Why is Commercial General Liability Insurance so important?
You have worked tirelessly and invested many hours into your business that you have built from the ground up, whether your business is home-based or not, “liability insurance” provides important coverage for your business. Commercial General Liability Insurance exists to protect your business against liability losses arising from legal claims made by third parties, for bodily injury and property damage. If you are held legally liable, your business liability policy would cover compensatory damages as well as defence costs in the event of a lawsuit. Legal costs to conduct a defence can amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Without Commercial Liability Insurance, your company could be exposed to huge financial risks and may even go bankrupt from liability claims.
What is included in my Commercial General Liability Policy?
Your Commercial General Liability Policy provides the following types of coverage for your business:
Bodily Injury & Property Damage Liability
Bodily Injury refers to harm to the body arising from the insured’s actions which may lead to death. Your Commercial General Liability Insurance policy would cover liability charges arising from unintentional bodily injury to a third party, arising from your actions, for example if a customer were to slip and fall in your restaurant. Death resulting from the bodily injury as well as sickness and disease, would also be covered by your Commercial General Liability Insurance. If you are a Health Professional, Professional Liability Insurance would protect you in the event there were a malpractice lawsuit.
Did you know that Slips, Trips and Falls account for some of the most common and costly liability claims against business owners (Insurance Bureau of Canada, 2011)? As a business owner and the occupier of business premises, you are responsible for keeping areas such as aisles, stairs, ramps, walkways, driveways and parking lots free from hazards and reasonable safe for persons using them. If this is not adhered to, you could be held liable for slips, trips and falls that occur on your premises. A claim for bodily injury or damage against a business, could arise therefore out of the condition of the premises, which would also be covered by your Commercial General Liability Insurance Policy. Business liability policies also insure injury or damage caused to the third party as a result of work being done on the premises.
Personal and Advertising Injury Liability
The actions of a business owner can result in the personal and consequential bodily injury of the client. The insured could incur legal charges as a result of libel and slander; malicious prosecution; invasion of privacy; false arrest detention and imprisonment and the unlawful use of another’s promotional ideas. The company could be held liable for personal injury charges relating to extreme humiliation, stress or “other personal injury”. If a customer is wrongfully accused for shoplifting for example and subsequently detained, the company could be sued for personal injury arising from this incident, which would be covered by your business liability policy.
Your Commercial General Liability Insurance Policy covers medical expenses for those accidentally injured on your premises, if found negligent and any resultant loss of income suffered, as a result of a disability arising from bodily injury.
Tenant’s Legal Liability
Businesses that operate on rented premises, have a legal responsibility to their landlords to maintain the portion of the building they occupy in optimum condition and will be held accountable for damages incurred. Even though this exposure would be covered under your business liability insurance, you would be required to pay an additional premium for resulting damages.
Consumers expect that when they purchase an end product it will be safe. If it is found defective, the consumer has a right to take legal action against the responsible party that made or sold the flawed product. If you are also the importer of this product you would be held accountable for any bodily injury arising from the use of the defective product. This exposure would also be covered by your Commercial General Liability Insurance policy.
Will my Commercial General Liability policy cover my profession?
If you work in particular professions such as the Health Care Industry or provide professional advice, then you will need to have a Special Liability Policy. Your general liability policy will not cover incidents relating to malpractice or errors and omission and it is therefore imperative that you get the right coverage to cater to your insurance needs. Individuals who offer health care services such as doctors, dentists and druggists need to protect themselves with Professional Liability/Malpractice/Errors and Omissions Insurance (depending on the insurance company), in order to cover expenses related to the rendering or failure to render professional services. A surgical procedure gone amiss, a prescription filled erroneously or the failure to provide proper medical treatment to a patient, can all attract medical lawsuits and expose your practice to liability losses. Malpractice Insurance would be able to provide payment for compensatory damages and defence costs before a court of law.
Contact a My Insurance Broker Adviser today to obtain a group rate for your Professional Liability Coverage at 1(855) 482-5001.
Professional Advice & Consultation Services
If you give professional advice to your clients or provide consultation services, then you also need to obtain a Professional Liability or Errors and Omissions Insurance. Professionals such as accountants, architects and financial consultants will need this type of insurance, in the event that they offer erroneous advice to their clients. Your Errors and Omissions liability insurance would protect you in the event of a lawsuit.
Garage Liability Insurance
Businesses that participate in the care, custody and control of their customers’ vehicles need to obtain a garage policy. Garage Liability Insurance provides coverage for repairing garages, used car dealers, detailing guys and valet parking companies. Coverage is provided for physical damage to customers’ automobiles when the insured is held legally liable for such damage. You will need to obtain Commercial General Liability Insurance however, in addition to your Garage Policy, in the event there were a legal claim and you were found negligent.
If you operate or deal in the sale, repair, detailing, storage, parking or servicing of automobiles, it is imperative that you obtain a Garage Policy. Not only would your garage policy cover liability charges of non-owned automobiles, it would also cover the liability, accident benefits, Uninsured Automobile and Direct Compensation Property Damage exposures of your full time employees and active partners, while driving automobiles owned by the company.
If you operate a home-based business, you will need to have a separate business insurance to cover your liability exposure. Whilst your Home Insurance Policy may provide minimal coverage as it relates to your commercial assets (while on the property), it may not cover liability exposure relating to your profession. Consider the legal implications if one of your customers were to slip and fall on your property and you did not have liability insurance! This could expose your business to huge legal costs and compromise its continued existence.
My Insurance Broker provides coverage to home business owners under its uBiz Insurance plan. Your uBiz home business insurance plan would provide:
- Protection against claims of injury or property damage
- Help in replacing damaged business-related items
- Defence costs related to business and personal matters
- Unlimited access to telephone legal advice
- Peace of mind
Protect the business you have worked so hard to create, the time you have invested and your passion! Professionals can now get fast and convenient business insurance quotes. We also offer a range of simple, affordable insurance options designed especially for you. You can rest assured knowing that your home business will be protected in the event you were found legally liable.
What are the advantages of contracting a My Insurance Broker Adviser?
Insurance brokers give expert advice on insurance and counsel on risk management. My Insurance Broker is dedicated to helping, serving and educating our clients. We will work with you to identify the types of risks your company is vulnerable to and create a customized insurance plan that will offer you the most comprehensive coverage a competitive price. We are one of Ontario’s fastest growing on-line and community dedicated brokerages, and our brokers possess over ten years’ experience in the insurance industry.
Contact a My Insurance Broker Adviser today 1 (855) 482-5001 and find out how to protect your business from potential liability losses!