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General Liability Insurance

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Business Liability Insurance Built to Fit You

Accidents happen. But Simply Business can help keep you protected with general liability insurance.

Whether you’re a cleaner or a contractor, our business liability insurance can be customized to your exact needs. With our easy quote form, you can get free quotes from top insurers that specialize in your industry, helping you find the exact coverage you need.

Just answer a few questions to get a general liability insurance quote customized for you in under 10 minutes.

General Liability Insurance FAQs

What is General Liability Insurance?

GL insurance — which is also referred to as commercial general liability (CGL) insurance — covers costs associated with third-party accidents, property damage, and bodily injury. Without this type of coverage, your business may be responsible for those costs.

And if those bills are too large, they could be absolutely catastrophic for your business. Consider this: the average claim for property damage or customer injury is a whopping $30,000.

Think about it — that’s $30,000 coming from your business bank account or even your own family’s finances.

With GL protection, you don’t have to worry about putting your business or family at risk. Your policy can cover these costs — including any resulting legal fees — up to your policy limit.

For a quick summary, general liability usually covers:

  • Bodily injury
  • Third-party property damage
  • Personal and advertising injury
  • Claims arising from product defects
  • Medical expenses
  • And more

General liability insurance usually does not cover:

  • Damage to your own property
  • Professional services
  • Workers compensation or injury to your employees
  • Damage to your work
  • Automobiles while in business use
  • Expected or intentional injury or damage
  • And more

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Why Do I Need General Liability Coverage?

If you’re a small business owner who works on customer sites, we recommend protecting yourself and your employees with a commercial general liability policy. Without this policy, you’re leaving yourself — and your family — financially vulnerable to any damages or accidents that happen throughout the course of doing business.

Here are a few additional reasons why you may need a GL policy:

  • General liability insurance can help you land more customers and contracts, as many of them won’t work with you unless you can prove you’re insured.
  • It prevents you from paying out of pocket for damages and lawsuits that potentially could be devastating to your business.
  • It may cover your tools + equipment in case they’re lost or stolen (this is called contents coverage, and it can be added to your GL policy).
  • It can provide protection in case you manufacture or sell a defective product that causes injury or damage.
  • It can help you stay on the right side of the law, as most cities and states require proof of GL coverage for many types of businesses.
  • It shows employees that you’re serious about your business, making it a lot easier for you to recruit and hire the best people in your industry.
  • It can meet legal requirements if you want to rent or lease a space for your business.
  • It can cover some accidents or damages that happen in your home office (that’s right — your homeowners’ insurance doesn’t usually cover business-related incidents).

What Does Business Liability Insurance Cover?

General liability insurance can cover property damage claims.

GL insurance can protect you against any unintentional damages you might cause on a client’s property. For example, if you accidentally knock over a customer’s laptop while doing your work, your policy can cover the cost of replacing that laptop, as well as any resulting legal fees if the customer decides to sue you.

Business liability insurance can cover third-party accidents.

Business liability insurance can provide your business with coverage against claims resulting from property damage, accidents, and bodily injury. This insurance policy protects you and your business when third parties (usually customers or vendors) are injured on your commercial property.

A GL policy can cover personal or advertising injury claims.

Additionally, GL insurance can cover any claims of personal or advertising injury. If one of your employees slanders a customer of yours on Facebook and they decide to sue, your GL policy can cover legal fees, as well as any resulting damage payouts.

This type of coverage can protect claims arising from faulty products.

If your business accidentally manufactures a product that has a defect - and that defect ends up causing injury to someone - your policy could help cover costs arising from a resulting claim. This part of GL insurance - known more specifically as product liability insurance is essential for small business owners who make and sell products, especially in e-commerce stores.

General liability coverage can protect your tools and equipment.

In some cases, GL can cover the cost of replacing or repairing your business tools and equipment if they’re lost or stolen. This is known as contents coverage, and it can usually be added to your commercial general liability insurance policy.

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How Does General Liability Insurance Work?

