My cousin and I started a business when I was in my mid 20’s, installing vinyl graphics on the side of commercial autos and on storefront windows.
We thought it would be a good way to make some extra money.
Like any good start up, we bootstrapped it.
We did form an LLC, but we didn’t think there was a need for insurance.
What could go wrong?
First off, we didn’t have any experience. We taught ourselves how to print and install the graphics. Pretty simple…for the most part.
Everything seemed to be moving along nicely. One of our repeat customers hired us to remove graphics from an enclosed trailer. The graphics had been on the trailer for quite some time. We learned of a special chemical to safely remove the old graphics from a vendor we had been purchasing materials from. The chemical wasn’t working.
So we called our vendor back. Explained the situation. They recommended a different product for us to try…still safe to use on the side of an auto.
Or so we thought.
The new chemical ruined the paint on the side of the trailer.
Did I mention we never purchased insurance…?
A simple Commercial General Liability policy would have paid for the damage we caused our customer.
Paying for insurance would have been cheaper than repainting a trailer.
General Liability: It’s not so general.
Why Do I Need General Liability?
- Do you lease commercial space?
- Have you ever had a vendor or contractor require a Certificate of Insurance?
Those are two basic reasons why you may need Commercial General Liability insurance. Yet it goes deeper than that.
You need to understand the potential dangers your business could face. And should you face one of those dangers, how are you protected?
What Does General Liability Cover?
Let’s say you run a garden center. During the Spring months you’re constantly getting shipments of product in. One day you have a couple of pallets of fertilizer delivered. Your employees start unloading it. Unknowingly to you, a customer started talking with one of your employees so he left a bag of fertilizer in the walkway. A second customer trips over the bag injuring his leg.
The customer blames you for their injuries.
If you’re found neglegent, General Liability will pay for the customers medical bills up to your policy limits.
Or let’s say you own a construction business. A customer hires you to remodel their bathroom. Your employee forgets to shut off the water at the end of the day and water leaks into the living room. Your customer is now suing you for the damages.
Personal and Advertising Injury
Libel or slander of a person or an organization; whether it’s in writing or verbal. Or maybe you violated someone’s privacy rights.
Should a customer choose to take you to court, General Liability will provide defense costs too.
The beauty of General Liability is you can purchase it by itself or as a package to include additional coverages. A good insurance agent will be able to help you determine your needs.
What is Not Covered?
It’s important to note, General Liability will not provide coverage for everything. Below are a few items not covered:
- Your property
- If you or your employee gets injured
- Professional Services
- Claims prior to the start of the policy
- Intent to injure
Assuming never ends well. Ask your insurance agent if you’re not sure.
If you own a business, Commercial General Liability is a must. It’s an inexpensive way to protect your investment.
Are you able to rest easy knowing someone has your best interest at heart?