Everything You Need to Know About General Liability Insurance

general liability insurance Are you a small business or startup wondering if you need general liability insurance? You may ask, “Do we really need it? What can happen?”

Yes, you do. The world of businesses is inherently risky.

If you have a storefront or showroom with lots of foot traffic going in and out of your building all day. One incident could cost you thousands and set you back months, or even close your doors forever.

To ensure that you have all the facts, let’s take a look at exactly what it is, what it covers and why you would need it.

Learn What’s Protected Under General Liability Insurance Coverage

Business general liability insurance coverage is something most business simply must have, so it is essential that you understand what it does and doesn’t cover.

Here are some general liability insurance coverage rules of thumb. To be sure about your specific business needs, be sure to consult with a qualified business insurance agent.

What’s typically protected by commercial general liability insurance coverage?

Business is inherently risky, but business liability coverage safeguards against many known and unknown risks.

Commercial general liability insurance coverage protects you, your business and your employees from claims involving bodily injury or property damage, up to the limits of your policy. Policies shield you from the expense of out-of-court settlements, litigation, and judgments awarded by courts.

Lawsuits, investigations, and settlements

If damages are filed against you or you’re sued, general liability insurance covers the insurance company’s investigation and attorney expenses, any judgment or settlement, medical expenses in case of injury and bonds if they must be subsequently posted.

Injury damages

Claims can arise from bodily injury or property damages resulting from accidents on your premises or from your products, your operations or advertising for your business.


General liability insurance can also cover things you may not have thought about, such as advertising injury in the event your company’s marketing violates someone’s copyright. Business general liability insurance coverage even offers some protection against alcohol-related accidents (as long as your company is not in an alcohol-related business, such as the manufacture or distribution of alcohol).

What’s typically NOT protected by business general liability coverage?

Here are some situations that would not be protected by general liability insurance coverage.

Employee injuries

Workers’ compensation is the insurance you would need to protect your employees when they are hurt on the job.

Professional mistakes

Business general liability insurance coverage won’t cover a professional mistake, but professional liability will. It insures against mishaps that may occur as you offer your opinion, solution, service or recommendations in the course of business.

Auto-related coverage

Business liability coverage does not protect you against auto accidents. Purchase a separate auto policy to protect your business.

Punitive damages

Though there can be exceptions, a general business liability policy rarely pays for punitive damages resulting from a lawsuit.

Intentional acts

General business liability insurance does not cover damages or injuries resulting from expected or intentional acts. For example, if an employee assaults a customer, your business liability coverage would not cover the damages if they sue. But if the employee was defending himself or the company from a criminal act, the liability insurance would provide coverage.

Your work

Referred to as the “workmanship” exclusion, and is common in general liability policies. Insurance policies do not respond to what would normally be picked by a company’s warranty for their work.

Who needs general liability insurance?

General liability insurance is often combined with property insurance, but it’s also available to many contractors as a stand-alone coverage through.

As a contractor or small business owner, you need some form of business liability insurance to safeguard your livelihood.

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 make sure you have liability coverage that matches your level of exposure. Some employers or clients might also require you to carry a certain amount of general liability before you can work for them.

General liability insurance for contractors

If you’re a contractor, you might only want general liability – not a full BOP.

For example, you might not own any commercial buildings that require property insurance or need to cover payroll or other operating expenses. However, you’re still exposed to liability risks from your job.

We offer General Liability, as well as Blanket Additional Insured Coverage to contractors who qualify.

Blanket Additional Insured Coverage extends your existing liability insurance to other entities as required by some contracts with employers.

General liability insurance cost

Various factors influence the cost of general liability insurance. Discover how these factors relate to your unique situation and learn several ways to find the cheapest liability insurance for your business.

Find out if your business is eligible for general liability insurance. We can help you find the best combination between price and protection by tailoring a policy specifically for your business.

Get it all in a BOP

General liability, along with other coverages, is available in BOPs.

If you need to protect things like personal property used for your business, or commercial buildings such as garages or storage facilities, you might require the additional protections provided in a BOP.

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