In today's litigious society, even small mishaps can result in large lawsuits. That's why general liability insurance, along with property and worker's compensation insurance, is essential for most companies. Liability insurance protects the assets of a business when it is sued for something it did (or didn't do) to cause an injury or property damage.
General liability insurance can be purchased separately or as part of a business-owner's policy (BOP). A BOP bundles property and liability insurance into one policy; however, the liability coverage limits are generally pretty low. Businesses that need more coverage usually purchase liability insurance as a separate policy. The amount of coverage a business needs depends on a couple of factors:
Perceived risk. Business owners should first consider the amount of risk associated with their business. For example, a business that manufactures heavy machinery is at a greater risk of being sued than a company that manufactures linens, and would therefore need more liability insurance.
The state in which you operate. Businesses that operate in states with a history of awarding high damage amounts to plaintiffs typically need to carry liability insurance with higher coverage limits. An insurance broker can offer guidance in this area.
How General Liability Works
Under a general liability insurance policy, the insurer is obligated to pay the legal costs of a business in a covered liability claim or lawsuit. Covered liability claims include bodily injury, property damage, personal injury, and advertising injury (damage from slander or false advertising). The insurance company also covers compensatory and general damages. Punitive damages aren't covered under general liability insurance policies because they're considered to be punishment for intentional acts.
General liability insurance policies always state a maximum amount that the insurer will pay during the policy period. Usually these policies also list the maximum amount the insurer will pay per occurrence. For example, if a company has a $1 million occurrence cap in its liability policy and it's successfully sued for $1.5 million, the insurer would pay $1 million and the business would be responsible for paying $500,000.
State Insurance Agency is committed to providing excellent service, educating our customers and being a single point of contact for all your insurance needs. If you are interested in general liability insurance fill out the form to the right and one of our helpful customer service agents would be glad to assist you.