General liability insurance protects your business from the most common lawsuits brought by people outside your company. Many business owners are required to carry this policy.
Any business that interacts with people outside the company should consider commercial general liability insurance, also known as a CGL policy. It’s often the first insurance coverage small business owners buy.
General liability insurance is also a popular choice for businesses open to the public. The more contact you have with consumers, the greater your risk of lawsuits.
With this protection, you’re covered for lawsuits over bodily injury, property damage, copyright issues, and more. When you buy a general liability insurance policy, you have peace of mind that these lawsuits won’t derail your company – or your finances.
Your landlord or lender may require general liability insurance coverage when you rent or buy an office. Client contracts may also require carrying this policy. Your clients, landlord, and lenders can rest easy knowing your business can handle the expense of legal action. And it gives you an edge over competitors that aren’t insured.
On top of that, general liability insurance is very affordable. It costs small businesses only about $30 per month.
This policy protects your business when someone outside your company sues over:
Read more about what general liability insurance covers.
You don’t need to be a big business to face a lawsuit. And legal bills are no joke: a liability lawsuit taken to trial can cost $54,000 and a contract dispute can add up to $91,000 on average according to courtstatistics.org.
General liability insurance helps you recover from the most common business lawsuits. Even a simple accident can trigger a lawsuit, such as:
A slip-and-fall accident. A customer trips over a power cable at your computer repair shop and breaks their wrist. They get hit with a hefty ER bill and sue your shop to recover those medical expenses.
Damaged customer property. An IT consultant bumps a table, spilling coffee onto a client’s laptop. The client sues the consultant to recover the cost of buying a replacement.
Advertising injury. An employee at your web design company writes a snarky social media post about a competitor. The designer sues your company for reputational harm, or advertising injury.
Independent contractors face many of the same risks as small businesses. That’s why they may need general liability insurance.
Even if you don’t see clients in person, you’re still at risk for a personal injury lawsuit. That’s when someone suffers from an injury or accident and blames your business.
That can happen as easily from a home office as a storefront given that clients or vendors who visit your home could trip and fall on your stairs and sue you and your business.
Even saying the wrong thing on social media or in an email can lead to a lawsuit. But with a general liability insurance in place, you can better protect yourself. And the good news is that you may be able to gain protection without purchasing your own policy. Ask your client if they can add you to their general liability policy as an additional insured.
Read more about general liability insurance for independent contractors.
If you’re buying business insurance to fulfill the terms of a lease, mortgage, or contract, check the fine print. It’ll likely tell you the amount of coverage you need.
Otherwise, take a look at your risks. A busy store will need higher coverage limits than a business that’s run from home. Your general liability insurance policy should cover enough to avoid paying out of pocket for legal defense costs, medical bills, and other expenses.
If you’d like expert help figuring out how much business liability insurance you need, talk to a TechInsurance insurance agent.
Want protection for your business property, too? A tech company won’t have as much risk as a high-traffic restaurant, for example, and can bundle general liability with commercial property insurance in a business owner’s policy (BOP). This package costs less than purchasing the policies separately.
Commercial property insurance helps your business recover from theft, loss, and more. It’ll pay for repair or replacement of damaged property.
Not every business is eligible for a BOP. It’s designed for small businesses. Insurance companies are willing to offer a discount to companies with less risk.
With TechInsurance, you can easily download a certificate of liability insurance, often on the same day you purchase an insurance policy.
This comes in handy for companies and consultants that need proof of insurance to sign a contract or a lease and don’t have time to call an insurer for documentation. Clients and landlords may ask for a certificate of general liability insurance to show you’re insured.
General liability insurance is the most common policy purchased by small businesses, but it doesn’t cover every risk. When submitting a general liability insurance application, you can request free quotes for other coverage if you:
Give expert advice or provide professional services. Errors and omissions insurance (E&O), also known as professional liability insurance, can pay for your legal fees and other costs if a client sues over a mistake or missed deadline.
Have employees. Then you likely need workers’ compensation insurance. It’s usually required by state law as soon as you hire your first employee. This policy covers medical costs related to work injuries.
Handle sensitive data. Cyber liability insurance can cover the costs of data breaches and cyberattacks at your own business or a client’s business.
Drive for work. Commercial auto insurance is required for company-owned vehicles. For leased, rented, and personal vehicles used for work, you should consider hired and non-owned auto insurance (HNOA).
Need extra coverage. Commercial umbrella insurance extends the limits of your liability policies to cover more expensive lawsuits.
Insurance companies sell coverage for almost every risk you can imagine. View all small business insurance policies.
Find more answers to frequently asked questions about general liability insurance.