Slip-and-fall lawsuits are costly and common for many small businesses. General liability insurance can protect your business from costly damages related to slip and fall accidents.
Slip and fall insurance, also called general liability insurance, can financially protect you from slip and fall accidents and other common third party business risks, such as customer property damage and advertising injury.
It’s typically one of the first business insurance policies that small business owners purchase. It can cover the cost of medical bills for an injured customer and help pay for any lawsuit or settlement that results.
A slip and fall case can prove to be costly, especially if it involves a trip to the emergency room or if personal injury attorneys get involved. The Hartford, an A+ rated business insurance carrier, puts the average cost of a slip and fall claim at $20,000. If an accident results in someone suing you over reputational loss, such a lawsuit can cost around $50,000.
While many people might think of retail stores and freshly mopped floors in slip and fall accidents, they can happen in any business. In fact, such accidents account for 20% to 40% of occupational injuries, according to one recent study.
General liability and premises liability insurance are similar types of liability coverage. They both insure you against third-party injuries and property damage that happen at your business or a customer’s property, along with any personal injury lawsuits, medical claims, or settlements that may result.
The biggest difference between general liability and premises liability is that general liability also covers advertising injury, whereas premises liability does not.
Advertising injury covers lawsuits in case someone sues you for libel or slander over published information such as advertisements, social media posts, and your company website.
General liability insurance does not cover yourself or your own employees at work. For this, you would need workers’ compensation insurance coverage. It covers medical payments and lost wages in case yourself or an employee have a workplace injury or illness.
It’s required by most states for any business with one or more employees, and for sole proprietors who work in riskier professions, such as building trades.
If you run your business out of your home, and you’re the property owner, a homeowner’s insurance policy is unlikely to cover you for any work-related injuries. Your claim would likely be rejected by the insurance company.
If you’re the property owner, you might be able to add a home business endorsement to your property owner’s insurance policy for a small increase in premiums. This would typically be allowed for low-risk occupations where you meet with clients in your home office, such as a law firm or consulting.
The best way to reduce the chance of a slip and fall accident is to take the right safety precautions and to respond accordingly if an accident happens.
Here are 7 ways to improve safety and reduce the chance of an accident at work:
Make a point of examining your entire workplace at least once a month to look for unsafe conditions, especially in areas that are prone to risk and where your customers are likely to be. Make sure there are no wet and slippery floors, or damaged and uneven surfaces.
Check stairwells, workstations, and hallways to make sure there are no obstacles blocking them. Keep power cords and other cables where no one could trip on them. Keep your walkways well-lit and make sure entryways have slip-resistant surfaces. Make sure you clear all snow and ice from exterior walkways in the winter. If you have a parking lot, make sure it is free of large cracks or potholes.
Yellow “wet floor” warning signs and orange cones can alert your customers to any temporary hazards until the floor is dry or you’ve had a chance to fix the problem.
A video camera system can help guard against thefts, provide a record of any accidents, and reduce the chance of a false injury claim being made against your business.
When an accident occurs, it’s important to take down all information as to what happened and who was involved, including the victim and any eyewitnesses. Take video or photographic images where the accident happened.
Your insurance provider will want to know about any incidents as soon as possible, as it can help with covering expenses and your legal defense, if the injured party decides to sue you.
After a fall injury or some other mishap, let the injured person know that you care about their well-being but don’t admit any fault without consulting with your insurance provider about filing an insurance claim. Customers are less likely to file a lawsuit if the business owner shows they care about their well-being.
Complete Insureon’s easy online application today to compare quotes for general liability and other types of insurance from top-rated U.S. carriers. Once you find the right policy for your small business, you can begin coverage in less than 24 hours. You can also speak with one of representatives for a free consultation.