There are basically two kinds of small businesses: those that have been sued and those that are at risk of being sued. If yours falls into the former category, you’re probably well aware of the benefits that adequate insurance coverage can provide. If the latter category applies to your enterprise, you’ll want to read on to learn what General Liability insurance does cover. These next five minutes could well save your livelihood.
Property damage claims and expenses to settle claims of bodily and personal injury to a third party fall under the heading of General Liability. This also extends to product liability, as well as advertising injury caused by your services, business operations, or employees. Allegations of libel, slander, and copyright infringement are covered under General Liability as well.
To make a long story short, General Liability insurance is the coverage you’ll need in order to be protected against the most common types of lawsuits that everyday business activities might trigger.
If your business model requires customers to enter your facility, or you to enter their homes, you’ll want to be covered should some sort of injury befall any non-employees. Let’s say a customer trips over your doormat on their way into your showroom. You can be held financially responsible for medical bills, lost income, and rehabilitation costs that result from the incident.
Potential costs could include an ambulance ride, an emergency room visit, subsequent treatment — and lost wages if the injury renders them unable to work. What’s more, even if the person initially says they’re fine and refuses assistance, they can come back and bring a lawsuit against you at a later date.
In that event, General Liability insurance for small business from a provider like Verifly will also cover the cost of legal representation to litigate and/or settle the case.
Working in a client’s home, one of your employees inadvertently breaks an antique vase worth thousands of dollars. More than just a treasured heirloom, it’s a rare historical item from which the owner derives income exhibiting it.
In addition to paying for the repair or replacement of the vase, General Li ability insurance will provide compensation for loss of use during the time it takes it to be repaired or replaced. This also holds true for other types of property, such as real estate, equipment and supplies.
You should expect a customer to seek some sort of compensation if they are injured as a result of using something you manufacture, sell or distribute. You can also anticipate going to court to settle the dispute if you’re unable to reach an agreement in the aftermath.
General Liability insurance will pay the settlement, as well as costs associated with going to trial if a judge or jury rules in favor of the customer.
It’s all too easy to slander a competitor and have it witnessed by millions of people thanks to the rise of social media. This falls under the heading of advertising injury, as do instances of customers filing complaints over alleged false claims you may have made regarding your products or services.
Other situations falling under this “personal injury” umbrella include false arrest, copyright infringement, malicious prosecution, theft of an advertising concept, wrongful eviction or entry, and invasion of privacy.
General Liability Coverage Exclusions
You’ll need supplemental policies to cover the following:
• Workplace injuries
• Damage to your own property
• Intentional damage
• Damage to client property in your care
• Professional mistakes
• Damage to vehicles
Again, there are basically two types of businesses: those that have been sued and those at risk of being sued. Considering what General Liability insurance does cover, acquiring a policy should provide you with some peace of mind. After all, your small business will be much better off with General Liability insurance than you will be without it.