General Liability Insurance

Does your business have enough liability coverage?

Commercial general liability (CGL) insurance is a commercial insurance policy designed to protect businesses against damages that can occur to another person’s property or self. General liability protects your company from legal claims and responsibilities that can arise when a customer injures themselves while in your retail store, office or other place of business. It also protects your company from damages or injuries that arise from services you or your employees render.

When someone gets hurt or injured while in your place of business, they can sue you and your company for damages, hospital bills, loss of work and other property loss due to the harm caused. General liability insurance helps protect your business from large lawsuits, judgments and monetary awards. Without this type of coverage, one seemingly minor accident can turn into a multi-million dollar lawsuit that may force your business into bankruptcy.

General liability insurance is very comprehensive. It covers all potential accidents or injuries that are not specifically excluded from your insurance policy. It is designed to help protect your company from unforeseen and previously unimagined accidents or events, so it covers a wide variety of things that are not specifically stated in your commercial policy. Effectively, general liability insurance will cover most accidents and injuries that might arise inside your work place or in conjunction with the business products or services you offer.

With a general liability insurance protection policy in place for your business, you can rest easy knowing that all of the basics are covered. If a client stumbles over boxes while on the premise of your company and must go to the hospital to treat the fall injuries, general liability insurance covers the cost of the ambulance and hospital bills.

Accidental injuries and property damage can happen outside of your office or retail location as well. If customers are injured due to activities your company has in progress at an offsite location, general liability insurance will cover the expenses involved with those accidents as well.

General liability insurance is critical for all businesses that work with products. Whether you simply handle the products or you actually sell or manufacture them, general liability coverage helps protect you when something goes awry with those products.

For example, a beauty salon may find that their customers have an allergic reaction to new shampoo products, or an auto repair shop may find that a specific type of engine fan that they have been selling and installing is defective. In either of these cases, general liability insurance helps protect your company from lawsuits and class action cases that may arise due to your customer being harmed — as in the case of the allergic reaction  or your customer’s property being harmed  and even in the case of the auto repair shop’s defective fan.

When you complete agreed upon work for a customer or client, there is the potential that you can be held liable for the injury or damage to your customer or their property due to your product or service.

For example, if an assistant or intern in a veterinarian’s office gives a customer’s dog a flu shot, and that animal has a severe allergic reaction to the medicine that causes harm to the animal, general liability coverage can help protect your office and business from the associated expenses and potential legal fees. Your assistant or intern provided services to your customer and upon completion of providing the services; it caused harm to the customer’s pet.

Completed operations coverage is part of general liability insurance, and it is designed to help protect you and your business assets in the event that work you completed somehow brings harm to your customer, or damages the customer’s property.

General liability insurance is useful for all types of businesses because it covers so much of the basic risks you may encounter as part of running your business operation. It automatically adjusts to cover new business locations as you add them and new commercial services or products you offer as well. However, there are several base limitations to general liability business coverage. For example, general liability insurance will not cover liability related to alcohol or workers compensation, nor will it cover automobiles or travel situations. These coverages have to be purchased separately on a different policy form.

General liability also does not cover accidents or injuries related to war, equipment that is meant to be used for mobile business purposes, or losses due to failure to perform.

General liability insurance coverage varies in the insurance limit amounts you can have for various portions of coverage. Product liability may have different coverage limits than fire or flood damage liability, and those limits may be different than your operations or advertising insurance coverage.

It’s very important to discuss the inclusions and exclusions available to your business through general liability coverage with your insurance agent. If you don’t understand something that is excluded from the coverage, be sure to ask questions and get clarifications so you can be assured that you have adequate and appropriate coverage for your business specific needs.

General liability insurance acts as a general coverage that is designed to help you plan for all contingencies that may not be covered by other parts of your business insurance policy. When accidents or injuries arise that go above and beyond the limits of your general liability insurance coverage, commercial umbrella coverage steps in to protect your business from the excess claim or judgment amounts. Designed to be an add on to general liability insurance, umbrella coverage helps cover your costs above and beyond what general liability insurance covers up to the limit of coverage purchased.

 

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