What Does Commercial General Liability Insurance Cover?
As a business owner, your number one priority is your business. You want to believe that your business will succeed with hard work and dedication. You get out what you put in, after all?
Working hard is always essential, but unfortunately, passion and commitment alone cannot prevent accidents and potentially costly lawsuits.
No one can foresee everything and try as you might to avoid them; there will always be the possibility of circumstances arising for which you were unprepared.
No matter the size of your business, there are things you can do to protect yourself and your investments should the unexpected occur.
Whatever industry you’re in, having the right commercial general liability insurance can be essential to your business’s survival. This blog discusses how you can protect yourself and your business with commercial general liability insurance.
What is commercial general liability insurance?
Simply put, commercial general liability (CGL) insurance is like a wide net of protection for you and your business.
It protects you against claims of bodily or personal injuries and property damage that may have resulted from negligence or accidents.
If you were sued or found legally liable for any of these claims, your commercial general liability policy would cover the legal costs to defend your business in court, as well as compensation costs.
What does commercial general liability insurance cover?
A commercial general liability policy will typically cover the costs of your legal defence and pay for damages on your behalf if you were found liable.
The amount of coverage depends on the limits of your policy.
Having CGL coverage is crucial for any business, as the cost of a single liability claim could be devastating and potentially put you out of business.
As a safeguard against sources of liability, CGL insurance allows you to keep up your business operations while dealing with claims of negligence or wrongdoing.
A standard commercial general liability insurance policy should include coverage for the following:
Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability
You may be found liable if a third-party person or property is injured or damaged due to your business operations.
Any mental injuries or emotional distress are also considered bodily injuries in court, even if there is not any physical bodily harm done.
Personal and Advertising Injury Liability
Your CGL insurance policy should protect you from libel, slander, copyright infringement, and false advertising allegations.
Product liability protects you from any property damage or bodily injury resulting from one of your products.
Tenant liability covers the cost of repairing or replacing other people’s property that you rent or occupy.
CGL provides coverage for medical payments for injuries sustained by a third party caused accidentally at your business’s premises or due to your business operations.
This coverage can be applied when there is no legal action, allowing for prompt settlement of any more minor medical claims that do not require litigation.
Your CGL policy should detail the exact coverage limits for all expenses, including:
- Medical treatments
- Surgical costs
- Ambulance fees
- Hospital fees
- Nursing fees
- Funeral expenses
Another additional liability coverage that you may consider (depending on your type of business) includes liquor liability.
Liquor liability protects your business against loss or damages due to a patron being intoxicated and injuring themselves or others.
If your business serves, sells, or facilitates the use or purchase of alcohol, you will likely need this coverage.
What is not covered by commercial general liability insurance?
Some of the exclusions found in most commercial liability policies include the following:
- Intentional criminal acts
- Patent infringement
- Motor vehicles (they are covered by commercial auto insurance)
- Professional services or advice (they are covered by professional liability insurance)
- Pollution incidents
Who should get commercial general liability insurance?
As a business owner, you are in daily contact with many individuals, from clients and vendors to other businesses and employees. With all this activity, it’s impossible to foresee every possible accident or potential liability.
Regardless of the type of business you run or the size of your company, all businesses can benefit from commercial liability insurance.
While you may feel that you and your business are relatively safe, commercial general liability insurance protects you and your assets from numerous unforeseen circumstances.
When it comes to protecting your investments, it’s always better to make sure you’re covered than to leave your business vulnerable and regret it later.
How much liability coverage do I need?
To determine how much commercial general liability insurance coverage you and your business need, you should consider the size of your company and industry.
It’s also important to consider the frequency of third-party interactions, which may include customers, vendors, and other companies.
These factors will help you identify your risk level. Depending on your business type, you may need additional coverage on top of standard policies.
When it comes to protecting your investments, it’s always a good idea to hope for the best but be prepared for the worst. Business owners often see insurance as an extra expense, an afterthought… as long as they don’t need it.
While many will get by on luck and simply avoid disaster, there’s no telling when luck will run out. And when disaster strikes, the effects on your livelihood may be devastating.
Our insurance experts recommend protecting yourself with commercial general liability insurance.
Unsure how much commercial general liability coverage you need in Ottawa? Our insurance professionals at Oegema, Nicholson & Associates are here to help.
We believe that there is no one-size-fits-all coverage in the world of insurance. That’s why we offer a tailored-to-your-business insurance program, so you can rest assured that your business is covered from any risks. To learn more, call us at 613-704-7766 or contact us here.