A crucial role of any business owner is providing insurance to protect the company in the case that the business causes harm to a person or another person’s property. While these injuries can take on many forms, they all can cost your company substantial amounts of money. As such, you must understand what injuries may occur at your business and what insurance policies you need to protect your business if you face an injury claim.
What’s Included in Commercial General Liability Coverage?
Commercial general liability insurance covers many legal expenses and helps businesses protect their assets. Even limited liability corporation (LLC) owners aren’t free of risk and may find commercial general liability coverage useful in protecting themselves.
Understanding what is liability insurance coverage is the first step in determining if your business may benefit from it. While liability insurance isn’t legally required in the U.S., it is recommended for all businesses.
Along with commercial general liability coverage, many businesses also have professional liability and product liability insurance. Professional liability insurance further protects your company if there are errors or mistakes made to the product or services you provide. Product liability helps your business if your product causes injury or damage to someone unattached to your company who uses it.
If someone gets hurt on your business’s property, it may fall on your company to pay for that individual’s injuries. As such, bodily injury is a common component of any commercial general liability policy.
A third-party individual who is not employed at your business may have the right to make your company pay for their injuries if it can be proved those injuries were the fault of your company. Common injuries include slipping on a wet floor or being hit by an object that falls off a shelf.
Whether the individual broke a bone or got bruised at your company’s property, injuries can put your company at financial risk. Bodily injury policies can help you pay for a third party’s medical bills and income loss while recovering from an injury that occurred at your business.
A personal injury includes any harm caused by an individual related to your business. While most personal injury claims don’t involve a physical injury, such injuries can consist of a customer falling on a wet floor or an employee causing fire or water damage while out on a job at a customer’s home.
Physical personal injuries tend to be easier to make a claim for, as the evidence is obvious and can be backed up by a medical professional. A delivery driver in a car crash that wasn’t their fault, for example, might have injuries clearly caused by the crash. If they then went on to use a car accident lawyer, it is likely they would be able to receive full compensation for their pain, loss and suffering.
Non-physical personal injuries covered by commercial general liability insurance includes claims of invading a customer’s privacy, stealing ideas, slander, and libel. Most policies also cover medical bills resulting from a personal injury claim.
To prove non-physical personal injuries in court, those making the accusations must provide evidence of the damages they experienced. This process can include loss of employment or wages, medical bills, or any proof that a statement was defamatory or untrue and resulted in harm to someone else.
While many policies lump personal and advertising injury into the same category, advertising injuries specifically deal with claims that your company’s advertisements have caused someone else harm. This often means a third party believes your advertisements made false claims about your product or the products of other businesses, the latter case often being a slander or libel claim.
Your business could be accused of using a copyrighted font or falsely claiming a competing company’s product is faulty. You could also be sued for errors in your advertising, although far fewer policies cover false advertising claims.
Most policies will cover legal-related expenses for claims involving advertisements that steal ideas from other individuals or companies or infringe on copyrights. Commercial general liability also pays for legal costs related to allegations of invasion of privacy, slander, and libel claims.
Liability for Other Injuries
While general liability insurance covers many scenarios, your business may still need extra coverage for additional injuries. For employee injuries, you’ll need workers’ compensation to pay for expenses related to work injuries that occur while an employee is on duty.
If your business involves having employees drive a vehicle, you’ll also want commercial auto insurance. This type of coverage will ensure your company cars are covered in the case of a car accident involving damage to vehicles or harms to those involved in the accident.
Liability to Protect Your Business
Just having people visit your business creates potential liability for your business. Whether someone is injured on-site or files a defamation lawsuit against you, ensuring you have the correct insurance to cover injury claims can save your company the financial burden of a claim. Commercial general liability insurance combined with other injury policies will protect your business from the most common claims most companies face.