Let’s take a look at an example of how GL insurance works in action.

A plumber is doing light repairs on pipes in a client’s remodeled bathroom. However, he doesn’t secure the caps as tightly as he should have, which causes considerable water damage in the new bathroom.

The plumber’s general liability insurance policy covers the $7,500 cost of repairing the water damage. The only out-of-pocket expense the plumber has to pay is the policy deductible.

Without this protection, the plumber would have had to pay the entire $7,500 out of pocket, plus any legal fees if the customer decided to sue for additional damages.

Essentially, general liability insurance makes it possible for your business to survive accidents or lawsuits that may occur throughout the course of doing your work. And with an estimated 20 million civil lawsuits filed in the United States every year, there’s a very real chance you may need your insurance to get you out of legal hot water.

Is General Liability Coverage Required By Law?

Commercial liability insurance is not required by federal law, but most cities and states have their own legal requirements for business owners who work with the public. For example, if you’re a contractor and you’re applying for a license, most states will require you to provide proof of GL coverage before you can get licensed.

Regardless of your state’s requirements around GL insurance, it’s a good idea to take out this policy. Most customers won’t work with you unless you have it, and some vendors won’t allow you on their property without proof of insurance coverage.

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Why is General Liability Coverage Important?

Commercial general liability insurance is critical for businesses that deal with the public. It gives you the peace of mind you need to focus on your business, plus, it can make customers more confident about working with you.

Accidents happen, even when you try to do everything right. General liability insurance means that if the worst happens, you and your family won’t be held financially responsible for any resulting lawsuits, medical costs, and property damage.

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Is General Liability Insurance Tax-Deductible?

Typically, your general liability insurance premiums are income- tax-deductible. That’s because the IRS considers your policy premium as part of your business costs, which are deductible. However, you should get advice from a tax preparer or an accountant if you’d like to learn more about deducting your insurance premiums from your business’s taxes.

How Much Does General Liability Insurance Cost?

General liability costs largely depend on the type of work you do, the kinds of risks you're exposed to, and the number of employees you have on your payroll (see next section for more details).

Here at Simply Business, we specialize in helping small business owners find business liability coverage that's as affordable as it is comprehensive. We can help you find GL policies for as low as $25.95 per month, meaning you don't need to break the bank to get coverage for your business.*

To see how much you could pay for general liability insurance coverage, just answer a few questions on our quote form and start comparing policies from the nation's top insurers.

Is General Liability Insurance Based on Payroll?

The number of employees you have in your company can play a role in how much you pay for business liability insurance.

Think about it this way: The more employees you have, the greater the likelihood that they may cause damage in your office or on a customer’s property.

Even the best small business owner can’t control risks that come with having employees on the job. Your employee may accidentally damage a customer’s property or say something about a client that results in legal action. These common scenarios happen a lot more than you think, and without general liability protection, you could end up leaving your business and your family vulnerable.

* Monthly payment calculations (i) do not include initial premium down payment and (ii) may vary by state, insurance provider, and nature of your business. Averages based on Q1 2020 data of 10% of our total policies sold.

This content is intended to be used for informational purposes only. It is not intended to provide legal, tax, accounting, investment, or any other form of professional advice.

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*Harborway Insurance policies are underwritten by Spinnaker Insurance Company and reinsured by Munich Re, an A+ (Superior) rated reinsurance carrier by A.M. Best. Harborway Insurance is a trade name of Simply Business, Inc., which is a licensed insurance producer in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

© Copyright 2020 Simply Business. All Rights Reserved. Simply Business, Inc. is a licensed insurance producer in all U.S. States and the District of Columbia. Simply Business has its registered office at Simply Business, 1 Beacon Street, 15th Floor, Boston, MA, 02108. In the state of California, we operate under the name Simply Business Insurance Agency, Inc., License #0M20593. In the state of New York we operate under the name Simply Business Insurance Agency. In the state of Texas we operate under the name, U.S. Simply Business, Inc. For more information, please refer to our Privacy Policy and Terms & Conditions.