A Commercial General Liability (CGL) policy protects your business from financial loss should you be liable for property damage or personal and advertising injury caused by your services, business operations or your employees. It covers non-professional negligent acts.
Here are just a few examples of situations in which your business could be responsible for paying various costs, such as medical and legal expenses, as well as compensatory and punitive damages:
A CGL insurance policy will usually cover the costs of your legal defense and will pay on your behalf all damages if you are found liable—up to the limits of your policy. CGL coverage is one of the most important insurance products, due to the negative impact that a lawsuit can have on a business and because such liability suits happen so frequently.
Bodily injury and property damage coverage provides protection against losses from the legal liability of insureds for bodily injury or property damage to others arising out of non-professional negligent acts or for liability arising out of their premises or business operations. Mental injuries and emotional distress can be considered bodily injuries, even in the absence of physical bodily harm. Workers' Compensation and Employment Practices Liability insurance are excluded but can be purchased as separate policies. In addition, Pollution Liability is excluded and can be purchased as an endorsement. However, this coverage is very limited, and high-risk businesses should consider purchasing a separate pollution Liability policy. Liquor Liability, Professional Liability, and other risks may also be excluded.
Personal and Advertising Injury Liability protects an insured against liability arising out of certain offenses, such as:
Limited coverage for medical payments includes payments for injuries sustained by a non-employee caused by an accident that takes place on the insured’s premises or when exposed to the insured’s business operations. Medical payments coverage can be triggered without legal action. This provides for prompt settlement of smaller medical claims without litigation. It is included in the CGL policy and pays for all necessary and reasonable medical, surgical, ambulance, hospital, professional nursing and funeral expenses for a person injured or killed in an accident taking place at the insured’s premises or arising from business operations. There is no defense or legal liability coverage—as there is with bodily injury and property damage (Coverage A) and personal and advertising liability (Coverage B) —since coverage is provided on a no-fault basis.
You can purchase commercial general liability insurance as a stand-alone policy, as part of a Business Owners Policy (BOP) or as part of a Commercial Package Policy (CPP). Consult with your insurance professional about what type of coverage you need and how much. If your general liability policy, BOP or CPP do not provide sufficient coverage, you may want to consider purchasing a commercial Excess Umbrella policy, which will provide additional protection.
Is general liability insurance required by law?
No, but failing to carry general liability insurance could result in you having to pay for all the expenses related to a claim against your business. For example, while visiting your office a client slips on a rug and breaks their hip. Without general liability insurance, you could be solely responsible for all the medical bills and legal fees. So, even though it’s not required by law, it should be a priority for your business.
Does general liability insurance have a deductible?
Yes. You choose the amount of your general liability deductible when you get a quote. A deductible is a fixed out-of-pocket expense you agree to pay before your coverage starts to pay.
Does general liability insurance cover theft?
General liability insurance only pays for third-party damages, not yours. You’re considered the “first-party”. The “third-party” is the one that has a claim against you. This means general liability won’t cover your property or equipment against theft or damage.
To protect your property, we offer Business Personal Property coverage as a part of a Business Owners Policy.
Is general liability insurance tax deductible?
Yes. Since general liability premiums are considered “a cost of doing business”, they usually can be written-off at tax time. That said, it’s a good idea to consult a tax professional to make sure.
Does general liability cover professional mistakes?
No. General liability only provides coverage for claims against you by others for their bodily injuries or damage to their property. To protect from claims against you for professional neglect or mistakes, you need to have professional liability insurance.
What is a certificate of insurance?
A certificate of insurance (COI) is an official document that lists all coverages and limits on an insurance policy. Essentially, it proves that you have insurance and details your policy coverages and limits.
Commercial auto insurance covers legal bills, medical expenses, and property damage if a business vehicle is involved in an accident.
If your company owns a vehicle, you will very likely need commercial auto insurance. Nearly every state requires commercial auto insurance coverage for business-owned vehicles.
Even when commercial auto coverage isn’t required, it’s still a smart choice. Without it, you could end up paying thousands of dollars in medical bills and other costs.
Commercial auto insurance helps cover medical payments and property damage related to an accident. This coverage includes legal expenses if you’re sued. A policy may also cover vehicle theft, vandalism, and other losses and damages.
Most commercial auto policies include liability insurance to cover your business’s legal costs if one of your employees gets into an accident.
Commercial auto insurance does not provide coverage for personal vehicles. If you or your employees sometimes drive personal vehicles for business purposes, consider buying hired and non-owned auto insurance.
Hired and non-owned auto (HNOA) insurance provides liability coverage for vehicles your business uses but does not own. That includes:
Commercial auto insurance policies are designed for commercial vehicles that cover a lot of ground. Policies typically have higher coverage limits to account for the increased risk.
Personal auto insurance policies only cover claims related to personal use, including your commute and travel unrelated to work. They have lower limits and usually cost less.
If you’re involved in an accident while driving your personal vehicle for work, your insurance company might refuse your claim. That’s why sole proprietors who own a vehicle used for work should consider commercial auto insurance or HNOA.
