No matter what type of business you operate — no matter how many employees you have, the equipment you use or whether you have a physical location — you need insurance. No business is immune from being sued; even when a business operates with every good intention, they may become the victim of any number of lawsuits.
While the world of business insurance is vast, the essential type of coverage that every business needs is general liability insurance. Here are a few answers to questions you may have about liability insurance, so you can make more informed decisions about protecting your business:
What Does General Liability Insurance Cover?
Any time an outside individual interacts with your company, there is some risk. General liability insurance covers the most common risks associated with these types of interactions.
Some examples of the coverage you can expect from a general liability policy include: customer property damage and injuries, slander copyright infringement, advertising injuries and more.
What Is the Difference Between General Liability Insurance and a Business Owner’s Policy?
A business owner’s policy, which is often abbreviated to BOP, bundles general liability insurance with commercial property insurance. Thus, a BOP adds coverage to business property, offering financial protection in the event that property is stolen or damaged.
For companies that need both general liability and commercial property insurance, a BOP is a wise investment.
What Is the Difference Between General Liability Insurance and Professional Liability Insurance?
Though the names are similar, general liability and professional liability insurance offer vastly different coverage. Professional liability insurance is often called accidents and errors insurance as it protects a business from lawsuits that arise due to mistakes in service.
While every business benefits from general liability insurance, only specific industries benefit from professional liability insurance.
Is General Liability Insurance Required by Law?
Neither state nor federal law mandates general liability insurance for businesses to operate. That said, many of your business partners will have general liability insurance requirements in their contracts, meaning that you will not be able to work with more than a few vendors and service providers if you decide not to acquire this critical business protection.
How Much General Liability Insurance Do You Need?
General liability insurance policies are not one-size-fits-all. Policies come in different sizes to account for the differing levels of risk faced by different businesses.
Before you invest in a general liability insurance policy, you need to consider the type of business you operate, the number of employees you have on staff, the number and type of customers you work with and more. Small businesses often opt for a $1 million/$2 million policy, but you might need more or less coverage depending on your unique circumstances.
Do Independent Contractors Need General Liability Insurance?
In many cases, independent contractors do benefit from general liability insurance. Just like other businesses, independent contractors in specific industries may be required to obtain general liability insurance before working with certain clients. However, even when it isn’t mandatory, general liability insurance can protect an independent contractor against lawsuits, so it is often a smart tool to invest in.
How Long Does It Take to Get General Liability Insurance?
Applying for general liability insurance is a relatively quick process. Some insurance providers offer online application forms that take only a few minutes to complete. After submitting an application, you can expect to be contacted by your insurance provider, who will request more detailed information before crafting an insurance policy that fits your needs.
In all, the process can take a handful of days, meaning that you can be properly insured and protected in no time.
How Does Making a General Liability Claim Work?
If you have ever made a claim on your homeowner’s insurance or auto insurance, you should be reasonably familiar with the process of making a claim with your business’s general liability insurance.
You will place a phone call with your insurance provider, during which your agent will take down information about your claim. They may further investigate your claim, for example sending professionals to take photographs, but your insurance provider will guide you through the steps and work with you to achieve a mutually satisfying resolution.
I like that you pointed out how the essential type of coverage that every business needs is general liability insurance. I was reading an online article about business tips earlier and I learned the value of liability insurance. A lot could happen with a business, so having insurance would surely be useful.