What is General Liability Insurance?

June 08, 2023 | Insurance 101, General Liability

This article was originally published June 22, 2021

You might be wondering “What is commercial general liability insurance coverage and why might I need it?” General liability insurance (GL), sometimes called commercial general liability insurance, protects your company from risks you face every day—things like damage to the property of others, bodily injury to customers, product liability, libel, and copyright infringement—and claims that may be filed against your company as a result.

Without general liability insurance for business, your company can suffer serious financial damage from allegations, liability, and lawsuits. Plus, small business liability insurance may be required by law, by your clients, or in a lease.

It’s important to make sure you have a general liability insurance policy as part of your overall business coverage. Having this kind of coverage will give you extra peace of mind and assurance that you’re doing everything you can to keep your business and your employees safe.

Florist talking with a customer on the phone

What Does Commercial General Liability Insurance for Business Cover?

In business as in life, accidents happen. Commercial general liability insurance from biBERK is important because it keeps incidents from creating financial hardship by covering costs associated with:

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    Damage to the property of others or physical injuries to customers caused by your business 
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    Advertising “injuries” such as making negative statements about a competitor that hurt their business when you are promoting your products or services
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    Medical costs for customers who injure themselves at your place of business

What Does Commercial General Liability Insurance for Small Business Not Cover?

It’s important to note that commercial general liability insurance for small business does not cover things like damage to your business property, auto accidents in company-owned vehicles caused by you or your employees when traveling for work, personal injuries to your employees, and fraudulent or intentional acts. 

Our insurance experts can talk with you about exclusions and other types of coverage you may want to consider alongside your general liability insurance, to keep you fully covered.

What Does General Liability Insurance for Small Business Cost?

A number of factors affect your small business liability insurance cost. One of them is the type of company you operate. Some businesses involve more risk than others, and that risk and your general liability insurance rate tend to go somewhat hand-in-hand. However, other company attributes play a role, like:

  • Location
  • Size
  • Years in business
  • Claims history

The specifics of your policy—things like coverage limits (the maximum amount the insurer will pay for a covered claim) and deductibles (the amount you pay for a covered claim before your insurance plan starts to pay)—affect your rate as well.

Taking a few minutes to get an online quote is the best way to determine your small business liability insurance cost.

Common General Liability Insurance Claims

Still wondering if your business would benefit from having general liability insurance? Or what the best general liability insurance for small business is? Here are some examples of common types of claims that can be addressed by GL coverage:

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    A customer becomes seriously ill after eating at your restaurant and sues you for medical costs of $5,000.
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    You incorrectly perform a plumbing job and are found liable for $150,000 in damages caused by a leaking pipe.
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    A customer visiting your store slips on a wet floor and breaks her arm. Her medical costs are $25,000, and you are found liable and required to pay.
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    A former client claims to have overheard you saying negative things about them to a mutual business associate and sues you for slander for $150,000 to cover lost sales that they claim resulted from damage you caused to their reputation.

The best general liability insurance for small business will cover costs associated with these types of incidents, providing peace of mind to business owners.

Who Needs General Liability Coverage?

Most small businesses can benefit from general liability coverage. We provide GL insurance to many types of businesses, including:

  • Restaurants
  • Retailers
  • Landscaping companies
  • Contractors
  • Auto repair shops
  • Real estate companies
  • Janitorial services
  • Health care practices
  • Transportation businesses

If you want to know more about how best to protect your business or have questions like, “How much is general liability insurance?”, our small business insurance experts are here to help.

Frequently Asked Questions About General Liability Insurance

Is general liability insurance required by law?

General liability insurance is rarely mandated by law. However, even if you aren’t required by law to have coverage, going without it puts you at risk of serious financial consequences if an incident occurs. 

Does general liability insurance cover errors when providing a professional service?

No, it does not. However, professional liability insurance (also known as errors and omissions insurance) can. Our insurance experts can help you understand the difference and what coverage you need. 

What is the Certificate of Insurance that my client is asking me for?

A Certificate of Insurance (COI) is a document you can download or have emailed directly to your client or landlord from our website as a policyholder. It shows them the coverages and limits on your general liability policy.

Why is biBERK a good choice for my general liability insurance?

Our online quote and purchase options eliminate the middleman, allowing us to offer coverage at up to 20% less than other providers. Plus, biBERK is part of the Berkshire Hathaway Insurance Group, with all of our major insurance subsidiaries being rated A++ by A.M. Best Company and AA+ by Standard & Poor’s Corporation. That means they display superior financial health and operating performance. Berkshire Hathaway Insurance Group has millions of satisfied customers, more than 75 years of insurance experience, and $38 billion in paid claims in 2020.

How much is general liability for my business?

Give us a call and talk with one of our friendly licensed insurance experts. They can discuss all the different options for the best general liability insurance for business with you. Get a quote today.

Protect Your Company With General Liability Insurance Today

Knowing that your business is protected from financial risk provides tremendous peace of mind and allows you to stay focused on your work. Get covered!