General Liability Insurance

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What Is General Liability Insurance?

General Liability Insurance covers your business when faced with claims of bodily injury, associated medical costs and damage to property that occurred as a result of your business operations. With this cover, you won't have to pay for medical expenses of property damage from your pocket.

General Liability insurance is also referred to as “Business Liability Insurance” or “Commercial Liability Insurance.”

What General Liability Insurance Is All About:

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What Does General Liability Insurance Cover?

Third party bodily injury

Example: A customer slips in your store, and hurts themselves. He or she requires medical care, and bring a suit against you for the damages. Your General Liability Insurance covers their medical costs.

Third party property damage

Example: While working as a contractor at your client’s business premises, you accidentally break something and cause costly damage to their facility. General liability insurance covers the costs for repair or replacement.

Tenants legal liability

Example: While working in a rented office, one of your employees accidently breaks the door. You as a business owner are going to be liable for the replacement. General libaility insurance will pick up this cost, so you won't have to.

Libel, slander and copyright

Example: One of your employees shares unflattering information about a customer with someone working in the same industry. Word gets back to your client that they are being bad-mouthed, and they sue for slander. General liability insurance will cover your legal defense costs.

How Much Does General Liability Insurance Cost?

The cost of your General Liability Insurance policy depends on your:

1. Type of business. The type of business you operate and the risks associated with your industry. Example: A building contractor faces a higher degree of risk than a marketer. The former risks falls, slips and injury, while the latter less so.

2. Your location. Some states award higher damages to plaintiffs claiming personal injury than other states. If you live in the former category, you’re likely to face higher premiums for your general liability insurance policy.

3. History of previous claims. Many past claims may mean higher premius to pay for your GL policy.

4. Current and past business activities. Related to the risks your company takes. (See first point above).

5. Your internal business practices and structure. These include: payroll amounts, the number of years you have been in business and the size of your workforce.

NOTE: Minimum premiums start from as little as around $350 per year. However, most annual premiums for small businesses range from $750 to $2,000 depending on your type of work and coverage needs. That’s certainly a lot less than the thousands, if not millions, of dollars you may need to spend fighting your case in court.

What are the benefits of having my GL insurance with CoverWallet?

  • Customised coverage

  • Fits in your budget

  • Premium insurance carriers

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FAQs on General Liability

Do I Need General Liability Insurance?

Almost every business owner or independent contractor can benefit from having this insurance. However, if you’re still asking if it’s necessary, here are some reasons you might need coverage:

  • You or your employees visit client's offices, or host clients at your work space
  • You represent your client’s business
  • You use third-party locations for any business-related activities
  • You use a client’s equipment
  • Your customers require you to have it (many companies require proof of coverage before they will enter into a contract or begin a business relationship with you, often requiring a minimum level of coverage)

How can I get General Liability insurance?

It's easy to get General Liability cover for your business by providing a few simple details about your business, such as location, nature of business and contact details. You can get a quote within minutes with a few clicks of a mouse. If there are any question during the application a personal CoverWallet insurance advisor get in touch with you to discuss the details of your quote.

What is General Liability insurance for contractors?

General Liability Insurance for independent contractors is very much the same as for standard businesses. If you are an independent contractor, it is likely you will be working with customers or clients and this carries the same risks concerning bodily injury and property damage regardless of the field you are working in (from IT to construction). This insurance will also cover you against delays in completing work due to issues such as inclement weather. General Liability Insurance is an important consideration for contractors and many businesses now ask for a Certificate of Insurance before they subcontract work out.

What is Comprehensive General Liability insurance?

Comprehensive General Liability insurance is another term used for General Liability insurance, albeit one that's not used quite as frequently nowadays. If you see the term Comprehensive General Liability insurance, don't be fooled into thinking this is something distinct from normal General Liability insurance. It's also important to remember that no insurance policy is fully 'comprehensive' as all policies have limits and exclusions to what they will cover. Your insurance carrier will explain to you what these limits and exclusions are.

Is General Liability insurance required by law?

Liability insurance of some kind is mandatory for most types of business. General Liability Insurance is the most common form opted for by most businesses as it covers against the key risks. You will need this insurance if you have clients or customers at your workspace, if you use third-party locations for business purposes or if you handle a client's equipment. If you are working on a contract, a Certificate of Insurance may be required. Some businesses choose to combine General Liability Insurance with Commercial Property Insurance in a Business Owners Policy.

How much general liability insurance do I need?

Your coverage needs will depend on a number of factors. Firstly, your type of business. Some industries are more prone to risks, so for example a building contractor will need more coverage than a web designer. Secondly, the size of your business. A busy restaurant in the city centre will need more coverage than a small rural cafe. Thirdly, your location is a factor as some states tend to award more in damages than others. Most small businesses opt for coverage limits of $1-2 million. If your business is in a low risk category, it might be worth considering the Business Owners Policy.

How much is a million dollar General Liability insurance?

Your exact insurance premiums will depend on those factors of size and type of your business, location of your business as well as your insurance history. But the typical cost of insuring your business with a limit of one million dollars pay-out is around $1,000 to $3,000 annually. You can choose to lower this limit, which you may want to do if your business is very small or low-risk. Or you may wish to increase this limit or purchase excess or umbrella insurance if you feel that a $1 million is not sufficient to cover your risks.

Is General Liability an all-risk-insurance?

In contrast to a general awareness General Liability Insurance is not an all risk insurance policy. While this insurance offers broad protection for your business, it doesn’t cover absolutely everything.

Can I Get Liability Insurance Without A Business License?

If you own or operate a business, you must apply for and receive a business license from your local government. This license is a legal document that certifies your company and the services you offer.

This registration enables you to operate in your community and provide your services. If you try to run a business without a license, you will be fined for not properly licensing your company.

Is general liability insurance expensive?

The cost for a small business General Liability Insurance policy usually ranges from $750 to $2,000 annually or approximately $60 to $170 per month according to the Small Business Association.

However, without considering a few factors that are unique to your business, such as industry and annual revenue, an average figure may be higher and in some cases lower than the actual costs you’ll face.

What Does General Liability NOT Cover?

  • Negligence If you or your business is sued for professional negligence, General Liability does not cover it. An additional policy called Professional Liability is needed.

  • Commercial property Damage to the property where you or your business operate is not covered by General Liability. You need a Commercial Property insurance. You can buy General Liability and Commercial Property together, which is called a Business Owners Policy (BOP).

  • Damage to customer’s property in your possession If you have a customer's property in your possession for servicing, cleaning, repairing or storing (Example: dry cleaner, storage unit, appliance repair store), damage to the customer's property is not covered.

  • Intentionally caused damage by a business If a business intentionally causes damage, General Liability does not cover it.

What Are the Limits of General Liability cover?

Like most insurance plans, this type of policy will clearly outline its limit, or the maximum amount the insurance company will pay against a liability claim. It’s important to assess your risk carefully to ensure you have adequate coverage and won’t be left paying for expenses out of pocket.

Most General Liability insurance policies cover up to 1 million per occurrence and 2 million in aggregate, if you need additional coverage it is common to double the limits. If you need more than 2 millions per occurrence you most likely have to purchase an umbrella or excess insurance policy.

For example, if your small business is sued for__ $300,000 in medical costs__ associated with a slip-and-fall injury, but your policy limit is $250,000, you will have to cover the difference of $50,000 yourself. It is important to research your industry research before investing in a policy.

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