What is general liability insurance coverage?
General liability insurance (aka commercial general business liability) protects you from financial loss if you are liable for property damage, bodily injury, or personal/advertising injury as a result of your services, providers, operations, products, or completed operations.
Think of it as a standard insurance coverage for the many things that could go wrong when you run a business.
Do I need a general liability policy?
Most likely yes. General liability insurance is one of the most basic protections you can get as a business owner. You should look into getting a policy if the following are true:
- You own and operate a business.
- Your business interacts with the public.
- You are not invincible.
If you aren’t sure, talk with an insurance agent to determine what your needs are.
Why do I need it?
Lincoln once said, “You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time.”
The same goes for the clients you work with. It’s important to deliver your best work but it’s equally important to have asset and integrity protection when it comes to your business, as well as defense and damage coverage should you get sued.
What does general liability business insurance cover?
General liability insurance covers bodily injury, property damage, and personal/advertising injury that may arise from your business operations. Think of it as a catchall policy for many of the common risks you face when you operate a business.
It becomes more important the more you interact with the public (especially if you have a business location that welcomes visitors). But it also protects you from non-physical claims like libel, slander, and copyright infringement, which can happen to anyone (even if you work from home).
That’s what makes it such an important safety net for many small businesses.
How much does general liability insurance cost?
Many small businesses pay somewhere between $400 and $600 a year for general liability insurance. The cost can be fairly inexpensive, and it’s usually even less if bundled into a business owner’s policy (aka BOP). Pricing is usually determined by what state you work in, the amount of work being done, and what insurance companies perceive the risk to be in your industry.
If you think you might be at the higher end of the risk spectrum, you can get an umbrella insurance policy, which will increase your coverage limits. Umbrella insurance is good to have if you want a little extra cushion of coverage, just in case. Some clients will require that you have “additional limits” (which means an umbrella policy) as part of their insurance requirements.
Get more with a BOP
If you want additional protection for your commercial property, you might want to check out a business owner’s policy, or BOP, which combines business property and general liability insurance. More coverage, at a lower price.