When insuring your business, you will likely need general liability coverage. Such a policy can provide protection against the resulting expenses if your business is held responsible for injuring a third party or damaging their property.
However, obtaining this coverage will require attention to detail and an understanding of what such a policy can do for your business. As such, here are four important things to keep in mind.
1. Understand Your Business’s Liabilities
There are liabilities in every business, but these can vary even between two nearly identical companies. It is understandable why a grocery store might have different liabilities present than a clothing boutique. A consultant who works from home will face different risks from someone working in a carpentry shop.
As a result, you will have to tailor your liability insurance appropriately to your company’s risks. While all plans might address certain specific liabilities, like bodily injuries or property damage, you might also need policy limits and extra coverage that is better tailored to your industry. Your agent can help you determine how to customize your plan appropriately.
2. Remember that Liabilities Aren’t Always Physical
Liabilities can cause more than just injuries or property damage to someone else. They might cause them reputational damage or financial harm, too. Someone might allege that you libeled or slandered them, committed copyright infringement or defamed them through your advertising. Your liability insurance will usually offer this coverage through a benefit called personal injury coverage. However, if your plan doesn’t contain this coverage, you still might be able to buy it as an endorsement.
3. Understand When Your Policy Will Pay
General liability insurance covers harm done to others that your business has a responsibility to repay. To do so, you might have to pay legal bills, settlement costs and medical bills, among other expenses. Therefore, your company’s general liability insurance needs to be structured so that you don’t sacrifice business assets as you try to pay for such damages. You will always need to structure your plan appropriately, and this might include buying extra or specialized coverage to receive greater benefits.
4. Develop a Risk Management Plan
Proper risk management will reduce liabilities, and could help you avoid potential lawsuits and other insurance claims. Some of the practical risk managements steps you should take include:
· Keep the business clean and always mark potential safety hazards, such as wet floors or any hazardous materials.
· Place emergency equipment and safety signage throughout the property.
· Train employees to spot safety risks on the property and report them.
· Manage your company’s brand in ways that make it competitive, but not threatening to others.
Talk to your trusted insurance agent for more information about general liability insurance.