Business liability insurance protects businesses from certain claims associated with visitors to the business property or patrons of the business. This is one type of business or commercial insurance. The other main one is casualty insurance, which typically covers losses associated with theft or property damage. Businesses should ideally carry both types of insurance. In many cases, one insurance package will cover both casualty and liability needs.
The scope of liability insurance coverage depends on the individual coverage plan. However, commercial general liability (CGL) insurance usually covers incidents such as:
- Physical injury to visitors on the business premises, such as a slip and fall claim
- Violations related to advertising, slander, damage to business reputation, etc.
- Copyright violations
- Various other personal injury claims like dangerous structure injuries or toxic tort claims
- Loss or damage of property belonging to patrons while they are on the premises
Again, the coverage plan may cover more or less issues depending on the needs and capabilities of the parties involved. It’s important that businesses obtain at least some form of basic liability insurance. Small business insurance is particularly important for smaller businesses and start-up companies, who may not be financially able legal disputes while the company is still young.
What will happen is that the insurance company may assume responsibilities for various aspects of the lawsuit, including:
- Assisting with filing and legal fees
- Cooperating with legal counsel in terms of defense of business assets
- Providing input for decisions such as pursuing litigation or settling the claim, as most insurance companies would prefer to settle the claim
- Paying damages resulting from the lawsuit, provided that the incident or violation is covered in the insurance policy plan
Business liability insurance is somewhat similar to other forms of insurance, such as automobile insurance. Liability insurance will cover costs up to a certain amount. Past that agreed upon amount, the damages may need to be covered directly by the business. Also, certain issues may not be covered by liability insurance, such as damages that were caused intentionally by the business. Disputes between businesses and their insurance companies can also arise, especially with regards to coverage terms
Liability insurance matters can often be complex. You may need to hire a business lawyer if you need help resolving any type of liability or insurance issue. Your attorney can provide you with advice and representation if a lawsuit needs to be filed. Also, you may wish to hire a lawyer if you need help negotiating or finalizing a business liability insurance contract.