(By Elton Mwangi)
General liability insurance safeguards your company from monetary loss if your employees, services, or business operations cause personal and advertising injury or property damage. It covers non-professional negligent acts.
Your business could be liable for paying costs such as legal costs, medical expenses, and punitive damages in the occurrence of a risk. Some examples of risk occurrence include:
- A customer trips on a slippery floor and gets injured during a visit to your store
- A staff member in your construction business leaves the water running, causing significant damage to a customer’s home.
- Your business is sued for offering misleading information in one of your advertisements.
Some businesses that benefit from general liability insurance include contractors, small businesses, janitorial services, landscaping businesses, marketing firms, IT contractors, consultants, and real estate agents.
Types of NY General Liability Insurance Coverage
This policy type protects a company from a risk that occurs during the policy period, not considering when the claim arises. So, even if the policy is canceled, your business will be covered, provided the incident occurred within the policy period.
A claims-made policy protects a business from claims that occur and are reported within the policy period. Hence, if premiums aren’t paid or the policy is canceled, claims made after aren’t covered, even though risk occurred during the policy period.
What’s Covered Under NY General Liability Insurance Coverage?
Lawsuits can cause considerable financial losses if you are not covered, making general liability insurance a business essential. The insurance will cover the legal fees and all damages if you’re found liable; that’s up to the policy limit.
Bodily Injury and Property Damage
This coverage protects businesses against losses related to liability arising out of bodily injury or property damage to third parties as a result of non-professional negligent acts. It also covers liability resulting from their business operations or premises.
In addition to physical bodily harm, emotional distress and mental injuries are also considered bodily injuries.
Because this insurance cover is limited, high-risk businesses in New York City need additional coverage like pollution liability, workers’ comp, employment practices liability insurance, and others.
Personal and Advertising Injury
This kind of coverage safeguards your business from liability resulting from offenses like wrongful eviction, copying an advertisement, malicious prosecution, libel, copyright infringement, slander, and false arrest.
For instance, when you set up a website, you’d want protection against unexpected copyright infringement.
When a non-employee gets injured as a result of an accident on your business premises or exposure to your business operations in New York State, this coverage caters to medical expenses on a limited basis. Legal action is not required for the cover to be activated; hence litigation can be avoided.
These costs include nursing, hospital, surgical, ambulance, and funeral expenses to the injured or killed individual. If the business is sued, medical payment coverage does not cover legal expenses and damages resulting from the suit like in the previous two covers.
The Cost of NY General Liability Insurance
Many factors affect the cost of general liability insurance. When it comes to the business type, a high-risk business will pay higher premiums than a low-risk business.
Other factors affecting general liability insurance costs include years of experience, location, insurance claims history, size, condition of the premises, and policy details like coverage limits and deductibles.
Insurance will also vary between insurance providers.
Reasons for Purchasing NY General Liability Insurance
One of the main reasons for buying general liability insurance is that employers and clients require it before doing business with you. Therefore, you’ll need to provide them with a certificate of insurance.
You’ll also need general liability insurance when advertising your business and working on someone else’s property. Most companies use it as a safeguard against lawsuits, medical damages, attorney fees, and investigations.
What General Liability Insurance Fails to Cover
General liability insurance doesn’t cover employee injuries, which are covered under worker’s compensation.
Also, it doesn’t cover auto accidents, professional mistakes, and theft.
Buying NY General Liability Insurance
While you can buy general liability insurance by itself, combining it with business property insurance into a business owners’ policy is convenient. You can also buy it as part of a Commercial Package Policy.
If these covers don’t offer enough protection, consider buying a commercial excess policy for extra protection.
Zupnick & Associates can help you shop for the best general liability insurance in 2022. Contact us today!