What Does General Liability Insurance Cover?

All business owners know that taking steps to safeguard their organization is a must. You should never leave your business open to the vagaries of fortune and hope for the best! Life has an uncanny knack of throwing a spanner in the works at inopportune moments. If you have not got adequate insurance cover, it can cause severe financial problems.

The best way to look after your company is by taking out the right insurance policies. One essential policy that all businesses should have is general liability insurance. But what is general liability insurance, and what does it cover?

What exactly is general liability insurance?

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This is the first question most business owners and entrepreneurs need answering. After all, you should never take out an insurance policy you do not completely understand! This insurance provides cover against common mishaps or accidents that occur as part of your business. It covers you and your staff if claims are lodged against you by the public for injury or damages you may have caused when working. This is particularly relevant if you or your staff carry out work at someone’s home or another location away from your premises.

These risks affect all kinds of business and crop up more often than you think. With this in mind, it is vital to take out general liability insurance. Nextinsurance.com is one of the top providers on the market that provide such cover. Their good value policies help to futureproof your business and provide peace of mind that you are covered against common mishaps or accidents.

When thinking about taking out this cover, it’s worth understanding the type of situations in which it can be used. What can it protect against specifically?

Bodily injuries

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While you will work in a way that is as safe for everyone as possible, you cannot foresee every danger or eventuality. Unfortunately, bodily injury can be caused to someone who comes into contact with your business and its staff while work is being carried out.

A good example is a plumber putting down his tools on the floor at a client’s house. If they come in to see how the work is going but do not know the tools are there, they could trip over them and break a limb. That could lead to a claim being made against the business by the client for medical expenses and any loss of income. General liability insurance covers such claims so that your company does not have to pay out huge sums in compensation.

Damage to property

Next to personal injury, the commonest form of work-based accident is damage to someone else’s property. It is a lot more frequent than you might think across all sectors. If you accidentally damage property or anything in it while working, general liability insurance will cover you for any ensuing costs. But what kind of thing are we talking about here?

For example, you may be in business as a decorating firm and be employed to repaint someone’s bedroom. If you spill paint on the carpet while doing the work, they may insist you pay for a new one to be fitted. General liability will help to avoid you paying these costs out of your own pocket. You can then focus all your time and resources on promoting your business effectively.

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Defamation and copyright claims

This is something that many business owners do not realize general liability insurance covers. While this might not seem a danger to your own company, you can often be accused of this because of something that was never intended. Copyright infringement is a classic example. Maybe your name is Chris Rowlands, and your lucky number is 7. When setting up your business, you settle on the term ‘CR7’ as a catchy title. All goes well until well-known footballer Cristiano Ronaldo instructs his lawyers to sue for copyright infringement because that is his registered signature nickname.

But what about defamation of character? Surely that is not something you need to worry about. Don’t be so sure! It can easily happen and leave you facing a claim from the injured third party. Without the right insurance in place, it could mean big trouble. Maybe you hand out flyers that name a local competitor that claims you are better because they do not adhere to relevant regulations. They may see the flyer and sue you for defamation of character.

Breaches of privacy

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Many businesses put case studies up on their website to show potential clients the excellence of your work. No problem, right? If you remembered to get permission to use any images of the completed work, that is true. If you did not, though, you could be sued by the person whose home or property it is for breach of privacy. Once more, huge payouts can be awarded, not something you can risk. Taking out general liability insurance means that, should a mistake like forgetting to ask for permission to use images occur, you are covered.

Slander and advertising harm claims

Perhaps the last two specific examples of cover which this type of insurance provides are slander and advertising harm. Advertising harm is when you distribute advertising material that a member of the public deems harmful. For example, you may use an image that you think is fine, but someone else considers indecent or harmful. A claim could then be made against your business that general liability insurance would cover.

Slander is quite a common danger for all businesses as it can happen to anyone, in any sector. It usually involves a staff member saying derogatory things about a customer, which they then hear about and start a legal action for redress. A lot of this happens online these days, and the client then has hard evidence to pursue a case against you. By taking out general liability, you are guarding against such claims.

General liability insurance is important

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As the above shows, this sort of insurance is essential for all businesses. The range of coverage it gives is extensive, and your company will be well protected against common claims or mishaps. It must be noted that separate cover is needed for professional indemnity, workers’ compensation cover, business auto insurance, and insurance for tools and equipment. If you do not yet have general liability protection in place, it could be a costly omission.

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