General liability insurance, often referred to as business liability insurance, is coverage that can protect you from a variety of claims including bodily injury, property damage, personal injury and others that can arise from your business operations.
General liability insurance quotes usually include:
– Bodily injury and property damage liability
– Personal and advertising injury
– Medical payments
– Products completed operations
– Damage to premises rented to you
Who needs general liability insurance?
General liability insurance is often combined with property insurance in a Business Owners Policy, but it’s also available to many contractors as a stand-alone coverage.
As a contractor or small business owner, you need some form of business liability insurance to safeguard your livelihood.
A single accident could result in a lawsuit that you might not be able to handle. A great way to protect against this is to make sure you have liability coverage that matches your level of exposure.
Some employers or clients might also require you to carry a certain amount of general liability before you can work for them.
General liability insurance for contractors
If you’re a contractor, you might only want general liability – not a full Business Owner Policy, BOP. For example, you might not own any commercial buildings that require property insurance, or need to cover payroll or other operating expenses.
However, you’re still exposed to liability risks from your job.
General liability insurance cost
Various factors influence the cost of general liability insurance. Discover how these factors relate to your unique situation, and learn several ways to find the cheapest liability insurance for your business.
Find out if your business is eligible for general liability insurance. You can do all of these by checking out on registered insurance companies for guidelines.
What general liability doesn’t cover
You might have additional insurance needs that arent covered by general liability insurance. There are many other products available to protect your business. Here’s a short list:
Owned commercial property – protected along with other equipment and goods under a business owner’s policy (BOP).
Employee injuries – coverage for your employees is required by most states, and is only available under workers’ compesation.
Professional mistakes – if your business provides a service or advice you’ll want to consider professional liability insurance.
Commercial vehicles – vehicles used for business are protected under a commercial auto policy. A personal auto policy won’t cover work related incidents.
What does general liability insurance cover?
Typically, general liability insurance covers:
Bodily injury and property damage liability
General liability covers business related incidents that result in bodily injury to a third-party. This can include a customer slipping and falling on your premises, or an employee accidentally dropping a toolbox on someone’s foot. Of course, this coverage only applies to non-employee injuries.
Additionally, general liability protects any third-party property damage resulting from your business operations. For example, a landscaper’s policy may cover a stone that kicks up from their lawn mower and breaks a client’s window.
Products – completed operations
General liability insurance coverage includes liability protection for both products and completed operations exposures. Products are any goods that you manufacture, sell, or distribute in your business. If a product causes physical injury or illness, such as a customer becoming sick from undercooked food, a business can find protection under this coverage.
Alternatively, completed operations protects against faulty services or work performed by a business. A project must be fully complete for coverage to apply. For instance, a customer hires a plumber to install a shower drain as part of a bathroom renovation, but the plumber didn’t seal the drain properly and the bathroom flooded days later. The plumber’s general liability policy can cover up to his liability limits for his faulty workmanship since the incident occurred after he left the premises.
Personal and advertising injury
Not all injuries are physical. Any written or verbal communications that cause harm can also be covered under your general liability policy. This encompasses libel, slander, malicious mischief and copyright infringement, to name a few. The small business owner can sue the competitor for personal and advertising injury for damaging their reputation and profitability.
Medical payments cover any non-employee medical or funeral related expenses for which your business is responsible. Of course, your coverage depends on your selected limits.
Damage to premises rented to you
General liability coverage typically includes coverage for any damages to non-owned land, buildings, or structures. The insured, or their business, must be legally liable for the damages for coverage to apply.
For instance, a local restaurant rents property that catches fire due to a negligent employee leaving a frying pan unattended. General liability might cover the damages since the business caused the fire. In contrast, this coverage wouldn’t apply if a lightning strike started the fire.