General Liability

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What is commercial General Liability?

In addition to providing coverage for property damage or bodily injury liability resulting from your business operations, General Liability typically includes coverage for Medical Expense and Personal Injury including some coverage for Advertising Injury.  In today’s litigious environment, every business owner must consider General Liability insurance.

Why do I need General Liability insurance?

We are aware of and understand the potential risks your company may face if an accident occurs or your employee makes a mistake. For a covered claim, liability insurance will pay to provide legal defense and it will pay the court awarded damages or settlement. Third-party claims can burn a hole in your bank account and General Liability Insurance will provide you with peace of mind and protect your bottom line.

Business General Liability insurance is applicable if:

  • You interact with your clients face-to-face
  • Your business operations are performed at your client’s location (repair/service)
  • Your business needs to get a business license as General Liability aka “Public Liability” is required
  • You use third-party locations for any business-related activities
  • Are required to have General Liability insurance before entering into a contract
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What does General Liability insurance cover?

  • Bodily Injury
  • Damage to third party property
  • Personal injury
  • Advertising injury
  • Medical expenses
  • Defense costs
  • Actions of your full-time employees and temporary staff
  • Supplemental payments

What is not covered in General Liability Insurance?

  • Your property
  • Vehicles and boats
  • Personal identifiable information
  • Professional services
  • Employee injury / workers' compensation
  • Intentional injury
  • Claims prior to or after the policy term

Sample businesses we insure

We provide General Liability insurance tailored to your specific business. Following are a few examples of the small businesses we cater to and how:

Retail Stores

We can provide many different types of retail businesses with comprehensive General Liability insurance. Whether you sell shoes, electronics, furniture, clothing or any other type of product we have a market to insure you. Higher risk products may take more time to find a solution, carry a higher premium and coverage may be with a non-admitted insurer in your state but coverage is usually available.

Restaurants

Whether you operate a sandwich shop or a fine dining restaurant we have a policy to insure your business liability. If alcohol is served, we can also provide your business with a quote for liquor liability insurance along with your General Liability. Typical restaurant liability claims arise form customer slip and fall accidents with injuries resulting where the injured holds the restaurant responsible for their injuries.

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Lessor’s Risk

Real estate investors or landlords in the business of renting commercial space to others need to have liability coverage. Even though they may require their tenant to also have their own General Liability insurance, ultimately the owner of the property can be held liable if someone gets hurt on the property. Depending on the occupancy of the leased premises, we have several insurers to quote the liability insurance and most can be packaged along with the property on a businessowners policy.

Contractors

Air Conditioning, HVAC, Landscaping, Electrical, Plumbing are just a few of the types of contractors we insure.  All artisan contractors need liability for their business operations as this class is highly susceptible to causing property damage while performing their work.  Whether a tree trimmer damages someone’s car while taking down branches or a plumber causes a water leak with their faulty work, General Liability insurance is a must. Let us provide you a quote with one of our highly rated insurers.

Your General Liability Insurance covers claims of:

Bodily Injury

Any organization is open to being sued for bodily injuries despite careful planning, following best practices and implementing loss control strategies. Your business can be held legally liable if a person is injured on your commercial premises or from your business operations in the field.

Damage to Third-Party Property

Property damage caused by you or your employees can create huge expenses that you may be responsible to pay. Your insurer will handle the claims and/or suits brought against your business for which coverage applies when you opt to purchase General Liability insurance. The coverage will pay the owner of the damaged property to repair or replace if your business is negligent.

Personal Injury

Libel and slander in businesses give rise to personal injury. Libel is a false statement that sabotages an individual’s (or business’) reputation in written form. Slander refers to a verbal statement that is damaging to a person’s (or business’s) reputation. If you are sued for libel or slander your General Liability policy will pay to defend you in a covered suit.

Advertising Injury

If you accidently use a similar advertising idea to another party’s advertisement and are sued, General Liability insurance may protect you against such lawsuits. This insurance may also protect you against accidental infringement by use of another's copyright in your marketing materials.

