General Liability Insurance

General liability insurance, often referred to as business liability insurance or commercial general liability (CGL) insurance, is a foundational policy that provides coverage to a business for bodily injuries, personal injuries, and property damage caused by the business’s operations, products, or injury that occurs on the business’s premises.

Typical Claim Scenarios

Third-party bodily injury: If a customer gets hurt after slipping and falling in your store, they can sue your business. Your insurance policy includes bodily injury liability coverage, so it can help pay for their medical bills.

Third-party property damage: If you or your employees work at a client’s house, your business faces a risk of causing property damage. Property damage liability coverage can help pay for repair or replacement costs if your business damages someone else’s belongings.

Reputational harm: Someone can sue your business for libel or slander because of something you or your employees said. If this happens, general liability insurance can help cover your legal costs to defend your business.

Advertising injury: Your business can get sued for copyright infringement. For example, a photographer can sue you if you use their photo in your ads without permission.

Additional Considerations

Liability claims aren’t uncommon and can get expensive. In fact, 4 out of 10 small businesses will likely experience a liability claim in the next 10 years. Slips and falls are the leading cause of emergency room visits.1 The average cost of this kind of claim is $35,000. If a claim leads to a lawsuit, it can increase its average cost to more than $75,000 to defend and settle. Without general liability insurance, your business would have to pay for these costs out of pocket and it can put you out of business. You may also need general liability insurance before you can work with other businesses. Some companies may ask you to provide proof of insurance, also known as a certificate of insurance.

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