While business is inherently a risky venture, at Chapman Insurance we’re here to help you mitigate some of those risks with proper insurance coverage for your company. Let’s talk about general liability policies for office environments.
Commercial insurance is a wise investment that doesn’t have to cost much. Depending on your line of work, general liability premiums might range from $1,000 to $5,000. That’s a small price to pay, considering that one day your business may need to defend itself in court.
Liability insurance (also known as Commercial General Business Liability) protects a company’s assets and pays costs incurred, for example, if someone gets hurt on your property or when there are property damages or injuries caused by you or your employees. Liability insurance also covers the cost of your legal defense and any settlement or award should you be successfully sued.
General liability insurance can also protect you against any liability as a tenant if you cause damage to a property that you rent, such as by fire or other covered loss. Finally, it can also cover claims of false or misleading advertising, including libel, slander, and copyright infringement.
Business liability insurance coverage is something most business simply must have, so it is essential that you understand what it does and doesn’t cover.
What’s covered by general liability insurance:
- 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.
- Miscellaneous – 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 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 a restaurant, bar or brewery).
What’s typically NOT protected by business liability 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 liability insurance coverage won’t cover a professional mistake, but professional liability insurance 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 – Purchase a separate auto policy to protect your business.
- Punitive damages – A general business liability policy rarely pays for punitive damages resulting from a lawsuit.
- Intentional acts – 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.
Sometimes a client contract will require that your business has the appropriate coverage or umbrella insurance to perform work on their behalf. Chapman Insurance can work with you to determine your general liability coverage needs, which depend on the type of business you are in and the perceived risks associated with it. The location of your business also impacts your coverage needs and annual premium.
If you fall into a lower risk category, you may want to consider a Business Owner’s Policy (BOP) which combines general liability and property insurance at a cost-effective rate. If you are on the higher end of the risk scale and already have general liability insurance, you can also opt for excess insurance or umbrella insurance that increases your coverage limits. Our team can guide you through these decisions.
Curious for more information? SBA’s Five Tips for Buying Business Insurance includes tips on assessing your risk, shopping around, BOPs, and maintenance of your policy. And as always, be sure to give Chapman Insurance a call to discuss your commercial insurance options in Florida.