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Medical Expenses

Medical expense or medical payments coverage is a no-fault coverage that will pay for customer or third-party injuries occurring on or next to your premises.  Sometimes referred to as “good will” coverage since legal liability does not have to be proven before the insurance carrier will pay the claim.  Necessary first aid, medical, dental, hospital and ambulance charges are some of the items paid for by this coverage, up to the limit provided by the policy.

Defense Cost

If you are sued for bodily injury or property damage, the legal fees can amount to thousands if not millions of dollars. For a covered claim, your insurance company pays your legal defense and appoints an attorney to protect your interests during the suit. Some policies include defense cost within the limit of General Liability purchased and others provide defense in addition to the limit chosen. It is important to know how your policy handles defense costs.

Actions of your full-time employees and temporary staff

In certain cases, employee actions can cause bodily injury or property damage to others, creating complications and liability to your business. A restaurant employee spills coffee on a customer, ruining clothing, purse and causing burns. Your General Liability will respond whether it is under medical expense coverage or if the customer brings suit under the property damage and bodily injury liability coverage.

Supplemental Payments

General Liability coverage also includes coverage for miscellaneous, carrier incurred claim settlement expenses for investigation, police reports, expert witnesses as well as reimbursement to insured for wage loss when needed in court. Cost for bail bonds, up to $250, court costs and interest charged on judgements are other types of supplemental payments provided for business owners on a General Liability policy.

Worldwide Insurance Coverage

Worldwide coverage is included for lawsuits arising out of your products as long as the product was purchased in the US, its territories, possessions and Canada and lawsuit is brought within the US, its territories, possessions and Canada. If you are a manufacturer of a product that causes injury or damage, unless you purchase foreign liability coverage, you will not have coverage if sued in another country.

What General Liability Insurance policy doesn't cover?

1. Your Property

Damage to real or personal property that you own, rent, occupy or borrow is not covered.

2. Employment Practices

Employee claims resulting from hiring, firing, wage & hour laws, discrimination, sexual harassment in the workplace are not covered by General Liability coverage.  These claims would be handled by an Employment Practices Liability policy.

3. Cyber Liability

If your computer system is hacked and your client’s information is compromised, you have no coverage for the resulting claims filed by your clients under a General Liability policy. No expenses will be paid for client notification, client credit monitoring or event response management. Cyber Liability is the policy to cover these risks.

4. Professional Services

No coverage is provided under the General Liability policy for professional services provided by you. Professional Liability also called Errors & Omissions and/or Malpractice Insurance is the type of policy you need for professional liability claims.

5. Employee Injury

General Liability insurance will not cover any claim brought by an employee. This includes claims for injury to your employee, temporary worker or leased employee while on the job or any other employment related claim. You can obtain worker’s compensation & employers liability policy or an Employment Practices Liability for other types of employment related claims.

6. Auto, plane or boat liability

Neither property damage or bodily injury claims or suits caused by a motor vehicle, plane or watercraft are covered by a General Liability policy. There are limited exceptions to this exclusion within the standard General Liability for specific situations in regard to boats.  Read your policy or ask your agent.

7. Pre-existing claims that occurred prior to effective date of policy

There is no coverage for claims, accidents or incidents that occurred outside of the policy period either before or after the policy expires.

8. Pollution

Pollution is strictly excluded under a General Liability policy and best covered under a pollution or environmental impairment liability policy.

General Liability Insurance is not the answer for every type of claim a business might have but there is a policy out there for almost any type of claim, ask us!

Why Get General Liability Insurance from Insurance Advisor?

