Which Businesses Should Get General Liability Insurance?

Which Businesses Should Get General Liability Insurance?
There are so many different types of commercial insurance available today (see this Forbes article that lists 13 should-have policy types) that many small business owners may be bewildered as to which kinds of insurance they truly need.
Few small business owners can afford to invest in a dozen or more insurance policies, but on the other hand, going under-covered can be more costly in the end.

But what about general liability insurance? Is it an “essential” commercial insurance? And which types of businesses is it especially important for?

Who Should Get General Liability Cover?
General liability insurance is such a “basic” type of insurance coverage that any and all businesses (even small ones) would do well to invest in it. Here’s why:

  • If a customer is injured while on your property or due to your products/services and files a lawsuit against you, general liability will cover it. This kind of scenario could happen to any business (even when the basis of the lawsuit isn’t valid.)
  • If one of your employees accidentally damages a client’s property, your general liability policy can cover that loss.
  • General liability picks up where workers comp and certain other forms of commercial insurance leave off: it fills in the “gaps” and provides you with “general” coverage against a wide range of “liabilities” (hence the name.)

That said, there are certain business types for which general liability is particularly important. These include:

  • Home installation companies. Any company routinely installing equipment at clients’ homes or that works in close proximity to customers’ property, needs to have general liability cover. The risk of paying for damaged property and/or personal injuries is simply too high to not cover it.
  • Advertising agencies. General liability will normally include cover for “advertising injuries,” from alleged false advertising and similar issues. Any company that does a lot of advertising or that helps advertise for other businesses should get general liability.
  • News reporting corporations. The slander and libel liability coverage included in most general liability policies is crucial for businesses that are constantly reporting on what people said/did.
  • Rental property businesses. If you own rental property, you’ll be glad to hear that you can include coverage for rental property damage done by tenants, in your general liability policy. Anyone with any experience in dealing with tenants understands why you need this.

Three Lesser-known Areas of General Liability Coverage
Besides what we’ve already mentioned above, there are additional areas that general liability will cover, or may cover at least depending on the specifics of your policy.

First, it can be a great complement to professional liability insurance because it will cover any physical injuries or property damage arising from the “errors & omissions” that professional liability covers.

Second, general liability will usually include some level of coverage for product liability. That means it will cover you if a customer alleges that your product caused him/her physical harm.

Third, contract liability will sometimes be included in a general liability policy. Contractors and all manner of professionals who are constantly signing contractual agreements need to have this covered, for breaches of contract that allegedly cause property damage or personal injuries are not all that uncommon.

The bottom line is that general liability insurance covers so many important areas that you should seriously consider investing in it regardless of the type or size of your business.

To learn more about general liability insurance, or for a free consultation and quote, contact Flagler County Insurance Agency today!