Commercial general liability insurance is essential for most businesses to protect them from a wide variety of potential losses. General liability insurance covers a business for lawsuits brought against them for alleged negligence. The possible negligence can be in your business premises, products liability, completed operations, personal and advertising injury, damages to premises rented to you. The insurance coverage includes bodily injury claims and property damage claims.
Damages can include the cost of health care, lost wages and restitution in the event of a death. To estimate the cost of not carrying commercial general liability insurance, consider the expense of damages and legal fees included in where you may be most vulnerable to loss. Legal fees are included in the coverage. Often, legal fees are offered as an additional coverage and not included in the limit.
General liability insurance can be purchased as part of a business owners policy (BOP) for small businesses, as a component of a Commercial Package Insurance policy, or as a stand alone coverage. A BOP is an insurance contract that property and liability insurance into one policy. Limits are usually lower, as are premiums. If the coverage under a BOP is sufficient for your company, you should consider it as an option.
Only you can determine how much coverage is adequate for your operation, but a good place to begin your research is with your professional association or industry. Often trade associations will have resources available to you to evaluate your exposure to lawsuits and value your business assets appropriately. The larger your risk, especially if your business attracts a lot of general public traffic, the more coverage you generally need.
Another component of a general liability policy that is often overlooked is personal and advertising injury. This coverage is intended to protect your business from allegations of liable, slander, copyright, patent and trademark infringement. Claims under this coverage are relatively rare, but when they do occur, the legal fees alone can be staggering.
Commercial general liability insurance protects businesses not the directors and officers of the business or for professional errors made by company principals or employees. For these loss potentials, you need special policies, Directors and Officers Liability or Professional Liability insurance.
Commercial General Liability insurance coverage will enable your business to continue operations in the event you find yourself facing a negligence lawsuit whether legitimate or fraudulent. The coverage is essential for most businesses and required in most leases and contractual relationships for your business.