General Liability Insurance for Business Owners

General liability insurance, or business liability insurance, protects business owners from liability claims.  You may combine general liability with property insurance in business owner’s policies.  It is also available to some contractors or small business owners as a standalone policy.  

Many business owners have found out the hard way that a single accident can lead to major lawsuits that result in significant financial losses.  Keeping that in mind, here are some things to consider about general liability insurance for your business.

Sandifer Insurance Agency will help you understand general liability and recommend a policy that is right for your business.  Reach out to us by phone, email, or online to speak with one of our knowledgeable agents.

What Does General Liability Insurance Cover?

As the most frequently purchased type of business insurance, general liability provides a broad range of protection.  Having insurance can help your business avoid unexpected expenses resulting from accidents and lawsuits.  

General liability insurance covers:

  • Coverage A: Bodily injury to people who are not your employees, and property damage to another person’s property.
  • Coverage B:  Legal fees and court costs, personal and advertising harm (libel or slander), malicious prosecution, and false arrest,
  • Coverage C:  Medical payments for injuries sustained by a non-employee.

Lawsuits stemming from injury generally fall under three categories: 

Injuries – General liability helps pay for the injured person’s medical costs.  However, it excludes employees and yourself.  

Loss of Income – If your business is at fault for an injury that causes the person to miss work, general liability covers their loss of income.

Pain and Suffering – In some cases, general liability covers claims related to pain and suffering that occur after an accident.

Although general liability can help you avoid financial hardship in certain situations, some things are not covered.  Depending on your business, you may also need other types of small business insurance.

What Is Not Covered by General Liability Insurance?

Having general liability insurance is the best way to ensure that you can keep the doors open after an accident.  However, it doesn’t cover everything.  Different small business insurance is available to provide coverage for:

Tools and Equipment – This type of coverage is a good idea for contractors or cleaning business owners.  It protects your tools and equipment from damage or theft.

Damage to Your Business Property – If you rent or own the building where you do business, you need a commercial property insurance policy.

Professional Mistakes – Professional liability insurance, also referred to as errors and omissions insurance will cover costs associated with claims if a client thinks you made a mistake, missed a deadline, or gave bad advice that caused them harm.

Auto Accidents and Damage – If you or your employees use business-owned vehicles, you need commercial auto insurance to protect against injuries or damage while driving for business purposes.

Workplace Injuries – If you have employees, you may be legally required to have worker’s compensation insurance.  It covers medical bills for work-related injuries, lost wages, and liability protection.

If you’re still unsure about purchasing general liability insurance, think about it this way.  The costs of legal counsel can cost over $100 per hour.  If your claim ends up in court, the maximum amount can exceed $75,000.  You may even have to shut down your business as a result.  General liability insurance can help you avoid financial loss and stay in business.

Businesses That Need General Liability Insurance

Although general liability is not required by state laws, consider it to avoid financial risks.  Moreover, many businesses you want to work with may ask to see proof of insurance before signing a contract with your company.  

General liability insurance is essential if:

  • Your store, office, or other business is open to the public, vendors, or clients.
  • You own a company that advertises or creates marketing materials for its products and services.
  • Your business uses social media professionally or personally.
  • You interact with clients face to face at their business or they visit yours.

The most common types of businesses that benefit from general liability include, but are not limited to:

Construction, Artisan Contractors, Landscaping – Protects against injury to people and property damage. You may be required to have general liability to get professional licenses and work certain jobs.

Restaurants and Food Service – Covers slip-and-fall accidents that are commonplace in the food business.

Fitness Professionals – You may need general liability to work as a personal trainer at a gym.

Retail and E-Commerce – Protects against customer injuries and may include product liability coverage.

Cleaning Companies, Janitorial Services – Protects business owners if they damage property at a job site.

If you own any of these types of businesses, general liability is the best option for avoiding the potential risks small business owners face daily.

How Much General Liability Insurance Do You Need?

Your insurance agent will help you determine how much general liability insurance you need.   You’ll need to answer several key questions, such as:

  • What is the size of your business?
  • Where is your business located?
  • What type of business services do you offer?
  • How many employees work for you?
  • Is your company a sole proprietorship, a partnership, or an LLC?

An insurance company will typically offer a policy that pays up to $1 million per occurrence, with a maximum aggregate of $2 million.  However, some companies offer policies that start at $300,000 for a small business.  

Keep in mind that you may need additional coverage, such as worker’s compensation, commercial auto, commercial property, and professional liability insurance.

Sandifer Insurance Agency Will Make Sure Your Business Is Properly Covered

Sandifer Insurance Agency will help you get the right insurance for your business at affordable rates.  We are a family-owned, local agency  in historic Cheraw, SC that works with most major insurance companies.  With over 40 years of experience in the insurance field, Sandifer Insurance will ensure that your business is properly covered.  

Contact us by phone, email, or online if you have questions about general liability insurance or to get a free quote.  If you need other types of insurance such as homeowners, life, farm, or auto, we can help you find the best coverage for your needs.  

FAQs 

Does general liability cover theft?  

General liability only covers third-party damages.  The ‘third party’ is someone who has a claim against your business.  Therefore, it doesn’t cover your equipment or property against theft or damage.  You can protect your property and equipment with a business owner’s policy.

Is general liability tax deductible?

Yes.  Your premiums for general liability are tax deductible because they are a “cost of doing business.”

Will my high-risk business qualify for general liability insurance?

Yes.  Your high-risk business can get general liability through E&S insurance, known as excess and surplus lines.

Does general liability require a deductible?

Yes.  You can choose the amount of deductible you prefer.