Businesses typically need various kinds of insurance coverage to cover their assets in the event of various accidents, disasters or legal matters. General Liability insurance (or Commercial General Business Liability) is designed to cover the basic liabilities, including injury-related lawsuits or libel. Continuing without liability insurance is risky and can lead to lost time and money.
Is It Worth Getting Business Liability Insurance?
Considering that premiums can be well under $2,000 per year, liability insurance is a relatively small investment to keep your business protected. One small accident or problematic customer can lead to thousands or even millions in legal expenses. To determine your coverage needs you should always consider your unique risk factors such as your business, your net worth, and perhaps your location. A small web-based business will likely have a lower chance of incidents versus a busy restaurant. Consulting with an insurance broker will allow you to evaluate your risks, expenses, and annual premium.
Will General Liability Insurance Work For Independent Contractors Or Freelancers?
Even though freelancers or 1099 contractors don’t seem the same as owning a small business, they still have similar legal liabilities. Clients can very well sue a freelancer if there are incidents during their contract General liability insurance will aid with funding for lawyers, settlements, or judgments made from claims against the contractor. For most industries, contractors will be required to have liability insurance by or through their employers.
Examples Of Claims:
If you or your business have claims of slander or libel, then your general liability insurance will have you covered.
If somebody injures themselves on your property and sues you, your general liability insurance may cover the damages. Even if the accident was no fault of your own, clients may still sue and it can be a headache.
Copyright Claims In Advertising
If you run a media advertising campaign for your business, there is always a risk you could breaking copyright laws. You may run into copyright claims with the content, ideas, or slogans used.
If injuries occur during the operations of your business, general liability insurance will cover a significant amount of medical bills.
If others are injured, including your employees, during the operations of your business, general liability insurance will cover a significant amount of medical bills for them.
If you or your employee damages the property of another entity, your insurance plan will cover the repairs if you are legally obliged to do so.
If losses were made due to you or your company losing precious data, this insurance plan will cover damages from successful claims.
Examples Of What Is NOT Covered
Vehicles – The usage of vehicles, including boats or aircraft, is not covered under general liability insurance.
Services – Claims of receiving improper advice or malpractice are not covered.
Injured Employees – If your own employees are injured, another type of insurance (like workers compensation insurance) will be needed.
How To File A Claim With Your Insurance Provider
Once an incident happens, you should immediately contact your insurance provider and give them all of the details. Even if no legal claim has been made against you yet, it is still a good idea to consult with your insurance company. Be sure to document all the details you can about the incident. This includes photographs, eyewitness accounts, or any documentation you can provide.
Depending on the circumstance, you may need to set aside a significant amount of funds for the deductible payment. When the lawsuit does occur, you insurance provider will advise you if it would be best to contest the legal claim, attempt to dismiss it, or make a settlement to reduce legal fees.