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Liability is a legal phrase used to indicate that someone is at fault for something. When your customers have an accident at your work location, inside your store or in your office areas, they may need medical treatments or care for the injuries they sustain. Likewise if something happens that causes the customer’s property to become damaged, the general expectation is that you should pay the bills to either replace the damaged item or have it fixed. There are several other common ways you may be at risk for liability accusations: Competitors can sue you for something you have in your advertisements and your lease holder may accuse you of causing extensive damage to the business property you lease from them.
General liability insurance provides your company with important protective benefits when someone files a liability lawsuit against your business or its representatives. Your general liability insurance policy protects you from allegations of fault or harm. These protections apply to events that occur while you have your policy, even when the legal actions are not filed until later.
General liability insurance helps greatly in that it protects you from some types of accidents or legal issues that you might not have thought of in advance. Instead of having to spell out specific details about what is covered in your policy, a GL policy applies to most things that fall within specific ranges or categories of issues.
Claims of physical harm usually involve some type of accident that caused one of your customers to require medical care. Sometimes the accident is due to no fault of your own. The customer may in advertently lean up against a shelf in your store that is unable to support the weight. If the customer is injured when he falls due to the shelf falling, he will expect your company to pay for the medical care he needs for those injuries.
If you or another representative of your company causes someone’s personal property to be damaged, the owner of that property will likely file a liability lawsuit. Personal property damage insurance claims can arise through no fault of your own, or because of something you actually did or didn’t do. If a customer finds a hole in his wall right after your employee finished providing contracted services, the customer will assume the hole was created by your employee.
The medical payments portion of your general liability insurance policy pays for small bills that arise from minor accidents. When small accidents happen that cause simple or minor injuries, this coverage benefit may help prevent escalating legal actions, because it pays for associated medical costs automatically.
Advertising injuries are legal allegations against you for something in your company’s advertising and marketing materials. A competitor may claim that you used their trademark without authorization for example, or an artist may sue you for copyright infringement if you used their music without the proper licensing.
Personal injury litigation is similar to advertising injury, but it deals specifically with lawsuits that accuse you of harming a person’s name or reputation. One of your competitors may feel that you caused them to lose a valuable client contract because of something you said to a friend in passing. If the statement was overheard, or mistaken, the competitor may sue you for libelous or slanderous statements against them.
Whether your company sells products directly to a customer or provides expert services, you may have additional risks of lawsuits when something goes wrong. If you complete services or sell products that later result in causing harm to the customer or his property, this section of your general liability insurance provides protective coverage. This coverage applies to products and completed operations litigation, not actions brought on by professional errors or negligence.
When business owners rent or lease the property that their business operates from, they can be held legally responsible for any property damages that occur while they are in residence. The owner of your leased property may sue your company for minor damages such as holes in the wall, or for more expensive issues such as localized fire damage. This protection extends to structures you rent or lease, such as office buildings, workshops and garages.
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