have the freedom to make the decision on whether or not they carry it.
Will General Liability Insurance Cover My Business?
Liability claims can be devastating to the survival of a business. Following a lawsuit, and without insurance, a business owner could end up closing their doors. Insurance helps pay for these lawsuits and protects the business at the same time.
So what exactly does general liability insurance cover?
Bodily Injuries At Your Business
General liability coverage will cover any injuries sustained by a customer while they are at your business. This includes the cost of a lawsuit.
Scenario A: For example, let’s say Mrs. Peterson comes into your office every month to pay her bill. During a routine delivery earlier in the day, the driver accidentally tore a strip of the carpet in front of the door. You knew about this, but you hadn’t fixed it yet. Right on schedule, Mrs. Peterson comes in to pay her bill. As she is coming in the door, her shoe gets caught on the strip of carpet. She falls down, breaking her wrist.
Following the accident, Mrs. Peterson files a lawsuit against your business for the injury. If you have general liability insurance, it will pay for Mrs. Peterson’s medical bills, physical therapy, and the cost of the lawsuit.
Property Damage Caused by You or Employees
The property damage coverage protects your business if you damage a third-party’s property. This includes a situation where your employees cause damage.
Scenario B: Let’s say, for instance, you hire a new employee. They don’t have a lot of experience using a forklift, but they’re certified and you have faith in them. So you let them try. While they are trying to restack pallets, they drop one on the ground. This sends materials across the parking lot, and right into the window of the business next door.
Guess what? If you have general liability coverage, the window is covered!
Slander and Libel That You Say or Write
You may not think that getting sued for slander or libel in a business setting is something that could happen, but you’d be wrong.
If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.
Scenario C: Let’s say you make a comment that your product is better than the product of Company “A” because of safety issues. Company “A” loses sales, so they decide to sue you for slander, claiming you can’t prove what you said. Their case is that if you had not said anything false about their company, they would not have lost the sales. Insurance will cover this lawsuit.
Advertising Similarities Between Your Business and Another
Advertising keeps the business going. There are a lot of methods that a company can use to advertise. Sometimes two businesses will cross paths and have a similar advertisement. Because of this, they may feel like you stole their strategy and sue
Scenario D: Let’s say you decide to print up a flyer to advertise an upcoming sale. You’re promoting a discount on yarn and other crafting items. A store down the street is offering a sale on the same types of items. They have a flyer as well, but they put their flyer up first. These flyers look almost identical, and because of this, the other business sues you. They claim that because of your flyer, they lost business. Insurance can help you settle this dispute.
General Liability Insurance Doesn’t Cover Everything
Keep this in mind when you are looking at insurance for your business. Not everything is covered by general liability. It might be worth your while to look into bundling other coverages alongside the general liability coverage.
If damages occur to your business as a result of your employees or a customer, general liability insurance does not cover this.
For this type of coverage, you need to add commercial property insurance to your business owner’s policy.
When an employee gets injured at work, it is the responsibility of the business to take care of that employee’s bills and lost wages. This is called worker’s compensation insurance, which is not a part of general liability coverage.
The Bottom Line on Liability
A lot can happen, especially in the blink of an eye. One minute you have a successful business, then the next a personal injury lawsuit bankrupts your entire dream.
With all of this in mind, don’t you think it might be worth spending a little more now to protect yourself and your business in the future?