As a business owner, you might be legally liable if another person is hurt or their property is damaged due to something you did. Ensure that your business is adequately protected against potential risks with appropriate insurance coverage. It's wise to invest in general liability insurance coverage if you or your employees:

  • Interact with clients face to face - If you visit a client's office or a client visits yours, there is always the possibility of someone getting hurt and needing medical attention.
  • Provide services at a customer’s property – Your business could be liable for property damage or injuries occurring at a customer's property resulting from your work.  General liability insurance would respond to these types of claims or incidents
  • Advertise your company - If your business starts an advertising promotion and unknowingly uses another company’s copyrighted or trademarked content or something similar, you may find yourself in a legal battle.  General liability insurance may cover you in case of a claim.
  • Use third-party locations for business-related activities - If your business sets up a booth at an event or craft show, and someone trips over your extension cord, your business may be responsible for those injuries. If you receive a claim or lawsuit for damages, this would be handled by your general liability coverage.
  • Require coverage to be eligible to bid on a project - If you propose or bid on specific contracts, the contract will have the requirement to provide proof of general liability insurance, often with other types of coverage required as well.   

 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about General Liability Insurance

1. Is General Liability Business Insurance Required by Law?

General liability insurance is not usually required by Federal law, but business owners must check with the local county, city, or municipality where they operate. Many of these local government bodies require businesses to have “public liability” which is an old term for general liability coverage. Also, there are other business relationships with customers, vendors, or lessors that require this type of insurance. There are different rules for different industries, for instance, some states require general liability insurance, before granting licenses for contractors or developers. Do your research to assure your business complies?

2. What is the cost of General Liability Insurance?

The price of general liability insurance can vary greatly, based on the industry of the business, revenue, payroll, types of products or services your offer, deductible, and the policy limits. Very small companies may pay less than $1,000 annually but larger companies could pay any amount for general liability coverage.

General liability insurance coverage with limits of $1 million per occurrence and $2 million aggregate are the limits you see most often for small businesses. Larger or higher-risk businesses will supplement these limits with an Umbrella or Excess Liability policy. General liability limit details:

$1 million per - occurrence limit – The insurer will pay no more than $1 million for any one claim occurrence, regardless of the number of people hurt or the amount of property that is damaged.

$2 million - aggregate limit – In one policy term, the most the insurer will pay is $2 million, regardless of the number of claims, number of claimants, or amount of damage incurred.

3. What does General Liability Insurance cover in Florida?

General liability insurance is applied the same way, regardless of your state of operations. It will pay on behalf of your company for liability claims from third parties (people outside your business) in which your business is found to be negligent. Commercial general liability will respond if someone sues your business for an injury, property damage, or advertising liability. General liability insurance in Florida pays for everything ranging from settlement costs awarded damages, and legal fees.

4. What is the difference between general liability vs. professional liability insurance?

General liability insurance protects your business against common business risks, such as physical customer injury, property damage, and advertising injury liability in which your business is at fault. This policy allows your small business to qualify for leases and contracts. A building owner most likely will require this insurance from your business, before signing a lease for commercial space.

Professional liability insurance is also referred to as errors and omissions or malpractice insurance, depending on the business field. This type of insurance is needed by professional operations that meet certain educational, certification, or licensing requirements to operate. Doctors, lawyers, realtors, insurance agents, engineers, architects, accountants, and other professionals need this coverage. While general liability covers mostly physical injury or physical property damage, except for the medical field, professional liability covers your client’s financial losses resulting from the performance of professional services, whether you make a mistake, or are negligent.

They are both designed to:

Protect against business liabilities - A single lawsuit can cripple your business. General and professional liability cover the financial impact of lawsuits, so your business doesn’t have to close its doors.

Meet contractual requirements - You might be asked to have a particular limit of general liability or professional liability coverage by your business partners or customers before you can sign a contract with them.

Differences between General Liability and Professional liability insurance:

General liability and professional liability provide coverage for different types of risks.

General liability insurance protects against losses resulting from injuries to people or property damage caused by your activities.

Professional liability covers negligence in terms of professional services or advice. It relates to financial loss versus physical injuries or damage, except in the medical field.

5. Is General Liability Insurance the same as Commercial insurance?

General Liability is one type of Commercial Insurance designed to insure businesses for the specific loss exposures they face in different industries. Commercial insurance also includes commercial property, flood, earthquake, business auto, workers’ compensation, inland marine, cyber, employment practices, equipment breakdown, and many more!

Click here for more Frequently Asked Questions on General Liability Insurance.

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