2014 General Liability Insurance Policies | Small Business Insurance

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GENERAL LIABILITY INSURANCE

Even the most careful startups and small businesses run the risk of injuring or damaging someone or something during the course of ordinary operations. General Liability Insurance protects your business assets in the event of a costly lawsuit so that you don't have to drain your bank account or sell your equipment to fund legal fees and court settlements.

General Liability Insurance even protects businesses if the lawsuit in question is without merit, which is good news for small-business owners. Even without a judgment or settlement, the cost of mounting a legal defense can quickly climb into the tens of thousands of dollars. If you don't have general liability coverage and you don't keep that kind of cash on reserve, the cost of defending yourself could put you out of business.

The experienced agents at insureon understand how serious a lawsuit is for a small business. Contact us today, and one of our licensed agents will evaluate the risks associated with your business and help you to outfit your business with the general liability coverage that fits your business and suits your industry.

GENERAL LIABILITY INSURANCE EXPLAINED

General liability coverage kicks in when your business is faced with a lawsuit alleging bodily injury or property damage.

For example, someone might claim that your business…

  • Created an unsafe environment where someone was injured.
  • Damaged personal property.
  • Is responsible for an injury caused by you or one of your employees.

It's important to note that General Liability Insurance protects your business against claims brought against the company as a whole, as well as claims brought against individuals on the company's behalf. When a lawsuit commences, your General Liability Insurance covers the costs of investigating or defending those claims, which might include paying attorney fees, witness fees, court expenses, and more.

Up to stated limits, general liability policies may also cover bond premiums, settlements, and judgments arising from covered lawsuits, including the medical costs for someone suing about an injury.

If it includes business interruption coverage, your policy may also pay for the income you lose while defending yourself in court, along with certain other expenses you may incur to return your business to normal operations.

HOW INSUREON MAKES BUYING GENERAL LIABILITY INSURANCE EASIER

  • Quick, Accurate Quotes. The easy-to-use online insureon application can connect you with a certificate of insurance in less than half an hour.
  • Unbeatable Selection. Choose from policies issued by the industry's most trusted insurance providers.
  • Expert Agents at Your Service. Our specialists are licensed agents ready to assist and advise you throughout your insurance-buying process.
  • Individually Tailored Insurance Policies. Receive a policy that's designed to meet the specific needs of your business – nothing more, nothing less.

KEY DETAILS ABOUT YOUR GENERAL LIABILITY INSURANCE

Your general liability policy protects your business from the costs and distractions of property damage or injury lawsuits brought against your business. As you consider your coverage needs, keep the following details in mind.

Coverage for Bodily Injury Claims

Some entrepreneurs and small-business owners have difficulty imagining a scenario in which their business could be responsible for hurting or killing someone, or for causing someone to suffer an illness or disease. But because accidents do happen and lawsuits are common, GL insurance is one of the most popular types protection purchased by small businesses. These policies pay for medical expenses, funeral expenses, loss of services, and court-awarded compensation if an injury results in someone's death – costs that are typically far too large for an average small business to sustain on its own. Your own employees' on-the-job injuries are not covered, so you may need to consider purchasing Workers' Compensation Insurance as well.

Coverage for Property Damage Claims

No matter how careful your business may be, there is always a possibility that your company's actions – or lack of action – will damage someone else's property or make it unusable. General Liability Insurance is designed to protect your business against the high cost of a lawsuit if someone claims that your business is responsible for physical damage to their property or their loss of the use of that property.

Completed Products Coverage

In general, these commercial policies protect your business against claims related to products and services completed by your business. So if, for example, your company makes a product or provides a service that hurts someone, your legal expenses and any damages will be covered up to policy limits.

Contract Liability Coverage

This type of insurance may also cover liability you assume when you enter into certain types of contracts, including building leases, elevator maintenance agreements, easement-of-license contracts, and ordinance-mandated agreements to indemnify a municipality.

Personal and Advertising Injury Coverage

General liability policies may also cover allegations that your business caused non-physical damages to another person or entity, such as publishing libelous or slanderous information, violating their privacy rights, copying their advertising, infringing on copyrights or brands, wrongfully evicting them, or maliciously prosecuting them.

Liquor Liability Coverage

If your business doesn't manufacture or sell alcohol as a business, but may occasionally serve or distribute it at no charge at company functions, you will be glad to know that your policy may cover your business against lawsuits associated with any liquor-related accidents for which your business may be held accountable.

Medical Expenses Coverage

In the event that an accident on your premises injures someone other than one of your employees, Medical Expenses Coverage provides compensation for the cost of meeting that person's immediate medical needs. Insurance companies typically prefer to cover a small, immediate expense (e.g., an ambulance ride) rather than facing the possibility of having liability for much bigger and costlier problems that result from not providing immediate coverage.

BUSINESS PROTECTION TIPS

Find out if your business is eligible for a Business Owner's Policy.

Certain low-risk businesses with smaller premises may qualify for an affordable package policy called a Business Owner's Policy, or BOP. These popular policies bundle General Liability Insurance and Property Insurance for one low premium. Complete our application to learn if your business is eligible.

Consider adding commercial auto coverage.

Many small businesses choose to add hired and non-owned auto insurance to their policies. This protects your business for lawsuits against your company that arise from accidents in personal vehicles used on company business. It also covers the liability portion of rental car contracts.

Know who and what your policy covers.

Your general liability policy may provide full or limited coverage for your business partners, executive officers, stockholders, directors, subsidiaries, employees, contracted vendors, new acquisitions, and volunteers. Read your policy for specifics, or ask your agent to clarify.

FURTHER READING

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