What is general liability insurance for a small business?

Posted in Business

Coffee shop owner smiles behind counter

As a small business owner, you’ve put in years of hard work and dedication to make your dream a reality.

But what if a customer accidentally slips and falls in your store? Or if one of your contractors accidentally damages a customer’s property while working on a job? These unexpected events could create a major financial strain on the business you’ve worked so hard to build.

This is why general liability insurance is so important for your small business.

What is general liability insurance?

General liability business insurance covers financial costs if your business is responsible for non-professional negligent acts such as property damage, bodily injuries or advertising harm caused by your services. This coverage can be found as a standard part of both a Business Owners Policy (BOP) and Commercial Package Policy, and it can protect your business from paying legal fees and damages if you’re found liable.

What does general liability insurance cover?

General liability insurance provides coverage when a claim occurs either on your business premises or while performing normal business operations. Kinds of claims general liability insurance will cover include:

  • Bodily injuries

    Medical and legal costs relating to physical or emotional harm, like if a customer tripped over an electrical cord in your store and broke their arm from the fall.
  • Property damage

    Costs to repair or replace customer property, as well as any associated legal fees. For instance, this could help if a plumber were to accidentally break a pipe and cause water damage to a home.
  • Personal and advertising injury

    Legal costs and damages resulting from reputation-damaging offenses, including libel, slander and copyright infringement. For example, this coverage could help if a company sues you for having the same business name.

Also, general liability claims will include an external third party, like a customer or another business. For coverage regarding employee injury or damages, you’ll need a Workers’ Compensation policy.

Learn about our
Business Insurance

How much general liability insurance does my small business need?

It depends. Every small business is different, and aspects like the type of business, number of employees and size of business can affect how much coverage you need and how much your policy will cost. It’s best to talk to an independent insurance agent. Your agent will be able to determine the right liability coverage for your business at the right price.

Your agent can also help determine if additional coverage is recommended. For instance, you can add an umbrella policy if you need to extend your coverage limits. Additionally, be sure to keep your agent informed as your business grows and evolves. New opportunities can lead to new risks, so be sure to update your agent to ensure you have enough protection.

To learn more about general liability insurance for your small business, contact your independent insurance agent.

This article is for informational and suggestion purposes only. If the policy coverage descriptions in this article conflict with the language in the policy, the language in the policy applies. For full details on Grange’s commercial insurance, coverages and discounts, including our Business Owners Policy (BOP) and Commercial Package Policy, contact your local independent agent.

- Insurance Information Institute

Related resources