General liability coverage is one of the most common and important types of insurance for businesses, as it provides protection for a wide range of incidents that can occur in the course of performing day-to-day business operations.
Even the simplest and most basic of tasks can end in an accident or injury of some kind.
General liability insurance can protect businesses from financial losses resulting from third-party claims of property damage, bodily injury, and personal and/or advertising injury. While not all businesses may be required by law to obtain general liability protection, most companies can still benefit greatly from this coverage.
To give you a better idea of what types of businesses would most typically need this type of insurance, we put together this list:
A Retail Business
Examples of retail businesses include grocery stores, clothing stores, sporting goods, electronic stores, and many other brick-and-mortar sales establishments. They often have a high volume of foot traffic.
This can increase the risk of accidents and injuries, such as slip-and-fall accidents, which can result in expensive medical bills and even lawsuits. Liability insurance can help protect retail companies from these and many other types of claims.
Restaurants and Food Businesses
Restaurants, caterers, and other food businesses face a unique set of risks, including foodborne illness, kitchen incidents such as cuts or burns, heavy equipment accidents, as well as slip-and-falls. General liability insurance can help cover the financial and medical costs associated with these types of work-related occurrences.
A Construction Business
The building and construction industry faces a wide variety of high risks, including property damage and bodily injury. This type of work is inherently more dangerous than other professions, due to the vast amount of materials, heavy machinery, and hazardous work areas. In most states, it is legally required for companies in this field to have general liability insurance.
In addition to the bodily liability that has been mentioned, industrial equipment also poses the threat of significant property or structural damage. The financial loss incurred in such incidents can be extremely substantial and could bring long-term damage or even closure to your company.
A Home-Based Business
Home-based businesses, such as freelancers, consultants, and online retailers, may not have a physical storefront or office space, but they still face a number of risks, usually all the same ones that the other businesses on our list must deal with.
Liability coverage can help protect your at-home businesses from claims for bodily injury, damage to property, and advertising and personal injury. Financial or legal claims against these business owners are especially difficult to overcome as these companies usually operate with minimal employees and on bare-bone budgets.
Professional Services Businesses
Professional services providers, such as law firms, accounting firms, and consulting firms, are often hired to offer specialized advice and expertise to clients in various fields. If a client feels that they have received bad advice or suffered financial losses as a result of negligent counsel on the part of the consulting business, they may file a lawsuit. General liability insurance can help cover the cost of these lawsuits.
And not only is the legal action a difficult obstacle to overcome, but the damage to your company’s reputation can also be equally impactful. However, having insurance coverage exhibits forward-thinking and planning ahead for the security of your business.
Medical and Healthcare Businesses
The healthcare industry always faces scrutiny when it comes to its liability in all sorts of circumstances. Clinics, hospitals, private practices, nursing homes, as well as ambulance owners/operators all face a variety of risks, including malpractice claims, bodily injury, and property damage. General liability insurance can help cover the costs in the case of a claim being filed or a settlement. It may also protect against damage caused by medical equipment.
A Production/Manufacturing Business
Manufacturing businesses face a variety of risks, including typical property damage and physical injury, along with product liability claims. If your company manufactured a product with a defect or abnormality that caused injury or illness to someone, you will likely be held responsible. General liability protection can help cover the cost of these incidents and, in some cases, help you replace the parts or machinery responsible for the issue.
A Technology Business
Technology businesses, such as software companies and app developers, face their own unique set of liabilities, mainly including claims of copyright infringement, data breaches, and other cyber concerns.
Needless to say, the financial judgments that are involved in cyber hacks and other tech-related issues can be hefty. General liability insurance is non-negotiable when it comes to protecting these businesses from otherwise bankrupting sums of money.
An Event Planning Business
Event planning businesses, such as wedding planners, corporate organizers, and party planners also deal with many work-related risks. Depending on what type of activities and equipment are involved in any given event, personal injury and/or property damage are always possible.
Additionally, at personal celebrations, there is often alcohol involved, which only increases the risks of accidents or other incidents. And general liability coverage can sometimes be less expensive when bundled with other types of business insurance for event planners, such as business interruption insurance.
A Transportation Business
Transportation businesses, such as trucking companies and courier services, face a few unique risks in their industry as well. In addition to the standard bodily injury and property damage, there is also cargo damage and/or theft that need to be covered.
If your business is to haul items or equipment, having insurance that covers that cargo is essential to keeping your company operating and your reputation intact in the case of a claim against you.
The General Liability Insurance Coverage Umbrella
While not all businesses may require general liability insurance, in most cases it would be somewhat foolish to not at least inquire about it further. You are gambling with the security and future of your company without it.
If you are unsure whether your business needs general liability protection, it is important to speak with a qualified insurance professional who can assess your business’s unique risks and provide guidance on the appropriate types and amounts of coverage.