Lost your head over a slippery floor? Insure liability now!
Lost your Head Over a Slippery Floor? Insure Your Liability Now!
Commercial General Liability (CGL) insurance, often referred to as business liability insurance, can protect you from various claims, including bodily injury, property damage, personal injury, and others that can arise from your business operations. Liability means you pay for what you break.
Therefore, liability insurance is aimed at third parties. For instance, if you are a restaurant owner and lose your gold necklace, no one will pay for liability insurance. If you injure yourself or burn yourself and you are the restaurant owner, no one will pay. In summary, liability insurance pays others to prevent them from suing you.
About Business Insurance
Commercial General Liability (CGL) coverage
CGL insurance often covers:
- Bodily injury and property damage
- Personal and advertising injury
- Medical payments arising from injury in business operations
- Products completed operations
- Damage to premises rented to you
Who needs CGL Insurance?
Any business owner that operates without commercial general liability insurance runs the risk of financial instability should a case occur where the injury to a third party is substantial. In many cases, it bankrupts the business.
A single accident could result in a lawsuit that you might not be able to handle. A great way to protect against this is to ensure you have liability coverage that matches your exposure level.
Commercial general liability insurance ensures that you can run your business without worrying about large claims digging into the company’s bank account.
Also, some employers or clients might require you to carry a certain amount of commercial general liability insurance before they establish any connection with you.
Limited Liability Company
Limited Liability Company (LLC) does not exist in Canada, and thus, it is not an option for Canadian business owners. However, Canada does offer a Limited Liability Partnership which is available to professional groups.
All companies structured above DOES protect the owner (shareholders’) assets from the company’s creditors, so all personal assets are virtually untouchable. In the event of a liability lawsuit, it is only held accountable for its actions and limited to the company’s assets only. However, having a fair amount of insurance coverage is still a wise way to protect the company.
The owner/shareholder will remain personally liable for any wrongdoing they commit during the business. For example, owners or shareholders will be responsible when they personally and directly injure someone at their business due to their negligence. The company itself may be at risk from the owner’s shareholders’ creditor.
The answer to the question is: you need both commercial and personal liability insurance.
Minimum liability for business
Unlike property insurance covering your assets, such as a car, liability insurance covers the third party. Businesses still have the obligation and responsibility to protect any visitor or passerby near their business location. Any company that cannot operate can acquire the bare minimum liability of Owners Landlord and Tenant Insurance (OLT). However, the OLT insurance does not cover any business activities outside of the scope and has minimal coverage. There is no property coverage under such a policy.
Any businesses that generate income have visitors visiting; they will need commercial general liability insurance to cover the business activities. The insurance company needs to declare the environment of the business where the risk occurred.
No business, no liability insurance?
An insurance policy is a legally binding contract that takes money in exchange for indemnity if the policy owner suffered financially due to an insured risk per declared on the insurance contract (wording of the declaration). As they are legally binding, it needs the legal entity (i.e. a person, a registered corporation etc.) to function correctly. If someone conducts illegal activities such as failure to register a business license when the law requires it, it becomes void. As it is illegal to run a business without having a business license, the same logic can be applied to getting liability insurance without a business licence. You need a business license if you wish to obtain liability insurance.
Buying Small Business Insurance
Commercial General Liability Insurance will only cover a third party when someone suffered injury or damage due to the insured negligence. If a vehicle belonging to the business owner got stolen from the business location, it would be the comprehensive coverage of the owner’s car insurance that pays, not the business liability insurance.
Buying Small Business Insurance
- Assess the risks that could potentially cause damage to your business. For example, if you live in a coastal area, you may need to buy coverage for hurricane insurance.
- Find a reputable licensed agent. A good insurance agent will guide you in the right direction when choosing the best insurance for you and your business.
- Shop around. Rates, terms, and benefits can vary between different insurance providers. Compare these insurance providers before settling for one that suits your needs.
- Reassess every year. Your business is not static—it will grow over time. Ensure your business insurance stays up to date with your coverage needs.
Needing professional liability insurance?
Find out if your business is eligible for commercial general liability insurance. We can help you find the best combination between price and protection by tailoring a policy specifically for your business. Call us today or start a quote online.
Other Coverage Options
Product Liability Insurance
Product liability insurance is usually incorporated in a commercial general liability insurance policy, but not all the time. It’s always vital to confirm that your small business insurance policy can protect you from risks that are sometimes associated with product liability claims.
Cyber Risk/Data Breach Coverage
Cyber-attacks have recently posed problems to small businesses and have continued to soar lately. The insurance helps protect small businesses that rely on technology to operate from expenses associated with a cyber hack; cyber event expense coverage can be an excellent remedy.
Small business owners naturally rely on property, equipment, tools and technology to keep their businesses operating. If one of those critical components was damaged and would undergo repairs, your business might not be able to continue its operations. In this situation, you might need property insurance coverage.
Equipment Breakdown Insurance
External sources of damage such as floods, bad weather and fire may affect the entirety of your business. Still, the effects of those damages are covered in your property insurance policy. However, damages from your business, such as electrical or mechanical failures, may not be covered. In situations like these, you might need your equipment breakdown insurance, which can be incorporated into your commercial general liability insurance.
Commercial Auto Insurance
You already have your personal auto insurance policy, but there are times when you or your employees utilize your private vehicle for business or commercial purposes. In this case, you may need commercial auto insurance to protect that vehicle in ways that are beyond the scope of your personal auto insurance policy.