At a minimum, your policy must meet state requirements. Your policy should also be able to cover all costs associated with an accident. Otherwise, you could end up paying legal fees and other expenses out of pocket.
Talk with an agent to discover policy options that match your driving situation. Options that cover different risks include:
You can control the cost of your commercial auto policy by adjusting your deductible. A policy with a higher deductible will cost less, but you’ll have to pay more before you can collect on a claim.
There are many factors to consider when opening your own business, including the importance of having Property insurance. It covers the repair and replacement of certain business assets should a covered incident like fire, theft, or vandalism occur. It's an especially important coverage since many small businesses and startups lack the cash to replace what's needed to keep a business running.
Property insurance helps cover the damage or loss of your property, like structures or buildings, and items including equipment, furniture, inventory, supplies, and fixtures. It can also help cover the costs to repair or replace stolen, damaged, or destroyed property, including property and equipment that isn't yours but is in your care and custody.
Property insurance policies may be purchased stand-alone or as part of a comprehensive Business Owner's Policy that includes Property and General Liability coverage. Your insurance agent can help you customize your coverage to address the specific risks facing your business, including selecting the type of Property insurance coverage you may need.
There are typically two types of coverage offered by insurance companies: replacement cost or actual cash value.
In many cases, business owners lease space to run their operations. If you fall into this category, check your lease to review your obligations in terms of insurance. In some cases, sole tenants will be responsible for insuring the building or must continue paying rent even if space is destroyed. It's a good idea to review the lease with your insurance agent to confirm the insurance coverage you choose is sufficient and will protect you in the event of damage or loss of the property.
There are several factors that go into determining the cost of your business property insurance, including:
It's important to understand that a property insurance policy does not cover all legal risks to your business.
Generally speaking, any vehicles subject to motor vehicle registration; money or securities; land, water, and living plants; and outdoor fences or signs not attached to the building may not be covered by your property insurance policy. You may also need to buy additional coverages for things like flood, wind, or crime.
A business owners policy contains two primary coverages:
The liability coverages available on a BOP are the same as those on a general liability policy. This includes protection against liabilities like customer injury and property damage, advertising injury, and product-related claims.
A BOP doesn’t cover your employees. You’ll need a separate workers’ compensation policy.
Provides coverage for commercial buildings and the movable property owned by and used for the business - referred to as business personal property. It can also pay for other things like debris removal, loss of income, and pollution cleanup as part of a covered loss.
A BOP policy, like most other policies, has certain coverage exclusions that you should be aware of. If you need protection for something that isn’t covered, policy endorsements might be available to extend coverage.
For example, damage from earthquakes is typically excluded from a BOP. If you live in an area that’s prone to earthquakes, you might want to consider adding an endorsement to your policy to extend coverage. Ask about endorsement options when getting your quote.
Workers’ compensation insurance, commonly known as workers’ comp, is insurance that covers medical expenses and a portion of lost wages for employees who become injured or ill on the job. Coverage also includes employee rehabilitation and death benefits.
Each state has its own unique set of workers’ compensation laws that employers must follow. These regulations help ensure that employers provide coverage for the cost of work-related injuries or occupational diseases, regardless of employee negligence.
An employee can only receive benefits if their injury or illness relates to their job duties or employment. Workers’ comp insurance could cover injuries caused by lifting heavy equipment, slipping on a wet or oily surface, or sustaining injury due to fires or explosions.
If an employee isn’t acting within the scope of their employment and becomes injured, such as playing football with friends on a day off, workers’ compensation insurance won’t cover them.
Workers’ compensation insurance is required by law in almost every state. Some worker exemptions exist, so you’ll want to check with your state to find out if coverage is mandatory for your business.
Choosing to forgo workers’ comp coverage puts your business at high financial risk. Not only can you face a lawsuit for workplace injuries, but you’ll likely be fined for breaking the law.
Keep in mind, workers’ comp insurance protects not only your employees but your small business too. For example, if your insurance is compliant with state law, an employee who receives benefits can’t sue you for their injuries or lost wages.
They can, however, sue you for things that aren’t covered under the workers’ comp portion of your policy. Employer’s liability insurance is also included in your policy to pay for court costs and legal fees if you’re involved in such a lawsuit.
What doesn’t workers’ compensation cover?
In addition to injuries that occur outside of work, injuries that occur intentionally, while commuting to and from work, or due to intoxication or substance abuse wouldn’t be covered by workers’ compensation.
Who is covered by workers’ compensation?
It varies based on where your business operates. For example, certain types of employees, such as seasonal workers, may not be covered by workers’ compensation in some states.
Does a sole proprietor need workers’ compensation?
Not usually. While workers’ compensation laws vary from state-to-state, most states don’t require sole proprietors to carry workers’ comp.
Are contractors and volunteers covered under workers’ comp?
Depending on the state, contractors and volunteers can be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits if they’re injured or become ill on the job
Resolute Insurance Group LLC
124 West Capitol Ave, Suite 1886, Little Rock, AR 72201
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